I'm reviewing this workout after doing it once today.
General workout breakdown: This yoga workout combining has 5 distinct 10 minute
segments. There isn't much of a centering and/or warm up section except for the
short bit on the first segment, and the savasana (corpse) is very short and at the
end of the last segment.
The five segments are the following:
(Please note: ?Vinyasa? will be used in this review to refer to the combination
refered to as such by Lara: plank?body lowered down via triceps push up?upward
facing dog?downward facing dog.)
*Yoga Basics begins with breathing in seated cross-legged position. Lara does 2
sun salutations A with vinyasa. The next 2 sun salutations involve raising one
straight leg in down dog and then moving it into warrior 1; after a vinyasa this
is repeated with the other leg. (N.B. Lara goes straight into upward dog; feel
free to modify this to cobra, especially if you're new to yoga and/or jumping in
without much of a warm up.)
*Yoga for Buns & Thighs begins with chair pose. This moves into vinyasa (with
an extra focus on squeezing the glutes) with straight leg into warrior 1, then warrior
2, and next warrior 2 with movement (straightening and bending bent knee), and back
to warrior 1 before a vinyasa and a repetition of the sequence on the other side.
After the last vinyasa, Lara moves onto the stomach for a move where she slowly
squeezes her straight legs together and then releases, all while keeping her legs
raised off of the floor. After a quick cat stretch and child?s pose, she moves
back into down dog before finishing out a sun salutation B. This chair pose then
twists to each side. She moves back into a vinyasa, with the straight leg moving
into a high lunge, where she first does a crescent with movement (straightening
and bending the front bent knee) and then holds still while holding the body diagonally
above the bent knee. This lunge series is repeated on both sides before a final
vinyasa, finishing in mountain pose.
*Yoga for Abs is done on the floor and includes a lot of work for the lower region
of the abdominal muscle. Lara begins in boat pose, raising & straightening
and then lowering & bending the legs. She then repeats the leg movements while
leaning back on her elbows. She then lowers and raises her straight legs while
lying on the floor. Next she brings her legs to 90 degrees with her knees apart
and pulses with her arms through the legs, then to the outside of each knee. After
a quick stretch, she lies on her side (using the Pilates side leg series position)
and lifts both legs. She returns to boat pose, raising and lowering legs, arms,
and torso together. The last pose begins in table top; she then pulls her hips
down and through her straight arms, hovering just above the floor. Lara finishes
with rolling her wrists, sphinx, and child?s pose.
*Yoga Burn begins with sun salutation 1, taking the straight leg through into warrior
1, which becomes warrior 2 and then triangle (first with arm vertical and then horizontal).
After moving back through warrior 2 and then 1, she repeats the series on the other
side following a vinyasa. Next come side planks, again with a vinyasa in between.
After child?s pose she introduces a camel flow: standing up from her knees, she
opens her arms and bends back, raises up and rounds forward, finally returning to
the starting position with hands in prayer position. This is repeated several times
before an up dog-down dog flow, which she does without rolling over her toes, for
several times. She finishes the sun salutation and begins this sequence: from
a low chair she rocks back on the floor, with her legs reaching up overhead (like
jackknife in Pilates), and then rolls back up onto her feet before moving her arms
together behind her back for a shoulder stretch in forward bend; when she raises
her torso she does a mini backbend before returning to mountain pose.
*Yoga for Flexibility & Relaxation is done on the floor. Lara begins with bound
angle pose with forward bend. Then, with one leg bent in and the other extended
out she does a side bend; after readjusting the legs to cross each other this becomes
a seated twist. This series is repeated on the other side. She then lies on the
floor for bridge and a series of leg stretches repeated on both sides: pulling
the bent leg in for a hip flexor stretch, extending the leg straight up for a hamstring
stretch, opening the straight leg out for an inner thigh stretch, and then moving
the bent knee to the opposite side for a spinal twist. Lara ends with a very short
savasana (corpse); you?ll want to stay down much longer.
I strongly recommend programming the DVD to play the segments in this order in order
to achieve the best flow and to avoid moving from standing to floor to standing
to floor: Basics, Buns & Thighs, Burn, Abs, and Flexibility & Relaxation.
(In other words, just switch the Burn & Abs segments).
Level: I'd recommend this to an experienced beginner (i.e. someone with some yoga
experience) to a mid-intermediate exerciser. There is not enough instruction and
too many more intermediate poses (and few modifications) to make this suitable for
a true beginner to yoga. At the same time, someone who is at a high intermediate
or advanced level would find this too easy or only suitable for light days. I consider
myself a low intermediate in yoga; I have almost three years of experience but still
need to improve my strength and flexibility. I found this a suitably challenging
yoga workout, particularly since I used this video after a brief weights session.
Class: Lara alone, with a different outfit for each segment.
Music / Set / Other Production Notes: The sometimes synthesizer, sometimes Spanish
guitar-inspired instrumental music with a light beat is OK. The room has light
colored walls, high windows, and hardwood floors. Yoga mats and blocks are stacked
in the back, and plants and a stability ball also line the back wall. The picture
and sound quality are very good.
Equipment: sticky mat (or equivalent). Lara performs all segments barefoot.
Comments: You don?t need much space for this workout. You should be able to lie
down with your arms and legs extended. Allow yourself extra space for the Burn
segment, as you will rock back with your legs going past your head.
DVD Notes: Like all of the 10 Minute Solutions DVDs, the (here very pink!) menu
allows you to play all five segments in the order I listed above, choose just one
segment, or program your own routine.
Conclusion: I was pleasantly surprised by this workout. I like it, but I don't
love it. Lara is the reason I purchased this video and one of the reasons I'll
keep it. The other reason is I like the flow (the modified one I posted above)
and can see myself doing this video despite my general lack of love for sun salutation-heavy
yoga. (I'll probably skip the abs, though.) That said, I wouldn't be surprised
if months in the future it moves to make room for something else.
If you love this video, you should also consider Quick Fix Power Yoga. (I liked
the QF but ended up trading it away because it didn?t grab me the way my other new
yoga videos?Shiva, Erich, Eoin?did. I prefer the flow on 10 Minute Solution to
the QF.) If you like the idea of short yoga workouts but find this video (or the
QF PY) too intense / challenging / intimidating, check out the Quick Fix Yoga (on
the Quick Fix Total Mix: Pilates & Yoga DVD), which is a level lower in intensity
but includes a number of the same basic poses. And Karen Voight also produces yoga
videos, namely YogaSculpt and Yoga Focus, which also focus on an ?athletic? style
of yoga free from mentions of Eastern religion / spirituality / philosophy or anything
New Agey. (That may be another reason why this DVD, like the QF PY, eventually
leaves my shelves since exploring beyond yoga?s physical aspects has become increasingly
compelling to me.)
Lara is almost constantly cueing moves, which she does well. (If you like your
yoga instructors to be quiet, don't pick this one up.) She does mirror cue. She
provides only a few form pointers and minimal form instruction. Lara has matured
as an instructor in comparison to 10 Minute Solution Pilates; she seems even more
confident and comfortable in front of the camera. I like her on screen presence
a lot. She isn't as warm and friendly as other instructors; she seems to be low
key as a person and keeps a little distance as an instructor, but she?s not cold.
Lara's very encouraging, telling you ?very nice,? etc. She's young, but she seems
to know her stuff and demonstrates good form (although not as great as on her Pilates
video). There is little appearance talk, except for mentions of shaping the eponymous
body parts in the Buns & Thighs segment, and a little calorie burning plug during
the Burn segment.
September 12, 2005