Video Fitness

Yoga Zone: Strengthen and Tone

Jennifer Monness

This DVD has two workouts of 20 minutes each: lower body and upper body. Itís very easy if youíve been doing yoga for quite awhile. Too easy, in my case. These two workouts are taken from the Yoga Zone TV series. During each, there is a commercial break that has been edited out, but they evidently couldnít edit them completely out and keep them seamless, so they insert a very short (perhaps 10-second) blurb with Alan Finger. Itís really very unobtrusive and doesnít take away from the workouts. Like most or all of the Yoga Zone workouts, this is shot in Jamaica with very pretty scenery. Itís a very good DVD with a quite reasonable price, but only if you are a beginner.

Annie S.


This dvd features two 20-minute workouts compiled from the Yoga Zone tv show. Jen Monness leads both workouts assisted by Jeanne. Both workouts are filmed outdoors at a resort in Jamaica.

This workout, like the Gentle Yoga title from this series, is not quite as cleanly edited as others they have put out---they didn't smooth over the breaks for commercials and inserted some rather odd little interviews with Alan Finger, the Yoga Zone founder. I found this strange and not entirely welcome, to have the workout be interrupted and have to watch Alan talk at me. But these breaks were very short, just a few seconds each. It is not my preference to have it this way, but it was not a deal-breaker for me either.

The first workout focuses on the lower body. You dive straight into the action with a down dog (no warm-up to it---bad!) then a lunge on each side. She eases the balance transition by starting with arms down and gradually raising them, which was a nice touch. Then another down dog, this time with warrior add-on which transitions to side angle, then another down dog with chair/forward bend combo. We get our first Alan break here. Then we do two balance poses which I really liked, then a really nice leg stretch section. A down dog/cat combo takes us into our second Alan break, then a final stretch and relaxation. I really enjoyed this routine. Because we had to do everything separately on each side, there were not that many poses, which made the time go by quickly.

The second section focuses on the upper body. We begin with a side twist to warm up (good idea---forgot that in the last workout, didnít they?) and a quick arm stretch. Then we do a tabletop thing, and a fun active cat that included triceps pushups. Tabletop is a hard pose for me, and I had to modify it into another down dog. Next up, we have a plank with chatarunga and cobra, then a down dog to childís pose while we have our first Alan break. Then we do two runs through a sun salutation that works the upper body with plank, chatarunga and down dog. Following this, we get a Ďheadstand prepí (a down dog, but resting on your elbows), dolphin (plank, but on your elbows) and a childís pose while Alan talks again. We end with some side stretches and relaxation pose.

Like most dvds in this series, I found the two workouts on the disk to be quite different. I enjoyed the first one much more, and found it much more suited to my level. I am not sure if they really do tend to pick harder practices for the second workout or if itís just that I am more tired by then, but I always seem to prefer the first routine. I paid $9 for this dvd and it was a good value for that price. In general, I find this series fairly consistent and suitable for me and my level.

Instructor comments: I found Yoga Zone Charles a bit more natural-seeming and to my taste, but Jennifer was a pleasant instructor and her cueing was fine.



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