Review: Kathryn Budig’s “Aim True-Beginner Practice”

I received Kathryn Budig’s new yoga DVD, Aim True, in the mail yesterday. I pre-ordered it after watching a shoulder-opening sequence with Kathryn online and reading several of her articles. She’s a contributor to Yoga Journal, MindBodyGreen, and several other yoga publications. I really enjoy her teaching style, because she is friendly and relaxed; plus, she does work for animal rescue, which automatically makes her awesome in my book. So far, I’ve attempted her beginner’s sequence, which is actually pretty rigorous vinyasa work. Lots of downward dog, warrior, and plank based movements at a quick pace. I found myself having to pause at various points, because I couldn’t keep up with the speed of transitions. This is the kind of vinyasa DVD I’d recommend to friends who are already athletic or have experience with dance or pilates. It’s vinyasa for people who want to feel their workouts. Kathryn even acknowledges that in her narration, telling the viewer that that “their arms might be quaking right now.”

I’m not sure I’m quite ready for the more advanced, longer workout on the DVD called “Authentic Flow,” but I will be reviewing that soon, along with the DVD’s bonus features. Production values on this DVD are great, too. Everything is lit and shot beautifully, without any style over substance choices that might make you less able to see the exercises. I have to say, I really enjoy Gaiam’s production values on this DVD and Mandy Ingber’s recent Yogalosophy, as well. Home yoga instruction has really made great strides in the last decade; I can remember my first yoga videos on VHS as being way cheesier and less effective, because of their camera work and format. Now, it’s expected that we be able to really see a pose, have clear voice-over instructions, and possibly a great location. I’m imagining that Shiva Rea can be credited for this trend, as her DVD production values are just amazing and something I want to discuss in a future post.

The great thing about home practice in 2011 is the many options we have, and Kathryn’s Beginner Practice on Aim True is a great example of a vinyasa practice for the more athletically-inclined yogis and yoginis.

Like fellow California-yogini Mandy Ingber, her pose descriptions and instruction are less spiritual and more  reminiscent of traditional American exercise courses. I know some people may find that–a cheery, girlfriend-type instruction–a bit un-yogic, but I think there is room for diversity of styles in yoga. Sometimes, I may want to use a DVD with an emphasis on meditation and asanas as one aspect of an interior practice; other days, I may want a brief, upbeat exercise session to clear my head. Both work equally well in helping me feel more balanced, calm and better able to meet the world happily.

 

Here’s Kathryn on shoulder openers. I also love, love the part with her little puggle! I may be biased, as my mom has puggles as well 🙂

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