DVD Review: Yoga Wisdom for Neck Pain & Tight Shoulders, Allison Nolan (2005)

December 18th, 2006 11:59 pm by Kelly Garbato

Chase that upper-body pain and stiffness away!

five out of five stars

YOGA WISDOM FOR NECK PAIN & TIGHT SHOULDERS, with instructor Allison Nolan, is a great complement to Nolan’s other 2005 release, YOGA WISDOM FOR BACK PAIN & TIGHT HIPS. I own both DVDs, and together they help ease the aches and pains that occasionally bother my shoulders, back, neck, and hamstrings.

NECK PAIN & TIGHT SHOULDERS follows the same basic format as BACK PAIN & TIGHT HIPS. The DVD contains two different workouts. The first, Level 1, is the shorter of the two (at 36 minutes), and is aimed at beginners. Level 2 is only slightly longer (48 minutes), and is a bit more advanced. However, Nolan works with two “models”, one of which modifies the poses for the beginners in the audience. The second model generally follows Nolan’s intermediate-to-advanced lead, and Nolan sometimes pulls ahead with more advanced versions of the poses. Thus, a wide range of difficulties is demonstrated throughout, making both levels fully workable (and challenging) for all.

Many of the same poses used in BACK PAIN & TIGHT HIPS are repeated in NECK PAIN & TIGHT SHOULDERS. However, Nolan introduces some subtle variations that target the upper body, particularly the shoulders and arms. NECK PAIN & TIGHT SHOULDERS also includes some poses that BACK PAIN & TIGHT HIPS does not, such as stretches with a resistance band that works the shoulders, neck, and arms.

Overall, I think I enjoyed BACK PAIN & TIGHT HIPS slightly more than NECK PAIN & TIGHT SHOULDERS; it seems like the former did a better job of stretching and loosening the promised areas than did the latter. Even so, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend NECK PAIN & TIGHT SHOULDERS to anyone who’s suffering from stiffness or tightness in the upper body. It’s really a gratifying, effective workout.

My only quibble: all four workouts contained in BACK PAIN & TIGHT HIPS and NECK PAIN & TIGHT SHOULDERS use the exact same musical track. Since it’s not really possible to keep my eyes glued to the tv while I flow through the poses, I’ve learned to pick up on auditory cues to help me anticipate when a transition from one pose to another is ahead. Of course, this leads to some confusion and the occasional misstep when four workouts, all led by the same instructor (with the same voice, vocabulary, and speaking style), are set to the same score. At almost $20, you think they could have sprung for four unique compositions instead of one!

Equipment needed: A carpeted floor or a yoga mat; one to two yoga blocks; and a yoga/resistance band.

(This review was originally published on Amazon. Please click through and vote it helpful if you think it so!)

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