Argie Ligeros Tang
This is a 55-minute fusion toning workout. The routine is based on yoga with several pulsing moves (hence the name) added in throughout. A light pair of dumbbells is incorporated, and there are touches of pilates, ballet and other disciplines. A few moves reminded me very much of Lotte Berk/Callanetics. It is reminiscent of other yoga fusion workouts like Iron Yoga, Hard Body Yoga and Total Body Tone from Sara Ivanhoe's 20 Minute Yoga Makeover, but the Pulse Yoga series absolutely stands on its own merits.
In the Pulse Yoga program there are three full-length workouts: I (Basic), II (Balance & Tone) and III (Stamina & Strength). There is also a shorter Pulse Yoga Express workout. Pulse Yoga is available at Amazon and possibly other online outlets. As of the date of this review the Pulse Yoga website (www.pulseyoga.com) was still under construction.
Argie (rhymes with "barge-y") Tang leads the workout. A second exerciser, Prisca, demonstrates modifications throughout (for which I was grateful!). The workout is done barefoot. The only equipment needed is a yoga mat, a pair of light dumbbells (they use 2-3 lbs.; Argie says to select what feels right to you) and a yoga block (which is held between the knees during bridges; a small ball or pillow could substitute).
The Pulse Yoga workouts are filmed at a Mexican resort. Argie and Prisca perform the routine on an upper-level outdoor patio overlooking a golf course and the ocean. There is soft generic exercise music in the background -- not especially wonderful but not that awful either.
The DVD has a start menu, but no chaptering or other special features.
The workout goes something like this (I don't consider myself a yogini; please excuse me if I mess up any terminology!):
- Plank (held for a full minute!);
- A lengthy sun salutation series (this section makes up just over half of the workout). The salutations include down dogs with pulses (alternately lowering each heel to the ground) and from there lifting up one leg in various positions and pulsing. Cobra while raising both legs straight and pulsing them in a slow flutter kick. Upper body exercises (like biceps curls) with the weights while in Warrior I and II and Triangle;
- A pulsing Half Moon pose, followed by a Chair pose series incorporating pulses and pelvic tilts (wow did my thighs feel these!);
- Tree, with straight leg lifts to the front and side, followed by Pigeon pose (Prisca shows an alternative);
- U-sits, which were to me very reminiscent of the ab work in Lotte Berk and Callanetics. Lying on your back, you curl up and hold the upper body and pulse. Tough! Next is pulsing bridges with the yoga block between the thighs. A few stretches and a (short) savasana complete the routine.
The workout isn't done at a power yoga pace (the opposite, actually) but it is challenging and you will sweat!
I have cranky knees, but as long as I paid attention to my form in the various yoga postures they were happy with this workout. On the other hand, the Pulse Yoga series might not be the best choice for those with wrist issues, as a lot of time is spent in Downward Facing Dog.
Familiarity with basic yoga poses will help a lot in enjoying this workout, but you certainly don't need to be a yoga expert.
I plan to post reviews of the other Pulse Yoga workouts once I recover from this one(!).
I really enjoyed Pulse Yoga I, and I highly recommend the Pulse Yoga series to those who enjoy a fusion approach to their workouts.
I really like both Argie Tang and Prisca Boris. They are knowledgeable and always encouraging. Argie is respectful of yoga tradition but avoids too much "woo woo" chat. Unfortunately she does not mirror cue, so you will have to choose between following her verbal instruction or mirroring her moves on screen.
July 30, 2006