by Ana Brett & Ravi Singh raviana productions, 2006 Review by Christian Perring, Ph..D. on Oct 2nd 2007
Yoga Bliss Hips is one in a series of DVDs made by Ana Brett and Ravi Singh, several of which have been reviewed on Metapsychology. Ana Brett demonstrates a sequence of movements in Kundalini Yoga. The format is the same as on the other DVDs: she is in a featureless studio with a white background, sitting on a purple round bathmat in the middle of a large yellow flower decoration on the floor. She wears a tight aqua blue top with matching short shorts. Most of the commentary is given by Ravi Singh, and Ana also contributes almost as much. The whole workout is 75 minutes long, but it is also possible to select shorter pre-set workouts, of 45, 40, 30 and 20 minutes duration.
The full version includes instruction into the "breath of fire," (a rapid panting through your nose) and includes a little chanting, laughing exercises, and deep breathing exercises. Some of these parts seem repetitions of exercises available on other DVDs by Brett and Singh, but the central exercises are different. Some parts are demanding, requiring strength and flexibility to perform in the full versions, but they can be done for less time or in modified versions. Not many people can do double pigeon (sitting on the floor with both legs parallel to the floor, bent so your heel rests on the knee of the other leg, so your legs form a triangle) and lean forward deeply. Later on there's some core work with boat pose, that needs and builds abdominal strength, and this too is difficult. For several poses and movements, you are instructed to do them with breath of fire, which takes a surprising amount of coordination. However, even though there are some challenging parts to the DVD, the overall workout is not draining and will not give you much aerobic work.
While the DVD is called Yoga Bliss Hips, only one of the sections really focuses on the hips, and in fact there are more exercises that work the shoulders, with several repeated arm movements, downward dog held for a couple of minutes, and camel pose. I found that their Dance the Chakras DVD gave more of a workout for the hips, and other yoga DVDs that include sun salutations, triangle poses and lunges will also generally do more for the hips. So this DVD seems badly named. However, it does provide a nice workout for the shoulders as well as the rest of the body.
Not everyone will be enthusiastic about the chanting and breathing exercises, but it is possible to chose one of the pre-set workouts that do less of this. The production quality is good: the pre-set workouts are easy to select, and the camera and sound work is professional. The background music, a mellow eastern dance variety, is pleasant enough. There's not much here to stand out from the other RaviAna productions, but Yoga Bliss Hips is a well crafted yoga DVD.