Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Combining Pilates Yoga for Balance|
Actor: Tom McCook
Director: Tom Borden;Tom McCook
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
All the benefits of Pilates and Yoga in one invigorating workout! Your health is in your hands. The answers are in your body. Follow the flowing movements of this complete and energizing workout and gain greater flexibil... more »
Nice Pilates/yoga blend for experienced beginners and above
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 12/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD by Pilates/yoga instructor Tom McCook offers a Pilates mat workout which moves into a series of flowing yoga postures. The "for Balance" part of the title seems to refer to a balance between the two disciplines, as the practice does not focus on balance poses. The main menu is as follows: Introduction, 3 minutes (brief overview by Tom); Basics, 6 minutes (review of Pilates breathing and other principles); Flow Practice, 45 minutes. Tom teaches via voiceover with no music.
Tom begins the practice with Pilates. Starting in a standing position, he performs several warm-ups, including roll downs and side bends. He then moves into a lunge with chest stretch and extends the lunge to a partial split. Transitioning to a lying position, he moves the knees from side to side and performs toe touches before beginning a more traditional Pilates mat series. Exercises here include the hundred, roll ups, leg circles, the series of five (skipping the double straight leg stretch), spine stretch forward, saw, open leg rocker, flight, swan, one leg bow stretch, elbow plank/side elbow plank, child's pose, and shoulder stretch (variation of dolphin pose). He then performs down dog as a transition into the yoga segment.
The yoga portion of the practice begins with sun salutations: Tom leads 3 repetitions of sun sal A and two rounds of sun sal B, emphasizing smoothing out the breath the entire time. He then moves into a standing series consisting of triangle, warrior 2, and extended side stretch, alternating sides for each posture. He completes the standing work with a wide leg forward bend (adding a shoulder stretch) and prayer twist (shown on the DVD cover). Next, he transitions to seated for head to knee pose (starting with a bended knee to keep the back straight, which was helpful), attempting a brief arm balance before going to the other side. After this is a half spinal twist, with Tom showing progressively more challenging options. Moving to supine, he performs bridge, offering the option of repeating this easy backbend or trying upward bow. He then stretches out the lower body with thread the needle and a seated side bend before moving into savasana, where he offers total silence for about 3 minutes.
I clocked the total time for the practice at about 46.5 minutes, which was evenly split between the Pilates and yoga portions (ie, approximately 23 minutes each). Occasionally throughout the workout, insets appear at the top of the screen showing modifications of the current movement. During the Pilates segment, Tom transitions rather quickly between the exercises, and since he provides little instructional information, prior familiarity with Pilates is definitely needed. However, Tom does offer preps for some of the exericses--eg, a seated cross-leg twist before moving into saw and prepatory balance work before doing the full open leg rocker. The yoga section flows at a more measured pace, but again, Tom gives almost no cueing on form, so prior knowledge of basic yoga postures is essential.
Overall, this is a nice practice for advanced beginner to intermediate practitioners who enjoy both Pilates and yoga and are interested in combining the two into a single session."
Intermediate to Advanced Challenge
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 10/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tom McCook presents a fairly serious workout with a nice flowing style. Before trying these exercises it might be best to have a basic knowledge of Yoga and Pilates. The pacing during the sun salutations is rapid and the exercises required a great deal of upper arm strength.
The first half of the routine is Pilates where you may recognize Sit Ups, The Hundred, Roll Up, Rolling like a Ball, Single Leg Stretch, Double Leg Stretch, Scissors, Saw, Open Leg Rocker and a complete Swan (no preparation it is the full exercise).
Tom McCook transitions into Cat/Cow and then into Sun Salutation A and Sun Salutation B. During the Yoga segment you will be moving through Downward Facing Dog, Plank, Triangle, Chair and Bridge. Each posture is held just as long as needed to feel the burn. By doing Yoga right after Pilates you may notice that you feel very calm and centered after the workout.
Overall I felt I had an excellent workout and can recommend this highly to anyone who is intermediate to advanced. Beginners may become frustrated with the lack of detailed instruction and the rapid transitions from standing to the floor and back again in the sun salutations.
~The Rebecca Review