Video Fitness

Spirit Flow: Alive in Your Body

Michelle LeMay

About me: I’m an advanced exerciser and fitness instructor who is trying to incorporate more yoga and stretching in my life to avoid injury and improve my dancing. I would still consider myself more beginner in yoga, but able to do some advanced poses. I rented Spirit Flow from Netflix and ended up doing it after Cathe’s Chest and Back to stretch out my muscles and relax before getting down to computer work.
Michelle leads this workout by herself. There is a blue sky background and it is obviously intended to make it seem as if Michelle is floating in the air. I found this to be a bit cheesy, but ignored it as the workout went on. The workout is not quite an hour, maybe about 55 minutes or so. It is also chaptered and has a bonus stretch, but I did not explore these options.
I am not sure what to make of this workout. Many of the poses appealed to the dancer in me (in terms of fluidity). Michelle is very flexible and it’s clear that she is a dancer. The side stretches in particular felt great after doing the lat work with Cathe. She also does some nice hip opening work as well. There are dancy, flowing variations on warrior, crescent pose and triangle pose. There was one hip straddle sequence that made me feel as if I were writhing across the floor, but once I got it, it actually felt pretty good! However, some things about this workout just were a bit strange. The floating, cloudy words across the top of the screen were really odd. Phrases like, ‘relax’ or ‘breathe’, etc. were unnecessary and distracting as well. Some of her instructions and moves were just…weird. What in the heck does ‘breathing through your body mean’?
Another note-this workout is not for total beginners in that Michelle’s instruction on breathing and movement is not always given—or if it is given, it is not ahead of the movement. Michelle doesn’t always tell you the names of many of the yoga poses she executes in the video. There are some of them I thought would be a bit safer in a static context rather than moving around. She also doesn’t give modifications-which is not a good thing, especially when you’re doing poses like double pigeon!
Spirit flow is billed as a workout that will promote weight loss and reduce tension and stress. It will definitely relax you, but it will not directly promote weight loss—you’ll need cardio and strength to do that. I felt relaxed and stretched out after doing this video, but I can’t see myself reaching for this on a frequent basis and am glad I rented it first.

Instructor comments: Very encouraging. Has a really breathy voice that may annoy some. Also extremely flexible.


April 23, 2006

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