After a week of lifting and running, I needed a good yoga workout to stretch and lengthen all those tight muscles. I love Shiva Rea; she has a creativity with movement that many other instructors don’t, so she keeps my mind interested while my body’s engaged. I’m always totally wiped out after one of her workouts, but because her style is so flowing and balletic, I find I’m relaxed and also kind of fascinated by her ability to innovate. She’s also great at cueing, so I rarely have to look up, unless I want to. Always a great quality in a yoga instructor!
Because I crave variety, I wanted to try a new workout today, so I threw up Surf Yoga Soul (via Acacia TV on my Roku) for the first time. I really liked it! Apparently, Rea developed Surf Yoga Soul specifically for surfers, adapting her style to mimic the waves. She talks throughout about how certain poses might be adapted so they can actually be performed on a surfboard in the water, which would be really cool if I had a clue how to surf. Talk about needing balance and core strength! As it is, the whole workout was killer for my abs–they are still sore today, two days later.
Note: On Acacia TV, the workout is broken up into segments. I did the Strength Wave, Mandalar Strength, and Flexibility Flow. Here are my thoughts:
- The scenery is everything I could want in a yoga workout: a sandy beach, ocean in view, and sunshine. She has one woman and two men working out with her, and one of each is modifying the movements. Always a nice bonus.
- Strength Wave is a great Sun Salutation flow, incorporating several sets of tricep push-ups. They are not easy, but she gives you the option of choosing 8-12 reps, whatever seems doable to you. She lets you do them at your own pace, and either from your feet or your knees. There are approximately one zillion sets (actually I believe there are 12), and by the end you should be nearly dead, but it will feel amazing. Rea gives breaks at perfect times, and is the master of the counter-stretch. 12 sets of push-ups sounds miserable, but instead, they’re empowering.
- Madalar Strength is my favorite of Rea’s lower-body flows. I have a bizarre affinity for Yogic Squat and Warrior 2, and the flowing blend of these had me sweating like crazy. Mostly, though, I was really enjoying myself and felt relaxed. I appreciate Rea’s encouragement to use your arms more freely and really feel the movement, rather than just lean and sit. I feel the pose more in my core when I follow her direction, but I also enjoy the movement more.
- Flexibility Flow is a good upper- and lower-body cool-down stretch. I love stretching legs but hate stretching arms, so I always go into these segments with mixed feelings of joy and dread. That said, Rea always finds new, interesting ways to do both that leave me feeling loose and open.
- I felt completely refreshed and renewed when I was finished. My watch said I burned ___ calories, and I knew I’d worked really hard (particularly for a yoga workout!) but rather than feeling worn out, I hopped on my bike and rode down to meet my kids at the park afterward. That, for me, is the sign of great yoga.
I recommend Surf Soul Yoga highly! There are a couple of segments in this workout I haven’t tried yet, and I’m looking forward to checking them out. If you like yoga, give this one a try!