Video Fitness

Firm Power Yoga

Kirsten Stroehecker

I don't have the ambition to get into the "Is this REAL YOGA?" debate. It is sorta yoga and sorta stretch. It is not relaxing. Some of the poses are strenuous and advanced.

I have read in other reviews that if you HATE yoga you will like this. And if you LOVE yoga you will not like this. I fall somewhere in the middle. I hope that my lukewarm review will prompt it's fans to write more positive reviews.

I had to chuckle in that the instructor does sneak a whiff of "real Yoga" verbage, but I won't say where in order to not ruin it for the phobics. I'd say it is 99.9% woo woo free.

PROS:
- Short, just 30 minutes.
- Great music, mostly Spanish guitar.
- Instructor has a pleasant personality and voice.

CONS:
- The cueing leaves something to be desired.
- The set is ugly. Sharp, hard, plastic motif.
- One exerciser is supposed to be doing the beginner modifictions, yet the camera rarely shows her!
- The instructor is wearing a too skimpy outfit. The short short-shorts reveal too much of her well-toned keester (IMHO).
- They really ought to have shown more modifications. Using blocks, strap, etc. (Since when does the FIRM shy away from an oportunity to sell more equipment???)

Favorite quote: "You'll thank me later"

Instructor comments: See review.

Alta

July 19, 2004

Having not had any experience with yoga, I purchased this tape as an alternative to YogaX which was very long and a bit advanced for me.

I really like Firm: Power Yoga. The music is very nice and matches the mood. The poses are a bit strenuous for me as a beginner, but I can already see improvement in my balance and some flexibility after just a few times. The length is also very good...just about 35 minutes long. Overall I am very pleased with this workout.

This is not an "ohmy" workout, and there are not many (if any) yoga terms.

The slightly negative thing about this workout is that while they do have a person showing beginner modifications, she is not shown on camera very often. However, after a couple of times through this probably won't matter.

Instructor comments: This is my first experience with Kirsten and I thought she did a great job. She is very straight forward and I was able to follow her cuing without looking after a couple of times through.

Donna

7/22/04

I was prepared to hate this and, not only hate it, but take great pleasure in doing so. I am not fond of the “new” FIRM to start with. Then my mindset was further eroded when I pressed the only menu option (Play) to discover that I could not fast-forward or skip the ensuing warnings, disclaimers, and FIRM Believers Club advertisements. (This fries me with any DVD – it is beyond audacious to charge me for a DVD and *force* me to watch ads before getting to the feature.) Okay, getting back on track now . . . I ended up liking the workout very much. It’s just over 30 minutes of beginning power yoga. I found the sequencing fresh and the instruction clear and non-woo-woo. It is very “westernized” yoga. In fact, Kirsten doesn’t use any yoga names at all. One thing I found refreshing was that the moves are synchronized with the music, which is unusual in yoga. It makes it easier to anticipate when a change is coming. Grade B overall because of the forced advertising effrontery.

Instructor comments:

Annie S.

9-12-2004

I'm not a yoga person, probably b/c I don't have the patience for it and feel that I have to "suffer" and sweat more during a w/o. :) That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this w/o. I usually use it as a stretch w/o after a more strenous cardio w/o. At a little more than half an hour - it's perfect. The music is fantastic, a combination of Spanish guitar and some more Eastern influenced instrumental music. It sucks that it's not chaptered, but that's Goodtimes for you. I'm not too crazy about the BSS3 set, but aside from that, I love this w/o.

Instructor comments: I really like Kirsten's manner and presence. Her voice is very soothing during the entire w/o. She looks very fit and healthy w/o looking too thin IMO. She is a very good instructor.

Belle

2-16-05

I love Yoga. I am not a yogini, just a wannabe, but I love Yoga, and am becoming more and more enamoured with it every time I do it.

My faves are Yoga Shakti, any of the Ravi Singh/Ana Brett Kundalini workouts I've done, Power Yoga for happiness.

I love the usage of the yogic terms for the breathing and the practice and the poses. I love interspersals of discussion of yogic texts, hindu spiritualism.

I dislike gratuitous 'mind-body' chatter that doesn't seem to have any real meaning to me.

I like the music in my yoga to have an eastern/indian flair. Then again, my family is from India, and I am biased that way. Yoga connects me to my own personal heritage.

That all being said, this workout was not for me. No sanskrit terms were bandied about, and although the music has been touted as being very good, it seemed nice, but not really inspirational.

I'm glad I had a chance to do this via netflix - so really, the only loss was the time (which I didn't mind losing - I did get in adecent workout) and the opportunity to watch 2 chapters of Starblazers this weekend instead of 1.

The workout is a lot of "power yoga" vinyasa type stuff, but not really even enough of that. It sort of seemed like "Yoga for people who aren't really into yoga." - That's just my opinion.

Instructor comments: Pleasant, but not overly motivating. Gives clear instruction.

Leela

3/11/05

In 2004, I got into stretching workouts as a way of relaxing myself and dealing with really tight muscles, especially in the neck and shoulders. Since starting this, I have seen some real flexibility gains and have loosened up my neck and shoulder area. In putting together a combination of tapes, I have several athletic stretch tapes/DVDs and several yoga workouts that are mostly stretch oriented.

Then, I ended up getting Suzanne Deason’s Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss and really enjoyed it. For the first time, I saw how yoga could be used for strength (and it could be enjoyable! (smile)). However, I don’t do this workout as much as I would like – mainly when I want some strength work, but am too tired to do my usual strength training. I tried Yoga Zone’s Flexibility and Stress Release, but didn’t enjoy that workout. I thought it would be nice to have a shorter workout that I might use more often. So, I decided to try this workout.

I enjoyed it and will keep it to see if I will use it often enough to justify having it on my shelf. I felt relaxed, but like I had put in some work at the end of it. I liked Kirsten Stroehecker’s manner and found her motivating me to try a harder position that I might normally go for. Her cueing was pretty good – there were places she could have given a bit more instruction, but wasn’t bad and I usually could follow her fine. When I couldn’t, I looked at the screen and caught up. The music was fine – nothing special, but a more significant presence than with some workouts. I agree with everyone else who couldn’t figure out why they wouldn’t place the modifier where she can be seen more often. All they would have had to do would be to place her as one of the two people behind the instructor.

For people with wrist issues, be aware that there is a series that involves the cobra into a downward dog that is repeated multiple times. I am someone who doesn’t feel the need to do everything they do in a workout, so I hung out in child’s pose while they did that combination. In the future, I may try going straight into the downward dog at times. There are also multiple moves that start in a table position. Those moves I can do okay with my wrists, but others may have trouble.

Overall, I enjoyed this workout. But, then, I’m one of those non-yoga people.

Instructor comments: She has a straightforward manner and gives pretty clear explanations about what she wants you to do. There were a few times I wish she had included a few more details. She did motivate me to try the more advanced position with several moves.

Laura S.

September 2, 2005

First off, I do not have the patience to do Yoga at home (I enjoy taking Yoga classes.) I can usually do it as an add on for up to 20 minutes. That being said, I enjoyed this workout, even though it runs 35 minutes. The last 5 minutes are strictly stretching, which were held long enough to be relaxing. The Yoga workout consists of 2 or 3 "routines" which were repeated and then done on the other side. There are no props used, but you can modify with blocks on some moves. There are no yoga names given for the moves - but Kirsten gives descriptions, as in a weight workout. She does warrior poses, cobra, down dog, planks (side and front), triangle, pigeon and a few others. The flow is very good -- starting with standing moves and ending on the floor. The time went quickly and the instruction was good.

Instructor comments: Kirsten has a pleasant voice and cues well. She says the same exact lines for repeating the moves on the other side (must be scripted!)

Jo

5/10/06



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