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This two-DVD yoga instruction by
Max Strom proceeds at a slow pace, occasionally holding postures for long
periods, and once or twice for minutes. So although you are not likely to work
up a sweat, it is challenging. He focuses on grace in movement and the series
of postures is somewhat different from that found on other instructional yoga
videos. That makes it very appealing as a complement to more energetic yoga
The first DVD has a 90-minute class
and second one has a 45-minute class include short relaxation and meditation
periods at the end. There are short additional extras: an introduction and an
epilogue on the first DVD, in which Strom talks a little about the benefits of
yoga. More useful are 11 "workshops" in which Strom shows how to do
some of the important postures with the help of people demonstrating them:
these postures are bridge, cobra, crescent, down dog, head to toe, pigeon,
plank, sphinx, sun salutations, tree and triangle. These are very useful,
especially for beginners. It is a little disappointing that he does not
include the horse posture, since he uses that a lot on the DVD, and although in
some ways it is simple, (like sitting on a horse), it would be helpful to have
more help on how far to lean forward and what angle to put your legs.
The classes are performed by three
people, two women and one man, in large room with a wooden floor and white
walls at the sides and frosted white glass at the back, flooding with room with
light. The practitioners do not use yoga mats, but stand or sit on the floor.
Two of the people are at "level one," which is introductory, and one
of them is at "level two," which is more advanced. The level-one
people use aids like a yoga block and a strap occasionally, and take more
moderate postures. Strom gives his instruction in a voice-over. He has a deep
voice that is easy to listen to. In the background is striking ambient music
which is surprisingly interesting. It is possible to view with the classes
with either music only, voice only, or both. The camera work is done nicely:
the practitioners are seen generally from the level of their heads, straight on:
occasionally it looks like it might be using a hand-held camera, and other
times the movement seems to be smooth enough to be a dolly shot, which is more
sophisticated than one normally gets on a yoga DVD.
I found on using this Strength, Grace, Healing DVD set repeatedly that it made me focus especially on abdominal
strength as a way to keep the body balanced and poised, yet without getting you
to do lots of sit ups. Having the two classes of different lengths is helpful,
and they both provide a worthwhile workout. Recommended for people who are
starting yoga or who are looking for a slightly different approach to yoga
Link: Max Strom
© 2006 Christian Perring. All
Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities
Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Reviews. His main
research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.
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