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Health Video Review: Shiva Rea A.M. Energy

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Shiva Rea is a yoga instructor and enthusiast who has produced a number of yoga videos suitable for the home workout. Shiva Rea A.M. Energy is the most recent video released and guides the viewer through a morning workout, allowing for certain time constraints that morning exercisers often face. The total running time for this program is 71 minutes. There is a brief meditation section, three 20 minute workouts, plus a bonus 20-minute Heart Salutation (not included in the running time).
A. M. Energy begins with a 5 minute Meditation Core Awakening to stretch and warm up the muscles. The instructor guides you through poses and motions designed to stretch the spine and open the joints. She then leads you through a few moments of silent meditation. The next three twenty minute workouts can be done separately or combined, depending on how much time and energy you have on any particular day. This customizable yoga matrix (as Shiva Rea calls it) starts with a segment called Body Mandala that focuses on overall toning and strengthening. Each pose includes several repetitions and the pace is nice and steady.
The second section of the matrix is called Shakti Flow. This is a series of rhythmic movements designed to improve circulation, generate energy, and lift your mood. It closes with a final meditation and breathing exercise to cool down.
The final segment is called Vira Flow and the focus in this section is on balance and mental concentration. There are a number of extremely challenging poses in this section, although if you are a novice you can follow along using the recommended ‘simpler’ poses that Shiva Rae demonstrates for you. You can follow up your workout with the bonus 20-minute Heart Salutation from Shiva’s Radiant Heart DVD if you have the time.
The huge benefit to this program is its flexibility. Each section of the matrix can be done individually if you are rushed for time or combined together for a longer and more intense workout. Each section focuses on a different aspect of the workout, whether it is muscle toning, flexibility, or balance so you can pick a different segment of the program each day and you will have achieved a wonderful all around workout by the time your week is over! Whether you have 20 minutes or an hour to work out in the morning, Shiva Rea’s A.M. Energy will leave you feeling more relaxed, energized, and ready to tackle your day.

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