Video Fitness


Suzanne Deason

Usually, if I grab a stability ball workout that has yoga or pilates inspired moves, I will put it right back on the shelf. For some reason, i was intrigued enough by this one to put it in my basket and bring it home.

The scenery is beautiful - as per Gaiam's usual standards. the production values are great. Suzanne is an amazing instructor (though I haven't been able to really take to her as a yoga instructor - I like her here), and most importantly: I do the workout regularly.

This video is really relaxing. I feel like I can really unwind while doing it and just let all of my cares slip away. It is almost an hour long, but it never feels that long.

Sheesh - just writing about it makes me want to go do it...maybe I will.

Instructor comments:

Cori (ziggy2306)

February 28, 2004

There are 4 chapters on the menu:
1. Introduction
2. Invigorate the Spine (9 minutes)
3. Tone and Sculpt (22 minutes )
4. Stretch and Relax (11 minutes )

Suzanne is alone and she cues in voice over. The location is the beautiful Maui Islands (same exact setting as Suzanne's "A.M. Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss" and Ana Caban's "Pilates Abs Workout"). The background instrumental music is typical Gaiam and unobtrusive.

Invigorate the Spine consists of:

Sitting upright, breathing, circles, figure 8, extend & flex, rotation, halo, shoulder & neck release, side bends, reach & twist, swimming, dolphin and bouncing. All of these exercises are performed while seated on the stability ball.

Tone and Scuplt consists of:

Ankle circles, crawling toes, heel slides, front leg-lifts, bridge pose, squats, bridge pose with lower leg lift, hamstring stretch, pumping arms, paddling, front slide stretch, shoulder stretch, dog pose, wide-leg forward bend, side-lying leg work, lunge, half-swan, hamstring/gluteal work, push up to plank, triceps, side-to-side stretch, sit-ups, lower abdominals, rolling and arms. These exercises are performed while sitting on the ball, leaning against and over the ball and while holding the ball.

Stretch and Relax consists of:

Inner thigh stretch, mermaid, single-leg seated forward bend, wide-leg forward bend, cross leg, seated forward bend, side twist, butterfly and rocking.

The Special Features section contains a 15-minute stretch called Practice: Daily Stretch for Health. Suzanne performs the first 5 minutes of the stretch seated on a chair. She uses the ball for the entire stretch and it's filmed on the same location in Maui as Suzanne's "P.M. Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss" and Jillian Hessel's "A.M. Pilates Mat Workout".

I was looking for more workouts to use my stability ball with, and I like Suzanne and outdoor settings. Well, my first impession of this DVD was that the workout was too easy! It really does live up to its title as being for beginners.

The stretches combine pilates and yoga and because you use the stability ball for these stretches, they're not challenging (ie. you can't reach very far in single-leg seated forward bend with a big stability ball in between you and your ankle, which is good for beginners with less flexibility). I do like how my core muscles work to stabilize my body on the stability ball and I especially like the bonus daily stretch. I was disappointed at first, but I think it will fit nicely into my rotation for lower intensity/recovery days.

Instructor comments: Suzanne Deason is a yoga and certified Pilates instructor who has been practicing yoga for over 35 years. Her formal yoga training is the alignment-oriented style of the Iyengar tradition.

Suzanne looks incredible and so svelte! I like her calm and soothing mannerism.

Leslie (blue_hydrangea)


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