February 15, 2011

Review: Yoga for Shoulders with Andria Davis, RYT

I have been a fan of Yoga Ventures DVDs ever since I bought "Yoga for Climbers" a few years ago. While beautifully filmed in gorgeous settings the videos are produced simply without a lot of fuss. The beauty of the instructor, Andria Davis, shines through with her soulful practice. I love how Yoga Ventures has catered to helping balance out outdoor enthusiasts activities with yoga for Cyclists, Paddling, and Hikers as well as Climbers. When I got a chance to try out the "Yoga for Shoulders" DVD I jumped at it.

First and foremost I love the set-up of this DVD! When you put in the video there is a big menu, it may be overwhelming at first, especially if you want to just dive in start some yoga. But diving in defeats the purpose of this DVD. It is designed to help people with shoulder injuries, shoulder pain, or to just strengthen and increase mobility of healthy shoulders, so  it's good to go through and read the descriptions and start with the recommended routines whether you're a beginner or experienced yogi. In the introduction you learn about the various sequences as they are designed to build on each other as well as what props are suggested for the various practices and how to use them.

You start with the breath sequence then work your way through a total of seven practices that align and strengthen your shoulders while releasing tension and increasing mobility. Once you've worked your way through the seven practices and can do them in a comfortable manner you can then pick and choose from the various component. Or if you're ready for a longer session there are additional combinations of the routines. Whether you're in the mood for standing poses, core work, or restorative work there is something for your mood.

Normally I have a really hard time with yoga DVDs. I miss the energy of a class or the freedom of my own home practice. I think that is why I enjoy Andria's style so much. It's a unique experience that is enjoyable in it's own way. The slow pace of the sequences feels nourishing and energizing at the same time. While doing the various routines I really enjoyed how I could close my eyes and just enjoy, the verbal directions were soothing yet detailed. Andria has a great way of speaking so that you know where to go with your body and movement but feel the warmness you expect from yoga.

As part of my yoga teacher training I have learned that the shoulders can give out very early in life if you practice in a certain way. I feel very good about Andria's "Yoga for Shoulders" DVD that it not only helps repair some of the hardship our shoulders experience but also helps us build better technique to keep practicing yoga into our 80s. I love this DVD and can't wait to check out more of her DVDs.

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