"Shiva Rea Daily Energy" offers a smorgasbord of customizable segments for intermediate and advanced yoga students who want a program that can fit into their busy schedules. Reviewers also appreciate the ability to choose either energizing and relaxing workouts, and they say the DVD boasts beautiful sets and music. But the advanced moves and lack of modifications mean this isn't the best option for beginners.
Free-flowing style isn't for everyone. California-born Shiva Rea started studying yoga as a teenager and is now one of the best-known yoga instructors in the country. Rea's fluid style is on full display in "Shiva Rea Daily Energy," and experts say she even calls for "improvisational undulations." This can be potentially freeing or awkward, depending on your expectations -- as one reviewer puts it, "I've had some hippy dippy classes, but … I felt kind of ridiculous in my own basement." Rea also provides a good deal of the spiritual and mind commentary that can turn off some viewers. Others had a hard time focusing on the breathing flow, saying it's hard to follow or is a distraction from the poses.
Top-notch production values. "Shiva Rea Daily Energy" is filmed indoors in a colorful studio, and reviewers say the music and voice-overs are calm and soothing. In fact, one user says the music "sometimes makes me a little drowsy." The voice-overs can be turned off. This Vinyasa Flow program is meant to provide variety rather than a specific focus; users can choose a relaxing "lunar practice" or a more energetic "solar practice" that make the program ideal for various times of day. Taken together, the poses help promote strength and flexibility, reviewers say.
Build your own program. One highlight of "Shiva Rea Daily Energy" is the easy-to-use DVD menu. Participants can select one of the 20-minute segments for a shorter workout session or use the menu "matrix" to create a custom routine. This option is great for those who need a time-saving workout, and it keeps the DVD interesting after several uses. But the program is best for intermediate and advanced students, reviewers say. Many complain Rea's cuing is too sparse for those looking for detailed instruction. Plus, she moves quickly between poses and doesn't demonstrate easier variations. "It would've been nice to have someone in the background doing the easier poses so I didn't feel like such a failure during this DVD," complains one viewer.
"Shiva Rea Daily Energy" earns 4.2 stars out of 5 in more than 220 reviews. Most users love the mix-and-match nature of the DVD. Some say the poses are quite challenging, even for those with yoga experience, and beginners say Rea moves too quickly without providing enough instruction.
Review: Shiva Rea: Daily Energy -- Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014
Fitness expert Pfiester says "Shiva Rea Daily Energy" is a "good fit for people with busy lifestyles" because of its flexibility. Variety means students won't get bored, and moves are challenging. But the program lacks modifications and may not be good for beginners, she says.
Review: Reviewing Shiva Rea Daily Energy DVD, Bonny Pfiester, Not Dated
More's editors say "no one does yoga like Shiva Rea," and praise "Daily Energy's" flow and fluidity. They say the DVD is best enjoyed by someone who likes improvising some movements, and they like the variety of energizing and relaxing segments. The review does not note any cons.
Review: The Best Yoga DVDs, Editors of More, Not Dated