by Michael Franti, David Life & Shannon Gannon Acacia, 2007 Review by Christian Perring on Jan 15th 2008
Power to the Peaceful Yoga gives a fairly standard 50 minute yoga practice presented in an unusual style. Franti is a political musician known for his work with the group Spearhead; he also recently made the movie I Know I'm Not Alone about his visit to Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. His mellow hip-hop music is used in the background, and the three presenters have their yoga mats in front of guitars, drums and speakers. David Life & Shannon Gannon are the founders of the Jivamukti Yoga School, which now has centers in New York, Toronto, Munich, London and Charleston. They all share a belief that yoga should be not just about achieving fitness and inner calm, but also consciousness of the world and injustices. This DVD includes a 25 minute discussion between the three performers on their conception of yoga and the balance between political activism and care of the self. The DVD also contains a couple of live solo performances by Shanti, of "Nobody Right, Nobody Wrong," and "Bomb the World." The yoga workout itself is produced very professionally, with smooth camerawork and editing, and high quality sound. Each of the three presenters takes turns on the voiceover instructing the viewer what to do. The workout is not very aerobic, but it does require some strength, especially for the balancing poses and the headstands and scorpion postures. It is probably not an ideal introductory yoga practice, since it does not spend much time on how to do the different postures. However, it is a nice workout for people who already are familiar with some yoga but want something different from the usual fitness DVDs or yoga practices that focus purely on self-development.