This was my first full-length workout from Miranda Esmonde-White, creator of the Classical Stretch technique. In her 4-minute introduction, Miranda explains that her method incorporates various forms of stretching, including isometric and PNF work, which, when performed regularly, will provide both both flexibility and toning benefits.
Miranda leads this workout against a beautiful ocean's edge setting at a Jamaican resort. She explains that she won't waste much time teaching the moves, as she expects you to learn the sequences through repeated use of the workout. She starts with a 5-minute active warm-up which includes plenty of big arm movements, heel kicks, knee ups, and the like. She then continues with several minutes of full body, Tai Chi-inspired moves which begin the process of stretching the entire the body. Following this, Miranda moves into her unique arm work. These simple, unweighted movements will exhaust your arm muscles, from your hands to your shoulders--the short (5 minutes) sequence feels like much longer! Miranda again leads you through a series of gentle flowing motions before starting with the plie work for the legs. This section is only about 4 minutes long, and I found it to be a bit less intensive than similar sequences on Miranda's other videos. Following the plie work, however, Miranda grabs a chair and continues to work the lower body with an additional 12 minutes of barre work; I definitely felt this in my outer hips.
After about 33 minutes, Miranda transitions to the floor. Here she begins with 3 minutes of seated stretching work, utilizing cobbler's pose and twisting movements. Next comes 4 minutes of fast-paced crunches, and then you'll roll to either side for some additional outer hip or "saddlebag" work. Miranda concludes the workout with a final series of seated stretches, again including forward bends and twists plus adding neck stretches, bringing in the entire workout time at about 52 minutes. Prior to using this video, I had tried the Classical Stretch Express DVD; this Full Body Workout felt very much like a compilation of the three Express workouts. Classical Stretch is a unique exercise technique that is definitely not for everyone, but if you are open to trying something a little different and/or have liked Miranda's other videos, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this workout.
I think Miranda might be an acquired taste, but I like her! She is definitely a talker, but I find her to be sweet, especially given that she is always smiling and seems to get so much joy from what she is doing.
Beth C (aka toaster)
August 30, 3007