Monthly Archives: February 2019

SHIVA REA: CREATIVE CORE ABS

2006, $2.99, at Salvation Army in Pasadena

First Impression: Oh good, a close-up for when the alien emerges.

Second Impression: (reaches for popcorn)

It would appear that, while giving the introduction, Shiva Rea has astrally projected herself into Dreamtime:

The purpose of her program, she intones, is “to allow conscious creativity to permeate your body and life.”  Faithful readers, I have never heard the word “creativity” uttered so many times in an exercise video.  I’m having a really hard time getting on board with the premise here. No offense, Shiva, but I don’t do workout videos to express my creativity. I do them so I will feel like slightly less of a blob. If I want to be creative I will write a silly puppet show that portrays the year 2018 as a literal dumpster fire:

Now Shiva Rea transports us to the wilderness with only a compass, one match, and our instinct to survive:

In the distance, some droids stumble over the ridge, bickering. These are not the droids you are looking for. 

We begin with the Water Core segment, which will “cultivate a receptive, creative, and playful core strength.” We do lots of swirling around with arms while sitting, to “find any weak spot or leak in your core, in the garden of your belly. Post there.” Um, I’m not sure what any of that means, but then she shows us how to squirm around in Bridge Pose, which I was always taught was dangerous for your neck. In a creative way.

Soon we move on to Spontaneous Core, and to my infinite relief, there’s a bongo player! Hooray! Who doesn’t love a live bongo player joining them for a workout? Here, he taps out a beat while she imitates a dying cockroach:

By the time we get to Fire Core, I’ve grown tired of being told that I shouldn’t follow what the teacher is doing and express my creativity instead. Maybe it’s all my years I’ve spent as a performer, but I’m kind of done with vague instructions that have no correct interpretation, but are loaded with expectations.

So when Shiva directs us to “bring grace into your hands,” I pick up my little kitten who is asking for attention, and shut off the DVD.

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