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Ana Brett and Ravi Singh have many Kundalini Yoga DVD classes available to choose from now. Their popularity as accomplished Teachers in the USA is ever growing. They now do workshops, retreats and Teacher training which is normally based in the USA but they are considering branching out and visiting other countries where their popularity is also growing. There is a website where you can browse all manner of Kundalini Yoga topics which includes a wonderful A-Z health section and also a full list of DVD classes at www.raviana.com
Kundalini Yoga is different than Hatha Yoga - I feel it is important to make you aware of this. Kundalini Yoga works with Mantra, breath and movements, within the postures, and there is more time spent in seated positions that include Easy Pose (crossed legged) and Rock Pose (sitting on the heels).
Kundalini Yoga works on all of the systems of the body, on the spine and it tones and strengthens the muscles. It promotes health, happiness and radiance.
This particular DVD is more challenging than other classes, though, if care is taken to modify postures and rest when needed, it is a class that most yogi's or yogini's can benefit from. As with any class you do only what you feel comfortable doing and then rest out and start again when you are ready. Take care and be patient and eventually you will be able to achieve more.
The title 'Beauty Body' may conjure up all manner of images dependant on your own perspective of the term. A beautiful body means beauty from within that radiates outwards. You will understand more once you have worked with the DVD as you really do feel radiant, glowing, healthy and 'beautiful' when you have finished!
The DVD is presented in an attractive case and includes the DVD and a leaflet of information which introduces you to this style of yoga and has a list of DO's and DONT'S. Also described within the leaflet is the specific types of breathing that you will work with through the exercise sets and tips on how to work with the DVD via the matrix customizing grid. The DVD production is high quality and the soundtrack is inspiring and uplifting - I find that when I am thinking of stopping the music or Ravi's encouragement can keep me going on and help me to keep up.
The set is a white background and Ana demonstrates the postures beautifully. You can see clearly what the postures and movements look like. Modifications are given for some of the more challenging positions. The instruction by Ravi is clear and concise. The length of the Class is 60 minutes which includes a meditation at the end.
CLASS IS BEGINNING SO TAKE YOUR SEAT
I would recommend watching the class through before you actually work with it as then you will have a better idea of how the class flows and what to expect.
As with all Kundalini Yoga classes the class begins with the Mantra 'Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo' which tunes you in and focuses your mind in readiness for the class. I really enjoy this Mantra and it really does focus my mind on the 'present moment' and calms the mind - you know away from the chitter chatter that can go on in there.
This DVD has a Matrix menu so that means that you can now customize the class to suit your personal needs - you may be restricted by time for example. I like to do the full class if I can as it really does flow very well but we all have different needs and so the matrix is a great tool.
The DVD has a wonderful 'Breath Primer' which is excellent for beginners to Kundalini Yoga inparticular because it teaches an important breath that is used often which is called 'Breath of Fire'. This is like a fast sniffing through the nose - Ana and Ravi teach it very well and it is well worth having a good practice before you go on as you will encounter it during the class. The primer is also great to work with at any time for any level of experience as it really focuses your mind and you can make sure that you are still doing things as they are supposed to be done.
The class progresses to a warm up section which works on releasing the spine and warming the body up - once again the mind is developing more focus and you work with the breath whilst doing a circular grind in Easy Pose (Sufis Grind) and a movement called 'Rag Doll' where you stretch one leg at a time in front of you and bend over in order to work on the sciatic nerve. Movements will often last between one and three minutes and then you meditate for 15 seconds or so inbetween.
Yoga Set One comes next and is very enjoyable, Ravi is so encouraging and inspiring in his instruction and commentary. This set works on Balance and Strength and includes lunges, wide legged cobra, rocking in butterfly pose and squatting whilst breathing the Breath of Fire. I find it challenging but achievable with some modification, most of all it does what it says and works on strength and balance. The squatting pose alone will provide you with 'nerves of steel' and you will respond to stressful situtions with more ease.
Next come the 'Magnificent 7' and no it is not a reference to a western movie although it has the same name as one :D. This set works on Radiance and Release. These Seven postures are very important for a woman to work with and will bring many benefits to the woman who undertakes them regularly, according to yoga a woman should do them daily for vibrant health and beauty. I can tell you that in my experience of this class I have felt like I have a 'glow'and people do comment on how 'healthy' I look! I shall not tell you that these exercies are easy as they can be challenging and the thing to remember is that yoga is not competitive - be sensible, listen to your body and develop patience as all will come eventually. Initially I had to modify and restrict what I undertook but now, having had a regular daily practice of Kundalini Yoga for 2 years, my stamina, flexibility, endurance and cardiovascular capabilities have improved significantly. The Maginificent 7 postures are:
Rock Pose - sit on your heals
Locust Pose - on stomach, interlace fingers behind back, press hips into floor as you lift legs a few inches and do Breath of fire
Bow Pose - on stomach with legs and arms lifted of the floor with Breath of fire - modification given
Stretch Pose - on back with feet lifted off floor and upper body and arms off floor, lower ribs pressed into the floor and with Breath of fire - modification do one leg at a time
Camel Pose - on knees, sit up and place hands on heals, push hips forwards and chest up and then lower head back. Breath of fire - modifications given
Shoulder stand - with Breath of fire
Sat Kriya - in Rock Pose with arms extended above head, finers interlace and index fingers extended - work with Mantra (Sat Nam) in time with contracting navel and other areas which is instructed in the DVD.
All of the postures are done with a style of breathing which may be Long deep breathing, Breath of fire or Deep breathing and all breathing is done diaphragmaticly and through the nose unless otherwise stated. If you cannot breath through the nose then it is ok to breath through the mouth.
NOTE - If you are menstruating do not do Breath of Fire or inverted postures such as Shoulder Stand and if you have any queries or questions regarding suitability of the class you can contact Ana and Ravi via the website. All DVD's always have an advisory text about when to do or not to do yoga and it is advisable to read this prior to commencing your class. As with all exercise DVD's there is a note on the DVD case advising to consult with your GP before starting this or any exercise program.
Following this challenging set of postures you are rewarded with a lovely relaxation period in Savasana (lying on your back with arms and legs away from the body) and this really is blissfully wonderful. This is the most important posture and time as this this when all the work that you have done heals and works on your body -so don't be tempted to skip it as you will be missing out big time.
Finally a meditation to bring inner and outer balance is the Sa Ta Na Ma Mantra. Lying face down and pressing fingers in time to the mantra - this is very beautiful and brings great calmness and peace.
As we began with a Tune in Mantra we also end with a Tune out Mantra - Sat Nam (Truth is my identity)
SO HOW WAS IT FOR YOU?
Fantastic! The class is now achieveable for me, of course I still stick to the rule of only doing what I can safely and sensibly do on any given day. I literally feel RADIANT when I have completed this class. My body gets a work out in many ways, importantly the spine; and the glands which promote happiness, more energy (a great one for me) and also a calm and peaceful feeling which stays with me all day. I like this style of yoga because the movements are in short duration and then a rest which means that I never get overwhelmed. The benefits come really quickly too - now wonder many people who have discovered Kundalini yoga would rather give up their morning coffee than the yoga class - yes it really is that good!
A fantastic class that flows really well to an uplifting soundtrack and commentary/instrucion by Ravi Singh. Ana Brett demonstrates clearly and the set is not distracting. You won't see it much as once you are used to it you domost of it with your eyes closed - even deeper experience! The price can be a bit expensive at approximately £16.99 but Amazon had it on offer recently at £9.99 and sometimes you can pick one up of eBay for a bargain if you are lucky. All of Ana and Ravi's DVD's seem to maintain a more expensive price tag but they are superb so you do get your moneys worth.
Running Time 60 mins
Chapter Menu - gives time of each set
Matrix grid - Customize your own class to suit your needs
Magnificent 7 - Displays each posture in a slide shoe format
You can contact Ana and Ravi via their website www.raviana.com and in my experience they always reply to questions which I think is great, Ana is also on Facebook and Twitter. There is a great monthly newsletter that you can sign up for via the website too!
A big thank you for reading - hope you found it interesting.
This review will also appear on Ciao under the same username Dawnymarie