Yoga For Indie Rockers:
Indie rockers do need yoga, lord knows. Though back in my day it was still called 'alternative rock,' I certainly could have used some stretches - considering the number of times I would improperly pick up my 4 x 10 bass cabinet and spring up the basement stairs on the way to another pathetic gig.
Certified yoga instructor Chaos is looking out for today's rocker kids, or anyone who'd like to get a full-body holistic workout that eases the mind as well, but doesn't buy into the whole nag champa incense-burning stereotype that yoga has developed over the centuries. Chaos is a heavily tattooed, bleach-blonde L.A. gal who brings along three of her pals to an empty rock club to lead you through a vigorous, kick-ass (her words) workout that aligns the mind, body and spirit. Practitioners can opt for one of three soundtracks, (backing up Chaos's spoken instructions) either Indie, Electro, or Pop-Punk, or just listen to Chaos without all the musical chaos.
Beginner's Session: Chaos explains, over the course of five minutes, the key poses, using simple to follow words that describe the pose and what it does to help your body: Plank pose, Upward Dog pose, Downward Dog pose, Half Moon (and Backward Bending Half Moon) pose, Prayer Squat pose, Standing Head to Knee pose, Standing Bow pose, Tree Stand Bow pose - Various, Warrior pose, Triangle pose, Cobra pose and Full Locust pose. Beginners should definitely practice with these a few times until they feel comfortable with each pose. And, as with most exercise instruction DVDs, there's no substitute for having an actual in-person instructor to point out what you're doing wrong or right, so it might be a good idea to use this DVD as a supplement to a class, or something to keep you going after the class runs its course.
After rocking the beginner's session, you're ready to pick your musical poison and follow Chaos and her three friends - one for beginners to follow, one for intermediate posers and one for advanced yogis - through 40-minutes of stretchy, isometric goodness. The camera focuses on different stretchers through each pose, so even though beginner Page is behind the others, you're not always fighting to follow her. The workout follows this order: Sun Salutation, Combined Half Moon, Prayer Squats, Downward Dog, Balancing Series, Warrior Series, Frog Squats to Ground Stretching, Cobra Series, Ground Stretching and Final Meditation. The indie soundtracks range from frenetic industrialized beats to melodic pop songs, so there's something for everyone - everyone from age 17 to 26 that is. I'll listen to Chaos and use my iPod if I want backing tracks. But whatever the case and whatever your skill level, you'll feel it and feel righteous after this workout.
The workout comes to you in widescreen format, and it looks similar to the women presenting the poses - fantastic. Viewer demands should be lesser, as far as exercise videos are concerned, as long as you can see arms and legs, everything should be good, right? Nonetheless, these images are clear and sharp, the dominant tones of pink and black are vibrant, and the shadows in the back of the room (where poor Page is exercising) are deep.
Digital Audio processing is not specified, but Chaos's instructions are up-front and easy to hear, even with the music soundtracks in the background. Said soundtracks are low in the mix, so that you never lose track of Chaos, but there is enough to hear so that you get the sense of each band's style and can even hear the lyrics of performers from Alec Empire to Roses Are Red.
Trailers for other Halo Eight releases include Pilates for Indie Rockers, films about partying and drinking beer, and other edgy, alternative lifestyle releases. Some of these trailers feature a little nudity, so keep those younger yoga students far away.
Yoga for Indie Rockers is a clever idea to get more people interested in time-tested ways to center the mind, body and spirit, while doling out killer abs, grace and balance. Chaos instructs with confidence and a hint of attitude that should be enough to shake off the scent of patchouli that turns so many off of yoga. Her choice of soundtracks is a good primer for what's new and now, but may have many of you tensing up when you should be letting go, so as a device used to lure the kids, it's one that I'd quickly pass on in favor of getting the workout to my own tunes, and I'd probably want to try a similar workout with a teacher or experienced friend a few times to make sure I wasn't about to tear up a tendon or something. In the end, whatever gets you moving is a very good thing, and since this is an effective, one-of-a-kind yoga instruction DVD, it winds up Recommended, now I'm just waiting for Tae Bo for Emo Boys.
- Kurt Dahlke
~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com