This is a 40 minute Pilates workout, following a 10 minute breath session. The breathing section was done by a beautiful ocean location, but the rest of the tape was filmed in a meadow on Maui. I'd say the workout was beginner to intermediate.
Overall, I liked the workout, but Suzanne changes nearly every Pilates move from how I learned it. The side series she tick-tocks the legs without the 3 beats to the front & back. Also during the bicycle kick moves, she raises the inner thigh on the resting leg, but doesn't mention this until the other side. I thought she wasn't using her core and was losing balance when I first saw this. Supposedly she is adding inner thigh work. For this area, she also does isolated lifts, then circles both ways which is better than a majority of Pilates videos.
For the bottom, she does many bridge poses in a row. I really felt this. The ab work seemed easy in comparison. There were the Hundred and criss cross exercises, but the rest were all variations of classic Pilates. I'm not sure if I learned it wrong, or if she has her own take on the moves. During the Saw, she went amazingly fast and during another back twist sitting upright, she seemed to be jerking and her neck looked mechanical. There were 2 other exercisers giving modifications.
I'm still undecided how I feel about this video, but I liked the setting, and the music was wonderful.
She always seems to have an awareness session or long breathing lesson before each of her tapes. I don't fully understand why, but it may be a timewaster for most folks.
This is a really great Pilates tape. What most stands out about it is its relaxing "feel" - beautiful outdoor scenery including what looks like the Caribbean sea (maybe Jamaica or Hawaii) and another part takes place in a meadow. The music is also very relaxing - soft, acoustic guitar (new-agey, finger-picking style) plays softly in the background. Although the video has a gentle, relaxing feel, it is a very complete Pilates workout - total length is about 50-60 minutes. Suzanne leads 2 other exercisers who show modifications (level 1, level 2 and Suzanne is level 3) so no matter how much a beginner or how advanced you are, there is an exerciser to follow that is at your level. The exercises are explained fairly well and overall this is just a really great workout tape.
Suzanne has a very pleasing and relaxing way about her that is very conducive to enjoying this video!
In this video, Suzanne Deason offers a very gentle, slow-moving Pilates workout. She begins with a 10 minute section called "Creating Awareness" which focuses on form and breath; it's a nice way to get used to the Pilates style. She then moves on to the workout and starts with stretches to warm up the feet and calves. Following this, she begins the classic Pilates matwork, starting with the traditional first exercise, The Hundred. She moves very slowly from exercise-to-exercise, and prior to each new move, she gives specific setup instructions. Suzanne herself performs the most challenging movements (Level 3), while two assistants show modified versions (Levels 1 and 2). The 45-minute workout ends with some final stretches.
Although both the slow-moving pace of this workout and the level of the exercises offered (more challenging Pilates movements are not included) would be appropriate for beginners, Suzanne does not offer detailed instruction on how to perform each move. As mentioned above, she does explain how to setup for the exercises, but she provides few guidelines on form, which is vital to the practice of Pilates. This video might work well for those who already have some familiarity with Pilates but want a gentle, relaxing workout. However, both absolute beginners and more intermediate/advanced Pilates practioners will probably want to look elsewhere.
Suzanne is a pleasant instructor with a nice voice, but I think she fails to provide adequate cuing in this workout.
Beth (aka toaster)
January 30, 2004