the pleasure of strength

Ana Forrest‘s The Pleasure of Strength is a great DVD if you’re on the hunt for resources to help anchor a regular home asana practice. Led and narrated by Forrest, who excels at showing how yoga can be relevant and transformative, the DVD’s practice sequence features fundamental postures prized for building strength. The class is not only completely accessible to both beginners and experienced students, but under Forrest’s guidance, yoga is presented more as a tool for change and healing than as a path to more defined abs.

By some standards, the program’s visual presentation is bland, even dated, yet the instructional content makes this DVD the one to come back to when looking for ways to establish a daily self-guided routine. Instructions are clear, precise, and direct. Variations are always offered to bring the challenge level of a pose in line with the student’s ability. Most importantly, Forrest constantly revisits the idea that in order to maintain a quality that is personal and fresh, a healthy yoga practice must blend work and joy equally.

One delightful special feature presents Forrest and her husband, Jonathan Bowra, playing around with some partner yoga. The two laugh, communicate, explore, and happily work their way in and out of awe-inspiring poses meant for two. In so doing, the couple simultaneously demonstrates what makes a strong yoga practice and a strong relationship. In this sense, the DVD’s hidden message is that the pleasure of strength comes not only from exercising the body, but also from being passionately at one with the experience.

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