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THIS REVIEW IS FOR THREE INDIVIDUAL DVD CLASSES
This incredible box set has 3 Kundalini Yoga classes on separate DVD's - they are each allocated an individual showcase within this review.
This is the first of three box sets that incorporates the seven Charkras, by the talented and motivational instructor Maya Fiennes. This system of Yoga works on every aspect of the human being by utilising exercises that focus on repetitions of small movements. Having already worked with Maya's brilliant DVD class - Detox and De stress - I was eager to see what this new box set would deliver.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
Presented in a quality outer box that has an image of Maya on the front - in pristine white - this immaculate product has all that you need to know about the DVD's detailed on the back cover. I was very impressed to discover that the outer box holds THREE DVD's that are each housed in an individual slim box - these open out like a book! Beautifully designed with images of Maya and further details of each DVD class on the back cover of each one. A lot of thought has gone into the creation of this box set and I was reassured that the classes would be of high quality.
You have a choice of working with the Root Chakra, Sacral Chakra or the very powerful Navel Chakra. This box set is designed to ground you, develop your creativity and strengthen the Navel centre which will empower you and increase areas such Willpower.
HOW TO USE THIS REVIEW
There are THREE individual Kundalini Yoga classes on SEPARATE DVDS in this box set. You can read the whole review - or jump to a particular DVD class that tempts you. Your choice:
ROOT CHAKRA - Courage
SACRAL CHAKRA - Creativity
NAVEL CHAKRA - Willpower
Kundalini Intros - Maya discusses this system of Yoga beautifully.
1st Charkra Intro - Detailed introduction to the Chakra - well worth watching.
Play 1st Chakra
Beautifully presented with Maya demonstrating postures clearly on a pure white background - this class is immediately appealing to me as I am not distracted in any way.
Class always begins with a Tune In via Mantra - Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. I really look forward to this as I feel so focused and calm - ready for my time with Maya. Me time!
What I find really beneficial about this class is the warm up section (this is the same warm up that is used for Maya's Detox and De Stress Class). This particular warm up set detoxes the body, reduces stress and engergises! The music begins (which is Maya's own performance and I find it really uplifting and conducive to the class). The exercises include spinal flexes sat cross legged, hands on ankles - flex spine forward and backward. This works on the lungs and the spine - I feel a gentle stretch to the lumbar area and my breathing gets lovely and deep. Sufis Grind - sat cross legged with hands holding knees - move the spine in a circular motion, rotate one way and then the other. I feel the ribs loosening and a gentle release of the hips and the spine. In between exercises Maya will ask you to meditate for a short duration of time and this is a period of ever increasing peace and calm. The warm ups continue, working on releasing the spine further - I feel the spine lengthening as class progresses. There are twists to expand the lungs further, neck rolls to increase circulation to the brain and a wonderfully delicious stretch for the sciatic nerve which I find extremely beneficial as it also stretches my hamstrings! Now that the body is suitably warmed up it is time to begin the set for the Root Chakra and at the same time develop courage.
This set is quite a vigorous one and you just do what you can on any given day. Digestion and elimination are worked on and I can confirm that every time I have worked with this class my bowels are well and truly opened! If ever I am a little constipated I work with this class and to date it has certainly paid off!
*So remember - take it slowly initially as these exercises are powerful and put a strain on the lower back - I have found that my lower lumbar and core strength have improved by sensibly working with this class.
*Sitting with your legs straight out in front of you - sit on the left heel, hands on floor by the hips. Breath in and bend forwards, breath out and bring the body back up to the sitting position. Repeat for the short duration. This one really stretches the hamstring and the lower lumbar - it is quite meditative too.
*Sit with both legs out, hands by hips and continue the same movement as above. Maya can almost touch her knees with her nose - not me! But that is fine - you just do whatever you can and eventually the flexibility will develop. The stretch is felt in the lower lumbar again and feels good.
*Bring knees to the chest as you lie on the floor and relax - this releases the pressure on the lower back and feels wonderful.
*Stretch out the legs, come up to touch the toes then lie back down. This is repeated as you work with the breath for a short duration. It is quite a tough one initially but gradually becomes more achievable. I really feel the stomach muscles working with this one and that is great as I like to develop the core.
*Relax on your back - fabulously rejuvenating!
*Lie on back with arms behind the head do Plough Pose - feet touching the floor behind the head. Then move forwards and touch the toes. This is a rocking movement, forwards and backwards and it is incredible fun! I absolutely love this one! The stretch is obviously happening but I am having such an exhilarating time I do not really feel it! Super fun!
*Relax on back wit knees to chest to rest heart and release spine.
*Stretch out the legs and sit forward to touch the toes - then lie back down. Repeat for the short duration. I really feel a contracting burn in the abdomen with this one which is fascinatingly appreciated! When touching the toes I can feel the lower lumbar stretching. This one is a wonderful workout for the core!
*Relax on your back - enjoy the tingling sensations around the body.
*Next squat down on your hands and feet Frog Pose - straighten the legs and then squat back down. This is repeated for the short duration and is beneficial for preventing prostate and breast cancer. It is a lovely stretch to the hamstrings and sciatic nerve too. Once again this is a fun one to do although when it is done for longer durations it begins to get extremely challenging! Delicious sensation once you have finished the exercise.
*Stand up with hands on hips and slowly breath long and deep through the nose for 5 breaths - this slows down the breath and calms the systems very quickly.
*Sit cross legged and relax completely - yes please!
Do not be fooled into thinking you get to relax after all the hard slog of the exercises!!! Not on this one - I find the meditation section on this DVD class to be very challenging. It is meditation in motion and I have to say that you really are totally focused on the meditation as it is pretty tough!
Har is the mantra that will be used with this practice.
*Sitting with the legs wide apart, interlace the fingers behind the back - then bend forward to touch the left knee whilst saying Har and raise back up whilst saying Har (Maya teaches how to pronounce when going up and down). Then repeat to the right. This continues for a few minutes and boy did it feel longer initially as I struggled to maintain my balance with my legs outstretched! However as time has gone on this is now effortless and the focus is incredible.
*Continue as above but include a bend to the centre - this is also a tough one but very rewarding. I feel the stretch to the back in the lower lumbar much more with the meditation section than I did with the actual exercises. It is good though!
*In same position, with legs wide, hands interlaced and arms raised above the head - twist from side to side. Now this one is a real challenge for me! All above the head arm exercises test me to the maximum. Sometimes I have to rest out and start again but mostly I can just about manage to do it. A fabulous stretch sensation is experienced down both sides of the ribcage and once completed the feeling is awesome!
*Bend arms in front of the body and hold them together whilst twisting - ah this one is so easy compared to the previous one and provides a complimentary stretch to the ribcage, also loosening the diaphragm.
Finally - Maya allows you to meditate and relax completely - this in in cross legged pose Easy Pose. I am not sure why she doesn't end with a Savasana (lying down on the back arms and legs away from the body) but I do treat myself to the Savasana following the class.
With class complete it is time to Tune Out via Mantra Sat Nam.
How do you feel
Absolutely fantastic following this class and my bowels are always fully emptied about an hour after I have finished. Maya teaches beautifully, the production is high quality. I work with this one regularly! and benefit greatly. I am calm yet energised following this one and feel very grounded. I do have Courage too!
Running Time 56 Mins
Kundalini Intros - Very interesting intro my Maya that I still watch occasionally.
1st Charkra Intro - Superb detail of the Chakra and well worth watching.
Play 2nd Chakra
Once again a beautifully filmed and high quality production which features Maya dressed in white against a white background - you would think that you would struggle to see her but that is absolutely not the case, clear as a bell and no distractions. A yoga studio that appeals to me - I am very impressed and look forward to the class.
You will soon become focused once the beautifully serene Mantra Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo is chanted. The focus that is possible during these classes is incredible. Lets begin.
The 5 Tibetans are used as the warm up for the 2nd Chakra - this is a set of exercises that complement each other and benefit the whole body system. I really enjoy these and it is true that a fifteen minute session with The 5 Tibetans refreshes and revitalises - energising effects are noticeable.
Maya teaches this beautiful system clearly and patiently - do what you can and then rest out if you need to and start again when ready. All are repeated 21 times.
*Standing with arms outstretched to the sides slowly spin around towards the right. This is really good for the inner ear and will develop fantastic balance - initially I found it a little dizzying but over time this has completely gone and I can maintain the spin successfully. I enjoy the child like, carefree, freedom of this one - just let go and have fun!
*Lay on back with arms under buttocks - double leg lifts in time with the breath. Initially this one was a real challenge as my core really needed building up and I had a niggle in the lower lumbar from an old injury. Slowly but surely I have developed the core strength to succeed with this one. Of course some days are different than others and I appreciate whatever I can manage. I really feel the abdominal muscles burn during this one when time is almost up!
*Kneeling with the palms of the hands on the buttocks - gently push hips forwards and sternum upwards. Allow the neck to go backwards. Then straighten up and allow the head to go forwards with chin the chest. This one feels mesmorising! It is said to be good for combating depression. It opens the chest and releases the rhomboid area and tight shoulders. An incredible stretch is felt in the throat area - the thyroid and parathyroid glands are worked on! One of my favourites!
*Sit with legs outstretched. Hands by hips. Push up into bridge pose - really push the hands into the floor as this will allow the head to fall back gracefully into the pose. Come back to the starting position. Repeat. This one was a real challenge for me initially - the core strength being the issue. The buttocks come up much easier if you focus on and work with the breath - breath really is the key to the challenging ones! This one is excellent for the health of the pelvic area and during the exercise I feel the area being worked on. Arm strength is developed too.
*Starting in Cobra pose - lay on front with hands level with shoulders. Push up into the pose - this one can be difficult if you have tight rhomboid muscles as I have. With practice this will help release tension and tightness in the shoulders and neck area. Push up into Down Dog - inverted V shape. Repeat with the breath. With this one I feel a fabulous stretch along all the front of the body during Cobra and all of the back of the body during Down Dog. I find this challenging as you really need to get the breath in sync with the movement to find the flow - it is well worth the effort though as the release that is felt in the skeletal system is bliss.
Rest in Child Pose - one of my favourite postures and I do it every day! Kneel on floor, bend head to touch the floor and arms by sides with palms up. Now if I did this one without stretching first my head would not touch the floor whilst buttocks remain on heels (important) and I would need to rest my head on my hands. I would feel the amazing stretch to the lower lumbar - ribs pull upwards and pelvic area pulls downwards. All vertebrae in the lower lumbar are eased apart and fresh blood flow infuses the area - this feels really bizarre but wonderful! When I am fully stretched I don't feel the stretch as powerfully but it is happening and has really helped my back regain its current health.
Five Kriya's (exercises) make up the set for the Sacral Chakra.
*With feet and hands on the floor - raise up into a bridge pose. Apply Mulaband contract the lower muscles which forms a root lock and holds energy in. Allow the head to fall gently back and breath normally. Once again the breath is key to success. This one is held for a short duration and feels wonderful, especially the stretch to the neck over the thyroid. Once you come out of this pose you lie on your back and the feeling of lightness is sublime!
*Lying on front, interlace fingers behind the back. Raise arms and legs and work with the breath. This one really strengthens the core and I feel it near the end in my abdominal area. It gets quite challenging when time is almost up - I normally just about make it! Relax on front - really lovely.
*Stand and have arms above head as you INHALE, bend and touch left toes as you EXHALE. Repeat to other side and carry on. This aligns the pelvic area and energises. A lovely stretch is felt to each side. Relax whilst standing.
*Sit down and find your balance on your bottom, hold big toes and stretch legs apart. Hold and work with the breath. This works on sexual energy and creativity. I find this one a challenge - I cannot yet comfortably hold the legs straight out like Maya due to a heel injury so I modify by holding below the knees (I emailed Maya for the modification). Relax.
*On all fours - with hands below shoulders and knees beneath hips - INHALE whilst stretching the right leg out and then EXHALE whilst bringing the right leg to chest. Continue for the duration and then repeat for the other side. Great for detoxifying the body - especially kidneys. This one seems easy initially but as time goes on you feel how strong the exercise is and the back is really loosened up - my back is so much more flexible now.
Relax in Child Pose - superbly restorative and calming for mind and body. The heart soon slows down.
Do not breath a sigh of relief and expect to be sat in stillness - this is a challenging time for me - Maya will test you out during this meditation section. The rewards are certainly worth it and of course you just do what you can.
*Working with Har as the Mantra. Sit cross legged and move hands together as if clapping - stop before the hands touch and move them out from the body again. Repeat this whilst chanting Har for 2 and a half minutes. This one really focuses the mind and appears easy initially until the upper arms let you know other wise. It is doable though and worth it.
*Bend the ring and little finger under the thumb, other fingers extended. Move arms forcefully up and down whilst chanting Har for 2 and a half minutes. Ouch this one is a killer for me - I am always caught out with the above head arm movements - you think it sounds easy? Have a go. I can manage it now but it still really tests me out! Develop focus and you will get there.
*Make fists and roll them around each other in front of the sternum - another that begins easily but by the end of 2 and a half minutes I certainly have a lot of respect for this one. The upper arms are worked on here!
*Hold elbows and place above head - slowly bend forward and then back upright. This one is a little easier but still manages to test me out.
*This is the one that challenges me the most - hands above head with elbows straight and palms touching. Sway from side to side. Boy does this one make the arms ache and want to come down - I have to let them down and start again as it really is my weakness! But I can do it longer and longer the more I work with it - all comes to he who waits.
My reward for all my efforts - unusually there is no Savasana (lying down on back with arms and legs apart from the body) and instead a short duration in cross legged pose in meditation (which is an alternative rest pose). This does not warrant a reduction in stars as taking the whole class into account the DVD is certainly worthy of full marks, however, the Savasana is a fabulous way to end a class so I add it myself and Tune out afterwards. It is important to allow the body to have a short time in a restful pose following a class as this is the time when the body heals and benefits from all that you have done.
Using the Mantra Sat Nam you tune out sitting cross legged at the end of class.
How do you feel?
Following this class I feel tingly and energised. On top of the world! Maya navigates with gentle motivation and of course you can sit out at any time and then restart. I have to do this occasionally. The benefits are worth the effort - it sets me up for the day as my body is stretched and released, I am not stiff or restricted. I can breath easier and have more energy. I respond with calm grace to situations. An amazing start to the day!
Running time - 56 Mins
Region - 0
Kundalini Intros - Beautiful intro by Maya, worth revisiting occasionally.
1st Charkra Intro - Excellent detail of this Chakra.
Play 3rd Chakra
The production echo's those of the previous two classes - pure white background which means no distractions. Maya is clearly visible in white clothing. I am eager to begin this class as I particularly enjoy working on the Navel centre - core strength is valuable!
Sitting cross legged and with eyes closed the Mantra Ong Namo Gurua Dev Namo is chanted 3 times - the focus is sublime! This certainly is me time and l look forward to the delicious experience of the 3rd Chakra - bring it on!
I absolutely love the warm up for this Class! It stretches the back, the hamstrings, the abdomen - gets the circulatory system cranked up a gear, expands the lungs and ultimately, over time, the capacity of the lungs - which is a wonderful feeling, to fully inhale is incredible!
Sun Salutations - this system is used as the warm up - in essence it is a sequence of movements that flow beautifully with the breath. Initially it can take some time to link the breath with the movements, I was already fluent with the sequence as I had practiced Hatha Yoga for approximately 2 years prior to commencing Kundalini Yoga. In my opinion this is were Maya excels - she breaks the whole salutation down and talks you through it bit by bit - including the inhale and exhale. It is understandable and clear instruction.
*Starting from a standing position with hands by your side you will find your balance.
*Raise arms above head and into a prayer pose on the INHALE - this really stretches the arms and feels wonderfully balancing.
*On the EXHALE you reach forward as you bend to touch the floor at the side of the toes - an incredible stretch to the back and hamstrings is experienced and a tingling sensation that indicates blood infusing areas between the back bones - nourishing them with fresh nutrients and oxygen!
*INHALE and raise the head - a lovely gentle stretch.
*Jump or step back so that you are in a V shape on the EXHALE - Down Dog is one of the most beneficial postures of Yoga and this is a lovely restorative pose too.
*On the INHALE come into Cobra by keeping arms in the current position and lowering the bottom and legs to the floor. Bring the chest forwards and focus on the stretch in the thoracic part of the back - this is a fabulous stretch and you can also feel a wonderful stretch on the abdomen.
*EXHALE and push back up into Down Dog - stay here for 5 luxurious deep breaths - this is just blissful and the stretch is felt all along the back of the body, plus the core is strengthened too!
*INHALE and step forward to the touchy toes forward bend. EXHALE whilst in the position and enjoy the sensations around the body.
*INHALE raise the body back up into the standing position and arms come above the head in prayer pose - focus on the thumbs.
*EXHALE and bring hands to the sternum in prayer pose - gratefully relax for a moment.
This sequence of postures is repeated slowly initially and then as you get used to it Maya will speed it up a little - I have never found the pace too fast and the 5 breath pause in Down Dog allows for a little respite. This is one of the best presentations of the Sun Salutation that I have worked with - and I have worked with this system in a live Hatha Yoga Class and via DVD Classes. Maya is patient and, for a beginner, that is what you need - it is difficult to work out where you are up to with the breath if you fall behind on this one. This class is still great to work with if you are intermediate as you can continue at your own pace. I regard this class highly amongst all my Kundalini DVD Classes!
Develops the strength of the Navel point.
*Lie on floor with hands under hips - lift the feet and head of the floor and work with the breath. This is a master pose and is very challenging - I feel an intense burn in the abdominal area. It is fine to lie down and start again when you are ready, which I did initially but now I normally manage the short duration fully. Relax on back - I feel the delicious sensation that gently pulses from the Navel area.
*Sit up with your left foot on your right thigh - arms outstretched bend forward to touch the toes and the back. Repeat this sequence and work with the breath. Then swap legs and carry on. This one is achievable more easily and there are some good stretches felt in the core, lumbar and hamstrings. Relax.
*Lie on back with arms at the side. Bring knees to chest and kick legs in time with the breath. This one is fun and sounds really easy - at first it is but as the exercise progressed a real burn is felt in the abdomen! Bring knees to chest and rock left to right to massage the back. Relax and enjoy the gorgeous feeling in the abdomen.
*Lie on back with hands under the buttocks to protect the lower lumbar. Raise right leg and then lower repeat with left leg and continue. This one works on the digestive system. As this one progresses a good contraction is experienced in the abdomen - the hamstrings are stretched too. Relax.
*From lying down do double leg lifts with arms in air (can have hands under hips). The burn and contraction is felt higher in the Solar Plexus in this one - a really challenging one but with a short enough duration to be achievable by most. Relax.
*Bend knees to chest and rest - relaxing the heart and eliminating gas. A lovely restful pose that brings a feeling of calmness.
*INHALE and open arms to the ground at the side of you EXHALE and raise legs to 60 degrees out in front of you. Continue. This one really works the abdominals - initially challenging but now that my core is stronger this one is a joy to do. Relax.
*Left knee to chest - raise the right leg up and down repeatedly then repeat on other side. This one resets the hips and aligns the spine. A really lovely one to do as you can feel a good release in the hips. Relax.
*Stand up and raise arms above the head - EXHALE to touch the toes. INHALE raise arms above head again. This one is for the spinal fluid and the aura. It is a wonderful to do this one at the end of the set - it energises and really loosens the spine.
Yes please! A totally divine session in Savasana - lie on back with arms and legs apart from the body, chin to chest to lengthen the neck. Totally relax! This is one of yoga's most restorative and healing poses and is well worth doing - don't skip this one as it is when all the hard work begins to work for you. This is totally blissful and I feel my breath slow right down, the heart slows down and I am totally relaxed!
One of my favourite meditations and using the Mantra Har. Sit cross legged and make tight fists. Sweep them forcefully across the centre of your body at navel height and then out to the sides. Chant Har when the fists are in front of the body. This is done for 5 minutes and really develops focus. This one is especially good for dispelling inner anger and replacing with a feeling of calm. I did this one for 40 days (that is how long it takes for a change to happen) and the difference was very noticeable - you don't ever stop feeling human emotions but you respond differently - for instance : I may have reacted quickly to irritations in the past - now it is like everything slows right down and I have more time to collect my thoughts and respond in the best way that I can calmly. Sometimes I may leave a situation alone and respond when all has calmed down - this is a big difference and a very welcome one.
Another session in Savasana and it is much appreciated. The sensations that are buzzing around the body are noticeable and pleasant.
Via the Mantra Sat Nam. Cross legged the mantra is chanted 3 times. This really focuses my mind.
How was it for you?
This one is amazing! I feel capable of doing absolutely anything - calmly! I am in such a proactive and motivational zone following this one. Willpower is awesome. I am also energised and uplifted - I am buzzing in a non caffeine way (ie) I do not peak and trough as it is a constant that stays with me for days after doing the class! That is impressive!
Running Time - 52 Mins
Region - 0
BITS & BOBS
Availability - Amazon, Play.com and eBay all stock this one
Price - fluctuates but Amazon and Play.com are normally the most competitive at approximately £17.99 which is a superb price as the RRP is £34.99
I can highly recommend this THREE DVD Kundalini Yoga Box Set. Presented beautifully, produced to very high standards and delivered by the talented Maya Fiennes - this is a wonderful set to own. I got it for £17.99 from Play.com which I think is excellent value for three high quality DVD classes. Working on the lower Chakra's which will keep you grounded and afford renewed creativity and impressive willpower. Not only this but I have experienced many positive changes to the whole of my body and mind - this really has been holistic in my experience. A bonus is maintained healthy body weight, health improvements, spine health greatly improved and lung capacity maximized. Plus I am uplifted and energised, calm and graceful - daily! It is 5 Stars all the way for this one - I wish I could award more!
THAT'S ALL FOR NOW FOLKS
Thanks for reading - hope you found the three separate reviews helpful. Also published on CIAO
This has DVD has introduced me to a whole new style of yoga which is very very different to the other types. And I am only on the first DVD. It is so easy to follow, with brilliant explanations of the chakras and how they impact on your life.
I used to do a lot of yoga but I have had a couple of years off, and it is really easy to pick this style of yoga up and work to your own pace. Maya Fiennes encourages you to follow your heart and go at your own pace; there were some exercises I couldn't do, however I wasn't left with that feeling of "I should be able to do this"!
The first DVD, 'Courage' which focuses on the first chakra is a nice length; 0-50 minutes and I actually found myself looking forward to doing it again the next day; despite the mild ache in the back of my legs.
Being new to Kundalini Yoga, I reccommend this to anyone and I reccommend Maya Fienne's teaching to anyone.