Note: elephantjournal.com received this item for free, in return for a guarantee that we would review said offering. That said, we say what we want—good and bad, happy and sad.
Yoga for Strength & Energy
I am a teacher and student of yoga. This DVD provided two flowing yoga practices, Energy Stretch and Energetic Yoga Flow. Energy Stretch is a flowing feel-good practice and would fit nicely into a busy day. Energetic Yoga Flow is much more challenging, working with the Sun Salutation and building strength.
I would not recommend this for a raw beginner. At times, the cues were inconsistent. She would instruct us what to do on one side and then not the other. Overall the practices were enjoyable. I would say the Energy Stretch would work for an advanced beginner and if someone is looking to push the edge in a more intermediate practice the Energetic Yoga Flow offers that. If looking for short practices to fit into a busy schedule to stretch the body, relax the mind and build energy, these might be for you.
I admit I had to look past the introduction. The instructor, Evette Shuk, did not seem genuine to me. I felt like the cameraman was telling her to be sure to smile the whole time. But as I moved into the sequence, she was obviously experienced and caring and the first impression weakened.
The format for this did not work well for me. The practices just go from one to the other without giving you an option to stop without going back to the main menu.
The bonus section on food, lifestyle and sleep was well done and informative. I tried their hummus recipe and enjoyed what I made.
Strong & Sculpted
This DVD has a core workout, a strength workout and a yoga workout. The fitness workouts were tough but fun. There were strong cues and I felt good when finished. This is not for someone who is not used to working out yet I think many could start slowly and build.
I liked this DVD and will keep returning to it. I work out at home often using various websites for cardio workouts. My experience here was I definitely broke a sweat and to be honest could not do it all completely but enjoyed the challenge.
I liked both instructors, Darcy McCue and Heather Schmidt, and felt that Heather’s teaching of yoga on this one suited me better. As a teacher, I realize how personal the experience is.
I thoroughly enjoyed her energy, her cues and the yoga flow on this DVD. She grounds the student in the body and gives detailed instruction as she teaches. There is a Goddess Flow and Chair Flow warm up then she moves into Downward Dog and standing poses. This yoga practice works in balance with the fitness work outs to stretch the legs, warm the muscles and open the chest. She does a number of plank push ups and picks up the pace as she moves along. Final relaxation is appreciated.
The format worked better. I could choose to add the final relaxation to the workout or not. The workouts did not flow into each other.
The bonus features focused on how to support fitness through food, how to create lean muscle mass and how to keep joints healthy. The presentations were thorough and for someone new to fitness I think they would find them extremely helpful. A recipe booklet is included as well, with several that look enticing.
Of course one of the goals of these DVDs is marketing, to share what Canyon Ranch offers so just maybe you’ll go. I know if I had the resources I would. One of my clients used to go often for the yoga and supportive lifestyle environment and I know he came back each time feeling better.
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta