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by Andrea Ambandos (Director)
Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2005
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Sep 19th 2005

Yoga Weight Loss for Dummies

In this 39 minute DVD, yoga professional Chris Freytag guides you through a workout aimed at toning your muscles and helping you slim.  The exercises are based on yoga positions, but she keeps up a quick pace and unless you are already very fit, you are going to be sweating by the end.  It is split up into four main sections: standing yoga, 2 heat-building series, and yoga mat work. 

Although the positions are from yoga, these exercises are quite different from traditional approach, and not just because the musical backing is upbeat electronic rather than the usual new-age/Eastern sounds that accompany yoga sessions, nor because Freytag keeps a big smile planted on her face all the way through the exercises.    Generally in yoga you hold a position for some time, working on balance, stamina and stretch, and even in what is known as "flow yoga" there is time to focus making sure your body is aligned well.  But in following these exercises, you have very little time to feel the stretch and align your body, because you are constantly on the move.  Although there is a short portion of stretching and relaxation at the end, there's very little focus on the connection between mind and body. Really, this is what it says, an exercise video aimed at weight loss. 

On the other hand, since it is a DVD with a limited number of positions, you can view it again and again, and with practice you will get better and more comfortable with the exercises.  Of course, as with any such DVD, it is not always possible to be watching the TV screen, since your head is pointed in another direction, but Freytag says out loud what you should be doing and how you should be breathing for most of the time.   Occasionally for some repetitions of movements she stays quiet, and on those moments you just hast have to know what to do.  Often, another voice provides information about the positions and how to perform easier or harder versions.  It would have been helpful if there had been an extra section showing exactly how your body should be posed for each main position, but you can always use pause and rewind to study how Freytag does it. 

So the DVD has a limited use, but it provides what it promises.  For people who are already familiar with yoga positions and want to use them as a way to work out, or for people who just want an alternative to ordinary workouts, Yoga Weight-Los Workout for Dummies will get the job done.  Once you have been using it a while, you'll want to move on to something more sophisticated or demanding. 

 

© 2005 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

 

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.