Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pranam: Sianna Sherman DVD Review

      I have been teaching yoga for nearly 9 years now and one of the most common questions I am asked before and after class is "Do you recommend any yoga videos?"  Until now the answer has always been not really. I enjoyed the Rodney Yee yoga for back care that was on VCR (of all things!) but am not as fond of the new one.  So many videos just name and demonstrate the asana (poses) but don't give adequate instruction to prevent injury at home.
     Now I have found a DVD that I can recommend without reservations, Pranam with Sianna Sherman. I have had the video for a few months and I just love it.  The flow is very carefully crafted to open each part of the body before it is extended into more advanced poses. It also cleverly acknowledges the flow of life and our need to both surrender to it and move actively with the flow. The practice is divided into four sections;

  1. East/ air/ inspiration
  2. South/ fire/ courage
  3. West/ water/ flow
  4. North/ earth/ grounding and gratitude
       Most poses are visited several times throughout the practice with progressively more difficult options. Though she does not offer easier variations using straps and blocks, I found it very easy to modify the more advanced poses to my level .  What I really love is the vocal instructions for the advanced poses.  I will continue to perform a variation that is at my level, but her instructions allow me to move more deeply within my body as I perform the same pose.  For example, Urdhva Dhanurasana (full backbend) is out of my practice for a few weeks while I heal an injury.  As I listen to the DVD, I lay on my back with hands and feet where they would be for the pose and perform all of the inner motions without moving up to full wheel. So, I connect the hands strongly, root the tail bone, press the shoulder blades into the heart, and so on.  This allows me to do the internal work without aggravating an injury.

     The nice part about having these more difficult variations is that it reminds us to keep adding to our practice.   For example, bakasana (crow) jumping back into chaturanga dandasana (low plank) has just entered my world.  Now I'm going to apologize first,  I couldn't find some free professional pictures, so this is me in jeans and a tshirt after judging a Speech and Drama meet most of the day.  But wow! What a gift Sianna gave me!
chaturanga dandasana

Just jump
from here...
             ... to here!

    The best praise I can give this video is that I could listen to her talk and not do the yoga, just to have her remind me of the inspiration all around, the courage that is already with in us to use the inspiration, the fluidity to allow change and the peace to remain grounded.  I highly recommend this DVD!

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