Shiva Rea - Flow Yoga for Beginners DVD

I have another hatha yoga DVD that was filmed in Hawaii, and it is just so nice to have the soothing sounds, beautiful backgrounds and gentle lighting of Hawaii helping you relax into your yoga poses. Shiva Rea's voice is smooth and encouraging, and while she is extremely flexible, she gives you hope as you go that, while you might not be limber right now, you can get that way with practice.

Flow Yoga for Beginners his tape only has four real parts. You can either watch them chapter by chapter, or all in a row. You can also choose to watch them with music only, or with her verbal prompts.

The sections each have their own location. Each is quite lovely! You get 15 minutes of basic poses, 20 minutes of a lot of standing backbends, 10 minutes of more relaxing stretches, and the 25 minutes of a long repetitive sequence. Then there is a VERY super-short relaxation at the end.

I think I was spoiled by my other DVD, because with the other one there are multiple hour-long sessions put together, each with its own theme - strengthening, relaxing, etc. With this one, you get just over an hour if you do the whole thing from start to end. But really you wouldn't want to do that - because that last set is a standalone rhythm set that you wouldn't really want to do after relaxing. I wish this one was much more laid out for multiple uses - do set 1 if you have aim A, do set 2 if you have aim B. Also, the sessions should be labeled with how long they will take, so you can plan out your activity. There isn't even any note on the back of the case or in the insert with any times.

I realize you can't control nature, but their timing was off on the filming of some of the segments. The final beach segment got REALLY dark in some parts so you couldn't see what she was doing. Also, the camera work would show her from her top half only while she talked about doing something with her bottom half. I'm not quite that psychic yet :)

I think as far as it went, it was awesome. If I want to do a 25 minute rhythm exercise, I can do that fourth chapter. But if I want to do more than that, I'd have to go jumping around from chapter to chapter chaining together things that didn't really flow well. I would have given this five stars if it had much more content, even if some was repeated. If she had presented perhaps 4 full "workouts" with each one having a warm up, a main section (whatever she wanted to do for that) and then a wind down, that would have been great. You can always fast forward if you want to shorten it up a bit. But the way it is now, you can't really do an hour long workout. You can barely do just over a half hour workout. I would like something longer than that.

Also, the sound at the very beginning was very intrusive. There are different music selections as you go and the later ones were lovely, background and non-interfering. It was just that first set that seemed to interrupt what she was trying to say. It was ironic to me that they had a soundtrack option of music-only, or music-and-voice. I would have preferred a voice-only option for that first segment!

As a final minor complaint, she likes renaming poses into her own terms :) I think for a DVD being marketed to people who are using several DVDs and books and such, she should probably go with the standard names for poses so that things don't get confusing.

Still, it's a nice addition to a library. I wouldn't suggest this as the only DVD on yoga to own, but if you have good staples in your collection already, this makes a nice alternative for when you want a quick half hour of moving stretch. Buy Flow Yoga for Beginners from

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