I'd been doing yoga for a year and a half when I decided to switch to Pilates. Previously I did a steady routine using the Yoga Zone home videos in combination with a local weekly yoga class and, though I saw results (legs were stronger, I was much more flexible and my arms looked great), I was impatient and wanted those long, lean muscles NOW. So, for two months I put away my yoga tapes and worked on those muscles and soon realized exactly what yoga had done for my emotional well-being. Without yoga I became irritable, headachy and slightly overwhelmed by my busy life. So, last week out came my trusty old friend "Yoga Zone: Flexibility & Tone". This review is a love letter to my all-time favorite yoga tape (and I've tried quite a few).
Everything about the video, the spartan studio, the low-key music, the slightly pudgy, sweet faced, pleasant voiced instructor Alan Finger, his two beautiful silent assistants, is soothing to me. Not to imply that this tape is a snooze-fest! In fact, it's quite strenuous as my aching muscles can attest after returning to this tape after my two month hiatus. When I finish this routine my mind and body feel refreshed and de-stressed and I always feel like I've done something incredibly good for myself.
The instructor and his assistants lead you through a (roughly) 50 minute routine that stretches and strengthens nearly every muscle in your body using seated stretches, downward dog, cat pose, sun salutations, proud warrior and many other challenging (but not overly difficult) poses. The tape ends with "corpse pose", where I must admit, I usually fall asleep because I'm so relaxed at that point. However, I don't think beginners should start out with this tape without first trying one of the Yoga Zone videos made specifically for the beginner. This tape sometimes flows rather quickly from one pose to the next and it may be confusing and possibly slightly discouraging for the new yoga student especially when you're in a sideways (or upside down) pose and can't get a gander at the tv. But once you've mastered the basics it is very easy to keep up with the instructor's voice cues.
While you may not see overly drastic physical results with this video the emotional results and the flexibility you'll attain can't be beat! I highly recommend my beloved video!