I bought the Hollywood Trainer set, tried the Pilates DVD, previewed the Yoga DVD, then sold both workouts. Jeanette is very enthusiastic and energetic, but thatís not what I look for in yoga. I find Baron Baptiste to be pretty energetic, but in a different way. This is definitely a more athletic workout, rather than having any spiritual or mind/body aspects.
I didnít actually do this workout, just watched it. It seemed to be pretty standard stuffósun salutations, etc. Like the Pilates DVD, I think I have other workouts that accomplish the same thing, but do it better (are more difficult, better instructed, etc.).
The idea behind including this and the Pilates workouts in the set is to cross-train the body. However, you could easily substitute other (shorter or longer) Pilates or yoga and still get the benefits of the cross-training. If traditional yoga workouts arenít for you, and you want to avoid the woo-woo aspects, this might be a good one to try. Bear in mind, however, that Jeanette generally doesnít give a lot of the instruction or form pointers a beginner would need to avoid injury and do yoga properly.
Jeanette is very athletic, enthusiastic, and energetic. Unfortunately, her manner just doesnít work for yoga, in my opinion. I like my yoga to be engaging and challenging, yet relaxing, and her version of it just isnít.
The box describes this yoga practice as "30 minutes of Flow Yoga [followed by] deep static stretches." After introducing some basic yoga breathing, instructor Jeanette Jenkins moves into approximately 33 minutes of standing postures. She begins with the sun salutation, slowly building from the forward bend only to the plank-chaturanga-upward dog-downward dog vinyasa. As she adds standing postures such as crescent lunge and Warriors 1 & 2, she continues to repeat the plank-chaturanga-upward dog-downward dog vinyasa between virtually every pose, even when simply moving to complete the poses on the other side of the body. Additional standing postures included in this flow are triangle, extended side angle, revolved prayer twist, and standing split.
About two-thirds of the way through the standing series, Jeanette performs a wide-legged forward bend that is held for a nice, extended stretch, including twisting to both sides. At first, I thought this was a transition to the static stretching portion of the practice, but instead, Jeanette returns to the standing pose flow, repeating many of the standing postures and adding reverse Warrior. She continued to include the vinyasa between the poses, which I found difficult at this point given that I was getting quite tired--there must have been 20-30 chaturangas included in this segment!
Finally, Jeanette has you transition to the floor with some cat-dog stretches. She then does a bit of abs work, first holding several different variations of boat pose then performing an oblique bicycle move. Following this, there are some nice hip opening forward bends from both a cross-legged and a straddle position, all of which she holds for a good long time. She then moves to a reclined position for hamstring stretches and a spinal twist before ending with a very brief savasana; the entire practice came in at just under 49 minutes.
In general, I thought this was a well-paced practice, as Jeanette does not rush through the vinyasas and holds even the standing postures for a decent amount of time. However, there were so many transition vinyasas that I'm afraid I might develop a bit of dread factor about this practice; also, I would have liked to have seen a greater variety of standing poses, including more balance work. Overall, this video might appeal to someone who is looking for a moderately-paced vinyasa practice and who is an experienced beginner or above.
Jeanette has a lot of energy, but I thought she was able to contain it enough to make this both a calming and an energizing practice; I think she has a nice, down-to-earth teaching style. She did give some pointers here and there, but not enough for someone who is totally new to yoga.
Beth C (aka toaster)
March 29, 2005