Both of the two practices on this DVD are gentle and really work on stretching out the body. They would make great rest day routines or provide one with a great stretch after a regular workout. Each 30 minute session includes both standing and floor postures. Session 1 Flexibility and Relaxation provides plenty of stretches that hit pretty much every part of the body at least a couple of times--even an often overlooked part the feet. There are plenty of unique stretches (ex. Half Frog Pose that really opens up the hips in a wonderfully relaxing way) as well as familiar poses combined in a unique way or with a bit of a different twist. Session 2 Stability and Mobility gently warms the body, building a little heat (but not sweat), so one can really maximize the benefits gained from each pose. Many unique moves (ex. half Happy Baby while stretching the inner thigh) and very different, flowing combinations (Crane, moving into forward leaning with leg behind, moving into Crescent, then Warrior 2--and back again, all while working the balance). This routine has more balance work than the first session, but also works every part of the body, again to include the feet. I really appreciate during Savasana in both routines she quietly lets the session fade, rather than saying Namaste which tends to disrupt my relaxation. Highly recommend this DVD if you are looking for a great stretch for your entire body that will leaving you feel calm and limber.
Wow – I love this DVD. I think Jessica excels at her gentle yoga DVDs and this one is really one of my favorites. The scenery is beautiful, the music is gentle, her voice is calming and soothing, and the occasional bird chirping is a pretty addition. The only equipment needed is a yoga mat and, optionally, a pillow or cushion. Jessica does a great job of offering variations throughout the sessions to accommodate different levels of flexibility.
The first session, Flexibility and Relaxation, starts with some standing movements to increase flexibility and stretch, before moving to the ground first in a seated position, and then finally to lying on the front and then the back. As someone that isn’t super flexible, I found that she offered good options such as sitting on a pillow while cross legged, or small variations to the stretch to make it work regardless of your flexibility. She ends with a brief Savasana at the end, and if you just happen to open your eyes during this you will see more of the beautiful scenery. I felt well stretched and very rested and relaxed after completing this session.
The second session, Stability and Mobility, includes more traditional yoga poses, but the feeling is still very gentle and calming. Jessica starts in standing with some gentle mobility movements to target the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, back, feet, knees, and hip. At around 7 minutes, she moves into chair pose held for a short while before alternating between chair and a mild standing extension. After that, she moves into a wide leg stance with the upper body at a 90 degree angle to the floor and arms moving from back by the hips to overhead. Next is a gentle yoga flow starting with crane, partial warrior 3, crescent pose, a flowing warrior 2, back to crescent and ending again with crane. The gentle yoga flow is repeated on the other side. The practice then moves into goddess pose followed by some gentle forward bend stretches. Just before 12 minutes, she moves into all fours into a flowing bird dog series and then to fire toes pose. (She offers many variations for fire toes pose and as I have a bit of plantar fasciitis in my right foot I really appreciate this foot stretch.) At 21 minutes, she moves to lying on the stomach to do some gentle quad stretches and low cobra, before moving into child pose. At 24 minutes you move into seated positon for gentle stretching. Around 28 minutes she moves on to the back for bridge pose to stretch out the front of the body followed by some gentle hip openers. A short Savasana starts at 33 minutes, initially as a guided relaxation and ending with just gentle music. As with the first practice, if you happen to open your eyes during Savasana, you will see more of the scenery.
I like how Jessica targets the entire body with these sessions, even hitting the feet! Overall I like how Jessica’s Walk Strong and Walk On programs are so well rounded, with lots of variety. This DVD would make a welcome addition to either of her programs and is easily one of my favorites.
Filmed outdoors at the beautiful Selby Gardens, in Sarasota Florida, this set of two yoga-infused stretching routines is as satisfying for the senses and it is for the soul!
These stretching routines are set outdoors, under the canopy of a gorgeous gazebo with tropical plants, gentle breezes, and bird song to complete the setting. The music is very subtle, almost imperceivable, and there is no timer on the screen which encourages you to clear your mind and focus on taking care of you. With these two workouts, you workout solely with Jessica. Jessica speaks and cues in live time with a voice that is calm and relaxed. There is no sanskrit terminology, or chanting etc. Space the size of a yoga mat (plus a yoga mat if you’re working out on a hard surface) is all that you need. You may also choose to have a chair for added support and balance as well as a folded towel/pillow or blanket to help pad your knees for some of the moves. Shoes are optional.
This single disc DVD, includes two complete 30-minute sessions, each with their own focus. The DVD arrives in a hardshell case, along with the cover art as shown.
Session 1: “Flexibility and Relaxation” focuses on helping you to improve range of motion and overall mobility while encouraging stress relief and resilience. The moves in this practice are more centered around deep breathing, and stretching, with less of the standard run of the mill yoga poses (you’ll see those in Session 2). A good portion of this workout is done either sitting on the floor, or lying either on the back or belly, so please bear this in mind if you have sensitivities. This routine finishes with 2 minutes of relaxation and breathing on your back to clear your mind and help reset your intention.
Session 2: “Stability and Mobility” is designed to help with balancing strength as well as flexibility and includes some of your more common yoga postures, including downward dog, warrior 2, triangle pose etc. There is some balance work included as well, which is great for building core strength!! You may even break a little sweat with this one without even trying! After challenging your body in a gentle manner, you relax in “corpse pose” on your back, focusing on your breathing, and again resetting your intention and focus.
Both of these routines truly are a treat not only for the body and mind, but also for the senses. I’ve heard it said on other occasions, that having strength but lacking flexibility is a liability, which over time, can set you up for injury, muscular imbalance, or even slow down your results. I myself have been guilty of overlooking stretching and flexibility work, and as a result, have been victim to my fair share of setbacks. These routines are great to do on rest days, or days you’re feeling under the weather, and are a great compliment to Jessica’s other Stretching/Yoga series DVDs (Yoga Fusion Fix and Total Stretch are two of my personal favorites). I have used Session 1 before bed, and was able to fall asleep right away afterwards. If you are like me, and need a little “gentle encouragement” to slow down once in awhile, this program is a great start.
Since the other reviews are so in depth about what each session entails I will just say that the title says it all. This is a yoga stretch dvd. You are led through yoga inspired stretches and movements that gently relax your mind and body. Both of these sessions would be perfect for an active rest day or after a strength or cardio workout. I enjoy doing them in the later part of the day because they help me release tension in my body and allow me to relax. The background is very soothing and calming which helps my brain to relax. I really enjoy Jessica Smith’s yoga DVDs and I hope she continues to make them.
1st workout good - flows well and I feel nice & stretched by the end. 2nd one not as good - movements just didn't flow as well and not focused on stretch but balance which I wasn’t looking for but it’s ok. But always a fan of Jessica and her workout style - always easy to follow and calm.