Video Fitness

Yoga Zone: Yoga for Weight Loss

This tape is one of my new favorites! Unlike other Yoga Zone videos, it is divided into 30 and 20 minute segments so you can do it even if you are short on time. It is "power-type" yoga, flowing fairly quickly.

The video is led by Al Bingham, who will be familiar to viewers of the YZ television show. His co-exercisers are Claire, another YZ instructor who performs modifications. The other participant is Laura, whom I was pleased to see, is a "normal sized" woman with actual hips and bosom. And she is FLEXIBLE! She does the routines fully with no modifications. Kudos to YZ for featuring Laura, and let this be a sign to other video producers: We like to see exercisers who look like ourselves! Laura is a role model we can all aspire to be like.

The video includes sun salutations, forward bends, several down-dog sequences, and a variety of warrior sequences that had my legs quivering. There are some twisting postures that really helped open up my tight back and shoulders. Throughout, Al reminds you to focus on the breathing. He explains the postures in a very down-to-earth yet precise way. He is constantly encouraging and says things like "good job!" and "nice!" The workout ends with a seated meditation that is nicely relaxing

The second segment features Al and Lisa Bennett, of the TV show and also the leader of the YZ "Power Yoga" video. This workout focuses more on the back, and to that end has a number of spinal twists that feel really good. There are a couple of balancing poses as well. I like the way Al and Lisa demonstrate several "wrong" ways to perform the poses, to point up what we may be doing wrong. A brief meditation concludes the tape.

Even though I'm not sure about the "weight loss" aspect of this video, I felt very energized and focused when I finished. I would recommend this to advanced beginners or intermediates who are looking for a strong, powerful yoga practice tape.

Instructor comments: Al Bingham is a really great instructor. Not as "spiritual" as Alan Finger on the other tapes in the series. He seems to understand the needs of beginners and the pitfalls they encounter. His instruction is thorough enough that I only needed to look at the screen once in a while to check my posture. I hope that he is featured in the new YZ videos coming up in September.

Sasha Castel

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