As if to lend excess weight to my contention that your personal computer can, in theory, educate you on anything, along comes some CD-ROMs called Wellness Yoga and Shiatsu Relaxation.

Lithe young women demonstrate these ancient Eastern techniques while mellow-voiced narrators speak above somnambulant music, the easier to relax you and make you all well.

Most of us are actually familiar at least with the concepts of yoga, its slow stretching exercises and its often almost unattainable physical positions. Wellness Yoga can be a properly designed program that packages 74 asanas, or positions, into several packages including the Quick and Easy Course, the Beauty Course and the Health Course.

The program consists largely of what it calls procedure screens, where each position is demonstrated in a single window while described textually in another. A narrator reads that same text message aloud. In addition to the usual tape-recorder control keys to pause, give up and restart the actions, there exists a graph that displays the approximate duration of each segment of the routine.

The functional difficulties of using this CD-ROM are fairly noticeable. The manual, dragged kicking and screaming into English from its Japanese roots, advises an individual to First practice forming the pose while watching the display and try memorizing the complete procedure.” This, unless you have a 24-inch monitor or preserve your monitor on the floor, may very well be difficult. Clearly using the learning of the poses could possibly be more readily done with a videotape.

On the other hand, you can hunt around in the CD-ROM, choose from the positions you wish to learn, and accumulate them into personal groups. And maybe you’ve got a genuinely big screen, and a cordless, long-distance mouse.

This is a good program, well-made and instructive. My just complaint can be that it does not emphasize plainly enough that if you don’t are as slender as the style executing the poses, you aren’t going to be able to do many of them — the Crow, the Heron and the Frog, as an example — correctly. However, we can all do the Corpse.

Shiatsu Leisure, which teaches a massage technique clearly linked to acupuncture, is another kettle of seafood.

The theory is that rubbing, kneading or poking specific points on the body, called acupressure points, will make other parts of your body feel better. I am certainly not ready to argue that premise, but the entire procedure seems shiatsu yourself isn’t clear, either; the program at first suggests you find some of your own even more accessible pressure points, nonetheless they are not really all available to your own hands and all the demonstrations show one person ministering to another.

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