Iron Yoga

Anthony Carillo
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Yoga

Saw the book by the same name in Costco, and was surprised to see the DVD already available at Netflix, so I rented it.

Quite simply, this is Yoga with weights. You use 1-5 pound dumbbells, depending on your level of fitness. You do not need straps or other props. Mr. Carillo demonstrates the advanced form for each exercise, and a woman on each side demonstrates the beginner/intermediate forms.

When you are not actively doing curls and such, you are still holding the dumbbells throughout most of the workout, so (just my observation here), if you have carpal tunnel issues (as in, your hands go numb when you grip) you might wish to use the soft rubber weighted balls that are featured in Leslie Sansone videos instead. And of course, be careful not to drop them on your head or toes!

The workout consists of 54 minutes of various yoga poses (triangle, tree, warrior, etc.) where you either hold the weight steady or do various curls. You do not do many repetitions of each exercise--it reminds me of "Power of 10" and "SuperSlow" lifting--you slowly lift and then slowly push the weight down, using your body's resistance both ways. These are mostly balancing poses, as opposed to flexibility/stretching poses. Very little floor work.

There are 2 different Sun Salutation sequences within the workout, but they are very slowly and deliberately done, not as they would be done in a Yoga class for say, a warm-up.

There is also a 6-minute "bonus" section that is a guided relaxation while you are in Corpse pose, which is nice by itself, or you can do it in addition to the cooldown in the workout.

This is one of those workouts (like Callanetics) where you are supposed to really keep your mind on what you are doing at all times. You are not pounding out the reps or changing positions quickly. If you are not keeping your mind on what you are doing, you may find this workout slow-moving and boring.

The music is quiet in the background. There are several video reminders throughout to keep your form correct, along with his verbal cues.

The set is spartan, but pleasant (a gear-like sculpture in desert orange/rust with a line of glass blocks in front of it with a light string (like those used for outdoor Christmas displays) behind the blocks, and a grey (concrete?) floor.

All in all, I think this is a rather innovative workout, and it is reasonably priced to boot. It is designed to be done as a complete workout, so you need to be able to devote an hour+ to it.

Instructor Comments:
Pleasant and softspoken, very little chit-chat. Gets right down to business. I like that. Good cueing and direction.