Trying out Element: Daily Yoga is an experiment of mine. First, I want to try more yoga and barre workouts, but since I have yet to fall in love with either practice, I don’t like spending money just to sample them (and then not like them). Enter the library. I don’t know why it never occurred to me before. I have browsed the library’s workout DVD offerings but since I already owned everything they had that remotely interested me (Jari Love and Jillian Michaels), I lost interest quickly. But previously I wasn’t interested in yoga and barre–and they have a lot of both types of workouts. I’m kind of excited by the huge variety I now have to choose from.
Element: Daily Yoga, led by Mia Togo, is awesome! What a find! I actually plan to buy it now. It contains two yoga workouts: Morning and Evening and they are both approximately 40 minutes long. They are intermediate level and exactly what I am looking for in a yoga workout–the length, the type and variety of poses as well as the sequencing of exercises, all seemed prefect to me. The DVD starts with a 3 minute intro by Mia Togo that explains her concept of the two different kinds of workouts and their purpose. I found them both intermediate level and very doable. Morning is the more “energetic” of the two workouts–but neither of them are fast-paced; you hold poses for a good length of time in both of them, but in Morning the poses are more challenging and I worked up a mild perspiration. Evening was more relaxing, tho there were some fairly challenging poses (for me at least) but for the most part it was easier and I never did break a sweat during Evening. I enjoyed them both and they both did a great job stretching and lengthening.
Morning is 43 minutes long. It begins with breathing exercises then cat and cow. Next, you will spend some time in plank, then in downdog. You will do a few shallow chatarungas before lowering to the ground and going up into cobra, then into upward facing dog. Go back to downdog, then to forward fold, then into a chair pose where you are leaning forward with arms straight behind you. Return to forward fold, then to downdog. From 3 legged dog bring raised leg under you into low lunge (with knee on ground; she called it crescent moon pose). Slowly raise arms overhead while in this pose; it will turn into a side stretch. Move into high lunge with torso still bent over front leg and straight arms behind you then bring them in front of you; hold this pose. Do chatarunga and repeat on other side (starting at 3 legged dog). Chatarunga to updog to down dog. Forward fold to standing. Next you will do a basic sun salutation two times. Face the long side of the mat and open legs wide; go into warrior 2, then into side angle. You will both poses for a while. Repeat warrior 2 and side angle on other side of body. Get into horse stance and stretch shoulders by alternating leaning them forward. Get deep in horse stance (sumo) with arms overhead. You will hold this pose for a long time. Raise onto toes while still in horse stance and slowly straighten legs. Straighten feet and do wide-leg forward fold; you will stay in this pose for a while. Return to front of mat and do a chatarunga into updog, then into downdog then into 3 legged dog into warrior 1. While in warrior one, interlace your fingers behind you back and stretch your shoulders/chest while folding torso forward beside front leg while stretching arms toward ceiling. Straighten torso and legs, bringing legs closer together, but same warrior 1 stance. Bring arms behind back to grip elbows and hinge forward at hips into “intense side stretch pose.” Hold this pose for a while. Go to chair pose then to one leg chair pose. Bend leg into canon ball shape then move into warrior 3; hold for a while then return to warrior 1. Chatarunga, updog, down dog and repeat from warrior 1 on the other side of the body. End in child’s pose. Next you do core work in a series of boat poses. You will finish this workout with some stretching. The first is bridge pose then “resting pigeon” (which I call a figure 4 hip/glute stretch). The workout ends with corpse pose for about 4 minutes. Then she has you sit up for the final minute and “ohm.”
Evening is 40 minutes long. You begin sitting cross-leg and stretch both arms overhead; this will turn into a one arm side stretch. Lower the arms/hands to the ground on the same side you are leaning toward, stretching the back/lat now; move hands to the front of your body, leaning forward and folding over, head toward the ground. Repeat on other side. She has you bring your hands to hearts center and “ohm.” Pedal heels in down dog. Next is a crescent pose series during which you stretch your shoulders. Place one hand on the ground and twist toward front leg, raising other arm to sky. Straighten front leg to stretch hamstring. Repeat on other side them come to forward fold. Come back to mountain pose. Next is chair pose/chair twist. End in forward fold. Come to standing and separate feet 3-4 feet for triangle pose on both sides. Next is dolphin pose. Get on all 4s and raise and straighten one leg and opposite arm; bring them both in/under you (elbow and knee touch). Do this 3 times and on the third time reach arm behind you to grasp foot, stretching leg and shoulder. Repeat on other side of body. Lay on your stomach and do locust pose. Do cobra into downdog. Sit cross-leg again for cow-face pose (tricep stretch). Next go to staff pose and into “half lord of the fish” pose (spinal twist). Return to staff pose then do head to knee pose. Lay on back and do a bent knee spinal twist. The final pose is 5 minutes of corpse pose. Sit into cross-leg and end with “ohm.”