Actor:Suzanne Deason Genres:Exercise & Fitness Sub-Genres:Pilates Studio:Gaiam Format:DVD - Color DVD Release Date: 04/02/2002 Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2004 Release Year: 2002 Run Time: 3hr 40min Screens: Color Number of Discs: 1 SwapaDVD Credits: 1 Total Copies: 7 Members Wishing: 0 MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated) Languages:English
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"If you are a Pilates fan and you also love ocean scenery, this is one of the best workouts yet! I love the "yoga" atmosphere and Suzanne Deason is actually a yoga instructor who has been teaching for over 25 years. She brings a calming influence and intuitive awareness to the entire workout. You learn to integrate mind, body and breath.
The focus is not only on exercise. This DVD also has a small pamphlet with a nutrition and weight management guide (more a reminder than a complete program). Suzanne's philosophy is to regain a sense of balance and then you can use diet and exercise to help you with your weight loss. We all know that when we are stressed, we munch more and make poor food choices. If you take an hour to exercise each day, you will notice you are eating more salads, drinking more water and basically making better choices because you feel more calm.
You will notice an increased awareness as far as the whole mind/body connection is concerned. You will feel more awareness during the day and the days that follow this workout. It is as if your entire body is more in tune and you have more confidence on all levels.
The scenery is gorgeous and you can truly escape into Maui! Lately, I'm thinking of exercise as a mini vacation for my soul and body. This workout also calms your entire nervous system and gives you an inner calm and confidence on a higher level than most workouts.
First, you are watching just Suzanne sitting near the water and then two friends join her to show you the beginner and intermediate versions of the exercises. Suzanne shows the "challenge" exercises. If you have done any Pilates videos, you can almost be assured you will be able to do the challenge section. I found it warmed my body completely, yet I was not out of breath.
The cueing is excellent and actually, Suzanne is not talking during the exercises, she is talking about what you are doing. It is as if you are just working along with three other students. This approach does take some of her personality out of the workout and yet it made it more personal and calming. So, she is still cueing, but not talking while she is exercising, it is more of a dubbed over approach.
You need: Pilates Mat or Yoga Mat and Pillow.
The workout starts with an excellent "creating awareness" warm up that wakes up all your muscles. If you have chosen to go with the combined workout (recommended at first so you can see what level you enjoy), you can follow the begginer, intermediate or advanced versions or switch between them depending on your level in that particular exercise. You can also chose to just do the partially modified or the fully modified versions. This is more relaxing as you don't' have to listen to instructions for all three versions and you can up the challenge level if you want to go with the advanced versions.
The Exercises: Foot and Angle Work, The Hundred, The Roll-Up, Leg Circles, Single-leg Stretch, Cross-Cross, Hip Circles, Double-leg Stretch, Gentle Spine Twist, Spine Stretch, The Mermaid, The Saw, Quadraped, Swam Preparation, Lower Body Leg Lifts, Swan, Child's Pose, Bridges, Hamstring Stretch, Scissors, Unicycle, Side-leg Lifts, Side-leg Circles, Inner Thigh Lifts, Bicycle, Double-leg Circles, Standing Roll-up, Cat Spine, Arch Curl, Side Stretch, The Hammock.
The exercises were chosen with the idea that larger bodies would be performing them. Amazingly enough, many instructors don't take this into consideration. The pace is perfect and I felt I could do all the exercises without feeling I had to reach some impossible goal.
There is a way to access additional information about a specific exercise when a special icon appears. This is called the "personal instructor" option.
The funniest thing was while doing the "Cat Spine" exercise, my one cat was walking under me, back and forth thinking I must be a cat. It was cute. The exercises were all familiar, yet Suzanne does include some variations I had yet to try. Her Swan was more like a swim and I liked that version more. Her roll-ups don't quite go as far over as I'd like, but with any workout, you can change the exercise if you like another one more. There is more foot/ankle work which is always a good thing because most workouts don't focus on this area at all.
So, you get three workouts on one DVD:
Complete 60-minute Pilates conditioning workout Two 45-minute workout variations to allow you to progress to the next level
Well organized, smooth transitions and comforting environment. Excellent music and ocean scenery was a real plus!
Recommended for Pilates & Yoga fans who love well organized and highly effective workouts.
Also look for:
Gaiam Pilates beginning Mat Workout Gaiam Pilates Intermediate Mat Workout Gaiam A.M and P.M. Pilates Mat Workout
~The Rebecca Review"
My Favorite as a Beginner
Rebecca Johnson | 06/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think that which VHS you prefer depends a lot on your temperment, just as much as
the quality of the workout. For Pliates and Yoga, I prefer straight-forward, calm and
pleasant instruction (nothing intrusive) like that of Suzanne Deason and Alan Finger.
On the other hand, for Aerobics, I prefer more animated instruction (even annoying
Richard Simmons to that of comatose Jane Fonda who is totally devoid of
personality). With that said, this VHS is my favorite of the 5 that I own (Pilates for Dummies-which I also like a lot and which I found to be invaluable for learning the exercises before
moving on to Suzanne Deason's VHS and the 3-SET of Mari Winsor-whom I can't stand-
she talks, actually, yells, incessantly and says little that is useful. She wastes half the time
making stupid comments and her tapes are nothing exceptional). I do recommend "Pilates
for Dummies" before doing this tape, because, if you are brand new to Pilates, I think that
you will be somewhat confused withour prior instruction. This tape is approximately 55 minutes of actual workout time. The first 10 minutes or so are devoted to "Awareness", awakening your muscles with various gentle exercises and easing you into the Workout. You then move on to the "Workout" which is about 40 minutes long. (I prefer a long workout to a 20 minute one) The tape ends with another 5 minutes or so of Yoga to relax you and make your back feel great. After the Bridge, you do the SideStretch and finish with the Hammock. There are 3 women doing 3 variations on each exercise. You follow whichever one you like according to your level of proficiency- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced. Suzanne Deason makes you go slowly into each Pilates exercise (pose), one step at a time, you come out of each one the same way. If you do this properly (abdomen tightened - this is the KEY to reaping the benefits of Pliates) even the setup and easing out are pretty intense for a beginner like me. If I didn't like this VHS so much (as I do with her "Yoga for Weight Conditioning"), I'd give it no stars for lying about the weight loss part. I believe that using weight loss in her titles is a cheap ploy to get people to buy her tapes. That's my only complaint about her and her tapes. DO NOT expect to lose weight from this and DO NOT expect to see immediated results, although, you'll feel results right away. I find this workout to be both relaxing and invigorating, and, I feel great afterwards. I've been doing Pilates for about 6 weeks. I used "Pilates for Dummies" for 2 weeks, then switchewd to this tape. As a beginner, I love it (I do some intermediate and some advanced levels now). I can't say if I'll still find it enjoyable and challenging when I'm more proficient."
Good Learner, Intermediate and Full Posture demonstrations
John A. Jackson | North Brunswick, NJ USA | 06/08/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this DVD after having used the Living Arts Basic Matwork DVD for about 2 months. I purchased Brooke Siler's The Pilates Body book at the same time.The instructor's (Deason) approach to Pilates instruction seems to grow from a Yoga practice. The DVD starts with a 10 minute body-awareness session centering on breathing and movement during the breath. This is good for the overweight and provides a good foundation for the principles the workout is based on. The workout sessions offer 4 workout POV's (beginner, moderate, or full and combined). I can keep up with the moderate but can't keep up with Deason, the full practice model, for the entire session. This is where the fourth view is useful, a longer shot where you can view all postures simultaneously (with some inserted close-ups that keep the camera position from becoming stale). PFW also does more reps of each exercise so this session is longer to perform. Also, some postures have a 'Pilates tutor' section available. In movements where this feature is available a small figure doing 'The Teaser' appears in the lower right corner of the screen. The graphic signals the availability of a section on the disk that explains the posture for those who are new to Pilates. If you are a beginner to Pilates, please view these sections. PLEASE, don't follow the Full practice forms until you've been doing Piltes for a couple of weeks. You could hurt yourself. Better to start slow and stay with it than push to hard and and be sidelined by injury or burn out.By now, you're thinking, 'So why did this guy only give the DVD a 3?' The style of PFW is more Yoga-centric, which is good for some but doesn't really hold my interest. I prefer the more standard instructor-led style of Ana Caban. Also, and I learned this after completing the Siler book, some of the exercices used in the DVD are modifications of actual Pilates mat workout practice. So if authenticity of technique is what you crave, this really isn't the right DVD.Not to say that this isn't a good workout. It is. If you do the exercises as instructed you will feel it the next day. This is as it should be. So much of the Pilates work is isometric, you can always make the workout harder as you get stronger.I would have given this work a 3.5 if I could."
Another review - still love this workout!!
back2workshop | San Jose, CA | 01/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Few people come back to write a second review - I just had to!!
Its now January and since I wrote the review in Oct. I have lost another size using this tape as my core workout 2-3 times a week!! I have been trying many other pilates workouts to find the perfect companion to this one. I can't always get an hour of quality time so I've been looking for a shorter intermediate workout. So far, Denise Austin's - Pilates for Everybody is the best I've found - using the resistence bands adds a new level of challenge. But I still love this tape best!! This program continues to inspires me even months later, has kept me challenged, and still gets results!! I am still losing inches!!
The challenge is entirely in performing the technique correctly. While most of the moves have become easy for me there are some that I am still working to master. Unlike other tapes, the scenic Hawaiian background really does it for me... this program gives me a perfect balance of meditation and exercise!! It has made me feel strong, flexible and relaxed. Still LOVE IT!!"
FIVE MONTHS LATER still LOVE this workout!!
back2workshop | San Jose, CA | 01/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This workout was my intro to pilates and has remained my core workout (2-3 times a week) for many months. I have gone from a size 20 to a 16 with a lo-carb diet and pilates exercise. What I love about this workout...no jumping around, no shoes, no equipment needed - except a very good yoga mat and I do suggest getting the 1 inch thick type!! I had neck surgery and many workouts cause me pain...this workout makes me feel wonderful, strong, flexible, and relaxed!! My abs, legs and hips are shaping up fast, but for the upperbody I need a weekly workout w/ weights. I love the scenic views, the simplicity of the workout, and the meditational benefits of this program but to get the full impact it requires a full hour of concentration (i.e. alone time without interuptions!!)Even months later I still get a very good workout with this program. The pace is perfect for beginners and now I just increase my reps during the instruction portions. I have tried several other pilates workouts looking for the right companion to this but I have yet to enjoy any other pilates workout as much I enjoy this one!!!! Denise Austin, Pilates for Everybody using resistence bands is my second favorite and a good intermediate step after mastering this."