Video Fitness

Temple Dance Yoga

Karen Andes

This 40 minute video expands on the Temple Stretch section of Andes' Woman Power Workout.

Filmed poolside in what looks like a gorgeous Roman Bathhouse (the location was not listed in the credits, so you can't go visit. Bummer!) Temple Dance Yoga leads viewers through a series of postures based on Indian sculpture--sort of like a Hindi Tai Chi.

The instruction begins with a section of arm and hand mudras, which you use in later parts of the tape. Then comes the torso stretch, warming up the sides and the back for some of the later postures. Standing postures follow, and this is the part most like the section from Woman Power Workout. Postures are named after the Hindu deities and emulate the poses in which they are classicially depicted. During this section they bracket shots of Karen with photos of sculptures of the poses you are emulating. Neat. The final section is seated and supine postures.

The location is lovely, unfortunately, they occasionally pan out to get a full view of the set, and Karen ends up this blurry little figure on the far end and it's difficult to tell exactly what she's doing. This only happens a few times, but it's still a bit annoying.

The music is kind of your basic new agey stuff. I would have liked something with more of an Indian flavor, given the gist of the workout, but it was alright.

Karen instructs in voiceover (there is another version of the video in which there is *no* instruction, and you just follow along with the action on screen.) Not the most precise instruction ever given, but sufficient, and she does remind you to keep your head up and tailbone down, etc..

Karen is wearing a lavender sequinned tank top and loose navy velvet jazz pants with black sandals. I guess her whole schtick is "wear and do that which makes you feel womanly and beautiful," and since you're not going to work up a sweat here, why not wear really pretty, comfy things. Unfortunately, the sequins are part of what turns her into a shiny blur in the long camera shots.

At the end of the video are ads/pre-views for Andes' new Oof ball workouts. They look kind of dancy and a little woo-woo, as opposed to a straightforward, athletic workout.

Final Verdict: I found this tape very calming and relaxing. It is NOT a strenuous tape at all. I hesitate to even call it a "workout." Not that that is a bad thing. It would be a very nice morning or evening moving meditation, or something to help you center and focus in the middle of a hectic day. Not sure how much it would help with increasing flexibility, but there are a number of balance poses, so it may help develop balance and core strength somewhat. For me, I can see how some of the body postures and arm/hand movements will work their way into my dancing and help me be more graceful (my ongoing challenge!) If you enjoyed the Temple Stretch portion of the Woman Power Workout, you will probably enjoy this tape.

Instructor comments: Karen wrote A Woman's Book of Strength, A Woman's Book or Power, and A Woman's Book of Balance. She also co-instructs the Woman Power Workout.

Renee Drellishak

8/8/02



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