There are many benefits to living at the bottom of the world.
The ability to attend workshops with big name, innovative Yoga instructors at large gatherings or conferences is sadly not one of them.
Which is what should put the Great Instructors Series from Yoga Journal on the top of your Yoga DVD Wish List if you are a dedicated practitioner or teacher.
I recently sat down with the Shiva Rea Free Flow Vinyasa offering from the series and gave it a critical eye.
What struck me was how relatable Shiva was as a teacher.
Now, I’ve got nearly all her various media offerings – practice CDs and DVDs, music compilations – Shiva’s a busy woman.
Yet watching and listening to the live workshop, recorded at a San Francisco Yoga Journal Conference, she also came through as a real, live person. Something that the more polished media creations can overwhelm with gorgeous sets, stunning locations, voiced over instructions, and perfectly timed soundtracks.
Better still, on this DVD she came through as a real, live teacher.
As teachers many of us struggle to demonstrate poses, move around assisting our students, talk to the whole class all the time and attempt to keep our breath as the leading cue for our students.
We get a bit breathy.
Turns out, so does Shiva sometimes!
I might have liked the DVD for that alone, but being a workshop class I was struck by how much easier a lot of Shiva’s sequences would be if this was a companion to a student’s home practice collection.
In her latest releases Shiva’s gotten really great at giving the at-home practitioner the choice of several 20 minute sequences to do separately or string together as time permits. The practices are steeped in Yoga tradition with sequencing that is 100% Shiva.
It’s Shiva’s creative Prana Flow practice that makes her, and the teachers she trains, distinct. But it’s certainly not a common approach in most classes you’ll find in New Zealand, and that can make for confusion as you practice along at home, trying to get the most our of your short time before rushing off into the day.
In the workshop setting, instead of her practicing beautifully and voicing over the instructions, Shiva instructs to bodies in front of her in real time.
You can see her watching a group and adjusting her teaching to elaborate where they are getting confused.
Seeing the people before her practice she highlights and emphasizes important subtle actions that support the larger, easier to understand directions.
In 11 chapters and 100 minutes of material, Shiva slows down and shares wonderful ways to bring your practice to life no matter what your Yoga lineage.
The main practice, Mandala Namaska, is a circular form of vinyasa. In it you let your feet move around and turn from the front to the back of your mat in circles.
Shiva really makes it available here – breaking it down, leading slowly, and then, once the class has the hang of it, letting them “enjoy”.
And for that, this DVD gets a 5 star rating for material, presentation, and inspiration.
Because wouldn’t we all like to enjoy practice more?
PRANA FLOW IN NEW ZEALAND
Join Shiva’s only New Zealand certified ambassador of Prana Flow, Kara-Leah Grant, for a workshop in lovely Nelson March 4th!
Register and pay before February 24th, and you’ll go in the draw to win a copy of this DVD. Plus, if you can’t make it to the workshop, see below for details on how any Yoga Lunchbox reader can win a copy of the DVD.
DVD GIVEAWAY DETAILS
We’ve got a copy of Shiva Rea Free Flow Vinyasa for you to win!
What you need to do:
1. Leave a comment below with your name and real email (the email address remains private).
2. In your comment tell us any tips, tricks, inspirations, or little additions you add to your practice to make sure it stays enjoyable.
3. For an extra entry head over and leave a comment on our Facebook link to the article as well, leaving the same information please.
4. We’ll count up all the comments received by 6pm February 24th, and use a Random Number Generator to pick a winner.