Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Prevention Fitness Better Belly Yoga|
Actor: Desiree Bartlett
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
Better Belly Yoga features three 10 minute segments, each one targeted to a different trouble zone the front, back and sides of your waistline. Together, this workout will work your entire core and get you the best belly y... more »
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Alternative Fitness that Works
Ryle Shermatz | Cedar Rapids, IA | 11/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is my second Prevention video; first was the more traditional floorwork -toning "Abs Advantage" with Chris Freytag. I like that one also but as anyone who uses exercise videos knows, you can't stick with the same routine for long. You gotta try something new occasionally just for the sake of variety. I had never done yoga before and thought, well, provided it works my abs, let's give it a shot.
First, full disclosure: I'm a 50 year old male who has been steadily engaged in fitness since '85. I did standard aerobic classes until Feb '06 and since then have been "on my own," doing cardio at the company gym (stairclimber) and garnishing with daily home video workouts of various types. I am heavily habituated to exercise and suppose my primary reasons are health and vanity. Cue up the overlooked-classic Sparks song here, "I Wish I Looked a Little Better" featuring the immortal couplet, "I went to high school and majored in looking real bad, I got a real ugly mom & a real ugly dad"...
As someone who has been male for a half century I can say with some authority that sleek abs are the single attribute we most aspire to, and finding a technique that yields some results is worth reporting. Of course the caveat must always ALWAYS follow that proper nutrition and careful participation are of paramount importance as well, ESPECIALLY for beginners who could indeed hurt themselves painfully by overdoing or carelessly flinging themselves into any exercise video. Exercise is NOT punishment! You will not be able to sustain self inflicted punishment for long! Take it EASY!
Because there is no complex ankle-busting choreography or sense of rhythm needed to do yoga, this could be an excellent place to start for anyone who wishes to "ease into" exercise in the privacy of your own home. Like my other Prevention video, this one is split into bite-sized 10 minute segments so you can get at least SOMETHING in every morning or whenever it's convenient. I STRONGLY encourage you to try to get the full warm-up and all three sections in for the full experience & benefit.
As is true of most exercise videos I've encountered, the competency of the instructor & the production qualities are HIGH. Desiree Bartlett clearly knows yoga & fitness, and understands the need to "talk through" sections to keep you engaged in the workout while your eyes must (frequently) be away from the screen as you move through the poses. Naturally this will be less important as you gain familiarity with the routines, but this is matters A LOT early on, when you're new to the entire practice of yoga (or exercise) and are trying to catch on. As is true of most exercise videos you also have to be prepared to meet the instructor halfway in accepting her oppressively sunny demeanor as genuine (which it usually mostly is). Consider after all, how well motivated would you be to follow an apathetic or surly fitness instructor?
The critical question is always, "does it work"? YES. Despite my years of dedicated grinding away and what surely must pile up to be tens of thousands of crunches, I have never truly achieved the washboard abs that would swoon the fair sex into a daze of erotic supplication. And, well, after only a few weeks of Better Belly Yoga, I still haven't. However, I think this is a DIFFERENT and BETTER approach that has indeed rendered visible results. One tangible consequence of normal aging is a noticeable loss of flexibility, and it's as much of the stretching and holding of poses that appealed to me in yoga as opposed to conventional floorwork and toning.
This to me is important and makes a big difference. Stretching and sustaining the lower back and hamstring stretches--along with the related tendons and ligaments--is in my opinion wildly overlooked in "body sculpting" and training in general. GENTLY reacclimating your body to the suppleness & elasticity you had while growing up will give you the ability to stand, sit, and walk easier, with better posture and generally a better mental attitude--it is all good. But remember as in many other things, the tortoise wins this race-easy does it and only persistence over weeks will get you there. But I CAN promise you that if you stick with this, the rewards you'll (quickly) begin to see will be self-reinforcing and will invigorate your desire to continue and see how far you can go with this.
A couple of gripes. WHY exactly is yoga done in bare feet? I suppose that is just the retained custom as the practice has moved out of India and refined itself since the mid-20th century. This is not something I can adapt to easily especially not with Winter '07 closing in on me. I do not think my experience is diminished by doing the workout in my New Balances. Second: I respect the Indian names for the poses, but give us some print versions so we can properly relay them in print forums. Yeah, I know everything is theoretically a mouse click or two away, but would it be such an effort to throw the spelling of the traditional salutation on the screen, or the chataranga (slow descent to your mat from a push-up position) up for us to fully internalize correctly? No big deal but worth considering the next time the curriculum gets updated.
I am still not widely experienced in the world of exercise video, however with only a couple exceptions, the ones I have purchased have been sufficiently challenging, well produced, and adaptable to users at different levels of experience and fitness. I think the two Prevention videos I've purchased including "Better Belly Yoga" rank especially high in all three categories. I chose to review "Better BellY Yoga" because I think this Eastern approach to fitness really comes at self-improvement from a different perspective that can provide some uniquely fruitful benefits for those of us willing to be receptive. I also would strongly recommend this video to someone totally new to exercise who wants to "ease in" privately but doesn't know where to start. Welcome!
Not for the core workout lover
R. Esposito | Northern Virginia | 12/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I love core work and was very excited about this DVD. Unfortunately the workout did not live up to my expectations.
The production is professional and the instructor is pleasant. The setting is inside a studio and two yoginis show modifications, one for beginners and one for advanced yogis. The workout is well chaptered into three approx. 10 minute sections and one would think they'd make great add-ons... but they don't. That's because not much happens in those 10 minutes. There's a lot of talking and not enough workout. The poses are repeated maybe two or three times and they don't flow together which creates a stop/start feel to each practice.
The instructor usually pauses between poses to explain what's coming next. For that reason this would make a great beginners' practice. But advanced beginners and beyond will probably find it dull. There is one fun pose that I haven't seen before. If I recall correctly, the instructor calls it "bear" and it's a flow from chair to airplane. Unfortunately, that's the only highlight, at least for me.
If you are not an absolute beginner and are looking for a core yoga routine that is challenging and fun then there are much better ones available. Try Sara Ivanhoe's 20 Min Yoga Makeover - Flat Abs from her Yoga Makeover series. Or even Rodney Yee: ABS Yoga for Beginners. They both clock in around 20 minutes. If you're looking for something shorter, then there's Self - Firm Flat Abs Fast. The yoga chapter comes in under 10 minutes and provides a nice little core workout."
Great yoga workout!
M. Moore | TN | 10/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great yoga workout. I am completely new to yoga and really enjoyed the modified workout. The video consists of a warm-up and three 10-minute yoga segments. The first day I got the video, I did all three segments. It is extremely relaxing but the day after you can definitely tell you worked out your stomach! I would highly recommend this product."
Not just for your belly, but also your back
S. McClen | 11/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Three 10 minute segments for yoga moves for your belly. The moves are easy to do - meaning you don't injure yourself. It's also very relaxing. Instructions are given that a person who never did yoga could also follow. If you have back issues, this may help as your back also benefits from the moves."