Mariel Hemingway & Rodney Yee
13:24 + 13:03 + 33:20 + 32:35 + 51:43
Yoga Now begins with yoga-cardio fusion: fat burning cardio workout techniques plus the power of yoga to create lean muscle and a healthy sense of self. Plus, it includes the tools you need to keep achieving success on any busy schedule. This is the system you can realistically follow every day of your life.
20 year practicioner and actress Mariel Hemingway and acclaimed yoga expert Rodney Yee have combined the best of yoga, cardio and nutrition in Yoga Now, a system anyone can do. This is America's yoga, totally demystified for the comfort and confidence youneed to stick withthe program. Youll even find special viewing options that keep up with your skills: one focused on using simple yoga tools to make poses easier to achieve, plus three segment you can view with verbal instruction once you are familiar witht the sequences. You don't have to turn yourself into a pretzle to make it work and you don't ahave to deprive your self to loose weight with Yoga Now. With four complete yoga practices and tools that give you the support and inspiration you need every day, Yoga Now makes it easy to succeed at unveiling your true yoga-fit body. Recommit to being true to you.
Yoga Now is billed as a comprehensive exercise program which combines the benefits of yoga with cardio for weight loss. Included in this 3-DVD set are a 30 minute core workourt, a 50 minute accelerated workout, and 2 10 minute workouts, the a.m. energizer and the p.m. destresser. The practices are led by internationally-known yogi Rodney Yee and actress Mariel Hemingway, a long-time yoga practitioner.
I began with the 30 minute workout. Here Rodney and Mariel teach via live instruction a class of three students (one of whom is Rodney's girlfriend, yoga instructor Colleen Staidman). The practice starts in a reclined position and focuses on breathing, then moves into stretches/core work including a reclined leg stretch, nose to knee, abdominals, and twists; a kneeling cat/cow sequence follows. Next, you transition to standing, where you perform the three "cardio" moves. The first is a full body arm swing performed with bent legs (fans of Callanetics will recognize this as one of her warm-up stretches). Next comes a small hop move, with your arms swinging in front of you and your feet barely leaving the floor. Finally, you will get down into a lunge position and quickly move from one leg to the other; this was the most strenuous of the three. The standing postures included down dog, modified side angle, and a vinyasa series (down dog to plank to cobra/up dog), and the practice finishes with a quick cobbler's and relaxation poses.
I found the 50 minute accelerated practice to be almost identical to the 30 minute, with only a few key differences: 1) Rodney and Mariel instruct via voiceover here, and 2) the cardio moves are repeated more frequently, and similarly, there are more frequent vinyasa series between each of the poses. The opening floor sequence is virtually the same as the 30 minute practice. Once you reach a standing position, you will do the arm swings and hops followed by a vinyasa, then triangle, chair pose, and another sequence of arm swings and hops. After another vinyasa, you will do modified side angle, the arm swings, warrior 1, and then the lunges. After returning to the arm swings and the hops followed by a vinyasa, you add warrior 2. In a seated position, you perform a twist and a 1-legged forward bend; the practice ends with relaxation and a final seated meditation.
The a.m. practice is led by Mariel alone instructing via voiceover. She begins in staff pose, and she repeatedly emphasizes lengthening the waist. She performs simple twists and a cat/cow series, and then she goes into all three cardio moves. Standing poses include only down dog and warrior 2, and the practice ends in mountain pose. Rodney leads the p.m. practice, also via voiceover. This practice concentrates on a series of seated forward bends performed using a chair (you rest your arms and head on the chair). There is also a reclined leg stretch using a strap and a nice relaxation pose with your legs on the chair to finish. This set includes bonus materials as well, the best of which is a pose chart featuring clear, colorful illustrations of Mariel performing all of the featured postures (broken down into sun saluations, seated poses, standing poses, supine poses, and poses with the chair). There is also a daily journal allowing you to record your progress, a nutrition plan (includes a "core food" guide, serving information, meal plans, and a grocery list), and a 2-week quick start meal plan.
To my surprise, I found these workouts to be fairly enjoyable; Rodney and Mariel have a nice chemistry, and they worked well together, particularly when teaching live. However, I definitely did NOT feel that the "cardio" moves included in these workouts were enough to provide any real aerobic benefit, and thus I don't see how anyone could lose weight with these videos (other than perhaps those who were completely sedentary to begin with). I enjoyed the 10 minute practices the best; in the a.m. practice, the cardio moves do work well both to get the blood flowing and to wake up the body, and the p.m. practice was genuinely relaxing. I also thought that the 30-minute core workout was a nice, basic level level yoga practice; again, the cardio moves helped to energize the body here. The 50 minute workout was my least favorite, as I found it to be too repetitive.
On the whole, this set was too easy for me, as I have been practicing yoga for several years now and consider myself to be at about an intermediate level. I think that these workouts would be best suited to someone who has tried yoga before and has found it to be too slow or "boring" but who would also find "power" yoga to be too strenuous--Yoga Now bridges that gap, providing a different kind of energizing practice for yoga beginners.
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