Video Fitness

Baron's Hot Yoga level 1

Baron Baptiste

I happen to love this yoga video. Right now I have Baron's level 1 & 2 tapes and I use them all the time. Level 1 is excellent to add to cardio or strength workouts or even do it on its own. The first section is 20 minutes long, called the Pre Sport routine, and consists mainly of doing Sun Salutations to get the body warmed up. Then you do a back and leg stretch on the floor. Next is a 15 minute Tone routine, or Post Sport routine, that consists of your basic standing poses, first done on one side and then the other and also a balancing pose. This section feels great after a workout. Lots of quadracep stretches involved. The last section is the ab/back routine, 10 minutes long, which consists of very slow abdominal moves done twice through and also some back strengthening poses. My abs were sore the next day so I know I worked them hard. I highly recommend this tape! I love doing the first section before my intense cardio or strength workouts and then finishing the tape for some nice relaxing stretches. It's great to have a tape broken into segments to do together or separately.

I give this tape an A++++

Instructor comments: Baron is a great yoga instructor. He has a nice calming voice and his tapes are some of the best I've ever done.

Dawn
10-9-98

Hot Yoga Level I says it's for all fitness levels and is a beginner tape. I have done a fair amount of yoga and I would add that a person trying this tape must have a good level of fitness. No modifications are shown and it could be discouraging if a beginner thought all yoga was this strenuous. That being said, I like this tape and use it a lot. It's divided into three segments: Pre-sport, post-sport and lower back/abs. It begins with the pre-sport section which is about 15 minutes long, and consists of several flowing sun salutations (forward bends, downward facing dog, upward facing dog, lunges) and ends with leg stretches. After this section, Baron is clear that he's about to begin the standing leg (post sport) segment. The 2nd section is also about 15 minutes and focuses on standing warrior poses, with static lunges, leg lifts and stretches. You need thigh strength and balance for this part. The final segment is the lower back/abs section, about 10 minutes of static leg lifts, some "bicycle" type moves, and stretches. The tape ends with "dead man pose."

I often use this tape in combination with an aerobic/step tape, stopping Hot Yoga after the first segment, and returning to it after I finish the cardio. By that time, my muscles are really warmed up and I get a great stretch.

I recommend this tape highly.

Instructor comments: Solid encouraging instruction, with lots of form pointers as you go. Baron talks a lot but when you're doing the poses it doesn't detract. He knows what he's doing, that's clear.

Pamela
11/15/98

I get this tape simultaneously with Bryan Kestís vol. 1. So I canít help comparing them. Although Bryan Kestís workout has more interesting poses, I prefer Baron as the instructor. He cues much better and his monotone makes me more concentrate with the poses than Bryan yelling at you. (I always want to yell back.) Before I get this tape, I have done only Yoga Journalís Yoga for Beginners. Iím really glad that I know some form pointers from the latter tape before doing Baronís tape, and in this case the Bryanís tape as well. Baron and Bryan do not give much form pointers, or at least the usual pointers we are familiar with. They stress more on the sensation, which is rather vague for me. As Dawn has described so well, the tape consists of 3 sections. The pre-sport section seems to be a little repetitive but you will feel warmed up. The post-sport is very challenging for me. It is 15 minutes and this section alone is tougher than the whole Bryanís tape. I never have a feeling like cursing any instructors before, however tough it is. But I have a fleeting feeling like this with Baron. I donít mean this in a negative sense but definitely in a positive! After Iíve done this tape, my legs feel floppy for some time which I never feel even after Standing Legs. The last section is abs work and really good. At first I try to add each section after weight or cardio. But I find that that way I cannot concentrate properly and too exhausted to do the poses. I decide to cut one day of weight training and do only yoga instead. I donít feel I miss anything. What yoga does for me is not relaxation or "be one with myself". (Iím too rational and too mundane). Rather it improves my strength, stamina and flexibility. Besides, it does make my abs stronger.

Instructor comments: Baron is excellent. IĎm planning to get his other tapes. The only thing annoying me in his tape is that there are too many background exercisers. The room (CIA set) seems crowded. When I preview, Iím afraid all the time that he might tread on someoneís hair or limbs. And it seems to be common in yoga videos that the instructors do not use the mirror cueing.

pakavadi
1/4/99

This is a great workout. It's divided into 3 segments of about 15 minutes each. The first is a warm-up type with many sun salutations. The second is challenging lower body poses which actually leave my hamstrings sore (good sore!). And the third is ab stabilization work. It's excellent. This is my favourite non-mystical yoga tape. I enjoy doing the first section as my warm-up to say Cathe's Step Fit, and then after stepping, I do sections 2 and 3. It's a great workout. I wouldn't recommend it to yoga beginners because it's quite strenous, but for yoga intermediates who want a more athletic approach to yoga.

Instructor comments: Excellent: he's not too new-agey, very thorough instruction, and cute!

Idalis Sanchez
Idalis_sanchez@hotmail.com
4/18/00

Baptiste *Hot* Yoga Series vs. *Power* Yoga Series

(or, "when Good Times goes bad")

Baron Baptiste made a three-video series in 1998. There are at least two versions of these tapes on the market, and the production quality varies significantly. The videos labeled as "Hot Yoga" are distributed by Good Times and are the poorer quality versions, and the video's labeled "Power Yoga" are the better productions - however, it aint quite that simple...

The covers of the better tapes are labeled: Baron Baptiste's Power Yoga, and the individual tapes were titled 1) Level 1: Power Yoga For Beginners, 2) Level 2, Ultimate Power Yoga Challenge, and 3) Power Yoga The Next Challenge. They do not mention "Good Times" as the distributor.

"Good Times" productions began distributing the tapes shortly after they hit the market. Good Times made cheaper reproductions that look like 5th generation copies and have spots on the tapes that are blurry - at least mine do! Good Times originally mass marketed the tapes for $14.95 each but many people got the Good Times version as part of a Walmart distributed three-pack which sold for $12.96 for the set of three. Rather than being called *Power* Yoga, these tapes are called "Baron Baptiste's *Hot* Yoga", with the same individual tape titles as the *Power* Yoga version.

So, you're figuring, "ok, if I want good quality, I'll just get the *Power* Yoga tapes rather than the *Hot* Yoga Tapes. Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple.

Baronbaptiste.com offers tapes which show a cover graphic for the *Power* Yoga series, however, the description which accompanies the graphic says *Hot* Yoga, Levels 1, 2, and 3. This was done so people would not mistakenly buy the Power Yoga series believing it was a different program than the Hot Yoga series. The baronbaptiste.com tapes sell for $20 +S&H each.

Collagevideo.com indicates they purchased their tapes directly from Baron, and were quite miffed that Baron had allowed Good Times to package a lower quality version for $12.96 for all three - a price below their wholesale cost for the better tapes. The Collage tapes are entitled *Power* Yoga. However, you might get confused because their catalog and website graphic for the Level 3 tape says *Hot* Yoga (they indicate this will soon be corrected). Collage sells the tapes for $14.95 each, and the set for $40.00+S&H.

The $12.96 Walmart three-pack does not appear to be currently available. It does pop up on Ebay, and the Videofitness and Firmbelievers swap forums. Please note that in addition to the 3 shrinkwrap bundle, the tapes are individually shrinkwrapped, so it's quite possible to unwittingly trade for one of the cheesy Good Times tapes. If you want the better tapes, avoid versions which reference "Good Times" productions.

Finally, none of this has anything to do with Baron's most recent, and completely different series, which came out in 2001 and is entitled "Baron Baptiste Live" - these tapes feature a completely different program which I personally prefer - the real smart money will go there.

Jane C.
7/05/01

This is probably not a good tape for beginners. Those with some yoga experience will probably enjoy it, however. It's also a good introduction to "power yoga" for those who have been using, say, the Yoga Zone series for beginners.

I'm not going to put this video up for trade yet, but I was not very impressed by it. The set is very crowded with students--to the point that the students really have no room to do all the poses equally well and that I, too, was worried Baron was going to step on someone or trip. It's also difficult to see what the students are doing with their bodies during the poses because they're so packed together. Baron also constantly chatters throughout but he's not chatting about the things that I think are important: like the names of the poses, or form pointers, or explanations of how to get into the poses safely. I found that the combination of the crowded room and Baron's nonstop patter made me nervous--not my favorite feeling while doing yoga.

I was interested to read the comments of another reviewer that she preferred Baron's Hot Yoga 1 to Bryan Kest's Power Yoga 1 (Energize). I had the opposite reaction. I find Bryan's tape to be superior in every way. The production values are higher, you can always see what positions people's body parts are in, Bryan suggests some modifications for those who are less flexible or less experienced, and he does give more form pointers than Baron (though not as many as he probably should!) Bryan can also be quiet at times, which I also appreciate in a yoga tape.

I do like the sequence of poses in Hot Yoga 1, and the ab work at the end is quite effective (though I found the way he takes the students into boat extremely awkward). I don't think I would ever do this tape in its entirety in one session again, but I can imagine breaking it up as other reviewers do, around a cardio session, for an added warm-up, cool-down, and stretch.

Finally, I bought the cheap Good Times version from Walmart, not knowing any better. I find the production quality adequate--though of course I have not seen the original version. But since the sequence of exercises is the same, and I don't spend much time looking at the screen anyway when I practice yoga, it doesn't bother me.

Instructor comments: His constant chatter distracted me. There were almost no form pointers or explanations about how to get safely into some of the poses, although this tape says it's for beginners.

Elisabeth
eliselling@aol.com
4/30/02



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