Reviewed by Magdalena Ball
By Finlay Wilson
Nov 14, 2017, ISBN: 9781473667846, Hardback, RRP $19.99
I’m not going to lie. I first found Kilted Yoga when a friend of mine posted the viral video and I watched it, somewhat transfixed, till the cheeky end. The video is a beauty and I’m not just talking about Finlay Wilson and Tristan Cameron-Harper’s yoga-toned buns. The woodsy Scottish landscape near Dunkeld makes for a beautiful backdrop for yoga performed with a dance-like grace and serenity by two guys in kilts. Yes, it’s aesthetically pleasing. It’s also inspirational. Wilson used yoga to rehabilitate his post-surgery legs, and is a great ambassador.
The hardcover book goes through each of the poses so you can follow along. It’s small enough to pack in a handbag, but nicely presented enough for a gift – with satiny photos of Wilson doing yoga in the woods against a similar backdrop to the video. There is a bit of bio, as well as a little section on the importance of kilts. I saw someone wearing one in the supermarket the other day, so perhaps they’re becoming fashionable even outside of Scotland. The yoga itself is a pretty straightforward series of four vinyasa style sequences, which can be done individually or together, progressing through hips, sun salutations, twists, bridge, balance and strengthening exercise. There are also sections that provide guidance on hmeditations, “double poses” with a friend (a kilted friend is best…), and lots of breathing exercises.
The book can certainly be used as a workbook, going through each of the four sequences individually, or progressively as they build on one another. There is information about how many repetitions are required or how long to hold for. Once you learn the sequences, just check in on each page for a quick check or reminder – it’s designed to get you moving on your own and each of the pictures has a very brief commentary below it describing how to get into the pose. The meditations are very simple too, and once you’ve read through the paragraphs and practised it, you can do them anywhere. I particularly like the Sanctuary Meditation, which combines deep visualisation and calming techniques with a visual sensation.
Because the text is minimal and the pictures large, it’s easy to follow along, especially if you’ve done yoga before. It might be a little trickier for absolute beginners, although none of the poses are particularly complex. The book can also be used as inspiration, as a way of adding to an existing practice with a few new poses, meditations or visualisations. All in all, Kilted Yoga is a bonny wee resource to help anyone get the most out of a regular yoga practice. Nice to look at, yes, but the book is a lot more than eye candy, combining practical instruction with art.