2004, $1.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: The use of Finger Traps can really add to your yoga practice.

Second Impression: Contort your way to fitness and challenge your balance with Yogi’s Finger Trap™! Yes, Yogi’s Finger Trap™. Find it wherever quality Finger Traps are sold!

The bumper before the DVD menu shows a scene in rural India, with a large clay urn. A small boy pops out of the urn and claps the slate, then disappears again. I find myself worrying about his welfare. You shouldn’t leave your child inside an urn, even for a minute.

Basic Flow is the first of four routines on this DVD. It begins in the Maldives at a particularly magical magic hour, as the host in the dim morning light upon a sand bar that is about to be obliterated by the very forces of nature. The tide is somehow coming in from the left and the right at the same time. I’m afraid instructor and crew are in for a Lost In La Mancha – style washing away of equipment and human life. And someone better let that kid out of the urn before this place floods!

But the teacher stands resolute and firm in Mountain Pose as the tide recedes and she teaches us to radiate out our inner light like the sun. After a Salutation, a transition floats across the screen with an image of a stone carving of a Hindu god. We are taken to India where our instructor sits cross-legged in a little hut. There’s a round metal decoration on the wall behind her, which lines up perfectly to give her a halo.

The buttery-smooth voice over urges us to “embrace the light within,” “find your intelligent edge,” and “drink from the well,” and other yoga phrases that I don’t really comprehend, but pretend that I do.

All the routines on the disc end with the same Shavansa meditation, recited over the sound of crashing waves as a pair of disembodied hands make mysterious flowing movements. I see the images on the screen because, as I have mentioned before, I am a Bad Yoga Student, and keep my eyes open during Shavasana. I’m keeping Urn Boy in my thoughts and prayers. Deep peace from the shining stars to you. Deep peace.

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