Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Fun and Great-Feeling Fusion of Bellydance and Yoga...
Addicted2Amazon! | Philadelphia | 07/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Belly Yoga" is a very high-quality, well-structured DVD that is a reasonable length of time (about 40 minutes warmup/intro to cooldown), and, more importantly, fuses bellydance and yoga together quite well. The DVD menu has 3 options: The ABCs of Bellydance (in which Rania gives a super-crash course on some core movements of bellydance); the workout; and a nice performance in which Rania dances to a less traditional song while balancing a sword. Ideally, this should not be your first ever bellydance DVD, as the "ABCs" segment is so brief and fast-paced, you proabably will not come away with much. But hey, I guess it's better than nothing!
This DVD blends bellydance and athletic-oriented yoga (no spiritual journeying here), and, in my opinion, this is where Rania shines. Do I personally feel she is the BEST bellydancer out there? No. But I do think she is better than many, and her love and knowledge of fitness are 2nd to none. Her cardio BD programs will ACTUALLY get your heart rate up. Her BD strength /conditioning programs will ACTUALLY get you in shape. This DVD, like many of her programs, is not really designed to teach you bellydance so much as it is to USE bellydance to work out. "Belly Yoga" is designed to improve your flexibility and strength. And upon participating in the program, I must say that it is one of the best stretching DVDs currently in my possession!
Rania is the lone participator in the program, and is dressed in a black (quite unusual!) one-piece leotard with cut-outs. She is filmed on a simple but quite relaxing and pleasant indoor set with a yoga mat. The overall production quality of this DVD is great. In this program, she actually speaks to the camera (as opposed to many of her previous programs where she is simply smiling while her own voiceover gives instruction).
The moves consist of yoga standards such as triangles, warriors, a chair pose, down dog, shoulder stand, etc. Interspersed between the static yoga poses are bellydance moves and poses with bellydance moves layered on top of them. The bellydance aspect really makes this program fun, as it gives the yoga a more active, sensual, moving feel (sitting cross-legged while pushing your upper body around in a big circle; snake arms while balancing on one leg; a plank with a camel undulation to the floor; hip circles/camels on the floor; etc.). If you are fan of Ana Brett and Ravi Singh's kundalini yoga DVDs or Suhaila Salimpur's Fitness Fusion Yoga DVD (another great bellydance/yoga fusion DVD), you also should enjoy this. (In fact, I personally feel that this DVD is a better, more thorough stretch than Ana and Ravi's 70 minute+ Ultimate Stretch Kundalini Yoga DVD.)
It is definitely not an intense power yoga workout. But I've found that if I precede "Belly Yoga" with something to get my heartrate up, it becomes a more challenging active stretch/very gentle toning program. That being said, there may be a few moves that people with weak knees/bad backs will not be able to do. Rania, being a fitness professional, points out these moves and verbally suggests modifications or simply recommends that you not do the move. In fact, if you have a bad back, this probably isn't the best workout for you (there are a lot of spinal undulations and partial backbends).
All in all, I recommend this program and look forward to trying Rania's other new DVDs.
Nice toning for those who already know beginner bellydance &
Lena, LMT | Nassau, NY | 07/28/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The previous reviewer did a good job stating what yoga moves & the simple set of this dvd. This seems a middle-quality production, w/Rania speaking w/a mic (here & there her voice is louder when she points her head down) which really helps her better then her old Bellydance Fitness for Weight loss series dvd w/the voice over. I think her only problem is she thinks too much & needs more to do like speaking & moving to get rid of her stiffness. I've actually seen youtube clips of her sometimes fluid. Here, with less emphasis on perfection, she allows a few verbal mistakes & even makes a few jokes, which is pleasantly surprising. Occasionally she gets a little stiff, such as when just adding snake arms to yoga move she does them well, but when explaining them, they don't look as well. Bu nowhere near like her Bellydnce Fitness series. If she makes more dvds, she should stick to this formula of not being a perfectionist for every word she says or move she makes.
The content I'm not as happy with. The music is very light, but has bellydance music qualities to it & is nice & slow tempo. The bellydance is mixed back & forth with the yoga poses. The yoga moves aren't done in sequence that makes you feel stretched out, and the teaching is far too short. You should know all basic bellydance & yoga moves by heart. What verbal clues she gives are wonderful, such as a seated wide angle pose to the side, to feel the stretch more, she reminds you to keep the hip rooted on the opposite side & I felt a huge difference. She did not have enough time to really get into more then 1-2 cues per move. There was too much child's pose even after say a reclined spinal twist that did not seem needed. The bellydance most centered on hip circles, stomach rolls, camels & undulations both standing & kneeling w/few arm movements during a modified yoga tree pose. She gives only a quick tutorial how to do it slowly on one side before full speed for a short time as well. Her yoga poses are adequate, but I saw some things that may teach people bad habits. They are nowhere near the form of a certified yoga instructor & she barely gives any cues on how to do them properly. The hardest poses are a modified pigeon (I assume since one leg is kneeling, not horizontal to the torso on the floor as it should be) & a shoulder stand. The pace of the workout is relaxed/toning slow & easy.
ABCs of bellydance - a few minute basic quick demos/explanation of basic shimmy (straight leg & slightly bent legs), locks on hip circle, hip/chest drops, etc.
Performance - using a sword the entire time, she can still do splits w/it on her head. The music which rarely went w/the dance moves was more a 90s hard rock w/male singing in English w/touch of bellydance style percussion here & there. It's a cool song, but didn't go at all.
In the credits, I was surprised to see Rania composed the warm-up & cool down music.
Unfortunately, even on her site there is no video preview."
Nicely paced even for older people
Thomas P. Hastert | Wildomar, California | 02/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
I am 59 yrs old and have been using this DVD for only 3 weeks and I feel so much better already.
I have regained some of my flexibility and balance. Rania goes at a slow enough pace in the yoga
section that even though its been over 20 yrs since I have done any yoga.......it is making an impact
on my health!"