Element: Yoga for Energy & Relaxation

I am a big fan of Ashley Turner’s Element yoga workouts. A blog reader recommended Tamal Dodge‘s Element yoga workouts, saying they were even better than Ashley’s. So I looked them over and stuck two of Tamal’s Element DVDs on my Amazon wishlist. I finally got around to trying one and I am so glad I did!

Yoga for Energy & Relaxation contains two yoga workouts. Energy is 32 minutes long and is more of a strengthening and stretching workout. It isn’t an advanced yoga routine but you do hold each pose for 3-5 breaths and if you aren’t in shape (or run down by chemo) then it can get fatiguing (rather than energizing) holding some poses for that long. He does show modifications for everything. But at the end you get some nice deep stretches, which was a nice way to end the workout. Relaxation is 39:30 minutes long and is a very relaxing yoga routine, just as the title indicates. I found Relaxation perfect for the days after I receive chemo. It doesn’t strain me or work me too hard, yet at least I am doing something good for my body, and that is so important. And even better–Relaxation actually makes me feel better when I am feeling pretty crappy. You hold every pose for 3-5 breaths and many (but not all) of the poses are modified so you can actually relax into the pose. I found Relaxation to be exactly what I need after chemo.

Energy is 32 minutes. As mentioned above, you hold each pose for 3-5 breaths. This practice starts standing in mountain pose, focusing on breathing. With hands on low back, arch/stretch spine. Half sun salutations (reach arms overhead, fold forward, raise into flat back, fold forward, rise to standing, raising arms overhead, return hands to prayer). Plank hold. Down dog. Lower to elbow plank; raise hips to dolphin pose. Child’s pose. Down dog. In straight arm plank, lower halfway down and hold for a second then lower to the floor. Cobra. Up dog. Down dog. Raise one leg and bend knee, raise onto toe. Bring foot up between hands and raise into a lunge w/ torso still hinged forward and arms down. Rise to crescent pose. Reverse crescent pose. Lower arm to ground and raise other arm overhead. Place other hand on floor and reach the hand that was on the floor over head. Warrior 2. Reverse warrior. Reverse triangle. Side angle pose. Reverse warrior to plank, chattarunga to down dog then lower knees, kneeling with bottom on heels. Do breath of fire (fast exhales through nose). Sit on bottom w/ legs extended straight in front of you and fold forward into seated forward fold. Wrap hands around the bottom of one foot and sit up, raising straight leg with you into modified hero pose. Seated forward fold but w/ toes pointed. Reverse plank. Butterfly pose. Crab pose. Lay on back w/ knees into chest, arms extended straight to side and rotate knees to side for spinal twist. Bring knees into chest, wrap arms around shins and bring forehead into knees and hold. Corpse pose for 2 minutes. Reach hands above head and lace fingers, stretching arms and legs. Roll to right side. Sit cross-legged w/ hands in prayer.

Relaxation is 39:30 minutes. As mentioned above you will hold each pose for 3-5 breaths. This practice starts sitting cross-legged and focusing on breathing. Place fingertips on shoulders and circle arms/shoulders. Extend one arm out to side and stretch neck to side w/ other arm. Lace fingers behind head and stretch neck forward, bringing chin and elbows toward chest. More neck stretches. Cat and cow. Modified camel pose. Child’s pose. Rabbit pose. Thread the needle variation. Down dog; raise onto toes then lower heels while taking deep breaths. Sphinx pose. Crocodile pose. Down dog. Raise one leg into a 3 leg dog then into a deep lunge w/ knee on floor, straighten front leg and lean forward into modified pyramid. Pigeon pose. Hold down dog. Sit on bottom w/ one leg extended straight and other leg bent, sole of foot against straight leg, lean forward over extended leg. Butterfly pose. Seated modified eagle pose. Firelog pose (a cross-leg variation where you are leaning forward). Lay flat on back and hug knees into chest, circling knees to massage lumbar spine. Modified happy baby pose (only doing one leg at a time). Still laying on back, knees bent and feet on ground, let knees fall to side, stretching spine. Corpse pose for 3:30 minutes. Roll onto right side and sit cross-legged. Practice ends sitting cross-leg w/ hands in prayer.


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