Tantric Toning: The Stress-Free WorkoutStephanie DePhillipo
Year Released: 1999
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
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The production quality is very nice with a beautiful set, gentle music, good camera work, etc. Stephanie and four background exercisers combine all-standing yoga and tai chi movements in a flowing manner. This is a unique and innovative workout that left me feeling calm and energized although, contrary to the title, I don't really see any toning benefits.
The movements and pacing are easy and gentle enough for beginners but even more advanced exercises might enjoy its soothing nature.
Length of workout: I forgot to look at my DVD timer, but the Netflix sleeve said 50 minutes.
Stephanie is very attractive, but I think she puts too much emphasis on it with a skimpy outfit that shows way too much cleavage. She uses a lot of Goddess/New Age talk.
I found Tantric Toning to be an interesting blend of workout styles, namely low-impact aerobics, yoga, and Tai Chi. It reminded me a bit of Petra Kobler's BREATHE, but unlike that video, you don't have to repeatedly "take it from the top," which I find to be boring. Instead, this workout includes a very wide variety of different movements, flowing from one to the next. The workout begins with an 8-minute warm-up focused on "being present." This section consists mainly of simple standing pose such as horse, a basic pose in which your feet are spread and your knees soft. There are also plies, hip movements, and ankle circles to warm up the lower half of your body.
The main body of the workout consists of four sections which flow seamlessly from one to the next. The first, Earth (8 minutes), continues the standing poses for slightly more intense stretches, such as triangle pose. The Air section (8 minutes) is similar and adds some balance moves such as leg lifts. The third section, Fire (10 minutes), is both the longest and the most fast-moving. This segment provides low-impact aerobics: you'll do poses such as bow and arrow (similiar to warrior pose), but you'll move through them very quickly. The arms are thoroughly worked in this section, as most of the poses require them to be held up at shoulder level or higher. Finally, the workout ends with Water, a 7-minute cool down. The poses here are more recognizable from traditional hatha yoga, including standing forward bend and variations on tree pose (called waterfall and water droplet here).
The total workout is about 41 minutes in length, but the video ends with a 15-minute meditation called "Color Meditation." This is a seated meditation (either in a simple cross-legged position or hero's pose) focused on color: as a lens filter fills the screen with color, instructor Stephanie talks about the positive and negative emotions associated with that color, going through red, green, yellow, blue, and ending with white. I usually don't enjoy meditation, but I was pleasantly surprised that the 15 minutes passed very quickly. Overall, this workout is definitely "stress free" as it promises. Although the toning benefits are probably limited, you will definitely raise your heart rate, particularly during the Fire section. This is a nice program to use on weekend or other light days, and it can be performed with or without the color meditation at the end.
Stephanie emphasizes the sensual, and her cues are fairly high on the "woo-woo" factor (eg, "imagine you are holding up the world"). She sometimes fails to adequate describe the movements, and she does not provide very specific instructions on form. She's likely to appear to women who can appreciate the concept of connecting with the goddess within.