Yin & Yang Yoga With Simon Low (DVD Review)4 May, 2008 By: Holly J. Wagner
“Pain does not lead to gain.” Those are words a lot of aspiring exercisers will find comforting, and part of the introduction to Yin & Yang Yoga With Simon Low.
Low and his two assistants lead participants through two different yoga workouts: Yin caters to soothing and relaxing poses, while Yang focuses on cultivating flexibility, energy and strength.
The sort of Zen-garden-on-the-beach setting of the leaders helps lend a relaxing atmosphere and encourage practitioners to find a calming space in which to follow along.The 90-minute disc is nicely sectioned. It starts with a general introduction, then each workout has an introduction of its own and the workouts themselves are segmented. This makes it easy to do as Low recommends — watch the sequence first, then replay to move through the poses. This is also useful because the workouts include variations for practitioners with special physical considerations. Watching first lets the student choose which versions are appropriate for them.
Another nice option is the choice to play the DVD with the soothing, new-age music on its own, or to play the music with Low talking through the poses.
The explanations are thorough and easy to follow, so this is a good workout for beginners or experienced yoga practitioners. Beginners will appreciate the encouraging, rather than intimidating, tone of the guidance, as well as explanations of what each part of your body should feel while doing different poses. Experienced practitioners can set the soundtrack to music-only and just follow along.
While the disc incorporates some more-spiritual aspects of yoga practice, it's doesn't feel like you have to be a crunchy granola, bean sprout person to enjoy it. The workouts encourage body awareness whether moving or resting, and there is an inviting tone to the instruction that makes you want to get up off the couch.