Yoga Booty Ballet

Teigh McDonough, Gillian Marloth
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Yoga

I enjoyed this workout a lot - it's one of the few fusion videos that flows well from segment to segment.

After a brief section of breathing and coming up with an "intention"/goal for the workout, Teigh leads the warmup. It's outdoors on a hilltop and it features female exercisers (one of whom is plus-size) and one man. The warmup is invigorating and fun - lots of total body stretches, arm sweeps and rollups to awaken the spine, back and core. The dance elements are easy, like hip sways and hip rolls.

Next, Gillian leads the ballet section - this is just her and Teigh on a rocky ledge overlooking a koi pond. The ballet consists of leg lifts to the front, sides and rear. It really works the glutes.

The sculpting section is next, led by Teigh, who calls it the "cardio" section. This is misleading as the moves aren't vigorous enough to get most people near their heart-strengthening or fat-burning cardio zone. The set is some sort of pseudo-amphitheater. The moves are side steps, plie squats and the occasional squat, all with light upper-body toning moves: lateral and front raises for shoulders, hammer curls, overhead French press, kickbacks. I used three-pound dumbbells, which worked my shoulders but was not heavy enough to work my biceps or triceps. I will fault Teigh for some sloppy form on one of the moves - in the squat/front raise move, she squats down and leans way forward, with her chest almost touching her quads. The second part of this move is questionable too: coming out of the squat, she tucks her hips under to squeeze the butt while sweeping the arms to shoulder height in a front raise. The tuck-under is so exaggerated that she actually leans her upper body back, which makes the front raise even more ineffective, as she uses momentum instead of shoulder muscles to get the weight up.

Next comes yoga - back to the grassy hilltop. Gillian instructs through a voice-over. I think this is the weakest part of the workout - the yoga is actually quite good but there is NO instruction at all. Most of the moves flow from down dog to plank, then lowering yourself to the floor, moving to updog/cobra and back to down dog. If you are not familiar with the moves, you should go to a beginner's yoga tape or buy a yoga book to get tips on form - how far apart the legs should be in down dog, where the hands are in cobra. Gillian's "instruction" is along the lines of "arch your back" when doing cobra/updog...a better instructor would mention hands under the shoulders, hips pressing to the floor, collarbone wide. Get those kinds of formpointers elsewhere, you won't get them here. Having said that, the sequence of poses has a nice flow and is very invigorating.

Gillian leads the abs section too - she uses the YBB squishy ball to do inner thigh squeezes while performing crunches. Again, some of the instruction in this section is incomplete - Gillian says placing the ball between your legs just below the knee and pressing inward will engage the lower abs. Well, eventually and with lots of concentration, it does...but first and foremost you'll use your inner-thigh muscles. There is some dubious form on the abs work: Gillian tells you to tuck your chin to your chest AND bring your elbows forward before doing a crunch, both of which are bad bad bad for the neck. When she does reverse crunches / lower ab lifts, she also demonstrates such a wide range of motion, it looks like she's just pulling her bent knees to her chest and releasing them, not using her lower-abs muscles at all. An experienced exerciser will know how to use proper form; a novice might not.

The final section is a Teigh-led stretch - it's brief and effective. The workout closes back at the koi pond with a little more deep breathing and affirmations.

I was surprised to find myself sweaty after this workout, and feeling very invigorated. It's a great no-impact workout with targeted butt work and nice stretching and lengthening moves.

Instructor Comments:
Both instructors are incredibly fit and have admirable physiques. They have a nice rapport with each other and aren't too chatty. Gillian gets a little crunchy/California space-y with some of her comments and moans in the yoga section.