Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The cover touts it as "the reunion of martial arts, yoga, and meditation," but for those who have practiced those disciplines separately but not in combination, Cameron Shayne's Budokon Beginning Practice offers a fresh, even unique approach to a home exercise regimen. Yoga, martial arts, and meditation don't actually commingle in this approximately 38-minute program (also included is a version that's about 10 minutes shorter); a fairly traditional, 20-minute yoga practice (for creating "power through stillness") is followed by 15 minutes of martial arts ("power through movement") and about three minutes of meditation ("power through emptiness"). The yoga asanas, including forward bends, lunges, twists, standing poses, and several sun salutations, provide a good stretch and warm-up for the martial arts moves; the latter, with their short, vigorous punches and kicks mostly performed from a traditional "fighting stance," offer a contrast to the slower, deeper yoga postures, and the sequence of the two is genuinely invigorating. Shayne, a martial arts master who also knows his yoga, provides excellent instruction throughout, and easier versions of the yoga poses are demonstrated. There's also a "pose guide" option, accessible both separately and during the workout, to explicate all the poses and movements in greater detail.


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