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Crunch: Yoga Mama--Prenatal Yoga

 Unrated   VHS Tape
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Crunch, a New York-based gym, keeps bringing innovative and hip exercise videos to VCRs across the country. You don't have to be in a metropolitan area to experience cutting-edge fitness trends and formats because Crunch: Yoga Mama delivers an effective (and chic) pre-natal workout that can be done in the comfort of your living room. Instructor (and pregnant woman) Sue Elkind leads this 40-minute workout with concise descriptions and a healthy knowledge of yoga as it relates to pregnancy. The content here provides a workout that is both safe and efficient, with great attention to participants' individual fitness levels. This session is presented with a backdrop class (consisting of women in various stages of their pregnancies) that demonstrates modified and more challenging options to each pose. Pregnant participants may find it more appropriate (and less annoying) to take direction from another pregnant woman rather than an ultra flexible, ultra thin (non-pregnant) instructor. Basic postures within yoga are taught with intensive focus on breathing, flexibility, and the constant connection between mind/body (and mother/child). Some poses are altered to accommodate the roundness of the midsection with constant awareness of spine alignment. Elkind gives special attention to balance as she slowly increases the intensity of postures. After a series of basic poses are performed, Kiegels are practiced (which strengthen the pelvic floor), and meditation closes out the workout. This basic format is friendly for beginners, pre- and post-natal women, or anyone who requires modifications. This safety-conscious video offers a simple, straightforward workout with real potential for increased strength and flexibility. Props needed: a blanket or pillow, a mat, and (especially if you are expecting) a chair. --Olivia Voigts

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent prenatal yoga practice Nov. 18 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Although I wouldn't call this the perfect prenatal yoga practice, it has some distinct strengths over other prenatal yoga videos I've seen. Visibly pregnant Sue Elkind leads a class of about a dozen women of in all stages of pregnancy through a well-chosen series of yoga poses. One woman demonstrates modifications for the less flexible, but most of the women do the program without modification, even in late pregnancy. The instructor talks through each pose, giving special attention to the balance and posture changes of pregnancy and emphasizing the connections between body and mind and mother and baby-to-be. This constant commentary makes the poses easy to follow even when not watching the screen, but may distract from the meditative quality of yoga practice.
Yoga Mama is most appropriate for women with no or limited yoga experience and no exercise constraints. It may also be helpful for intermediate level women in late stages of pregnancy, for tired days, or as the easy part of a rotation of practices. Advanced yoga students, however might find this video frustratingly basic and prefer to develop a personalized yoga practice using books (try Preparing for Birth With Yoga by Janet Balaskas). Women who need greater modification might want to try the Shiva Rea Prenatal Yoga program instead. Props: sticky mat (or carpet), folded blanket, folded towel (for wrist pain), chair (for modifications)
Personal Experience: I used prenatal yoga videos several times a week in addition to prenatal classes in a yoga studio once or twice a week. Although no video can equal a live class, this one captures some of the spirit of practicing yoga in a room full of pregnant women of all shapes and sizes. For home practice, I could choose between Yoga Mama and Shiva Rea's Prenatal Yoga video.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this tape Oct. 4 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I am one week from my baby girl's due date, and have been using this tape throughout my pregnancy. It has been a life saver for me, especially for lower back and hip pain. I like the instructor's encouraging, light-hearted tone, and seeing all the women in various stages of pregnancy. I've enjoyed yoga for about seven years, and I think this tape is appropriate for beginners through at least intermediate yoga students. They show lots of adaptations for different levels of flexibility and comfort, which helps when I'm feeling sore or just lazy. I will probably keep doing this tape even after our baby arrives.
I also have the Shiva Rea tape, which is pretty good. However, I find myself using Yoga Mama much more often, because it's shorter and generally more inspiring. Doing this tape at least twice a week has really helped me stay active and flexible during pregnancy, and I hope it helps during labor! I've even got this tape packed in my bag in case I'm stuck at the hospital for a long time in early labor.
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4.0 out of 5 stars one of the better prenatal yoga videos Sept. 16 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I am 20 weeks pregnant and have been doing yoga for about 3 years, although I haven't been doing it since about week 9 of my pregnancy. I wanted to find a good video that would help me get back into my practice, stretch me out, and strengthen my muscles.
I bought Shiva Rea's Prenatal Yoga video and was annoyed by it. Although I am very familiar with common yoga postures, I couldn't understand what I was supposed to be doing from listening to her, and I had to keep looking at the screen to figure out what she was talking about. Then, as soon as I got into the pose, she would quickly shift to something else, so I never got to hold any pose for more than a few seconds. Annoying. She also drones on at the beginning of the video for a few minutes, which is minimally boring when you want to get started the first time, but REALLY boring when you are doing the tape on a regular basis and you have to fast forward through it every time. Lastly, I felt like I got no workout whatsoever from Shiva Rea's tape, and barely a stretch. Maybe if I had been able to hold the poses a little longer than the split second she allowed... The woman in her third trimester hardly did anything at all.
Crunch Mama was MUCH better. I really liked the teacher. She was straightforward, and best of all, she was actually pregnant! She gave a better selection of poses, a bit more challenging, but still very easy, and I hardly had to even look at what she was doing...she was very descriptive when telling us what moves to do next. I liked the variety of pregnant women in her "class". She had women in all different stages, and they were all doing pretty much the same moves, except for one woman who was demonstrating modified moves for women who wanted to take it really slow.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice and easy, but not exactly a serious workout July 31 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This video is fairly simple and really not too taxing. It's been great for stretching and relaxing, though I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for something that actually feels like a workout. I always feel relaxed and stretched at the end of it, but don't feel as though I necessarily got much of a workout. However, it's great if you're just having a very low energy day but still want to do something. It would probably also be perfect for someone who never really exercised much before they became pregnant and wanted something to start with.
I honestly prefer my FitMama prenatal workout DVD to this video, but that's simply because I feel like I get more out of it than this. However, I still feel that this is a good video as long as you're not expecting much of a workout from it. It has a nice variety of poses and the instructor is fine. My only annoyance with her is the way she appears to be trying not to laugh when she's explaining kegels, but I think that's just because I'd prefer if she'd just explain it as opposed to trying to save our sensibilities. Other than that one instance, I don't find her to be annoying at all, which is a big plus when it comes to any instructional video or DVD.
So as long as you keep in mind that this isn't exactly a serious workout, I would recommend this. But if you're looking for something that feels like more of a workout, there are other prenatal workout DVDs and videos out there that would probably suit better than this one.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay..
I didn't exactly dislike this vid.. It's hard to have a very strong opinion either way. The stretches are okay, she explains it simply enough that you could pretty much do it... Read more
Published on July 20 2007 by J. Yates
5.0 out of 5 stars very easy, great for beginnger
I have been on bed rest off and on throughout my pregnancy and I've lost a lot of my flexibility and strength. Read more
Published on April 26 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite prenatal yoga workout
This is a great tape! I have been doing it for almost my entire pregnancy (I'm in my 8th month) and I love it. Read more
Published on June 24 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy workout with lots of stretching
I have some experience with yoga and I found this video to be very basic. The poses are very easy and the instructor takes a lot of time to explain each move. Read more
Published on May 27 2004 by CanadianMother
1.0 out of 5 stars horrible video, poor quality, poor instruction
Crunch is a neat brand, but they missed it with this prego video. The instruction is poor, the set is dull, and the workout is below average.
Published on May 3 2004 by Alicia Horton
5.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing and fun
I really like this video. It gives you a gentle workout, not too difficult, but still worthwhile. The instructor and all the other women in the video are pregant and they give... Read more
Published on March 1 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Yoga Mama rocks
This is a great video for keeping flexibility during pregnancy. It was very basic but a good relaxing class. Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2004 by Drisana Kane
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tape!
I used a prenatal cardio video to stay in shape with my 1st pregnancy and Crunch Yoga Mama for my 2nd. Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Crunch: Yoga Mama is a gem!
Yoga Mama is such a wonderful video. It's the winning combination of a warm and intelligent teacher and a gentle flowing yoga routine that makes it so. Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2004 by "elliebfit"
1.0 out of 5 stars too slow, hard to do the whole routine
I usually like most yoga style tapes, but if I only have 15-20 minutes of time to work out I cannot do this tape. Read more
Published on Nov. 13 2003 by Samantha
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