Kinesiology Clinic; 334 N. Rios Ave., Solana Beach, CA 92075; VHS; 25 minutes.
The introductory shots of bikers, runners, and surfers in this stretching program leave no doubt that it is intended primarily for hard-playing types. But even if the closest you get to athletics is watching a football game on TV, you can benefit in some small way from regularly practicing this half-hour routine. The video entails nearly 20 stretching exercises divided into several different sets, each of which focuses on a specific area of the body, such as the shoulders and side torso, the hamstrings, the groins, the lower back, and the hips.
Actually, this looks suspiciously like an asana practice, which is no surprise, since Brian Dorfman is a yoga teacher and therapist in addition to having a B.S. in kinesiology. Yogis will immediately recognize a number of the exercises: Bound Angle Pose and Warrior III, for example.
The instructions are straightforward and easy to follow, showing a good sense of alignment and emphasizing proper breathing. Dorfman doesn't say much about the benefits of the individual exercises, but he notes that by and large, this program will help tone the muscles, improve joint mobility, increase coordination, and reduce injuries and stress.
This is an accessible, time-manageable, slowly paced program that the packaging claims will "change your life" and make you "feel better forever." Those may be exaggerations, but the possibility is certainly worth exploring. In any case, with its sportsy orientation, this video might be a stealthy way to get that stiff-as-a-board but yoga-averse friend or spouse of yours to finally do some stretching.
Contributing Editor Richard Rosen teaches public classes in Northern California. He is the author of The Yoga of Breath: A Step-by-Step Guide to Pranayama.