Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
Studio: Gaiam Americas Release Date: 06/07/2005 Rating: Nr
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Missy B. (missindependent) from S WILLIAMSPRT, PA
Reviewed on 6/26/2009...
I really like this workout for some added "umph" to a regular yoga workout. I would not do just a regular yoga workout but love adding the weights.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Yoga made tougher with hand weights.
Erik Olson | Ridgefield, WA United States | 08/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I scan the top-selling exercise DVDs on Amazon just about every day for good workouts. "Iron Yoga" intrigued me because it had been high on the list for a long time without any reviews (that has since changed). The concept of using hand weights with Yoga looked appealing, since I'm keen on building and maintaining muscular strength with low-impact exercises. Plus it seemed like a good way to shake up my normal Yoga routine. So I got tired of waiting for reviews and decided to try "Iron Yoga" out. It was worth the risk.
The entire workout takes about 55 minutes, including warm-up and cool down. You can do the whole thing, or break it down by chapters. There's also a bonus Yoga rejuvenation and relaxation session separate from the main workout (no weights needed). I found out on the DVD extras that the instructor (Anthony Carillo) created Iron Yoga as part of his training for Iron Man Triathlons (maybe that should tell you something). Mr. Carillo calls well, with a calm and non-threatening demeanor. There are two female assistants on each side of him. The one on his left demonstrates beginner's modifications, while the one on his right does the intermediate versions. He leads the advanced poses. I found that to be a pretty helpful configuration, since by looking at the appropriate person I could easily move into a less difficult pose (or go back into a harder one).
The hand weights are incorporated within a pose by using them in conjunction with Yoga breathing. For example, while holding a pose you would breathe in through the nose, and at the same time do the first part of a bicep curl (contracting the arm). Then, while breathing out through the nose, you would do the second half of the curl (extending the arm). Holding the contraction while breathing is done as well, and various exercises are combined to work the entire upper body. Proper breathing, technique and focus are continually emphasized by the instructor. There are also salutations done without weights, featuring Downward Facing Dog, Plank, and Upward Dog positions. No ankle weights are used, so at first I was worried about neglecting the lower body. But I needn't have been concerned, because holding a pose while manipulating two three-pound hand weights works the legs quite nicely.
Even at the easiest level, it's still a tough workout. The hardest part is trying to correctly utilize the weights while maintaining good Yoga form, especially during balancing poses like Tree, Eagle, and Warrior 3. I'd start out with the hard version, but eventually had to slip into the intermediate and then beginning poses as time wore on and muscle fatigue increased. I really had to concentrate in order to use the weights without falling over. But I wasn't discouraged, since the challenge meant that this is a workout I can grow into.
The only disappointment was the very short abs section (something like one boat pose). The abs do get worked as a byproduct of the routine, but you may have to incorporate your own stomach work if you like a lot of specific midsection exercises. Also, I recommend using neoprene-coated weights (the instructor says one to five pounds is best). They conform to the hand better than metal-handled weights, and the neoprene makes them easier to grip when sweaty (you *will* sweat during this workout). If you like your Yoga more contemplative, feel that manipulating your own body weight is adequate, or struggle with balance due to physical issues, then this workout may not be for you. But I recommend "Iron Yoga" if you want to add some low-impact strength training to your Yoga routine.
G. B. Brown | Salt Lake City, UT USA | 01/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been doing some really high impact workouts - weights and resistance bands. The kind of workouts that leave you exhausted, sweaty and sore. This is the equal of any of them.
The combination of balance and weight training is amazing. If you're looking for one of those body blasting aerobic workouts, this isn't it. If you want a great full body workout to invigorate, strenghten and build lean muscles, this is the one.
I don't recommend just jumping in and starting. Do the routines without weights a couple times, build up to it then add weights and work up to the moderate, then advanced poses."
Little Miss Cutey | Melbourne, Australia | 09/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is just like traditional yoga but there is a twist - you use light dumbbells. This adds to the already toning effect that yoga has on you. They use very controlled movements making you aware of every breath you take and awareness of your body. Because of the weights, it's really very challenging, but hey - everyone needs to challenge themselves every now and then right? This is tough but there are great results in store if you use this often."