shanti generation

 “I wanted to do the yoga video because it was about teaching others what I know, especially teenagers and young adults, because there’s not a lot of videos out there that are made by us,” explains Kimberly, one of the young peacemakers in Shanti Generation's DVD. Not only is this one of the few (if not the only) yoga video made by and for teens—facilitated by yoga instructor and Shanti Generation co-founder, Abby Wills—it is also one of the most effective, comprehensive, and optimistic yoga videos available for any age. The rich array of possibilities provides for individual choice and versatility and encompasses a range of practices with an emphasis on bringing the tools of yoga into daily life.

Throughout the video, Wills narrates as the adolescent peacemakers demonstrate poses on a beautiful but simple set (a half-circle variously lit to resemble a setting sun or rising moon) to a cheerfully peaceful original soundtrack. Wills's well-chosen words and strong but soothing voice perfectly complement the teens’ poise and individuality. Creative and adolescent-friendly titles for the poses and sequences include “Creating Happiness”, “Choosing Peace” and, my personal favorite, “Constructive Rest”, a subtle twist on Savasana with bent knees and arms over the chest. This variation on traditional rest pose offers gentle protection, giving teens (and others) the freedom to relax more fully.

One of the strongest aspects of this DVD is that, throughout creative sequences, calming and grounding meditations, and fun interviews with the cast, the teens are genuinely active collaborators, not simply modeling poses. This authenticity will go a long way to inspire youth viewers who will benefit from the opportunity to see their peers as teachers and leaders. As another the Peacemakers, Kaya, wisely explains, “Yoga is an attitude; it’s the way you are in the world. When you do yoga, you have a more positive outlook on life.”

Wills’ commitment to social justice in teaching and learning comes across in her willingness to step aside and empower her students/teachers to take the stage and lead the way. As she explains in the introduction, “Shanti means peace. Here you will meet many Shanti warriors who will teach you yoga skills to empower yourself and to help you to make conscious, wise choices in your life.”

Available on amazon