Let’s face it, one of the most difficult things about yoga, for both beginners and experts alike, is finding time for meaningful daily practice that is where Yoga Burn comes to the rescue. Yoga Burn is a yoga-based system that spans 12-weeks that you can follow easily. Besides that, Olivia Miller’s, “The Yoga Deck”, is one of my favorite tools for accomplishing this. It’s small, and portable, and sits variously, at my work desk, in my bag, or next to the bed. Like many things, it’s outside is smaller than its insides, 4 inches by just shy of 6 inches, it’s contents can pack a serious punch into the concept of, “not having time”, for yoga.
The deck includes several types of cards, an eight-page guide on how to use them, and manages to include a variety of practices. Nicole Kaufman has beautifully, and simply, illustrated the front of each card. The back of each card includes instructions, an affirmation, and a list of benefits.
There is one, “Om ” card in the deck to start and end your practice with. Chanting instructions and several meanings are found on the back.
There are six breath or prana cards in the deck. Including “Anulom viloma”, or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”. I found them to be an excellent assortment. For the techniques having Sanskrit names, the Sanskrit names were provided under the English names. Unfortunately, while the explanations are easy to follow and the benefits listed, I saw no warnings about the side or negative effects.
There are six of these cards, to help bring the benefits of meditation into your practice. Each card focuses on a different spiritual idea. The affirmations are, for the most part, easy to memorize and follow.
The five warm-up cards seem well thought out, and should warm you up well before beginning your asana’s or postures. They seem well rounded, easy to follow, and complete.
Posture cards –
The cards for 50 postures make up most of the deck. They are easy to read and follow and the simple, elegant pictures make them a joy to work with. While many of the cards are easy beginner’s poses, the inclusion of postures such as the “Full Shoulder Stand”, make it a good idea to go through the deck with an instructor. The hare and the half and full shoulder stand cards are the only cards I noticed warnings or contra-indications on. While I was glad to see those warnings, I do wish they were included on other cards as well.
There are a lot of good things about this deck. It’s portable, it’s fun, it’s easy to use, and carrying it back and forth from my bedside to my office desk, reminds me to use it. My own copy is well-loved and well used.
As with life, nothing is perfect. The yoga deck will not replace a good teacher. The cards fail to give many of the necessary pre-cautions or contra-indications for those with any medical or physical issues.
At 14.95, “The Yoga Deck,” is an excellent value for anyone who is or has, taken yoga with a teacher. The deck should not be used alone by those completely new to yoga in an attempt to learn it.