Yoga Weight Loss for Dummies
Now you can experience all the traditional benefits of yoga — such as balance, flexibility, and strength — with an added calorie-burning advantage! This unique approach to yoga utilizes all the well-known yoga postures but blends them into a smooth, flowing sequence so that you’re moving continuously.This dynamic movement increases your heartrate and causes the body to heat up and burn extra calories, yet the workout always remains gentle and easy-to-follow. Yoga Weight-Loss Workout For Dummies offers step-by-step instruction for both standing and mat exercises and includes useful modifications so that you can move at your own pace and level. You can build stamina, strength, and flexibility while you burn extra calories. After you work out with this program, you’ll feel like you’ve done something extraordinary for yourself . . . and you have!
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The workout is about 37 minutes long and starts with a "warmup". You start with Mountain, then progress into a mini-vinyasa of Cat/Cow (standing), Sunflower (first bending straight, then to each side), Sun God/Sunflower, twisting Forward Bends, and then finally Mountain/Chair/Tree. These are done at least four times, and in some cases eight. You don't stay in most postures for more than one breath (sometimes just one inhale or exhale), so the postures really do start to get your heartrate up. Then Freytag moves onto a variation of the Sun Salutation (using Cobra instead of Upward Dog), a Warrior vinyasa (Warrior 1, 2 and 3) and ends the standing portion with an Extended Angle vinyasa (beginning in Warrior 2, then moving to Extended Angle, then circling the arm). Again, these are repeated at least 4 times, sometimes for 2 "sets". Although there is some bending at the waist (bringing your head below your heart, which is contraindicated when you significantly raise your heartrate), there isn't nearly as much as in, say, the 5 Sun Salutations you might do in a traditional Ashtanga or Power Yoga release. Therefore my heart rate climbed, but I didn't feel dizziness.
We next move onto the mat for alternating Cat (opposing arm/leg extension on all fours), modified Side Plank (knee on the floor), and then Side Plank (knee lifted, but you're encouraged to keep the knee down if you need to). Next vinyasa is Plank to One-Legged Dog. Then it's down all the way to the mat for Lying Boat alternating with Heel Lifts. A welcome Lying Twist is next, then reverse Curls (sort of like a half-Rolldown from Pilates) alternated with Boat and next Bridge alternated with Bicycle. Finally, the cooldown begins with Dead Bug and then Corpse/Cobbler (lying down with heels together, knees apart). Then up for a final breath and Namaste, and closing words.
As I said, this practice does elevate the heartrate. However, the approach here is to do multiple repetitions of simple postures at a fast-pace rather than to hold challenging postures for multiple breaths. It's still "yoga", but if you prefer postures that are held for a long time, this is not for you. Also, the relaxation at the end is very short and you're not going to be nearly as soothed (or relaxed) as you would in a traditional practice. Freytag seemed overly peppy when we first started, but by the the end of the first ten minutes I was too busy focusing on what we were doing to pay too much attention. She did, however, still convey the appropriate amount of encouragement to use modifications when necessary. However, this is not a tape for someone new to yoga as not enough setup instruction is provided.
If found it surprisingly enjoyable and I think it would be a good addition for someone who is short on time but wants both yoga and fat-burning in their routine.
I became inspired after hearing Mariel Hemingway speak at a women's luncheon. I bought both of her books and got her yoga series "Yoga Now" with Rodney Yee. I love that series but then found this DVD. I am a "Dummies" fan so was thrilled to come upon this workout.
I alternate between the 3 DVDs (Yoga Now has two DVDs - one shorter and the other nearly an hour long) - depending on how much time I have.
I must admit that I think this is my favorite of all the yoga DVDs I've viewed. One of the main things I like about this DVD is it gives you a good warm up and cool down. So many of the other DVDs I've experienced that say they're for beginners just plain aren't. They jump right in with fairly complex poses with virtually no explanation.
Chris may appear a bit robotic to some but I think she is a good instructor. I highly recommend this DVD to anyone interested in a great aerobic yoga workout!
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