Hot Yoga Level 1

Baron Baptiste
Year Released: 2001

Categories: Yoga

This is probably not a good tape for beginners. Those with some yoga experience will probably enjoy it, however. It's also a good introduction to "power yoga" for those who have been using, say, the Yoga Zone series for beginners.

I'm not going to put this video up for trade yet, but I was not very impressed by it. The set is very crowded with students--to the point that the students really have no room to do all the poses equally well and that I, too, was worried Baron was going to step on someone or trip. It's also difficult to see what the students are doing with their bodies during the poses because they're so packed together. Baron also constantly chatters throughout but he's not chatting about the things that I think are important: like the names of the poses, or form pointers, or explanations of how to get into the poses safely. I found that the combination of the crowded room and Baron's nonstop patter made me nervous--not my favorite feeling while doing yoga.

I was interested to read the comments of another reviewer that she preferred Baron's Hot Yoga 1 to Bryan Kest's Power Yoga 1 (Energize). I had the opposite reaction. I find Bryan's tape to be superior in every way. The production values are higher, you can always see what positions people's body parts are in, Bryan suggests some modifications for those who are less flexible or less experienced, and he does give more form pointers than Baron (though not as many as he probably should!) Bryan can also be quiet at times, which I also appreciate in a yoga tape.

I do like the sequence of poses in Hot Yoga 1, and the ab work at the end is quite effective (though I found the way he takes the students into boat extremely awkward). I don't think I would ever do this tape in its entirety in one session again, but I can imagine breaking it up as other reviewers do, around a cardio session, for an added warm-up, cool-down, and stretch.

Finally, I bought the cheap Good Times version from Walmart, not knowing any better. I find the production quality adequate--though of course I have not seen the original version. But since the sequence of exercises is the same, and I don't spend much time looking at the screen anyway when I practice yoga, it doesn't bother me.

Instructor Comments:
His constant chatter distracted me. There were almost no form pointers or explanations about how to get safely into some of the poses, although this tape says it's for beginners.