Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Baron Baptiste - Journey Into Power Level 2|
Actor: Baron Baptiste
Director: Good Times
Genres: Sports, Exercise & Fitness
Fitness expert Baron Baptiste expands on the lessons of his first Journey Into Power video with this follow-up, designed for both beginners and those with a certain amount of previous experience. Baron Baptiste's Journey I... more »
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Journey Into Baron Baptiste's Power Vinyasa Yoga
Yoga Dad | 08/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just recently received both the "Journey Into Power" Level 1 and Level 2 DVD's. As expected, I was certainly not dissapointed! I have a lot of Yoga Video's and DVD's (over 80 at this point) so I'm quite familiar with much of what is out there.
Baron's programs in particular have been a very large part of my daily practice. I have "Unlocking Athletic Power", "Core Power", "Soul Of Strength", The Three "Hot Yoga" Tapes, "Power and Precision", "Power Yoga Basics (from "Transform Your Life, Yoga With Baron Baptiste" which was a PBS special) and now these two DVD's.
This particular Level 2 program more or less follows the sequence outlined in his book "Journey Into Power". While he pretty much maintains the order of the series (Integration, Sun Salutes A then B, Warrior series etc.), he does sometimes rearrange the order of some of the poses in some of the series. I'm just mentioning this for folks who may be familiar with his first book and are curious to know how closely he follows the sequence outlined there. This DVD is sequenced perfectly and I'm writing this review a few minutes after doing it and I feel amazing!
Because it's 45 minutes rather than the 90 minutes he recommends in his book he basically does less repetitions of the Sun Salutes, but plenty to warm you up, he leaves out some of the backbending series (but includes Camel, Bridge and Wheel), the Abdominal series just leaves out Abdominal Twists (but trust me it's enough :)), he leaves out the Inversion Series altogether, does one pose of the Hip series (Double pigeon or it's modification. For the Forward bending series he does Seated Leg Extension and Tabletop and in Surrender to Gravity he leaves out Dead Bug Pose but does the Supine Twist and Supta Baddha Konasana (Supine Cobbler).
I've been doing Yoga every day for over 8 years and I found this DVD more than challenging enough. This might be on the "lighter" side for a hard core Ashtangi, or someone used to doing Mark Blanchard's or Bryan Kest's tapes, but I think for most folks who want a challenging but doable program this should be all they'd need.
Personally I like to change my routine from day to day, even if I'm doing Baron's programs I like to alternate between some of his shorter programs with a program like this one. I also highly recommend Rodney Yee's Power Yoga Programs ("Stamina", Flexibility" etc).
I would definitely recommend that a beginner to Power Yoga start with his "Power Yoga Basics", or "Core Power", then move on to "Journey Into Power" level 1 and at that point go on to level 2 or you may be overwhelmed.
Beyond this level you may want to try some of Bryan Kest's original series.
Also, if you want some gentle programs to start with or alternate with I also highly recommend "Yoga Zone's Basics" series which each contain two 20 minutes routines and are very well done.
I hope this helps.
GREAT! And I just started Yoga a few months ago...
Billie Mann | USA | 05/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was recently diagnosed (after finally going to a doctor because of lower back pain which had become almost chronic in the past year) with having the beginnings of arthritis in my lower back (Lumbar Spondylosis). The doctor suggested that I try Yoga, as had a friend of mine who's a personal trainer. Having been a competitive bodybuilder in the past, and having trained rather heavily with free weights since the age of 26 (I'm 46 now), I realized that I should stop doing some of the weight-training exercises (such as squats) that I had been doing for years, which obviously put stress on the spine. But YOGA? I thought that could not be real exercise.
Boy, was I wrong!
I have always been rather inflexible, and am guilty of not stretching enough over the years. I am also not the best at balance. I can't get any where near doing a split, for instance. I'm saying this to explain that one does not NEED to be really flexible to practice this DVD...I was afraid before trying it for the first time, that I might not be able to do it at all.
My personal trainer friend recommended Baron Baptiste DVDs for me to try, and I started with this one, and the Level 1. I will say that the Level 1 DVD was really easy, IMO. It was not a challenge at all. But this one, the Level 2, I do at least 3 times a week, and I LOVE it. It feels like a real workout, and my lower back pain has NOT recurred when I keep up practicing this DVD. I can always tell if I've missed a day when I would regularly practice it, because I start to feel stiff again in the morning, and my lower back begins to plague me. But EVERY TIME I do this practice, I feel great afterwards, and my pain is gone. My muscles are sore and I feel refreshed and relaxed. It took me a bit of practice to balance in some of the poses, and I still fall over sometimes, lol, but I feel myself "being in the pose" much more than "getting INTO the pose", with each time, and I love it.
The only thing that bothers me is Baron Baptiste's habit of saying "happy" this or that at times in the DVD, which I find a little..amusing. But he only says it a few times, and I find the rest of his direction and narration to be great. He goes right into the poses and is very good at explaining exactly what to do in each and every pose, including modifications. My flexibility has improved quite a bit and as I said NO MORE lower back pain for me, and I firmly believe this practice is the reason.
I love it and would highly recommend it!"
K. Suhr | Tottori-ken, Japan | 04/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've taken various yoga classes (a course many years ago in college, and scattered classes at the gym) and have always been a bit "Eh" about it all. I'm more athiest than Buddhist or Hindu, and many teachers seem to focus a lot of certain methods of breathing and spiritual issues that I'm just not into.
I did this video for the first time this morning and really enjoyed it. It was definitely challenging, but everything in the routine seemed like it would be possible with practice. Baptiste provides some inspirational commentary about being in the moment and whatnot, but there's definitely no, "Feel the river of chi flow through you, connecting you with the universal Ohm!" In other words, it was enough to keep me going through tough poses, but not enough that I had to come out of position to gag. I built up a bit of a sweat and worked my muscles, but wasn't exhausted afterwards, and I feel less knotted up now than I have in weeks.
The DVD shows a class with people at different levels running through the routine, with Baptiste giving instruction and making corrections more than actually doing the poses himself. It was useful to have a variety of modifications displayed. I'd guess this DVD is good for beginners with a little background, and lower intermediate yoga practitioners. I had seen or done almost all the poses in classes I've taken, so I imagine more advanced practitioners would get bored or feel under-challenged.
I wrote this review a few years ago and I've done this DVD dozens of times since (though I never did work into a daily yoga practice). I've tried a number of other yoga DVDs since and this is still my favorite. I wish Amazon would let me change my rating to 5 stars!"
"So, so healthy!"
Erik Olson | Ridgefield, WA United States | 07/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After being been bitten by the yoga bug, I've tried out a number of DVDs by various instructors. "Baron Baptiste - Journey Into Power Level 2" was my first Power Yoga DVD, and it's one I keep coming back to. Completing the 45-minute full-body workout leaves me sweaty, limber, and pumped, especially when I precede it with twenty minutes on a stationary bike. However, Power Yoga is not something one masters overnight. The speedier segments can be overwhelming, the strength poses (especially the upper body ones) are on par with boot camp pushups, and the balancing poses are like walking a tightrope during a windy day. After tweaking my upper back trying to do the advanced Wheel, I took Mr. Baptiste's advice to remain within my limits. Thankfully, he suggests easier modifications while gently challenging us to strive for the tougher versions. Over time I've gotten better at the workout. In addition, I'm stronger, more flexible, and more in command of my body. However, I still have a long way to go on the yogi path. But that's to be expected, and fine workouts like this one help me to enjoy the process.
As an instructor, Mr. Baptiste is an interesting cat whose vocal inflections remind me of a Zen Pauley Shore. He carries on a constant New-Agey commentary while calling the poses and correcting students. Sometimes he even rhymes his commands ("bring your left arm to the thigh, lift your right arm to the sky, look at your thumb with your eye"). And "happy" appears to be one of his favorite words of encouragement. But even after multiple viewings I don't find him annoying or intrusive. Indeed, I enjoy his non-threatening and uplifting teaching style. Just for fun I checked out the DVD extras, and discovered he was on the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff some years ago. The photo of him twisting a huge football player into a pose is priceless. A more practical DVD feature allows you to break the workout down into sequences. That way you can create a shorter routine if pressed for time.
A cool thing that elevates this yoga DVD above others is that it was filmed during an actual class. Instead of the usual cast of hardbodies with perpetually frozen smiles, Baron's "assistants" are regular folks who grimace and wobble like you and me. They give out a collective groan after completing a tough pose, and laugh at Baron's loopier statements (whether he intends them to or not, I'm unsure). I feel like I'm part of a real workout group instead of an outsider trying to keep up with a bevy of fitness models. It brings back fond memories of the class camaraderie I enjoyed during my old aerobics days. That's probably the main reason why I like this workout so much.
If you are interested in Power Yoga, then grab "Baron Baptiste - Journey Into Power Level 2." Other yoga workouts I've enjoyed are "Bryan Kest's Power Yoga Complete Collection," Cameron Shayne's martial arts-based "Budokon for Beginners (my first exposure to yoga)," and Karen Voight's no-nonsense yoga routines on her "Slim Physique" and "Yoga & Sculpting" DVDs."