Tag Archives: Trudie Styler

A great video source for beginners

Yesterday, I reviewed Trudie Styler’s Warrior Yoga and said that it was not appropriate for beginners. It occurred me that I knew exactly where to refer novices interested in good beginner videos, and it’s at Gaia Yoga. About a year ago, I was asked to use the service for a month and comment. I wrote one entry and then my knee injury blew up my practice and diverted my energies. My trial pass ran out, and I forgot all about it.

But thinking about what makes a good beginner-focused video, I remembered the weekly videos of Rodney Yee and Coleen Saidman and realized that the online service offered nine hours of video, plus audiocasts, handouts and other assistance so it fits practically all the needs of a novice. Saidman and Yee demo all the poses, showing modifications and adjustments, progressing from simple to more complex. They fully describe all the “invisible” details that you need to know but will not see in a video. They keep up a steady banter, letting their joy in yoga shine through, while moving through sequences and stopping to emphasize details. You never got a sense that they’re talking down to you. The filming was confined to a studio so the videos are not as spectacular as the garden vistas in Styler’s DVD, but they are still quality productions.

Although Gaiam Yoga Club is charging $5 a week, which works out to about the price of a video per month or $65 for the full 12 week cycle, it really fills a gap in the instructional area. There is a free trial period and discounts. The videos can’t be downloaded, but you can save all the other material for later reference. Saidman and Yee also have a Gaiam DVD, The Practical Power of Yoga, which was broadcast on PBS last year as part of bonus gift in a pledge campaign. I didn’t see it so I don’t know if it’s similar to their Gaiam Yoga Club videos. I assume so.

Yee may not be the most highly esteemed yoga master instructor because he’s been at the forefront of commercializing yoga in books, videos, conferences, and workshops, as well as some flawed personal conduct that has offended the sensibilities of some, but is common, though not acceptable behavior outside the yoga scene. Yee and Saidman make an exceptional team in explaining yoga’s innards to novices.

Coming: review of Trudie Styler’s Warrior Yoga DVD

I’ve been asked to review a new yoga DVD that Gaiam will be releasing later this month: Trudie Styler’s Warrior Yoga. In case that name does not sound familiar, think wife of Sting — you know, the rock star who “practiced yoga so that he could have tantric sex with his wife for hours on end” and earned a spot in mainstream consciousness (Well, Sting actually waffled on that claim, something about being drunk at the time, or something like that, because the story seems to change over time, but he and his wife do practice yoga; that part is true). Trudie Styler is an actress, producer and environmental advocate in her own right, as well as being a fifty-something mother of four, so I guess she does have a “warrior” quality about her. This DVD seems to be about more than just yoga for (sexual) fitness’s sake. In fact, Gaiam’s advance work seems to highlight life style choices and environmental sustainability as much as yoga styles.

Styler herself does not claim to be a yoga instructor, more a yoga evangelist. For yogic inspiration, she has recruited James D’Silva, a Pilates-slash-Yoga-slash-dance instructor who was borned in Gao, India and moved to England young. He has become London’s version of “trainer to the stars,” helping the likes of Madonna and other celebrities. He has a wellness center, Bombay Gymkahana, in London. He has been working with Sting and Styler with their private practice for more than five years.

A portion of the proceeds of this DVD is being donated to a UNICEF Drinking Water Project in Ecuador for rainforest residents whose water supply has been polluted by petroleum exploitation.

Once I’ve had a chance to view the DVD with care, I’ll provide my take on it.

Postscript: As a blast from the past, here is a Yoga Journal article from December 1995: Ganga White interviewed Sting. It’s not laid out well, but it’s still readable. More recently, White wrote a book, Beyond Belief: Insights to Awaken and Deepen Your Practice, and Sting contributed in Foreward. It confirms that Sting and Styler have been involved with yoga for the long haul.