Valerie Rogers
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Yoga

Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.

I don't do enough stretching and/or yoga. I am always looking for a practice or workout that works for me - someone with arthritic hands, wrists and knees. So, when I saw this DVD, a yoga workout that's done entirely seated or standing, often using a chair for balance or support, I had to try it. If I can get the benefits of yoga without ever hitting the floor, that would be ideal. However, I've learned not to get too excited though because chair workouts are often really, really easy. This workout, however, gives you options in terms of how intense and/or hard you want to work and even the easier options made me feel good. I disagree with the "beginner" rating that most people give it. I think it should be "beginner/intermediate" because she gives harder options, like lowering yourself into a full plank with your hands on the seat of the chair. Valerie Rogers, the instructor, does the harder options and a background exerciser does the easier options.

There are four sections:

Seated warm up - Introduces the moves and gets you into using your breath appropriately
Standing flow - A series of standing sequences that include poses like sun salutations, warriors and tree poses using the chair
Seated stretch/relaxation - This section has one or two more vigorous moves in the beginning and then morphs into a stretch/relaxation segment with a short mind-body section at the very end.

The program is instructed in voice over. I thought her instruction matched the moves really well. She matches the mood and cadence of the words in the voice over cueing in what she does, how she holds herself, and in her facial expressions. The set is pretty plain, but it's light and you can easily see the exercisers.

I thought the modifier was very good. She is easy to follow and I felt really stretched out and good at the end of the program following her. I especially liked the option of being able to do moves like sun salutations without the pressure on my hands. Valerie Rogers gives lots of pointers in terms of breath and form pointers. However, she does not explain how to do the moves in an instructional way, so I would suggest having some yoga background before doing this DVD.

Basically, you need a chair. They also have a mat under the chair. Since I work out on carpet, I didn't feel the need for one.

Instructor Comments:
She seems like an experienced yoga instructor who wants the participants to get as much out the practice as they can.

Laura S.