Yoga for the Rest of Us: Heart Healthy Yoga (2008)

Yoga for the Rest of Us: Heart Healthy Yoga (2008)

Yoga has often seemed like a mysterious world to me. I’ve tried a few instructional yoga DVDs but I was always worried that I was doing it wrong (because it’s hard to know – if you’re doing it alone!). That’s where Peggy Cappy comes in with her Yoga for the Rest of Us videos. I was sent a copy of Yoga for the Rest of Us: Heart Healthy Yoga with Peggy Cappy (which aired on PBS) and put the DVD in the same day. Yoga is the sort of activity I get excited to do – unlike laundry or plucking my eyebrows. I do yoga to feel more calm (something I really always need to feel more of). It really helps you focus on your breathing and the muscles in your body as you stretch them. I say ‘yay’ to that.

Because this is yoga centered on helping your heart, you might ask “Why is exercise for my heart important?” Surprisingly, it’s heart disease (not cancer) that is the leading cause of death for adult men and women. Before you start feeling simultaneously defeated and worried (yikes!), take a breath. This video is targeted to help the health of your heart.You can make a positive change.

And I doubt you’ll complain if it also helps shape your legs.

If you want to learn some yoga (whether you plan to go farther with it or not) this is a wonderful beginner video. All you need is a chair, and a yoga mat (the mat helps you keep to your poses and reduces the risk of sliding and getting injured). The DVD has two versions of sun salutations for you to follow – one being a modified version that even my Mom with an achy back could do. Not only that, but I the yoga would help her back (and you better believe I’m going to be insisting she try this DVD – because it’s not like the other’s she’s done – hear me, Mom?). There is no one who can’t do the yoga in this video. Yoga with Peggy Cappy isn’t an exclusive club, it’s come as you are. The intimidation factor is zero.

The first part before any Yoga Flow Class where you learn the postures is something you will only need to watch the first time, then you can practice your heart healthy sun salutations with a guide and get into a daily practice of them. Luckily, the DVD has a menu and you can skip right to the chapter you want. (Oh man, I am so glad we no longer have to deal with VHS tapes!)

I wasn't in Malayasia but I felt like it when I closed my eyes. Photo by lululemon athletica on Flickr. Used via a

I wasn't in Malaysia but I felt like it when I closed my eyes. Photo by lululemon athletica on Flickr. Used via a creative commons license.

The DVD menu for Yoga For the Rest of Us – Heart Healthy Yoga is as follows:

Introduction
Learning the postures: Chair (This is the easiest level.)
> > Chair Yoga Flow Class
Learning the postures: Floor (Once you get the hang of it, you might only do this.)
> > Traditional Yoga Flow Class
Heart Centered Breathing Exercise (Don’t worry, relaxation stretches follow each Yoga Flow Class segment, as well)
More About Peggy Cappy

Cappy is neither pretentious (like many yoga guru’s) nor condescending. Yoga is something everyone can experience. In fact, this video shows people of all various levels to show you that everyone can do these Sun Salutations.

Something I liked a lot was that Cappy has a constant soothing presence in your ear, always reassuring you as to what movement to be doing. The pace is slow enough that I never felt like I was falling too far behind at any point.

Photo by lululemon athletica on Flickr. Used via a creative commons license.

Even if you can't stretch just like this, you can do yoga. Photo by lululemon athletica on Flickr. Used via a creative commons license.

What I didn’t like was having to be so patient and going slow. But this is what yoga does – it asks you to slow down and pay attention your body and breathing. So really, I think I really need to learn how to give in and slow down when I decide to do yoga. The payoff works, because when you finish yoga you feel revitalized with a sense of (that all too rare) inner-calm. Because of this DVD I’m going to make it a point to do yoga several times a week. If I decide I want to change things up or have different DVDs, I know that I can always give this DVD to someone else who is interested in yoga, but afraid to try. The plunge is worth it.



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