Element: Yoga Energy and Relax
If you like a dose of beautiful scenery, a soothing soundtrack, and high quality cinematography accompanying your yoga workouts, then you pretty much have two choices: Element, or Gaiam. Given that Element’s DVDs are usually priced about half what a typical Gaiam DVD costs, they can represent a pretty attractive option. For example, Element’s new DVD Yoga Energy and Relax featuring Tamal Dodge provides 74 minutes of energizing yoga escape all for an incredible price of less than $10 on Amazon.com.
Set in a scenic seaside resort garden with a flower-draped trellis behind and the tranquil waters of swimming pool beside, it’s hard NOT to feel more relaxed and energized as you let yourself slip into the soothing world Element has created.
The Element: Yoga Energy and Relax DVD actually contains two practices, focused on – wait for it – Yoga for Energy, and Yoga for Relaxation. You can choose just one according to your mood, or combine them into one challenging but well-balanced 72 minute mega-session.
YOGA FOR ENERGY (32 minutes)
Dodge begins this practice standing, moving into a standing backbend. He then performs half sun salutes. Coming into downward dog, he moves through plank, dolphin, and forearm plank. This is followed by a series which includes down dog to three-legged down dog, crescent pose, twisted side angle, warrior 2, reverse warrior 2/reverse triangle, side angle, and repeat reverse warrior 2. Dodge holds each posture for several breaths, which is quite challenging; he then repeats the entire series on the second side. Sitting on the heels, he performs breath of fire (two rounds) and belly breathing. This is followed by a series of seated poses, including full seated forward bend, seated leg stretch, reverse plank, forward bend in butterfly, and crab (aka table). Finishing postures include a lying stomach twist and an approximately 2 minutes in relaxation pose before concluding in a seated position.
YOGA FOR RELAXATION (40 minutes)
For this routine, Dodge begins seated to practice ujjayi breathing. Next comes a series of stretches, including shoulder/elbow rolls, a side neck stretch, a back neck stretch, and head shakes/rolls to finish. Dodge then comes to all fours for cat/cow and a modified child’s pose. Sitting back into child’s pose, he moves into rabbit and thread-the-needle with a bind. Dodge raises up into down dog with a calf stretch and then lowers down onto the belly for sphinx and crocodile poses. The next series of stretches moves from down dog to half (kneeling) pyramid, pigeon pose, and then concludes in down dog with breath retention. From seated, Dodge performs head-to-knee forward bend, butterfly, modified eagle (wrists and ankles crossed), and fire log pose. To conclude this practice, Dodge lies down on his back for half happy babies pose, revolved stomach twist, and about 3.5 minutes of yoga nidra, or relaxation; he again ends in a seated position.
Conclusion: Quite possibly Element’s best Yoga DVD yet, Yoga for Energy and Relaxation delivers on its promises, offering two solid yoga routines for a very reasonable price.
Best Price: $10 at Amazon.com