Video Fitness

Living Arts Lower Body Yoga

Suzanne Deason

I really like this tape, but I am not exactly sure how to explain what it does for me. I thought it would be a lower body toning tape, but I never really feel that it helps me much in that area. However, I believe beginner exercisers will find good toning benefit from this tape, and may find several of the poses difficult without both lower body and upper body strength. Overall, this tape is more difficult for me in terms of my upper body. It also contains poses which works the abs.

This video is certainly different than Suzanne's other videos in the beginners series, in which the poses are structured to relax and stretch you out. On the other hand, it also seems different than the Power Yoga tapes that I have tried - I would say it is a bit easier. When I do this video I feel both energized and stretched out. It goes through many poses fairly quickly and you will probably get warm when doing them. The overall workout is 25 minutes long.

Since I am having trouble explaining this video I will list the poses found in the workout. All of my yoga experience is from videos and I may get some of the pose names wrong. Any pose done on one leg is then done on the other. The poses:

  • Hero's pose
  • Downward Facing Dog, held for awhile alternating lifting one heel and bending one knee to get a good calf stretch.
  • Lunges followed by Downward Dogs
  • On hands and knees lift one leg and opposite arm
  • Downward Dog, lift leg into 3 legged dog, move into lunge, repeated a few times with variations
  • Downward Dog, jump legs forward into Standing Forward Bend, to Chair to Mountain
  • Standing forward bend
  • Plank
  • Downward Dog
  • 3 legged Downward Dog into Exhalted Warrior
  • Jump legs forward into Standing Forward Bend to Chair
  • Proud Warrior
  • Triangle and variation
  • Half Moon (balancing on one leg and one hand)
  • Plank to Upward facing dog to Downward Dog
  • Standing Forward Bend to Chair to Mountain
  • Plank
  • 3 legged Dog to Warrior 1 to Warrior 3 (balancing on one leg bending forward with arms together)
  • Plank to Upward Dog to Downward Dog
  • Standing Forward Bend to Chair to Mountain
  • My favorite pose, of which I don't know the name. You bring one knee to your chest and grab your leg (right hand to right leg) and pull your leg back so that you are doing a standing quad stretch. Then you continue to pull your leg back balancing on one leg and your body is more horizontal with you hand still holding your lower leg or foot.
  • Plank to Upward Dog to Downward Dog
  • Child's pose
  • Bridge repeated several times
  • Various leg stretches holding foot
  • Various poses to work the abs including Boat pose
  • Forward bend
  • Cobblers pose laying down, then extend legs
  • Wide angle forward bend
  • Another pose I don't have a name for, and this one is my least favorite because it is hard for me. You start sitting up straight and put your hands behind you and you lift your whole body up.
  • Finally a few relaxation poses.

One reason I really like this video is that it contains poses requiring balance which I love, but I do wish some of these poses were held longer. With all the downward dogs and plank poses, I felt like this video was actually targeting the entire body. I do not mind this factor, because I felt like it got my blood going everywhere and also gave me a good full body stretch.

If you are familiar with other Living Arts videos, you can expect the same good and bad features from their other yoga tapes (no mirror-cueing, beautiful production quality - this one shot at Haleakala volcano in Maui, etc.) One nice difference for those experienced in yoga is that Suzanne does the poses in the normal form not the modified form, like she does in Gentle yoga or Stress Relief. There is a short section at the very end showing modifications to about 10 of the poses using the block and strap.

Instructor comments: Suzanne is a pleasant instructor and usually gives good form pointers. For some reason I prefer her tapes to Rodney Yee's. I am not sure if it is a personality thing or if it is just that I prefer Suzanne's routines more.

Lisa C.


I was searching for a yoga tape that I could learn with and this is it! Filed at a crater in Maui, it's a complete 20 minute yoga session. I'm not very flexible but with Suzanne Deason's instruction on how to grow/develop into the poses, I've gotten much better. If you're interested in trying yoga and working your lower body at the same time, I highly recommend this tape or any of the Living Yoga series. Twenty minutes doesn't seem like much time, but if you're just learning it is.

Instructor comments: I have several yoga tapes and although I'm not too proficient at yoga I would say that Suzanne Deason is a good instructor. John Yee is my favorite and she comes pretty close in cueuing, flexibility and overall knowledge.

Sandy Brookens

This tape is not really appropriate for absolute beginners, but it is important to remember that ALL of the videos in the Living Arts series recommend that you start with "Yoga Practice for Beginners" if you are not familiar with yoga poses. That being said, this is a relatively fast-paced tape that can be a little hard to follow at first, so I'd highly recommend watching the tape before attempting to follow along, especially since there are modifications at the end of the tape.

When I first used this tape, I considered myself a yoga beginner with limited flexibility, yet with modifications, I was able to perform all of the poses in the workout. Some of the poses which require balance are pretty tough--especially since Deason moves so quickly--but you can always support yourself if needed. Although this tape focuses on lower body through mainly standing, kneeling, and seated forward bend poses, I feel it gives me a fairly good upper body workout as well given the many upward dog repetitions. Overall, I really enjoy this video and love that I can do it in a short time frame.

Instructor comments: Suzanne gracefully displays excellent form; her voiceover instruction is calm and soothing.I appreciate Suzanne Deason's calm, supportive manner and her supple, yet not overly-unrealistic body. Her style is warm and engaging, and there are no "new-agey" aspects to the video. I do think she rushes through the practice and would have liked to have the poses held a bit longer.

Beth (aka toaster)

February 2, 2004

voice over instruction and beautiful setting - typical from Gaiam.

first off...this video is NOT for a beginner beginner...maybe a beginner to yoga but not to exercise. It says lower body but my upper body got a HUGE workout. The first time through I could not do this...ended up discouraged for a long time over yoga because this said beginner and I couldn't do a 20 minute beginner tape! However, I did think the workout had a nice flow to it.

The workout is now one I like! After building up the arm strength and gaining some flexibility and balance I do ok with it now..still not great, but a huge difference.

ok, the workout! First off, it seems to be a bit over 20 minutes. And seems like at least half of it is spent in downdog or a variation of it. halfmoon shows up in there too and another pose for the abs where she balances on her butt and has the legs straight up in the air. The practice flows fairly quickly, but my first time through I had no problem with the transitions being fast because I was already back on the floor because I couldn't hold all the down dogs/planks/down dog with 1 leg up,etc.

I would say to buy this if you find a good deal on it because after exercising for 4 months or so I tried this again on a whim and was SO happy to see improvement! I think a beginner is better off if they have upper body strength over flexibility..the flexibility is easier to modify I think, but the arm strength in the downdogs is definitely needed!

Instructor comments: quiet, calm, excellent in yoga!

Susanna (smith938)


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