Yoga Now begins with yoga-cardio fusion: fat burning cardio workout techniques plus the power of yoga to create lean muscle and a healthy sense of self. Plus, it includes the tools you need to keep achieving success... more » on any busy schedule. This is the system you can realistically follow every day of your life. 20 year practicioner and actress Mariel Hemingway and acclaimed yoga expert Rodney Yee have combined the best of yoga, cardio and nutrition in Yoga Now, a system anyone can do. This is America's yoga, totally demystified for the comfort and confidence youneed to stick withthe program. Youll even find special viewing options that keep up with your skills: one focused on using simple yoga tools to make poses easier to achieve, plus three segment you can view with verbal instruction once you are familiar witht the sequences. You don't have to turn yourself into a pretzle to make it work and you don't ahave to deprive your self to loose weight with Yoga Now. With four complete yoga practices and tools that give you the support and inspiration you need every day, Yoga Now makes it easy to succeed at unveiling your true yoga-fit body. Recommit to being true to you.« less
"Yoga Now is billed as a comprehensive exercise program which combines the benefits of yoga with cardio for weight loss. Included in this 3-DVD set are a 30 minute core workourt, a 50 minute accelerated workout, and 2 10 minute workouts, the a.m. energizer and the p.m. destresser. The practices are led by internationally-known yogi Rodney Yee and actress Mariel Hemingway, a long-time yoga practitioner.
I began with the 30 minute workout. Here Rodney and Mariel teach via live instruction a class of three students (one of whom is Rodney's girlfriend, yoga instructor Colleen Staidman). The practice starts in a reclined position and focuses on breathing, then moves into stretches/core work including a reclined leg stretch, nose to knee, abdominals, and twists; a kneeling cat/cow sequence follows. Next, you transition to standing, where you perform the three "cardio" moves. The first is a full body arm swing performed with bent legs (fans of Callanetics will recognize this as one of her warm-up stretches). Next comes a small hop move, with your arms swinging in front of you and your feet barely leaving the floor. Finally, you will get down into a lunge position and quickly move from one leg to the other; this was the most strenuous of the three. The standing postures included down dog, modified side angle, and a vinyasa series (down dog to plank to cobra/up dog), and the practice finishes with a quick cobbler's and relaxation poses.
I found the 50 minute accelerated practice to be almost identical to the 30 minute, with only a few key differences: 1) Rodney and Mariel instruct via voiceover here, and 2) the cardio moves are repeated more frequently, and similarly, there are more frequent vinyasa series between each of the poses. The opening floor sequence is virtually the same as the 30 minute practice. Once you reach a standing position, you will do the arm swings and hops followed by a vinyasa, then triangle, chair pose, and another sequence of arm swings and hops. After another vinyasa, you will do modified side angle, the arm swings, warrior 1, and then the lunges. After returning to the arm swings and the hops followed by a vinyasa, you add warrior 2. In a seated position, you perform a twist and a 1-legged forward bend; the practice ends with relaxation and a final seated meditation.
The a.m. practice is led by Mariel alone instructing via voiceover. She begins in staff pose, and she repeatedly emphasizes lengthening the waist. She performs simple twists and a cat/cow series, and then she goes into all three cardio moves. Standing poses include only down dog and warrior 2, and the practice ends in mountain pose. Rodney leads the p.m. practice, also via voiceover. This practice concentrates on a series of seated forward bends performed using a chair (you rest your arms and head on the chair). There is also a reclined leg stretch using a strap and a nice relaxation pose with your legs on the chair to finish. This set includes bonus materials as well, the best of which is a pose chart featuring clear, colorful illustrations of Mariel performing all of the featured postures (broken down into sun saluations, seated poses, standing poses, supine poses, and poses with the chair). There is also a daily journal allowing you to record your progress, a nutrition plan (includes a "core food" guide, serving information, meal plans, and a grocery list), and a 2-week quick start meal plan.
To my surprise, I found these workouts to be fairly enjoyable; Rodney and Mariel have a nice chemistry, and they worked well together, particularly when teaching live. However, I definitely did NOT feel that the "cardio" moves included in these workouts were enough to provide any real aerobic benefit, and thus I don't see how anyone could lose weight with these videos (other than perhaps those who were completely sedentary to begin with). I enjoyed the 10 minute practices the best; in the a.m. practice, the cardio moves do work well both to get the blood flowing and to wake up the body, and the p.m. practice was genuinely relaxing. I also thought that the 30-minute core workout was a nice, basic level level yoga practice; again, the cardio moves helped to energize the body here. The 50 minute workout was my least favorite, as I found it to be too repetitive.
On the whole, this set was too easy for me, as I have been practicing yoga for several years now and consider myself to be at about an intermediate level. I think that these workouts would be best suited to someone who has tried yoga before and has found it to be too slow or "boring" but who would also find "power" yoga to be too strenuous--Yoga Now bridges that gap, providing a different kind of energizing practice for yoga beginners."
FUN & SURPRISINGLY EFFECTIVE
J. S. WILLARD | CHARLESTON, SC USA | 08/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"i've had this set for several months and i still use it 2-3x's a week. the "cardio" portion involves arm swings (fun & provide some toning), lunges (get the heart rate up) & little hops. this would be do-able for a beginner to advanced. mariel proves to be a great teacher and she has great chemistry with rodney yee. my only kaveat is that i wish there were more core work and some hip openers. this would be a good addition to a current practice but i don't think i would rely soley on this. overall a good solid package."
A new favorite!
C. Martin | Georgia | 10/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had been looking for a while for a yoga DVD that offered Rodney Yee's expertise with a class setting. I have all of Yee's DVDs and most of them are filmed outdoors (which is lovely and soothing) but this one is filmed indoors with a class setting. Mariel is a great yoga instructor too and her 20 plus years of yoga experience really shows. I like this because it is a good workout but it really makes you feel like you are part of the class too. A nice plus...if you enjoy the music in the other Gaiam yoga DVDs you will be happy to know that the music in Yoga Now is very similar. This is a very good DVD and one I believe I will enjoy for a long time."
Love this set!
Dani T | DC Metro | 12/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first tried these workouts when my niece got them for Christmas. I had already done Rodney Yee's Yoga Burn that morning, but when she opened these, we decided to try the 30 minute workout. We had such a great time that we decided to do all the DVDs in the set!
The 30 minute and 50 minute workouts are similar, but because of the added vinyasas in the 50 minute workout, it does give a better upper body workout than the 30 minute. I think the intention is for a beginner to start with the 30 minute workout and work his or her way up to the 50 minute workout.
The 10 minute morning and evening practices are wonderful for adding on to a morning or evening workout. The evening practice is also great just to help you unwind from a long day.
I bought my own set the very next day, and have done two of the workouts since then! These are potentially addictive!
Overall, this set fun and unique, and is effective without being too challenging. I love Rodney Yee, and Mariel's presence is very enjoyable. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this set to everyone, especially people who are new to yoga! "
Great chemistry, relaxed comentary/voiceover, less poses
Lena, LMT | Nassau, NY | 12/24/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I started with Rodney Yee years ago when he first was on Oprah & yoga was really first mainstream. I still love his style along with Rainbeau Mars, Wai Lana, Seane Corn, Shiva Rea & only a few others. I only rented from the library the 30 min core & 50 min. accelerated style. There are so many mountain poses, swing the arms to relax the shoulders & little hops, that I started FFwing through those & saw there were only a few poses & some done several times (like chair/powerful pose which I DO love, great to help standing fwd bends) that I was a bit disappointed. Dr. Beth wrote a great review stating the poses done. Many poses were held a good length of time while Rodney & Mariel talked about how great the pose feels, how to get into it deeper, what to watch out for & even little cute comments like Rodney saying, "See how much my legs are tightly clenched? You can see I was really feeling it." I enjoyed Mariel's & Rodney's lighthearted talking either each taking turns pointing things out during the 30 min workout or as a voice over on the 50 min. It would be great for those days I don't feel I can relax to a quiet/silent yoga workout, I just wish it didn't have so much arm swinging & little hops.
You can see a nice trailer for each of the 4 dvds at the distributor's site: gaiam"