SHIVA REA: FLOW YOGA FOR BEGINNERS

2008, $1.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: Best twirl ever!

Second Impression: That baton should be falling back down any second now…

Shiva Rea is tall, ripped, blonde, and perfect. If she taught a yoga class in Los Angeles, she would use her perfection to shame you while murmuring pointed observations about your lack of flexibility. Of course she’s better at it, she’s the teacher! What’s with the shade? Just ring the damn gong so we can all go home and stress-eat some corn chips!

But this isn’t real life, it’s a DVD, and it was filmed on a Hawaiian island, not LA, so the mean perfect lady can’t hurt you.

The various segments are filmed outdoors, moving between the seaside, a waterfall-adjacent grotto, and a lily-ringed pond. Nearby, a smiling statue of Buddha does his best to lean into every shot, like an eager movie extra.

The constant percussion loop underscoring all the routines reminds me of the manhood ritual scene in The Emerald Forest. The men of the Invisible People tribe blow some sort of (organic and ethically sourced) drug up each other’s noses using a hollow tube, and then they go into the minds’ eye of their spirit animal.

The movie is supposedly based on a true story, so which drug do we think this is supposed to be? I would guess ayahuasca. Also, is it like a Patronus in that you get to pick your own spirit animal, or is the discovery part of the fun? What if you don’t like your spirit animal? “A blobfish? Really? Awwww man…

The instructor doesn’t stick anything up anyone’s nose, but she tells us to have an “open heart; big sky mind.”   She is her own spirit animal, at the top of the food chain and in complete control of her limbs.

Shiva Rea wears long, heavy, dangling earrings that were certainly made by a high priestess at a crossroads by the light of the full moon. They grant her the power of serenity and the serenity of power. That sounds like a real saying, right? I can make up yoga things, too.

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