Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hemalayaa Bollywood Boogie Workout

I never even heard of Bollywood until a couple of years ago when I saw Bollywood-style dancing on “So You Think You Can Dance.” It was fascinating–the costumes, the unique style of dance. I was intrigued. I never dreamed I would ever attempt anything even close, but here I am reviewing the above titled workout DVD. I have to say, it was . . . different.

It’s led by a fitness star and yogini, Hemalayaa. She looks like an Indian princess and definitely makes you feel like you’re one too. The DVD is broken into three 15 minute workouts, plus there are a few bonus features (which I have yet to watch). I did all three workouts consecutively and that was not at all hard to do. Maybe the term ‘workouts’ is over stating things. Seeing that I’m accustomed to P90X these were more like fun tension releasers than true workouts. Not sure how many calories I burned (and now that I think about it, I should have been tracking that), but I did have a good time.

The first segment had me wondering if I would get through all three. The movements were odd (but fun) and all I could do was imagine performing this routine with girlfriends and a few martinis. Boy would that generate some laughs. I even imagined getting out a video camera. I was just so curious to see how I looked trying these moves that were so ”flowy” and loose. There are times when you can’t see Hemalayaa’s entire body and have no idea what to do with your feet. These are the times when 'anal Paula' takes over and starts to stress. It’s always a good lesson for me to just relax and not be so concerned that I’m ‘doing it right.’ I truly think the biggest goal of these routines is just to have fun and laugh at yourself (which you will likely do).

The second segment got a little better for me. It was a bit more of a heart thumper. My only issue was that the footwork was the same over and over. This could be a good thing because you don’t have to remember much. Only problem is that if you don’t get it down pat, you’re in trouble. It was a little tricky, but as long as you get the “1,2,3” rhythm down, you’ll be OK. It’s alright if you don’t look just like the leaders. My heart rate got up with all the 1,2,3 jumping around and the best part was that I could feel the tension releasing from my notorious stiff and sore shoulder. I carry all my stress in my shoulders and this routine really made you flop your arms around and release all that tension. This session ended with some very cool ab floor work. I always loved ab work so I was right at home.

The third segment was, as far as I could tell, nearly exactly the same as the second. All the moves were the same, in the same order, with that same 1,2.3 footwork. I may have started to get a little bored by the time I got this far, but that might have been because I couldn’t go around in circles as the video instructed. It was all I could do to keep that 123 timing and footwork. For some reason the minute I tried to turn I was toast. So staying stationary was a bit boring, but I guess that is good motivation to master the footwork.

There is no doubt that is was a fun and different experience. There is also no doubt that I won’t be becoming a professional Bollywood dancer anytime soon, but it will still be fun to pretend I’m that princess.

See more of Hemalayaa’s videos here:

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