Full Backcover Description
Yoga Pulse: Sexy Arms and Posture
Beginner: Just starting out, very overweight or haven't exercised in over six months.
Intermediate: Active in sports, dance or any regular exercise (2 to 3 times per week).
Advanced: Very active in sports or consistently work out four or more times per week.
Instructor: Anastasia (Instructor Profile)
Runtime: 45 min.
Street Date: February 16, 2010
Certified instructor description:
The focus of this short practice is on opening the “heart pulse zone,” also known as the chest and shoulders, and on strengthening the back muscles. One of Anastasia’s goals is to connect yogis to warm and loving heart energy and radiate that energy to others. By strengthening their heart and lungs and improving posture, practitioners can find relief from shoulder tension, mid-back pain, and emotional disconnect with this practice. Optional yoga blocks, blanket, and yoga strap. ©2009
The teacher, a yoga and nutrition expert and former international model, has developed a terminology for different areas of the body using the word pulse. Anastasia refers to the center line of the body as the pulse line. This practice is customized to help open the heart pulse zone, or the chest, shoulders, and mid-back. What makes this practice different from others is that she frequently reminds students to use a mantra to let go of fear. Throughout the practice, Anastasia consistently invites yogis to bring the energy of the color green into the heart pulse zone to help release fear and let in more love. For example she calls the “arms an extension of your heart pulse zone. When the heart is open, the arms are ready to embrace the world.” The way this teacher connects the movements to simple yogic philosophy makes this DVD unique, particularly the heart pulse zone concept.
The teacher helps practitioners center themselves with an easy-to-follow breathing exercise at the beginning of the practice. Then she guides practitioners through some warm-up sun salutations. The two other students demonstrate some modifications using props to help yogis with tight hamstrings or shoulders. The frequent reminders to “activate the pulse line” help practitioners to bring their attention to their alignment in standing poses. There is a good focus on alignment of the spine here, which is the most important area to ensure proper alignment in yoga.
Practitioners who enjoy the spiritual side of yoga will benefit from this practice. Any yogi who is feeling fearful, stuck, or tense, especially in the heart space can find release with this teacher’s instruction. The instruction moves slowly, with a focus on aligning both sides of the body to correct any asymmetry. This helps deepen body awareness. It may feel challenging to hold some of the poses as long as suggested, but this is where the teacher’s encouragement to connect to spiritual energy helps yogis go one step further with their practice. The deep backbends on the floor at the end, including Locust, Upward Bow, and a full Wheel, will challenge yogis with tight shoulders and help strengthen the back and posture muscles. The teacher is knowledgeable about the benefits of various yoga poses. For example, she provides a comprehensive list of the benefits of Bridge pose, a simple backbend that demonstrates the necessity and versatility of this pose. The teacher includes a brief inversion and an uncommon and excellent twist at the end. These finishing poses are essential to release out the low back after all of those backbends.
Overall this is a basic, slow-moving practice with a focus on good alignment and chest openers. The spiritual connection to the heart center makes it unique.
As a rather flexible yoga teacher, my shoulders are typically pretty open, but the deep backbends that are held for several breaths were challenging even for me. The practice provides a good workout for the arms and mid-back. Mine felt stronger at the end of the practice. My shoulder tension and mid-back soreness were eased by this practice.
Yoga = 45 minutes