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Rea;Shiva Radiant Heart Yoga
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Yoga expert Shiva Rea hosts the at-home instructional release Shiva Rea: Radiant Heart. This psychologically and spiritually-oriented approach to yoga teaches each participant to tap into - and increase - his or her own capacity for love and healing, via three key techniques: The Energizing Heart Movement Meditation, The Prayer Wheel and Hridaya Namaskar (or the Heart Salutation). ~ Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide. Sample Shiva's Other DVDs With Twisting Kriya (7 Min.) From Yoga Trance Dance And Jala Namaskar (8 Min.) From Fluid Power Yoga.
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The longest flow (Heart Salutions)is 20 minutes long. There are traditional poses in this section, but with a twist. Your arms are always flowing and some the standing poses are done on your knees. For those of you with knee problems, you may want to keep a pillow handy or skip this one. A good 10 minutes or more of the 20 are spent on your knees, one at a time or both. There is a very short relaxation and meditaion at the end of this section if you want to end here.
At the end there is a 3 minute engergizing flow. I wish that it were less energizing and more relaxing. The DVD ends with this flow so there's no relaxation at the end.
There are also two bonus sections taken from Shiva's previous DVD's (Trance Dance and Fluid Power) making the total yoga time over 40 minutes.
Please don't let these few items I mentioned sway you from buying this DVD. It is worth every penny and I just relax on my own at the end.
1. Breathing vinyasa in which you move your arms and legs like you are doing tai chi in unison with your breath. Your arm go in and out with your breath and over and around your head and chest- to open your heart and bring joy. It is slow motion meditation.
2. Heart salutation: cat/cow, moving half split (on one knee and one leg straight); side angle on knee, triangle on knee, lunge hip opener,lunge back bend, camel holding onto heels and releasing one arm and swinging it back, cobra with om on exhale, bow pose with om-done 3 times, lying twist, happy baby. It ends with a seated meditation with hands in lotus mudra. (20 minutes)You'll need a pillow or blanket for tender knees.
3. twisting kriya with chanting Ha. (3 minutes)
parts 1 & 3 did nothing for me. I liked 2 a lot as it prepares you for seated meditation and I use it at night before my nightly meditation. It opens up your shoulders and hips making it easier to sit and puts you in a meditative mood to recieve blessings.
If you hit play all, you get the energetic kriya last which may not be what you want after the relaxing heart salutation. There is not a matrix on this dvd so it makes it harder to program a customized set. Shiva spoiled us with her unique matrix.
My only complaint is that the cinematography was a little too artsy and that you really couldn't see what she was doing as it was either in shadows or shot from far away. Also when she asks you to say om with a pose, she doesn't say it with you and if you are face down and not looking at the screen, it is hard to know when to chant and when not to chant. Minor quibbles.
I felt very calm after doing the heart salutation and I can see using set 2 every night as I love camel, the hardest pose on this dvd.
I can also see doing set 3 plus the Yoga trance dance twisting kriya to wake up in the morning before a hatha or kundalini yoga set.
I own a lot of Shivas DVDs and also had the opertunity to learn from her personally on one of her retreats in Germany. I enjoy her great amount of creativity. She surprises again and again with her different fresh aproaches to Flow Yoga. Her work is a great contribution to the evolution of Yoga in the world.
About the product:
The main material of the DVD (without the Bonus, taken from Fluid Power) is a little more than 30 Minutes long. It consists of an entering movement meditation (Prayer Wheel), the main Heart Flow and a Kriya (energizing Movement Flow). You can do them all together, or one at a time.
I liked the Heart Flow a lot. Like all of Shivas Flows it is very creative with a lot of flowing and pulsating Movements you wont find anywhere else. This is not a Power Yoga like Flow. Regarding its intensity it is more like a lunar Flow, calming, opening without vinyasas.
The Flow does what Shiva promisses: It openes the Heartcenter beautifully. You can feel it strongly afterwards!
I enjoyed this main segment (about 25 Min) very much, but I have to say, that I did not like the entering movement meditation. For me this Movement called Prayerwheel hasn't much to do with Hatha Yoga anymore. It is simply a Tai Chi Movement. Tai Chi can and should be done with a Yoga-Mind, so in the end it's all Yoga, but I would prefer to see more Hatha Yoga on a Yoga DVD from a Yoga instructor. After all a Yoga Instructor is best in teaching Yoga, while a Tai Chi Instructor is best in teaching Tai Chi. So even though it is a nice part, it was not for me for I thing it goes to far away in a complete other territory.
The Kriya in the End is very dynamic and Kundalini like. The second part of it reminds a little of Martial Arts Movements like Yogi Bhajan also taught in some of his very dynamic Kundalini Flows. This is probably not for everybody who likes more "traditional" Ashtanga or Flow Yoga. Everybody who liked Shivas Yoga Trance Dance or her Martial Arts inspired Variations on Fluid Power will like this one to.
As a conclusion I can recommend the DVD to everybody who enjoys creative Flow Yoga. It is well worth the money, if only for the Main Heart Opening Flow. It is a great one for the days when you don't want to work on strengt and stamina so much, bu still want to do some Yoga to open and energize your body and calm your mind.
I hope this review was helpfull to you! Let me know. I truely hope so.
Check out my listmania list for all the Yoga DVDs I recommend. The list is constantly evolving. Ones again, sorry for the poor spelling!
Such flaws aside, I otherwise very much enjoyed this practice. It is very calming and invigorating (so funny how it can be both, but it is). I think this practice is suitable for beginners as long as they aren't totally new to practice. I'm a fairly recent beginner and only moderately flexible for the most part (and I have the tightest hamstrings ON THE PLANET) and am just establishing a regular yoga practice, and I could do this work out with relatively little difficulty once I'd run through it a few times and gotten over my camera woes.
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