Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Jennifer Kries Hot Body Cool Mind - Level 1|
Actor: Jennifer Kries
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
Welcome to Hot Body Cool Mind, the workout that will change your life! The only workout to combine the Best of Pilates, Yoga,and Dance with all new"Waking Energy" exercise secrets!
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Unique exercise video with a wide variety of workout options
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 01/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a new video by Jennifer Kries, a ballet-trained fitness instructor who is well-known for her The Method Pilates videos. Here, Jennifer takes some elements of her past workouts--ie, combining Pilates and dance--and adds a new element, the concept of Yin (cool) and Yang (hot). Thus, the workout segments on this DVD are designed mainly to relax, energize, or both. There are a total of 7 different workout styles, each of which are Yin or Yang; Jennifer has combined these into 7 premixes, or you can choose to mix and match on your own, which is what I did.
Here is the main menu for the DVD:
*Welcome to Hot Body Cool Mind
*Full Life Force Workout
*Life Force Workout Segments
*Hot Body Cool Mind Workout Combinations
*The Yin Yoga and Meridian Theory Interview
As I mentioned, I didn't try any of the premixed workout combinations, as most were a bit too lengthy for me (2 of the 7 were 30-40 minutes, the remainder were 55 minutes and more, up to 91 minutes). When you select the option for the individual segments, the breakdown is as follows (note: the times are all as given on the DVD insert, and the 5 segments labeled "on the go" are less than 20 minutes each):
*Waking Energy Introduction
*Waking Energy "Before You Begin"
*Waking Energy Sitting (17 minutes) -on the go
*Waking Energy Standing (13 minutes) -on the go
*The 5 Tibetans Introduction
*The 5 Tibetans (9 minutes) -on the go
*Pilates with Introduction (34 minutes)
*Pilates without Introduction
*Yoga (22 minutes)
*Ballet (18 minutes) -on the go
*Jazz (14 minutes) -on the go
*Yin Yoga and Meditation (21 minutes)
Okay, now I will provide my impressions of each of the above:
Waking Energy Sitting. This was a unique seated warm-up based largely on Chi-Gong. Jennifer focuses on awakening chi, or life-force, from rubbing the hands together to actually slapping and punching the body (she provides detailed instruction on this both during the DVD and in the accompanying booklet to insure that it is pleasant). Self-massage is also performed, and Jennifer says that this segment is intended to provide spinal mobilization. Overall, I found it to be pleasant, but that's about it.
Waking Energy Standing. This segment is also based on Chi-Gong as well as Makko-Ho (active meridian stretch). Performed standing, I found it to be more energizing and stretching than the seated version. I think this segment would make a nice wake-up to start the day.
The 5 Tibetans. These 5 exercises are known as the "Rites of Rejuvenation;" they are practiced by Tibetan Monks and are supposed to stimulate the chakra system to provide age-defying benefits. Some of the moves are recognizable from yoga, such as camel pose and down dog, but all are performed in a series of flowing repetitions with breath. The goal is to work up to 21 repetitions, but Jennifer does only 7 of each here. Despite my prior experience with both yoga and the 5 Tibetans themselves, I found it a bit difficult to keep up with Jennifer's fast pace, although she does instruct you to relax with two full breaths between each exercise set.
Pilates. This segment starts with an overview with basic Pilates principles such as breathing and form. This is a must if you are new to Pilates, but if (like me) you have prior Pilates experience, you can go directly to the version without the introduction (about 28 minutes). Jennifer leads a fairly standard mat practice which mostly follows classical Pilates sequencing, although she adds some stretches, decreases the repetitions, shows modifications, and performs only 3 of the series of 5. This is definitely a beginning-level Pilates workout, although I found there to be some good form reminders included.
Yoga. Again, this is a pretty standard vinyasa flow yoga practice. Jennifer begins with sun breaths and then goes into two rounds each of sun salutation A and B. Standing postures include warrior 2, triangle, tree, and wide-legged standing forward bend; seated poses are supine boat, child, table, seated forward bend, and sage twist. The practice finishes with a final down dog and forward bend before rolling up to standing (there is no final relaxation). Although not ideal for someone with no prior yoga experience, this segment would probably be doable after reviewing both the introduction and the practice before attempting them.
Jazz and Ballet. I'm reviewing these two segments together because I found them to be similar as well as my least-favorite aspects of the DVD. Although these two dance styles are intended to provide some cardio, I found both to be too slow-moving to significantly raise my heart rate. I also found it very difficult to follow Jennifer's cueing in both sections: she does not mirror-cue, so it's very easy to get confused left vs. right, and in both workouts, she uses many different ballet terms without explaining ahead of time exactly what these exercises involve. As a result, I needed to watch my television constantly during both segments and had to try very hard to match what Jennifer was doing as closely as possible. She also puts together little combinations; these were a bit easier to follow in the Ballet workout, as in the Jazz workout, you do not even know that you are doing a combination until Jennifer tells you to go back to the beginning. Those who enjoyed Jennifer's dance instruction in her prior The Method series might like these segments, but they didn't click with me at all (and I do generally enjoy dance workouts).
Yin Yoga and Meditation. This is much different from the previous yoga segment: the concept behind yin yoga is to perform just a few yoga poses held for very long periods, up to 15 minutes or more. Jennifer calls this the "un-workout" and talks about how each posture is designed to stretch the meridians of the body (for more on this, you can check out the "Theory Intergration" segment from the main menu, where Jennifer interviews a shiatsu practitioner). Jennifer does NOT hold the postures for the recommended length in this segment; instead, she encourages you to hold the poses longer on your own or to complete approximately 10 breaths here. The postures are performed entirely on the floor and include cobbler's pose, seated forward bend, child's pose (Jennifer recommends performing this between all of the postures but only shows it the one time), wide-leg seated forward bend, thread the needle, reclined twist (aka revolved stomach pose), savasana (relaxation), and final meditation.
In summary, this is generally a very well-done DVD with a variety of practice options. Although the DVD case suggests that the workout is appropriate for all levels, as a high intermediate, I felt that most of the segments were to easy for me. However, a beginner will certainly appreciate the more detailed instruction (in many of the segments, Jennifer talks quite a bit between exercises) and will most likely enjoy the slower pace of the waking energy and dance segments. I think this DVD would be best suited to an advanced beginning exerciser who is interested in trying some of the unique styles presented here.
One final note: according to Jennifer's reps, this Level 1 DVD is subtitled "Embark on the Journey" (Jennifer sometimes uses this name during the workouts, but the name does not appear anywhere on the DVD case). There are two follow-up DVDs planned for release later this year, Level 2, "Harness the Power," and Level 3, "The Life Force Power Workout." The other video that is currently on the market, "Waking Energy" is a stand-alone DVD from this series which includes instruction on "Pilates Toys.""
Empowering Workout for Energy Enhancement
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 02/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jennifer Kries' new workouts combine energy enhancement with elegant exercises to inspire within an environment of emotional healing. The exercises boost your metabolism and tone you all over, but they also heal your spirit and nurture your entire being.
The set is interesting with a circular wood platform set against a horizon with a sunrise or a cloudy sky. The open-air feeling gives the workouts even more energy and freedom. Jennifer Kries gives you all the individual attention you could wish for and unlike "cueing" she actually seems to guide you into a space of total awareness so when she moves, you move and you are completely in tune with everything she is teaching you. This is to me a sign of a master teacher who intuits your every move, takes care of your every concern and knows exactly how to motivate you to reach your highest goals.
The first section explores a unique series of "waking up" exercises which include a gentle tapping of the body with the hands and you can really feel the energy start to move and vibrate through your entire being. This is when you start to massage your feet and awaken your "chi" or life force. "Waking Energy Standing" progresses into a warm-up dance that feels like an all-over body massage from the inside out. Side stretches lead into exciting challenges like the wing tip flex and then move to elegant purposeful exercises.
The 5 Tibetans are the "Rites of Rejuvenation." These exercises remind me of yoga and there is a focus on the breathing and the flow of the motion. I found that a towel on my yoga mat made the exercises comfortable and these timesaving exercises help to balance the charkas.
To correct postural problems, Jennifer Kries leads you through her classic Pilates series and in 34 minutes you have gone through a variety of exercises with an added sense of precision. The invigorating teaser is like a reward for keeping up with your training sessions and rolling like a ball is rather fun. A short side series is also included.
The set is beautiful, but in the Yoga section the beautiful cherry red and black outfits along with the turquoise mats makes this visually stunning. This is a traditional Vinyasa style routine with flowing postures and the integration of breath and movement.
The Jazz section is the most energetic and creative section because it involves a few unique dance steps that are fun to learn. The dance flows with a jazzy sensuality and you can let go and just enjoy your aerobic workout while working your way into a choreographed routine. A classy Ballet routine follows with classic dance exercises to make you feel like a real dancer.
You may want to find a big comfy blanket to put on the floor for the Yin Yoga and Meditation session. This 21-minute segment is perfect if you have been wishing for an extended stretching session. Here you enter into a deeply healing series of stretches that can bring out a variety of emotional reactions as your patience is tested. What this section really does is it allows your body to relax and then stretch while warm. This was exactly what I needed and you may find this is perfect as a daily stretch to increase flexibility.
Hot Body/Cool Mind has 8 exercise routines with 7 variations. When you start the DVD it will progress through all the routines or you can select a specific workout combination:
Hot (Yang) Energizing, Cardio-Pumping Power
Cool (Yin): Calming, Gathering Recharging
Hot (Yang) & Cool (Yin)
Dance to Fitness - both dance routines
The Perfect Balance - Yang and Yin: Pilates, Yoga, Meditation
Original Method Pilates, Yoga and Dance - both dance routines with yoga and pilates
On the Fly - The 5 Tibetans, Short version of Pilates and Jazz dance.
To be honest, I was more than impressed with the individual routines and how they are combined in the individual workout combinations. I've always thought of Jennifer Kries as the Pilates Goddess, but this DVD takes her to the level of Fitness Guru! This workout is spiritual in a subtle way, emotionally healing and physically nurturing.
Instead of depleting your energy, this workout gives you more energy so you can face your day with renewed strength and grace. The deep breathing exercises throughout also give you clarity of mind and gives your skin a healthy glow. I think this is one of the workouts of the future as we all move towards living longer and learning about the invisible dimensions of exercise.
Highly Recommended and Truly Fascinating!
~The Rebecca Review
The whole shebang
dnk | Boston, MA United States | 01/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I've said elsewhere, I am a big fan of Jennifer Kries'. She is one of those people who gets better as I learn more. I've been waiting impatiently for a new set of DVDs for years, and I'm very happy that these long-awaited arrivals were not only as good as what I wanted but actually exceeded my expectations.
Kries is known for her instruction in Pilates, Yoga and Dance. That may be enough for most people, but she added to her teaching with the inclusion of standing and seated qigong- what she refers to here as "Waking Energy" exercise. I have loved the simple but powerful movements of qigong for quite some time, but have had difficulty finding media that motivates me to do the movements. Not that there aren't quite a few offerings, but the mood on them (at least the ones I've seen) tends to be very serious, which I'm not ready for. Kries teaches these simple movements with the gravity they require while also injecting her humor, warmth and approachability that's made her so popular in her other tapes. The Waking Energy segments are far and away what I've used the most thus far, and that's because she's made them so fun. On preview, as with most qigong, they don't look like you're going to get much out of them. I've said before that with these movements you have to believe or want to believe, but Kries' are so effective that maybe they will make you believe. Everytime I do them I feel my energy rising and, shockingly, I also feel quite a bit of work to my glutes. I love these!
These segments are just about a half hour long, with 17 minutes for seated exercises and 13 minutes for standing. The next segment is the 5 Tibetans, five yoga sequences that, she says, are supposed to mimic the rotation of the earth. These hit all of the major muscle groups, including the abdominals. Although later tapes will build up to 21 repetitions, these are only done for 7 repetitions and hence only take about 9 minutes. Still, they can be very powerful, and you'll be sure to feel your triceps and buttocks muscles.
A high beginner/low intermedite Pilates matwork segment is also included that clocks in at about 34 minutes (25 or so if you don't need the initial setup). I've been practicing (and sometimes teaching) Pilates for years, so the level of instruction provided is a little long for me and it's unlikely that I'll use this segment very often. However, the instruction is excellent and I recommend it for those who haven't been doing Pilates for very long.
One of my favorite segments from her last series is the Total Body Conditioning from Three Dimensional Toning, which combined jazz, ballet and yoga and clocked in at about thirty minutes. The Vinyasa Yoga, Jazz and Ballet on this DVD can be seen as an extended version of that segment. The yoga is about 28 minutes, the jazz 18 and the ballet 14, totaling just about an hour. Kries offers a little more balancing and work for the legs in the yoga, and offers more movement and choreography in the dance sections. I like to move, but my choreography skills are limited, so this was great for me. I felt my heart rate go up and my muscles working. If I can tear myself away from the Waking Energy sections, I see myself using these a lot.
The last exercise segment is Yin Yoga. This is about 21 minutes long and includes 6 asanas which, as I understand, is short by Yin Yoga standards. There is much less emphasis on precision and more, as Kries puts it, on surrender. These positions, which emphasize forward bending, are held for about two minutes, but she implies that the next tapes in her series will feature longer holds. As they are, the postures are soothing and opening, but I look forward to more.
In addition to the movement segments, Kries offers introductions for the yoga and Waking Energy segments as well as an extensive interview with a practioner of shiatsu and (I believe) Chinese medicine to explain the theory of meridians and yin yang energy. Everything offered on this DVD seems to be thoroughly thought out- nothing seems last minutely thrown together.
It should be noted that these are *not* fusion workouts; each segment is a distinct discipline, and nothing is integrated into each other. I like fusion and I hope to see more of that from Kries, but these are wonderful and valuable in their own right.
I will be using this tape for quite some time, and I'm very excited about her follow up releases."
Get your money's worth for a 3 hour mind/body workout
Lena, LMT | Nassau, NY | 03/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dr. Beth Cholette & Rebecca Johnson wrote great reviews that I agree with almost 100%
Jennifer Kries really knows what the mainstream consumer is ready for, though mind/body workouts have been around, she knows the average person is ready for it especially with such beautiful production & graceful backup assistants.
The way she speaks to the camera says she aims this DVD in particular for those who are new at yoga, pilates & Qi Gong & those who are out of shape & inflexible. She encourages modifications & taking breaks.
The production (sound, lighting, etc.) is practically high-budget movie quality. The backup dancers are very poised themselves. Jennifer's cueing can be a bit late. She gives a lot of info which is very helpful, but after a few viewings, you will wish there was a limited cuing. While Jennifer is very knowledgeable, has great body awareness, gives great clues, I think it's only she talks/stops too much in between moves/poses, and her voice is more berating then explaining/calm. This might stress one out, and turn many off. This tone is in conflict with the twinkling light music & a faster tempo music w/more bass would help.
Sitting & standing waking energy - is great, though its a bit of a watered-down version. If you enjoy it, check out Discovering Chi or Tantric Toning for a less watered down workout type of Qi Gong exercises that will really make you feel your energy until you hum with it.
5 Tibetans - I enjoyed here greatly. They are done at a fast pace to get them done in a short amount of time. Simply Spoga & Spoga also does them well with a great positiveness but slower pace.
Pilates & yoga - was done nicely, again, a lot of helpful information & though that requires a lot of stopping & talking & the pace is slow & relaxed.
Jazz - I agree with was very slow paced, a lot of good stretching, but the music was way too light & meditative so I had trouble forcing myself to finish it. The moves themselves are Broadway style.
Ballet - was better, but like other reviews said, she & her backup don't mirror & she gives too much info on easy steps but not enough for the more complicated ones at the end.
Yin yoga - is well done, she talks while you hold stretches for several minutes, but I wish more poses were done.
All in all, the concept of this dvd is great & will be great for beginners or those slightly or totally out of shape. Those that are already experienced or own DVDs in the above areas can skip this. Those who are sensitive to the vibes of the instructors will not find Jennifer's personality positive or calming & may make doing the workout more difficult. If so, you are not missing anything here other then the great production value & amount of content. There are plenty of other yoga, QiGong, pilates, ballet dance dvds out there.
Video clips for this, and some of her other dvds: collagevideo com"