"This is one of my favorite yoga workouts ever. The DVD is split into two sections - Yoga Strength and Yoga Stretch. The first section is a 30 minute power yoga routine that completely revamps traditional vinyasas creating an incredibly creative, fun, and challenging workout that flows like mad. Karen warms you up with downward dog and plank postures before transitioning into a modified forward bend, back extension, and chair pose series. This mini sun salutation segment flows into standing splits, lunges, and side plank work. Karen then moves into an inventive warrior and triangle pose series that gracefully incorporates back bends and shoulder stretches all while actively demonstrating the use of yoga blocks to ensure proper form. The segment ends with one balancing pose (dancers), some ab work in boat pose, and a relaxing bridge.
My complaints about the power yoga segment are few but worth noting. While I appreciate Karen's incorporation of yoga blocks (she and her yoga partner both use them throughout the workout rather than relegating them to their accustomed role as modifiers) anyone with yoga experience (and this is NOT a workout for beginners) will find them a bit excessive. I love the assistance of a yoga block when doing reverse triangle but I can go a lot deeper and get more out of regular triangle without one. I also wish Karen did more balancing and back bend work. Because of their lack I alternate this workout with more traditional/spiritual practices to balance my body. Nonetheless, I reach for this yoga workout more than any other I have because it remains motivating and entertaining even after doing it for 4 or 5 years.
The yoga stretch segment is 25 minutes (the DVD menu claims its 20 minutes long) of intense stretching done on the floor. I love this calming workout. While many of the stretches are yoga based or inspired this is really more of a pure stretch routine than a yoga practice. Karen does some stretches I've never seen before like an incredibly intense and effective quadriceps stretch and a shoulder stretch that targets right below the shoulder blade, exactly where I seem to store all my tension. When you complete this workout your entire body feels soothed and relaxed, a bit like jello. It's hard to convince yourself to stand back up and not go right to sleep.
I often do the stretch routine independently when I feel I need an extended cool down after an intensive workout or I'm just a bit tight or stressed. However, my favorite use of this DVD is to begin a workout with the Yoga Strength segment, then do my cardio/strength training for the day, and wrap up with Yoga Stretch. I feel quite accomplished when done.
I highly recommend this DVD for those interested in a new twist on yoga or for those who find themselves impatient with the meditative and spiritual aspects of traditional yoga. IF YOU ARE NEW TO YOGA DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS WORKOUT!! You'll probably hurt yourself (particularly your wrists in the many plank poses) if you do not yet have the strength and flexibility yoga develops and power yoga requires. Karen's Yoga Sculpt is a less vigorous power yoga workout and is probably a better bet for beginners though I would still not recommend attempting it if you are not physically fit."
Satisfying yoga practice
dnk | Boston, MA United States | 06/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In addition to being an excellent "fitness" instructor, Karen Voight is also a clear and competent yoga instructor. This practice (which is also included in Sleek/Slim Physique), is broken into two sections, as has been mentioned by other reviewers. Yoga Strength is thirty minutes of challenging standing and floor postures. While the practice "flows", I woulnd't call it vinyasa or a power practice (and that's just fine- there are certainly enough of those out on the market). The speed is very controlled and she takes time out on a few postures to make sure viewers have the proper set up. A lack of traditional sun salutations does not, however, make this a walk in the park. Voight has enough planks, side planks, hovers, warriors and their variants (including a dreaded Warrior 1 where you extend your chest over your thighs- very tough), and her usual challenging yoga abwork that you should work up a sweat.
Yoga Stretch, the next 25 minutes, complements Strength very nicely. It's one of my favorite practices, in part because it's one of the few yoga releases out there that is straight up stretch- little or no strength stuck in. On its own merits, it's very satisfying. She begins with the upper body and then works her way down through the rest of the body, thoroughly stretching hamstrings, quads, chest, triceps, back, hips and buttocks. She also uses many variations I hadn't previously seen, particularly for the quads. Most participants should feel thoroughly stretched out and relaxed after completing this.
The fact that you can get two complete and complementary practices on one DVD in 55 minutes is another plus. Recommended for time-crunched yoga practitioners who don't want to sacrifice quality."
Better Bring Your "A" Game
N. Privette | Wake Forest, NC, USA | 08/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Karen Voight does NOT PLAY AROUND. If you're looking for an easy breezy feel-good yoga experience, look elsewhere. This workout will kick your everlovin' behind. If you're not already pretty flexible and in pretty good shape, you might want to save this video until you are. If you think you're up for the challenge, prepare to get a great workout that will have you sweating even as you're being perfectly still. If you can do all of these poses half as fluidly as she can, you'll get seriously toned up and improve your flexibility. Oh, and Karen Voight's amazingly long and lovely body is great inspiration for those of us who need a little inspiration through all the huffing and puffing. Let's just say that "Yoga Power" is a workout that I'm working toward."
Gorgeous music for stretching & good toning w/yoga poses wo
Lena, LMT | Nassau, NY | 10/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone wrote great reviews already. Karen's teaching is more of an aerobics style... she only talks about muscles, how it's stretched or being strengthened & uses only anatomy terms. If you're looking for mind/body, you won't find it here. The Yoga Stretch 20 min - it's just her & another woman on a simple stage. What I LOVE is the Engima style music (Shanay Mystic Trance" by Shastro) that's got a good beat too keep you going & interested, but light enough to not distract from her teaching. It has yoga poses, great shoulder & leg openers I don't normally see, but it's not a flowing style. It still stretches you out well & does flow in terms of what muscles should be stretched next. Starts with simple shoulder stretch behind the back, hip opener stretches, sitting wide angle single leg side bends, sitting wide angle bend, sitting fwd bend both & single legs, twisted sage pose, bound sitting pose & ends w/reclined simple spinal twist. Yoga Strength 30 min - same set, no carpet, has a lot of sun salutations mostly a lot of downward dog & upward dog at first, then emphasis on repeated chair pose, then side plank, 1 leg downward dog & warrior 1 repeated, triangle, half moon, standing wide leg fwd bend, pyramid (hamstring stretch), revolved triangle, dancer's, boat w/added pilates leg lifts, bridge & ends with knee to chest stretch. The yoga That it has a powerful 30 min with a diff kind of sun salutations, etc. with great hip openers & poses I don't normally see on my other 30 power or vinyasa yoga dvds. Her teaching is perfect, not hurried, not too slow, not too detailed, nor not too quiet. Her pace is slow, but you always know because it's harder to go in & out of poses slower & the challenge is to do it as graceful & as much body awareness as possible. This will really challenge many people, even I had to hit the pause button a few times, but that's what a DVD is for.
You can see a trailer of this & some of her other titles at collagevideo com"
Karen Voight: Yoga Power
Chris Bar | 03/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just recieved this yoga dvd and I love it. There are many poses that just aren't in other yoga dvd's. The flow of this workout is smooth and offers a strong routine. I would highly recomend this to anyone who already has a background in yoga and is looking for a great workout."