I bought Paul Grilley's DVD from Yogamatters via Amazon UK for £16.99 . However, if you buy it direct from their website I think they have it listed at £22.00 . I gave Yogamatters a hard time when I had to wait a couple of weeks for the Lino Miele book but this time the DVD arrived within a couple of days (and over the Christmas period too).
It's good value running at over four hours. The lecture section takes up most of the DVD. The first lecture, The big Picture, is over an hour and outlines his basic premise the other lectures are about half an hour each and illustrate the argument further by focusing on different aspect of our anatomy. It's in a presentation setting and he uses several yoga practitioners to illustrate and
demonstrate.There's also a question and answer session and some special features.
Paul looks at two kinds of Resistance that he labels tension and compression. Tension is concerned with muscles, sinews and tendons and can be stretched/developed through Yoga and exercise. Compression, however, is where bone meets bone and can't go any further.
This is a comparative anatomy presentation, Paul shows how we all have different bone idiosyncrasies and considers how our bone structure may determine our asana.
In the neck example on the left, he shows the limits of neck extension on different models. These are all yoga practitioners who have been practicing Yoga for a long time, their limit is a matter of bone compression rather than their flexibility. He has even more dramatic examples on hip rotation, shoulder extension etc. These skeletal limits are important for teachers of course but especially for the home Yogi. We tend to try and make our poses look like those in a books and videos and, especially in the early days, think that if we don't look like the picture then it's a lack of flexibility. It may be flexibility but it might also be our bone structure and no matter how flexible we may become we might never be able to look like the picture in the book.
However, and this is an important point that Paul stresses throughout the video, although we may not look like the picture in the book it doesn't necessarily mean we're not benefiting from the stretch. It might just be that we're feeling the stretch at a different point than the model or another yogi or our teacher. We might feel the benefit of the stretch at less or more extension than someone else.
It also doesn't mean that we cant necessarily do an asana, although it may. If our bones are built such that they stop us extending our arms back, in wheel say, it might just mean that we need to adjust our arms, shoulders or elbows to enable us to achieve the pose and it's benefits.
Watching the DVD I was constantly jumping up to see how I compared to the models on the screen, and in this sense it's an excellent DVD for gaining insight into your own bone structure.
The presentation is very clear and you don't need an MD to keep up.
Here's a link to Pranamaya with some video samples of the DVD
"So Paul, are my arms to short for the jump back?"
Had I watched this DVD a few months back I might have just switched off and not listened to what Paul is actually saying and given up on ever achieving the Jump back. He looks at "Arm to torso proportion" in section 5. take a look at these two pictures.
The first models hands reach the floor naturally without any stretching or leaning. The second models hands are several inches short.of the ground. He will need to lower his scapula and bend forward just to touch the floor. As the first model is already touching the floor when he engages his scapula and bends forward he's able to press down with full leverage to raise himself from the ground. To get the same height Paul argues the second model would need to use blocks to regain the extra couple of inches, as his leverage has been halved just reaching the floor in the first place.
As with all the other examples I jumped up and checked where I came in comparison with the models. "OH NO!" thinks I, "my hands are a long way from the ground, I'll never be able to Jump back." and I start googling Iyengar and Bikrim to consider changing styles. But hang on a minute, I CAN JUMP BACK, check out my last few jump back videos.
But this fits with what Paul is saying throughout the DVD. Sometimes you'll have to find ways of working around your bone structure, of living with it because it ain't gonna change.
I've had to work at my jump back to make up for my bone structure. The design of my bones appears to suggest that I begin with less leverage. However, I've been able to find ways to maximise the leverage I do have and if I look at the seven elements in the series of posts I presented in December that seems to be what I'm doing.
"So Paul are my arms to short for the jump back?"
"No, but you might have to work at it some".
PS. Why is it so so hard to format and reformat a post on Blogger, Grrrrrrr...!