Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bellydance for Core Fitness - A Belly Dance Workout|
Actors: Ayshe, Blanca, Sirrah Nur
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
Bellydance is an amazing art and one of the world's oldest fitness disciplines. Bellydance emphasizes movements of the abdomen and pelvis, and is an ideal way to develop deep abdominal core strength. Passed down fro... more »
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Informative. Educational. Enlightening.
Eden Russell | Provincetown, MA United States | 12/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I pre-ordered this DVD, so naturally I did not have a review to fall back on. I expected to see an energizing, fast-paced routine, a DVD I could put in my drive and get some sweat - after all that's what a workout is! The description made me believe that the excercises will be targeted at specific areas in the body. Eg, if you want to work on your abs, do crunches, etc.
I was more than surprised when upon receiving the DVD on the back cover I saw that the total run was 170 min (almost TWO HOURS AND A HALF!). This already looked unusual for a workout. Once I ran the DVD I understood why.
The DVD comprises of two main parts, Tutorial and Workout. The Tutorial is more than 1.5 straight hours long!
When you play the Tutorial, you see Ayshe alone at first (she is later joined by two of her students). She's probably past her middle ages but an amazing dancer with an impressive technique. Ayshe speaks directly to the camera and explains everything in great detail, which gives you the feeling you're right there with her in the studio. The studio itself is nothing too fancy but the lights are great and everything can be seen very clearly.
Ayshe starts by reviewing the body posture. This is by far the longest and most comprehensive review of the body posture I have ever seen. Ayshe takes her time explaining which body posture is correct and why; how it should feel and how it shouldn't. It's good to remember that Ayshe has a degree in this field, so she is INDEED an expert. There are also pictures shown of the spinal column and the pertinent muscles used. This is truly amazing! Suddenly all becomes clear AND logical. [A lot of teachers can show you how stuff is done but they can't explain why it works]. To put a disclaimer here though, let me say I am licensed as a massage therapist and a part of the training is taking 100 hours of more hours of anatomy and physiology, thus I was aware of the body structures she addressed. In relation to this I do not think she mentioned a very important part of the body posture - keep your shoulders down! Horizontally it's clear where they go but trying your best to do it right, one can bring her shoulders closer to the ears which would compromise the levator scapula and the infraspinatus and lead to stress in the shoulders. So, your chest up and shoulders down. :-)
Ayshe continues with a few excercises to help strenghten the muscles. The issue of safety is addressed at ALL times. Ayshe, aided by her students, shows slowly and meticulously, giving plenty of repetition but don't expect sweating. The tutorial includes more excercises which teach how to fully isolate particular muscles and work on these only. The Psoas is paid a lot of attention in particular. I have to remark here that by the way Ayshe explains it, it looks like the psoas is an anterior (of the front) muscle just like Rectus Abdominis or the obliques but it isn't. At least I got this impression. The excercise she shows is very effective - if done right.
Her whole program actually is like that - you have to listen carefully to her explanations and take your time soaking in the information and exploring. I found using a mirror a very good way to take advantage of her "don't do that" tips. Also, seeing three different body types works great. At the end Ayshe demonstrates pelvic locks/thrusts which are very funny to look at but I can't think of a better way to strenghten the muscles of your lower abs.
The Workout: Ayshe demonstrates a warmup, dance combinations and a full dance followed by a cooldown. As a basis she uses the steps and excercises demonstrated in the Tutorial. This is great because this gives you an opportunity to focus only on isolations first, then to incorporate them all together in a string - in a whole dance.
Do not expect endless shimmies. You will be disappointed. If you need a "buckets of sweat" DVD, try the other one with Ayshe and Blanca - Ultimate workout. THAT one is really vigorous and truly a "workout". This DVD trains precision and safety of movement, thus is quite dissected and you could say, slow.
YOU MAY NOT LIKE THIS DVD IF:
1. You don't care for anatomy or kinesiology.
You don't need to understand how an engine works inside to be able to drive a car. To say figuratively, there are a lot of explanations about the "engine" of the body to utilize its "performance".
2. You want to go down to business without listening to too much explanation.
Ayshe does a lot of speaking. The tuturial, the bigger part of the DVD, feels more like a lecture at times.
3. If you don't have a lasting interest in bellydance or movement anyways.
This DVD is recommended to eveyone else, especially those who:
1. Have a lasting interest in isolations and dance in general.
2. Rely on videos to learn bellydance
3. Experience back pain, while dancing or otherwise.
4. Would like to learn more about the body mechanisms
This DVD is really difference and truly one of a kind. It taught me more about body posture and the mechanism of body isolations than all of my other over 15 DVDs together.
Practical tips: If you're working for a real "drill", you may want to check the Ultimate workout (directed by Jehan)
Sadie has a wonderful Drum Solo DVD and the first part of it is a section with excercises for muscle strenght. Her pelvic locks are absolutely fabulous - the right workout to go with after Ayshe's explanations.
To sum it up - a must-have in every 'serious' bellydancer's collection!"
Begin your abdominal core strengthing!
Seir | USA | 01/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great Abdominal Core Fitness Progam!
This is an excellent learning program. First, the tutorial is detailed, explaining how to identify and learn to use the psoas muscle, thus the inner core muscles used to engage the pelvis. Interestingly the psoas muscle is defined as relating to menstrual and reproductive health as well as the fear and shame of the reproductive cycle if not in proper state. A relaxed psoas is believed to quell fear of intense partum and strengthens the belief that belly dance was used to alleviate the pain associated with childbirth!
Included in this great program is an in depth explanation on the importance of posture in dance and other physical activities, strengthening and using core abdominal muscles, their relative positions in the pelvis and such.
Learn beledi rhythm, 2- step versions, fun, Moroccan folk step, karsh, and arabic twist step. These are fun and easy to learn!
Easy follow along choreography with delightful music; workout with music only or music and narration. Ayshe and dancers are delightful!
Great warm up and also included is a cool down using floor work and yoga related poses.
Perfect for drilling and great for core strength!
Melissa A. Cain | Sarasota, FL | 08/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bellydance videos seem to fit into one of two genres: instructional or performance. The instructional types can be further broken down into those videos that are fitness oriented and those that tend to focus more on bellydance technique. Generally, I prefer the latter as many of the fitness videos are simply routines that implore viewers to do their best to follow along. Often these fitness videos contain little, if any, information on how to do the movements. There is usually very little time spent on actual technique and movement breakdown. Instead, the instructors tend to err more on the side of producing a video that will have their watchers up and moving, even if they are not necessarily moving safely or with proper bellydance form.
Finally there's a bellydance "fitness" video that corrects this issue, providing a fun, sassy "follow along and dance" format while also including enough technical information to make the best instructional videos fear being sent to the bellydance swap pages. Ayshe, seeking to provide dancers with a way to improve their core abdominal strength, has created a DVD that offers viewers three distinct sections. The first includes all aspects of the typical fitness video (warm up, combinations, a dance section featuring the combos, and a cool down) combined with Ayshe's detailed voice-over description. This part of the video is a great bellydance workout as it is designed to specifically target key muscle groups important for technique such as the psoas and glutes. Each section of this "workout" portion could serve as a stand-alone exercise plan on its own, allowing viewers a nice variety of options all wrapped up into one DVD. For those seeking to simply follow along, the second section provides the same format without the narration. This part is in the standard fitness video style, allowing viewers to work at their own pace along with the video.
The third part of Ayshe' creation is, on its own, easily worth the price of the video. Here the instructor reveals her special talent of analyzing and clearly explaining the technical details of each movement. Ayshe spends a lot of time discussing the muscles that drive each move, presenting her information clearly and concisely. I was pleased that, although Ayshe certainly knows her human anatomy, I did not need a medical degree to understand her descriptions. And, in addition to all of this technical stuff, Ayshe shows several short drills with each movement and muscle group, a nice bonus for those of us who desire less to practice combinations to improve our dance and more to simply drill, drill, drill!
A particularly interesting aspect of this video was Ayshe's choice of movements. Rather than include the "standards" that many dancers know and love, Ayshe instead chose to highlight those moves that would improve core strength. Ayshe provides an interesting, diverse selection of movements, many of which are rare to find on instructional video. She even includes several folkloric steps, a nice and unexpected touch for a fitness offering.
I confess that I normally steer clear of bellydance fitness videos, but I can honestly say that I not only enjoyed Ayshe's work but will also actually use it regularly. This video is definitely worth a look and one I'd recommend for everyone's collection."
K. A. Lewinski | Michigan, USA | 09/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've been looking for a video that is both instructional and gives a workout. This one is great! I love the tutorials on all the different moves, and Ayshe does a great job explaining the movements in the instructional part of the video. This is really great for a beginner like me. I also thought the actual workout was great, I was breaking a sweat, but I wasn't about to drop dead at the end (which is great because very strenuous exercise tends to aggrivate migraines for me). I highly recommend this DVD for anyone wanting to get a fun workout."