Yogini Workout

Ellen Barrett
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Yoga

This is one of the three original Studio workouts put out by Ellen Barrett (she has also done several Crunch Fitness, Flat Belly, and Self Magazine workouts). It is 45 minutes of yoga fusion work broken down by standing work (30 minutes) and floor work (10 minutes). This is probably the toughest of all the Studio workouts including the newer Studio workouts. It’s one of those workouts that doesn’t seem so hard but really catches up with you by the end. Ellen leads with two background instructors (the same as in her other original Studio workouts-one of them shows beginner modifications) in the same pleasant set. The music is a slow instrumental beat, appropriate for the slower moving video but still keeps me energized.

Yogini has a distinct toning emphasis unlike FBF which is primarily cardio, and Slim Sculpt which is primarily 4-limb and cardio. The Studio workouts complement each other very nicely. I think of Yogini as a harder version of the standing yoga work (the first 10 minutes or so) of Crunch Super Slimdown. They both include Warrior pulses, reaches, and breathing plies. Yogini takes it several steps further and includes some ballet and pilates work. Besides the multitude of breathing plies, there is a lot of static side lunge work with reaches, pulsing crescent pose, plank position, downward-upward dog movements, and leg pulses while in Warrior 3. The floor work is mostly stretching but does include some core work like boat pose (and more pulsing in boat pose).

Like others said, some of the work is slower or held longer, while at other times she pulses or does moves rapidly. The workout transitions very smoothly from one workout to another. While it is a tough workout, your heart rate won’t get into calorie burning range because it’s basically 45 minutes of toning and stretching. Like Ellen’s other videos, she likes to talk about the female trouble zones, opening your heart center, and shaping the female physique. By the end, I always feel stretched, refreshed, and smiling. They are definitely mood lifters! Also, Yogini is much more a fusion workout than a true yoga workout. She borrows yoga poses but there are no vinyasas and like I said she infuses a heavy amount of pilates and even some traditional toning into the workout.

This is an intermediate workout and be somewhat modified to make it less intense (lesser range of motion, etc. as demonstrated by the modifier). This really can’t be made into an advanced workout, although you will get out of it what you put in. I would qualify Yogini as more of a toning workout than a stretching workout, so be prepared to work out (not just relax), and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for a rest day because it can be quite vigorous. Actually I find Yogini difficult to place into a rotation. It doesn’t work flexibility as well as a yoga video would, but maybe wouldn’t tone as well as a Pilates or Barre video. I have used it on lighter or rest days and found it to be exhaustive, and yet when I’m on a regular exercise day I want something more intense. But I adore Ellen so I always stick it in the player every once in a while. Oftentimes I do the first 10 minutes and/or last 10 minutes as an add on to a cardio or strength workout. I also like it for travel because there is no equipment needed. The chaptering is good (every tune lasts about 10 minutes and you can skip to each tune) and you can play the entire workout or skip to one chapter from the DVD menu. Grade A.

Instructor Comments:
Ellen is enthusiastic, encouraging, and bubbly, always smiling and clearly enjoying the workout with you. She does have several “Ellenisms” including “opening your heart center” and “creating the female physique” that she refers to quite often and that might annoy some but it doesn’t bother me. Like I said she highly emphasizes the mind-body connection. She smiles a lot and it is hard not to smile with her! I also enjoy that she looks very healthy and fit, and her wardrobe is more conservative which might be an important detail for those that don’t like the midriffs, low cut pants (I’m talking about you, Jillian!), or cleavage.

Emily B.