POWER YOGA

PowerYoga

2001, $3.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: You can even do yoga in a post-apocalyptic wasteland!

Second Impression: In the intro, a lady informs us that Power Yoga promotes a positive, happy attitude. I imagine her gritting her teeth while she says that.

The presenter is listed as Susan Fulton, BSY, which stands for British School of Yoga. It turns out BSY is a correspondence course with a very basic level of instruction. So perhaps a yoga teacher who lists that as her only credential may not be the most knowledgeable instructor, and you should follow her routine at your own peril.

No one wants to deal with someone who’s supposed to be an expert at their job, but who’s actually a beginner. When I got blood drawn recently, two nurses came into the exam room. Familiar Nurse said, “Do you mind if [New Nurse] does it? She has to learn.”

New Nurse had MAC makeup perfectly applied in pink tones, and eyes like saucers. I couldn’t tell which of us was more terrified. I figured, she has to learn on somebody, and while I sat with my head turned, Familiar Nurse whisper-shouted instructions as New Nurse jabbed the bejeesus out of my arm.

But my arm is fine now. And I like this yoga DVD, so what does it matter if the teacher learned through a correspondence course?

The first part of this hour-long program was shot with a beautiful bay in the background. Susan Fulton demonstrates the yoga poses on an old rattan IKEA window shade layered atop a picnic blanket to shield her from the jagged Australian terrain. Everything’s anchored down with rocks that were at arm’s reach when the crew realized, “wow, it’s really windy out here!”

After the sun moved, they put the camera on the other side of the improvised yoga blanky, and now we have the hills from the opening credits of M*A*S*H as our backdrop. It’s unsettling, because it looks like this woman is literally in the middle of nowhere, and instead of doing yoga, she really should be preparing to bivouac for the night.

But for the last segment of the program the camera is back in its original position, and we can see the pretty water again and the sun is setting, and after the last pose she leans back with a satisfied exhale, and we share in her feeling of a job well done.

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