Iyengar Yoga with Gabriella Giubilaro

Stone Mountain Entertainment;; DVD; 70 minutes.

Despite repeated protests by B.K.S. Iyengar that there’s no such thing as Iyengar Yoga, it’s well accepted by the students of this remarkable man that there certainly is a distinct school of yoga by that name. Here we have an asana exhibition of the style and spirit of Iyengar’s work by one of his foremost students, Gabriella Giubilaro. Based in Florence, Italy, she has been studying this method for nearly 30 years, and her great dedication to the practice shines through.

There are 38 poses on this DVD, sequenced in conventional Iyengar fashion: warm-ups, standing poses, Headstand, backbends, twists, Shoulderstand, forward bends, and cooldowns. It isn’t exactly a practice companion, because most of the postures are held for less than a minute; rather, it’s really a classic Iyengar primer, whether for newcomers just familiarizing themselves with the method or old hands needing a refresher course. Of course, if you’re looking for a relatively mild hour-long practice, you can follow along with the program.

Giubilaro has a down-to-earth delivery with the expected Iyengarian emphasis on alignment and precision. More than most other asana demonstrations, you have to watch this one carefully and several times. Because the poses are held so briefly, Giubilaro can’t give extensive instructions, but the expert way in which she performs the poses speaks volumes–a picture here is definitely worth a thousand words.

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.