DVD Review: “Yoga for Energy and Stress Relief” by Rodney Yee

Taking time to relax should be easy, but it’s also easy to make excuses and skimp on your unwind time. Rodney Yee’s new DVD is a great relaxation resource if you’re fatigued from workouts or life.

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The title of Rodney Yee’s DVD Yoga for Energy and Stress Relief is not deceptive. Don’t buy this DVD if you’re looking for a rigorous yoga workout or want to sweat a lot. But if you tend to feel tension and stress on a regular basis and often think to yourself, “I wish I knew how to just chill out,” this collection of restorative yoga sequences is the DVD for you.

Most of the practices on this DVD are done with the aid of a chair, which was something I didn’t realize until the first time I tried it. At first I was a little skeptical. How good could these sequences be if you do them in a chair? However, the skepticism faded away quickly and was replaced with newfound appreciation for the many things you can actually do with the use of a chair as a yoga prop.

Actually, on an anecdotal note, the first time I did any of the sequences on the DVD was about three hours before I drove to the hospital to have a baby just six weeks ago. I had been in early labor for a few days and was at my wit’s end worrying about when things would finally get going. My brilliant husband said, rather off-handedly, “Why don’t we do that new yoga DVD you got to review?” For some reason this struck me as a great idea, so we did the entire “Awaken and Energize” sequence, which was true to its name. The sequence helped me relax, breathe, and release the anxiety that had been building up over the last few days, but also gave me newfound energy to take yet another walk.

Here’s a brief rundown of the sequences on Rodney’s DVD:

  • Awaken and Energize: 20 minutes, with chair
  • Gentle Relaxation: 20 minutes, with chair
  • Restore and Rejuvenate: 20 minutes, with chair
  • Mountain Meditiation: 15 minutes of meditation practice
  • Soothe and Stretch: 20 minutes, no chair

You won’t be doing any advanced or even intermediate poses, so if you’re one of those people who is intimidated by yoga DVDs because you’ve never been to a yoga class before, don’t worry. I did it while I was in labor, which is a good indicator of how easy the sequences are. You’ll be doing a lot of gentle stretching, forward folds, hip stretches, and relaxation poses.

Now that I’m in the postpartum period with a newborn, two other young children, and all the other things going on in life, tension, stress, and fatigue are not strangers, so I’ve been a good test subject for this DVD. I haven’t used it as recovery from intense workouts, since my workouts aren’t exactly high intensity yet, but I would also recommend it for that use as well. The sequences are short and easy to do throughout the day. Since I work at my desk, sometimes I’ll just pop this DVD in my computer after a long work session and do one of the sequences in my chair.

Do not expect any intensity from this DVD. Some of the sequences are primarily composed of relaxation poses. That might make it sound superfluous. Who needs to be shown how to relax, right? Strangely enough, though, in my experience it does seem that people who tend to go all out in their workouts or live high-stress lives have a hard time relaxing sometimes. They need a guide and an instruction manual (and I’m speaking for myself here, as well). If you are one of these people, you will benefit greatly from this DVD. If it’s too slow for your taste, that might be because you’re moving too fast.

Yoga for Energy and Stress Relief is appropriate for all fitness levels, from beginner to advanced. Really, this DVD is all about letting go and chilling out, which are activities that can benefit anyone. Doing the sequences on this DVD is also a relaxing way to end your day. In fact, all my kids are asleep so I’m going to go restore and energize now.

“Yoga for Energy and Stress Relief” is available for $9.98 at Amazon.com.

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