Thursday, September 02, 2010

My New Favorite Yoga DVD

This is the one that I’ve been searching for for years. I’ve been getting bored with my usual routine and with the next session of my own yoga class coming up I was looking for some new moves to add to my own routines. I live too far from civilization to easily commit to getting to a real studio, and recently pondered joining an online yoga class subscription site. But I found the answer to my prayers and it’s called Exhale: Core Fusion Yoga - Energy Flow.

I love this DVD for so many reasons. First, it’s broken into 5 separate 10 minute sessions. If you’re like me you’re probably thinking, “You can’t get enough out of doing yoga for only 10 minutes.” Well, after you try this DVD you might change your mind. Each and every session is challenging. My heart was pounding and there are some things in certain sessions that I can’t even do. Nothing thrills me more than the challenge of ‘working my way up’ to something. I’ve been doing either 2 or 3 sessions during my lunch breaks. I change up which ones and that makes my 20 or 30 minute routine different just about every day. Whatever my mood that day is what I pick for workouts.

One of the most brilliant things about this DVD is that when you first put it in your computer or DVD player it shows that useless “Consult your doctor” warning. But it somehow knows that you are inserting the disk in the same machine because that notice doesn’t show up again. Nothing annoys me more than having to wait for that to pass every singe time I work out. I just slip the disk in and bam, I am instantly presented with the menu to pick my workout. (Disclaimer: maybe it’s just an iMac that is that smart!) Can’t say enough about how much I love this. No commercials, no intro jabbering. If I only have 10 or 20 minutes to work out those minutes are precious and I don’t want to waste 2 of them waiting to get to the menu.

So you pick a work out, a title screen appear momentarily with a very quick message like “you will need a mat.” And then the work out begins and I’m telling you, they waste no time. You get busy working right away. There’s no fluffy talk about how your great your butt will look in a bathing suite. There are no reminders to smile. It’s just a militant workout and the leaders (a husband and wife team) just tell you exactly what to do. Clean, simple and to the point.

The five different sessions are:
  • Energy Flow: This session really gets you warmed up and stretched out. I use it before my daily runs and I swear I have an easier time running.
  • Sun Salutations 1 & Sun Salutations 2: Although there are 2 sessions for Sun Salutations they manage to be very different from each other. Both are quite challenging and go behind the basic Sun Salutations. My favorite part is the push-ups in between (something that I always used to add to my own routines). It’s quite challenging and boy does it get the blood flowing. There is actually quite a bit of core and upper body strength required to get through both of these 10 minute sessions. Doing them together is the perfect short workout.
  • Chi Gong Hip Openers: I had no idea what to expect here and I was pleasantly surprised. The moves were unique, fun, and challenging. You’re going to get a great thigh and butt work out in this one. Another great pre or post-run warm up/cool down and stretch.
  • Core - This is the one that I have to ‘work my way up to.’ This session requires that you have two blocks. When I first tried it I was in my office using books instead of blocks and that didn’t go so well. You’re asked to hold up your entire body weight, as you balance on the blocks, while crossing your legs in front of you. Like I said, I’ll have to work my way up to that one, but what great challenge.
There are also some great bonus sections including a warm up, a cardio yoga session, and a Savasana and stretching session. I can’t imagine anything more that could be added to this well-rounded yoga masterpiece. All three of these bonus sessions are winners. I still can’t believe how much they packed into this one DVD. You can purchase it online here. If I were you . . . I would get one!

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