Video Fitness

Soul of Strength

Baron Baptiste

This is roughly equivalent to Bryan Kest’s Energizing workout. The workouts are different, of course, but the intent is the same (energizing). They both move quickly, use lots of strength, and at the end, you feel 10 years younger. I think Bryan’s is a little tougher, but I adore this one just as much. Grade A. Annie S.

I was hesitant to try this video at first given that I had seen it rated as "advanced"--although I have been practicing yoga for over two years, I still consider myself to be at an intermediate level at most. While I definitely found this workout to be challenging, as it says on the cover, it really is appropriate for all levels of yoga students. The video would not be appropriate for those completely new to yoga, as it assumes basic familiarity with the poses, both the majority of the poses are accessible to beginners/intermediates, with a few more challenging moves thrown in such as crow and wheel pose. Baron is quite encouraging and completely non-intimidating as he praises his students for working to the best of their abilities.

The workout moves along at a steady pace, but it was much easier to follow than some of the other vinyasa-style workouts I've tried. My one complaint about the video moving too quickly was during the practice of crow pose: Baron offered excellent guidelines for how those new to this pose (like myself) could work their way into it, but he moved so quickly into the next pose that I didn't have the opportunity to practice his suggestions. In other instances, however, I was able to attain some difficult poses that I'd never managed before, such as reverse triangle. This is definitely a rigorous workout that will cause you to work up a sweat; I found that the sun sequences at the beginning of the practice really challenged my endurance, particularly given the frequent repetitions of downward-facing dog held for extended periods. I plan to use this video on days when I want an exciting, energetic yoga practice and want to challenge myself to new levels.

Instructor comments: Baron Baptiste is an excellent, down-to-earth instructor who moves around the class offering pointers, tips, and modifications to his students. He repeatedly emphasizes the importance of going at your own pace, and he calls out frequent instructions to beginners (e.g. "those new to the class, do this...").

Beth (aka toaster)

December 15, 2003

I am, admittingly, a big Baron Baptiste fan. I love this video for a challenging full body strengthening workout. I also have his Unlocking Athletic Power and this one is similar in intensity but twice as long (55 minutes versus 25 minutes).

This video has it all - Sun Salutations to get you started, warriors 1 and 2 and other variations, triangle and reverse triangle, a balancing series, floor, back, and abdominal work, and even crow (arm balance).

Baron is also good about balancing the sides of the body (I hate it when you do something on one side longer than the other). He also talks you through a variety of modifications - some you can see for yourself, some he just tells you about.

I recommend this one for a challenge ! If you want something shorter, but still like the intensity, give Unlocking Athletic Power a try (lots of great hip work there too).

Instructor comments: Baron is a very knowledgeable and non intimidating instrucotor. His cuing is straightforward and encouraging.


December 2005

"Soul Of Strength" live is a very challenging vinyasa flow practice. It's done in a live class setting with great music by Krishna Das. This program very closely follows the sequence laid out in Baron's book "Journey Into Power" with just some slight differences.

Here is a breakdown of the sequence:

Baron Baptiste Soul Of Strength “Live”

00:00 Intro

01:30 Stand in Namaste
01:50 Sweep hands over head then lower to Ragdoll
02:55 Down Dog
04:05 Down Dog w/ Leg Extended then in Fire Hydrant (1st left, then right)
05:00 continue to Lunge then thru Sun Salutation “A”
08:50 Lunge w/ Airplane arms to Warrior 1, continue thru Sun Salutation “B”
10:40 Child’s Pose then Down Dog and continue w/ Sun Salutation “B”
11:55 Warrior 2 and continue w/ Sun Salutation B

13:05 Crescent Lunge to Revolved Crescent Lunge Variation
14:15 Right Angle Warrior (or w/ clasped hands variation)
15:00 Vasisthasana

Repeat this sequence on the other side (from Crescent lunge to Vasisthasana)

18:35 Thunderbolt Pose
19:00 Prayer Twist to Ragdoll to Standing Shoulder Stretch
20:40 Hands under feet forward bend (Gorilla Pose)
22:05 Eagle Pose

23:40 Uttitha Hasta Padangustasana (front and side variations)
24:55 Airplane
25:15 Then bring hands to ankle
25:30 Ragdoll (then repeat from Uttitha Hasta Padangustasana)

27:35 Forward bend w/ arms clasped and bring overhead
28:10 Tree Pose
30:35 Tree Pose
30:35 Crow Pose

vinyasa to

31:15 Move thru Warrior 1 to Warrior 2, then bring left hand to thigh (keep right arm forward for a moment) then Reverse Warrior, thru Warrior 2 to
32:30 Triangle
33:20 Twisting Triangle to
34:10 Reverse Namaste Forward Bend (Parsvottnansana)

Then repeat the entire sequence from beginning of Triangle series (31:15 Warrior 1 onward)

38:00 Locust Variations
39:40 Bow
41:00 Camel
43:35 Bridge
44:20 Wheel

45:15 Lying on back bring Arms and Legs Straight up and hold
45:50 Supta Upavista Konasana (lying on back) and Bring Hands thru legs
46:47 Alternate Leg Situps
Rock and Roll 5 times to

48:30 Seated Pigeon (or variation w/ one leg bent-foot flat on the floor, other let bring ankle to knee of other leg)
49:20 Half Boat

50:50 Upside down Table
51:05 Seated Forward Bend
51:50 Lying Twist
53:15 Lying Cobbler’s Pose (instead of Savasana)

Instructor comments: Baron is a very knowledgeable teacher who has a knack for putting together very challenging, sound practices. I find him to be very motivating and positive to practice with. He's definitely my favorite overall Yoga instructor out there.



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