Yoga has been one of my greatest teachers. I'm middle aged, fairly flexible, and have been doing other forms of yoga for years, yet I had never focused on my *abs*. Due to medical problems, I had never really worked this mid-section of my body, and they were terribly out of shape. Yet for years, I have done a great deal of yoga to strengthen my back, and I have the flexibility of a MUCH younger person due to yoga.
Yoga is never really about spot-training any individual part of the body. It views the body as an integrated whole, movement connected to breath, with an awareness that is often absent in other popular forms of exercise. Moving into the postures -the asanas - brings centering and balance to your movement, serenity and peacefulness to your state of mind.
Rodney Yee's *Yoga For Abs* lives up to the best in the Iyengar yoga tradition. He begins this workout with an emphasis upon the breath, connecting the breath to the center of the body, where all the movements in this video originate. There is a quiet, meditative warm-up focused on breathing, which lasts about 4 minutes. Then follows the more intense, yet still quiet, part of the workout, which lasts about 12 minutes. No pumping here! Most of the video is done on the floor, lying down, with many legs lifts and Yee again emphasizing the breath. The most difficult asanas for me are the variations of the *bow pose*, and I must do a modification, as I am not yet strong enough to do these.Read more ›
The workout begins in a seated position and focuses on breathing, then moves on to hands and knees for a back stretch (Cat pose). The majority of the workout is performed lying on your back, where you will do simple yet challenging leg extensions and twists to challenge the abdominal area. After a quick rise to a standing position, the workout returns to the floor to end with lying relaxation poses.
The moves become gradually more difficult, but I think that most beginners will be able to perform the majority of this workout. I believe that this workout has helped me to developed stronger abs (though I haven't seen the miracle-like results that other reviewers have mentioned). Rodney Yee is a wonderful instructor--he has a calming voice, his instructions are clear and precise, and he is not overly "new age-y." I would definitely recommend this tape for anyone looking to exercise their abs without doing crunches for a change.
When I fist started yoga I found some of the poses too taxing for my back (so I skipped or modified them). Read more
I'll stick to crunches. Read more