Video Fitness

Crunch: Candlelight Yoga

Sara Ivanhoe

(this review refers to the DVD version of this workout)

I love this DVD! This workout is very well designed and I felt very relaxed and well stretched after doing it; the poses are held a nice, long time. Well, okay, I don't quite understand why they put tree pose in this routine, since swaying back and forth and trying not to fall over isn't very soothing to me, but tree pose has its own chapter, so one can easily skip it, LOL! There are 11 chapters on the DVD; plus, the DVD also has a bonus 15-minute yoga energizer workout.

There are white, filmy curtains in the background along with, of course, candlebras/floor candles to give a relaxing ambience. The soundtrack is good/distinct in the main workout - a sort of Brazilian rainforest sound.

The poses are not difficult, but they do have one background person showing modifications for very inflexible exercisers, so this is an accessible workout for all.

Instructor comments: Sara is a very warm, encouraging instructor.



I just got Crunch Candlight Yoga and I love it!!!! It's the kind of yoga video that is perfect for winding down. I love the music - it's new-agey but not annoying (lots of harp music and nature sounds like birds, water, etc.). None of the moves are really difficult or strenuous and this contributes to the relaxing quality of the video. The instructor, Sara Ivanhoe, has a very pleasing and soothing voice which makes it even more relaxing.

I highly recommend this video!



Crunch Candlelight Yoga - DVD version

I've done quite a few yoga videos, and I think this will be one of my favorites. The candles set a pleasant mood, which Sara's soft-spoken instruction continues. This program concentrates on relaxation and stress relief for 30 minutes, and there is an additional 15-minute "energizing" segment.

Instructor comments: Very down-to-earth and friendly.



I really like this workout. True, it has gotten flack for not being a real yoga workout, but I'm not a power yoga gal, I do yoga to stretch, breathe and relax. I like a little work in my yoga sometimes, too, but that is not my main focus with yoga. A lot of the poses in this workout are done on the floor and are non strenuous. There are some that you do standing as well, but the most challenging pose here is tree. This workout is really about breathing and relaxing and stretching. If you are looking for anything that is going to break a sweat, do not look here. But if you want to really get relaxed and stretch out, and concentrate on your breathing, and you want something that is pretty (the set is pretty with candles, although it does seem a little dangerous to me) and accessible, this is it.
It's about 35 minutes, and it is chaptered very well! Very well done. This is a keeper.

Instructor comments: I think Sara Ivanhoe is a really talented instructor. She explains what you should be feeling, yet also lets you know what is important (breathing, your individual level of comfort). I like that. she is accessible and seems friendly, but she's always the teacher, too.

Kathy Weller

I bought this based on all the glowing reviews at Collage. I was looking for something that was going to leave me feeling refreshed and gently stretched. Nothing really stood out that made me dislike it but I just found it long and boring. I couldn't seem to quiet my mind and get into it. I kept it over yet? The set was blah, the workout blah and afterwards, I felt blah. The day after this workout, I popped in a Gaiam Yoga for Relaxation and got that "in the zone" yoga feeling I was looking for, relaxed, mindful, in the moment, etc.

Instructor comments: Good instructor; Very pleasant to listen to.



If you are expecting a dim set because of the title, don't. While candles are present, this has standard studio lighting. This is a great video for relaxation just before bed. Poses are held for a decent amount of time, a rarely in most DVDs or videos. The emphasis is on stretching.

I like this tape mostly because it's like a real yoga class. Most have an expert who pretends to imitate a beginner. This does too, but it has real beginners, intermediate and advanced people doing the routines. This way you get a wide variety of how to do the poses, depending on your fitness level. I really enjoy that fact that everyone is not super advanced.

Overall, she does a good job of reaching that yoga can be relaxing as well as strengthening.

Instructor comments: Sara has an inner fire about yoga that shows with every program she does. I've always found her instructions to alwyas be clear and precise. One of the best for beginners. I have 4 of her programs and enjoy every one. She's one of my favorite instructors Now if she could just get rid of that Rama tank top.

ray baird


As the title of the video suggests, this is a soothing and relaxing yoga practice which instructor Sara Ivanhoe teaches in a calm and non-mystical manner. The practice begins in a seated position, and Sara takes time to explain yoga breathing and to allow for practice. This is followed by gentle seated stretches and twists, all the while focused on smooth, relaxing breathing. Next comes a slow-moving sun salutation series with simplified versions of most poses--eg, Eagle pose done with arms only, not legs. Sara includes lunges, balancing, and simple backbends but leaves out other classic standing poses such as Warrior and Triangle. Following the standing series, the practice returns to the floor for some seated forward bends, and finally, there is a relaxation series at the end.

The video is set in a Crunch studio, and although there are candles, it is bright with other lighting; the music is soft and in the background. At just under 45 minutes, this is a perfect yoga practice for unwinding at the end of the day or any other time you need to relax.

Instructor comments: Sara is an easy-going instructor who frequently encourages you to go only as far as comfortable and not to strain; she lead a class of students who show various levels of modifications.

Beth (aka toaster)

December 15, 2003

I have decided to try yoga, so I am trying various tapes. This is one of the first ones I tried and I chose it because it seemed to fit my personality better than others. I have a low threshold for workouts that are very “New Age” or where the instructor is “loopy” or “hippie”. I’m not sure how to describe it, but I am a pretty matter-of-fact person who likes straightforward instruction.

I really wanted to like Candlelight Yoga and the instruction was fine. However, I found it to be slow-moving and boring. While doing it, I kept wondering how much longer the workout was going to be. I felt moderately worked out after the workout, but the time spent getting there didn’t seem worth it.

The set was nice, fairly typical for Crunch. The background exercisers showed a range of flexibility in doing the moves.

Instructor comments: I can't decide what I think of her. She is straightforward in her instruction, but there's something about her voice or manner that just didn't click with me.

Laura S.

August 30, 2004

Variety of exercisers and no clothing problem. Set in a peaceful looking studio room.My what an awesome wo. Soothing voice, lovely music, birds chirping in background, no planks, few downward dogs.
Modifier was in view nearly the whole time so I could see modifications.

Only woo-woo was at the very end, which I plan to omit, when she mumbles something about saluting my divine light (huh?!?!)
For all levels to have a nice calming stretch.

Total Time: 43 min, I had vhs, not sure if dvd has chapters.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Instructor comments: My first experience with Sarah Ivanhoe and I was very impressed with her cues and instruction. Not intimidating at all.
Only negative, her jewelry was a bit distracting.

Linda (aka fanofladyvols)


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