Sara Ivanhoe's 20 Minute Yoga Makeover series consists of 5 20-minute practices designed to help anyone find time to fit in yoga. Although the videos are being marketed to all levels, they do not contain detailed instruction and would not be appropriate for those new to yoga; in fact, many of the postures included are on a more intermediate level.
My favorite practice of the series was Sculpted Buns & Thighs, which contained excellent leg stretches and hip openers. The other practice focusing on a specific area of the body is Flat Abs, which included some challenging plank work as well as Pilates-type abs exercises. Weight Loss and Power Beauty Sweat are both designed to build heat and burn more calories, mostly through adding additional movement rather than performing static poses. Both routines have a standing posture focus: the former moves through the warrior series, including the revolved postures, while the latter concentrates more on twisting postures. The final practice in the series, Total Body Tone with Weights, was my least favorite. Rather than using the weights to enhance the stretch in the postures, the weights felt like more of an add-on.
At the end of each practice, Sara concludes with a mudra, or yogic hand gesture, which is designed to seal in the benefits of the workout; these short meditations provided a nice introduction to some of the non-phyiscal aspects of yoga practice. Overall, this is a very good series for those who have had some prior experience with yoga but who are having trouble trying to find the time for a more regular yoga practice.
Instructor Sara Ivanhoe's personality in this series is similar to her prior Crunch and Dummies videos: she is very down-to-earth, although some may find her language a bit patronizing at times.
December 13, 2004
I bought this 5 disc set to use as a morning workout as soon as I get out of bed. I was pleasantly surprised by the upbeat music and professional production quality- these dvds even allow for Dolby 5.1 surround sound. They appear to be filmed in Hawaii, and Sara exercises alone. The set include Total Body Tone with Weights, Power Beauty Sweat, Sculpted Buns and Thighs, Weight Loss, and Flat Abs. I have been practicing yoga for 6 years, and these were just right for my ability level. The workouts end with a mudra (yogic hand gesture), which I have found helpful to keep me centered and relaxed throughout the day.
I am really enjoying these workouts. I feel a difference when I do them. For some reason though, I sweat the most with the 20 min. Weight Loss and not the Power Yoga. I try and do the 20 min Abs Yoga after one of the other 20 min yoga workouts, and I really feel my abs the next day. The set also includes 20 min. yoga workout for Hips and Thighs, which I also like. The other other 20 min workout I am not crazy about is the yoga workout that includes weights, and I feel the weights are more of a hindrance. I have yet to try the workout without the weights. I felt a slight strain in my shoulder a few hours after I did this particular workout.
I think she is likeable, personable and very helpful