NOTE. The Pilates segments on this DVD appear on previously released Jennifer Kries videos: the main Pilates workout is from Hot Body Cool Mind Level 1, and the bonus Pilates Magic Circle segment is from Hot Body Cool Mind Waking Energy.
The main workout on this DVD is a 34-minute Pilates matwork sequence. Jennifer Kries, who is instructing three background exercisers, starts by providing an overview with basic Pilates principles, including breathing and form--an important feature for those new to Pilates. Following this, Jennifer leads the class through a fairly standard mat practice which mostly follows classical Pilates sequencing, although she adds some stretches, decreases the repetitions, shows modifications, and performs only 3 of the Series of 5 exercises. Overall, this workout is most appropriate for beginners, although Jennifer includes some good form reminders that even more experienced Pilates practitioners may find useful.
Also included on this DVD is a 14-minute bonus Pilates Magic Circle segment: here Jennifer instructs one male and one female background exerciser in a nice little full-body workout using the Pilates circle or ring. The first half is performed in a standing position, first working the upper body with the ring between your hands, then the lower with the ring between your legs. There were some unique variations here that I haven't seen in other Pilates ring workouts. The second half of this workout is a short matwork sequence. Jennifer has her assistants perform abbreviated versions of Pilates exercises, such as the hundred and the rollup, and she includes with a single exercise from the Pilates side kick series. Because the ring makes the moves a little more challenging, the level of this workout was slightly more difficult than the main workout, more of an experienced beginner level.
In summary, if you are looking for a basic beginning Pilates mat workout with plenty of instruction and form pointers, this DVD might fit the bill. However, as mentioned above, keep in mind that the Pilates segments here were previously released on other DVDs, and Jennifer frequently refers to those other workouts.
Personally, I do not like Jennifer Kries' manner; I find her to be rather condescending even though I'm sure she doesn't mean to be. However, she is a bit more low-key and tolerable to me here. She does not mirror cue.
Beth C (aka toaster)
October 3, 2007