YOGA FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART
By Susan Winter Ward
THIS IS A SET; BOOK, 2 CASSETTES AND VIDEO
BOOK: GENTLE STRETCHING EXERCISES FOR SENIORS
Susan Ward has put out a guide to the world of yoga for seniors. This book is nicely photographed in black and white, and each exercise has a thought-provoking or inspirational quotation at the top of the page. Best of all, the models are two seniors! It seems possible this would be a work-able routine for seniors.
There are more challenging optional poses, demonstrated by Susan, at the end of the routine. She begins the book with a very informative introduction to general yoga principles and health focuses. She also includes a Suggested Reading List in the back of the book, covering such topics as diet, exercise, holistic health and mind-body connection. Very nice.
This will be a contribution that goes a long way in aiding those who wish to take some steam out of the relentless pursuit of time and years. The only change I would make is to have the book correspond more closely to the video.
CASSETTE: SITTING FIT: YOGA BITS
Susan has prepared four 15-minute sessions of "Yoga Bits". Just like delicious little snacks, she presents us with the ability to indulge in a mini yoga delight! These are exercises you can do from your chair. Depending on the individual, possibly from a wheelchair, but definitely from an office chair, or a waiting room chair.
Accompanied by Native American flute music from Jesse Kalu and Alexander, that transports and lifts you as you move. Susan has an ideal voice for this type of tape; her style of format rolls along and accomplishes its task. A really wonderful little bit of yoga during the day, or at the end of the day as a relaxer.
When addressing issues concerning our health, we know exercise pro-motes flexibility, circulation and well-being. In addition, it is a superb way to counteract our often unhealthy and generally sedentary lifestyles. Disability or illness may prevent you from participating in many forms of exercise, but most will not have any difficulty with this tape. I really like that. Deep breathing, slow, gentle movements, a perfect pickup. Easy to follow, portable and enjoyable.
CASSETTE: JOY OF REJUVENATION
Unfortunately, I have the definite disadvantage of being a visual learner, and generally find exercise cassettes difficult to follow. (I need to take a peek from time to time.) Thus, I did have a little bit of trouble when doing this session. In all honest, I am not sure this would be a good choice for a newcomer to the world of yoga. I think of smattering of familiarity with Hatha would be a useful prerequisite. I am not really a big fan of the Hatha style (I'm a kundalini type myself), yet I did like this particular program. Yoga is truly a rejuvenating and incredibly beneficial form of exercise, one that I practice and encourage for health and well-being.
The Native American flute music is beautifully and artfully played. It enhances the session tremendously. The cassette is a 60-minute class.
VIDEO: GENTLE STRETCHING FOR VITALITY, STRENGTH AND FLEXIBILITY
Well, the back of this video says the class of (four) students ranges in :age from 45 to 80 years old. I really can't even guess who is 80. Susan herself looks terrific, and leads this50-minute session.
Yoga really is great stuff. This video is as well. I have spent a lot of time looking for a yoga video work-out for seniors, or those who are less flexible, and haven't had a tremendous amount of success. This video helps to fill a void in the exercise option department for those who may need a slower introduction to Yoga.
However, I think those who have serious health problems, or haven't been physically active in a long period of time, may have some difficulty with this form of yoga (primarily Hatha), even thought it is most likely the most common form taught. I was surprised that it was fairly vigorous. It will make you feel as if you had a workout. Yet it's probably not beyond someone in average condition, especially if you are willing to stick with it a while until it becomes easier and you find that place where you come to love it.
For more information on the set, please call (800) 558-YOGA (9642). (Editor's Note: Due to an error in the phone number, we have chosen to reprint this review.)
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