Crunch: Yoga Mama--Prenatal Yoga
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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Since most of the moves are merely for stretching rather than toning, this video isn't very challenging. You won't break a sweat. However, I think that it's a great video for a pregnant woman to do before bedtime because it really stretches out your whole body.
For a well rounded exercise routine during pregancy I would add a video with a cardio workout like FitMama, or perhaps walking or cycling. This video won't give you all the exercise you need, but as I said the stretches are excellent and I'm sure I'll be doing it a lot towards the end of my pregnancy when I start feeling aches in my back and legs.
The instructor is okay--she seems a bit dippy when she giggles but all in all she's not too annoying.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on July 20 2007 by J. Yates
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 morePublished on June 24 2004
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
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 morePublished on March 1 2004
This is a great video for keeping flexibility during pregnancy. It was very basic but a good relaxing class. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by Drisana Kane
I used a prenatal cardio video to stay in shape with my 1st pregnancy and Crunch Yoga Mama for my 2nd. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2004
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 morePublished on Jan. 15 2004