Gillian Marloth and Teigh McDonough
Goddess Booty is a 22-minute toning workout emphasizing (what else?!) the booty. It is part of the Yoga Booty Ballet Master Series.
In the YBB Masters it is just Gillian and Teigh -- no class, no Ravi on drums. The set is a spare, brightly-lit studio with wood floors and white walls, softened by long golden-yellow fabric panels and luminaria. The effect is clean and elegant but not cold. I don't really remember the music, to be honest. Teigh and Gillian are barefoot. No equipment is used except for a mat.
There is no formal chaptering on the DVD, not even a start menu (I would have appreciated at least that). However, the DVD appears well segmented by exercise groups, by which I mean you can use the "skip" buttons on your remote to bypass certain moves if you want.
I would rate Goddess Booty as advanced beginner to intermediate. With some of the exercises, the more you understand the form the harder the exercise becomes. No ankle weights or other resistance is used or even suggested. However, I think light ankle weights could be a valid addition to this workout to increase the intensity. I've certainly seen many of these exercises in other workouts done with ankle weights. (Because my knees object, I am no longer using ankle weights myself.)
Teigh and Gillian take turns instructing. As always, you are encouraged to go at your own pace and take breaks as needed. In Goddess Booty there is a theme of connecting inner and outer beauty. YBB workouts urge love and respect for your body (no derogatory "burn that butter!" comments here).
As with all YBBs, we begin with a mudra and setting an intention. The surya (sp?) mudra is for "strength, beauty and grace." The intention emphasizes community and the inner/outer beauty connection.
Still seated, the workout begins with the soles of the feet together and warming up the lower body with a butterfly bounce, adding in rocking the upper body from side to side, then front and back. Next are lying side leg lifts, with the lifting leg in various positions and sometimes moving it in small circles. It is familiar stuff, but with a YBB spin -- e.g. "anti-ballet leg lift." Then it is onto our stomachs for frog lifts (soles of the feet together, knees apart). Careful with this one if you have lower back issues. We repeat the leg lift series on the other side, then do more frog lifts.
Next we move to elbows and knees for rear leg lifts (very familiar to anyone who has done The Firm!). Then we sit with one leg bent in front and one bent in back, lifting the rear leg (YBB's version of The Bar Method's "Pretzel" or Callanetics' "Bringing Up the Rear"). After a stretch and a can-can type hip roll, we move into down dog, then stand for butt squeezes in a plie position. This is followed by ballet-inspired standing leg lifts (very YBB), then chair squats with pelvic tucks/squeezes.
Back down to the floor for a hip stretch and spinal twist, followed by the "Happy Cow's Face" yoga pose, where bent legs are crossed in front with one knee atop the other -- great for opening up the hips. We repeat the sequence on the other side, then finish the workout with a "miracle" mudra.
Goddess Booty frankly does not cook my derriere like certain other workouts I have, such as Callanetics Hips & Behind, Lotte Berk's High Rounded Assets, or The Bar Method's Fat Free. However, if those other workouts have a big "dread" factor for you (that's me!), you might appreciate Goddess Booty as an alternative (after all, the most effective workouts are the ones you will actually do). Goddess Booty may also be a good choice for those who find those other workouts too advanced, or who like to alternate between harder and easier workouts (also me).
Goddess Booty should also appeal to those who appreciate an emphasis on the mind-body connection when working out. However, if this kind of thing makes you roll your eyes -- well, consider yourself warned!
I love Gillian and Teigh. They are total pros who obviously enjoy what they teach and how they teach it. Throughout the workout they offer lots of form pointers and encouragement, and especially emphasize the mind-body connection. I like how they encourage a positive attitude toward the body.
March 25, 2006