Millennium StretchScott Cole
Year Released: 1999
Categories: Athletic Stretch
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Ah, this video has tremedous potential. The stretches are held a very long time, which is wonderful, and the visualization that helps increase flexibility is fantastic. Scott Cole is really, really likeable. It's obvious that he truly cares about his work, and he has a pleasant chattiness. He's funny and natural. The set is pleasant, the background people are varied and pleasant to look at.
But why, oh why must this tape waste five minutes on slow-motion moves involving pretending to catch a football?? And why must I spend ten minutes of my workout time lying on the ground, not moving, listening to stuff about my capillaries and bone marrow and black spots in my lungs?
I can't stand being TOLD to relax. If he just led us through the stretches, I WOULD be relaxed, because it is a great stretching routine, and a great, New Agey (and hot!) instructor, but this business with vulnerability poses and self love poses - argh!
Plus, with all of Scott's talk about relaxing the back, at the end of the video my back actually felt less relaxed. I kept having to stretch it out myself after certain standing poses/stretches, because the pose put a funny strain on my back. Additional complaint: no arm-specific stretches.
This is a terrific tape! Different than what I expected. I've been notoriously dissatisfied with the yoga and stretch video's I've tried. This is really one of the best.
Scott Cole leads a small class on a CIA type set. He integrates many different disciplines and techniques including yoga, tai chi, and some Feldenkrais method into an expertly taught hour long stretch routine that is effective and very calming. It is genuinely suitable for most fitness levels. Good for beginners.
Scott has a couple of corn-ball moments, but overall is an extremely professional teacher. He begins with standing stretches then moves to the floor for a series of forward bends, hip openers, leg stretches, and spinal twists, culminating with a savasana (corpse pose) and a cute series of wake-up-again stretches. There are some unusual progressions, and the Feldenkrais section will be an interesting first-exposure to most viewers.
Music is acceptable new age dynamix. The students range in age, fitness level, ethnicity and gender. I like that.
I think I expected something different because the cover, and the title, suggested a more athletic workout to me (maybe the red, white and blue - sort of an Olympic feel). This is definitely new age, but nice, intelligent, well thought out new age.
Scott is ridiculously handsome and obviously quite serious about what he does. As I intimated previously, he'll occasionally hit a clinker with his humor (he says "mother and father earth - I don't want to be sexist"), but only occasionally, and the overall integrity of the workout certainly makes up for it.
This is an interesting tape, but I'm not sure how often I'll use it. The tape is about an hour long, and I've done it several times in bits and pieces, but never done the whole thing at once. Looking over some notes I took when I went through it again this morning, I can see why. This is a loooooong tape. And I can't quite figure out why it has to be so long. For example, at one point I noted a full ten minutes of oblique stretches, which included five minutes doing it normally, then five minutes with a "feldenkrais" visualization. There was nothing wrong with it, I guess. But ten minutes on one stretch? I enjoy oblique stretches, but I've enjoyed them in other, shorter tapes too. Doing them for ten minutes didn't make them any more or less enjoyable, effective or relaxing.
He spends about 15 minutes on some warm-up stuff: simplified Tai Chi such moving the arms and such, followed by something called the "eight poses of empowerment" which felt wonderful. He finishes the standing segment with some perfunctory calf stretching. This section alone would not offer a complete stretch by any definition, but if you have a few minutes to kill and want to do some relaxation exercises without breaking a sweat, this segment would be perfect.
The rest of the tape is on the floor, and Scott alternates between doing the moves himself and wandering around the room to help the others. We have that oblique part I mentioned, and also some quad and hamstring stretches, some seated oblique twists and some cat/back stretch stuff. He finishes with a very long relaxation and meditation section in a yoga corpse pose.
Scott seems like a good leader, but in his effort to lay on the mind/body stuff thoroughly, he sometimes tries too hard. At one point, he refers to an exercise being good for "bloatation" for example. And sometimes he puts a bit too fine a point on things. At one point, foot flexed and leg extended, he invites us to essentially move our big toe a tiny tiny micron to the left and "feel the difference." Um, sure.
I'm not sure I would ever do this whole tape at once. The opening standing segment is a nice cool-down/relaxer, and conveniently placed at the beginning of the tape for avid mix-and-matchers like me. But the rest of it.I don't know. There was nothing wrong with it, really. But with the tape's length taken into account, I could see myself reaching for other options.
This is a nice addition to my other stretch tapes. It starts out with some tai-chi-ish stretches, and I don't like that, so I just skip it. There's still plenty left of this hour-long tape. There are stretches for your whole body, and Scott has you hold them for a little bit, so you don't have to rush through anything. Scott is a "new-ager," so if that bothers you, you might not like this tape -- he says things that would probably turn you off if you don't like new-age (for lack of a better term). All in all, while it's not the best stretching I've ever done, it's definitely a keeper tape. Grade A.
This tape should be called Millenium Relaxation. I like the tape, but it is more about letting go of tension than conventional stretching. I will use this tape before I have to perform (I'm a singer.) The tape combines several disciplines, including yoga, Feldenkreis, visualization and Tai Chi, in a nice, flowing routine. The time seems to pass quickly. The stretches are held for a long enough time to really let go and see improvement in the range of motion. There is enough variety in the tape to keep it interesting. The first section which consists of some Tai Chi type movements is good for loosening up, balancing and focusing. This is a great tape for people who want to reduce stress and tension. It requires patience, because it moves slowly and deliberately, but it is a good complement to all those fast-moving cardio tapes.
Scott Cole is very likeable. He has a certain spiritual quality and conveys a feeling of positivity. He is relaxed and communicates the objectives of the moves in this tape very well.
I don't think that any video, with the possible exception of Yoga Zone Conditioning & Stress Release, has ever made me feel so RELAXED! So relaxed, in fact, that right after I finished doing this tape the other day my 6-year old came in to tell me that he had stuck some Silly Putty in the carpet. My reaction--I smiled, told him that was OK, and we cleaned it up (and I stayed cool, calm and collected the entire time!). If you've been curious about the mind/body benefits of tai chi and yoga but haven't been sure if you'd like it or not, this is the one to try. If you have knots of tension that need to be loosened (like, who doesn't?), this one will do that, too. If you want to gain more body awareness--you guessed it--get this tape! Ever since I did this one for the first time, I'm now aware that I'm holding lots of tension in my shoulders. Hopefully after a few more run-throughs, I'll be able to get rid of my shoulder tension (of course, don't tell my husband that--I still want that massage gift certificate for Valentine's Day! :-) ).
This is an hour-long CIA production. The set is basic CIA. The music is really nice, kind of new-agey, and doesn't overpower the workout. VERRRRRRY relaxing! Scott and the rest of the crew are wearing tanks and white baggy pants and bare feet--definitely a martial arts look. This video begins, as has been mentioned, with the 8 Poses of Empowerment. Like Runita said, I haven't quite figured out how these benefit me. I know that they do, I just haven't figured out just HOW! :-) When I do this tape I'm very tempted to skip these, but I know I shouldn't so I don't. You do a brief standing series, and then you go to the floor for most of the rest of the tape. Unlike some other stretch tapes which rush through the stretches, in this one Scott holds the stretches for a LONG time. I really can feel my muscles releasing. You'll definitely increase your flexibility! I really enjoy the Feldenkreis exercises (basically a visualization exercise), where you do a seated twist, then close your eyes and visualize yourself being able to stretch further, and then you actually do it. Believe me, it really works! Actually, we do a similar mind-body technique in the childbirth education classes that I teach. I plan on incorporating this idea into my other workouts as well--who knows how heavy I'll be able to lift! :-)
A couple potential negatives that could get tiresome over time--Scott is very chatty, and some of his quips and jokes might get old if you do this tape often enough. They are the kind of comments that would really set you at ease in a live class, but I'm not sure how well they work on a video. For example, there is one pose, called the Rock, I think, where you sit on your heels with your knees out in front of you. Scott starts by saying that this pose is good for digestion. He goes on to say that sometimes he'll get into this pose and drink a cup of herbal tea... and then I get the image of him sitting in this pose with his tea doing you-know-what!!! Also, this video is an hour long (which it needs to be to get all the benefit from it), so many people might have difficulty fitting this in their rotation with any regularity (no pun intended).
Overall, I really like this tape. Because of the potential negatives (they are only potential ones), I'm not sure if I'll do this tape more than once every few weeks (which is still a lot for me, given the number of videos that I have), but it helps me relax like no other!
Scott Cole really seems to try to make this workout accessible to everyone. He seems to understand that tai chi, yoga and vocalization might make some people uncomfortable, and he really tries to remove the intimidation factor. His cues are clear, as he tells you exactly where your body should be and you should be feeling the stretch. He has a great rapport with his background exercisers.
I pulled my left trapezius (doing I know not what) so instead of doing my previously scheduled strength workout, I decided to unwrap Millenium Stretch and give it a try. I love this tape! The workout is very relaxing and thorough. The toughest thing you do is hold a lunge, but other than that, you decide how deep to stretch, so I think that even though Collage calls this "Intermediate", a beginner could do it.
Scott tends to work one side of the body through a series of stretches before going on to the other side. This may make it seem longer, but if you're in a "gotta rush through my workout mood" this a) isn't the right tape to do; OR b) this tape will fix that! The stretches are nice and long, some held for more than a minute.
Scott uses visualization to help you get deeper into some of the poses. He even talks you through any skepticism you have about it.
Throughout the video Scott and his group (a mixed race, mixed gender class, wearing baggy white pants and tank tops) mirror you. Although they are working on yoga mats, I don't think a yoga mat is necessary, at least, not for stickiness. You may want something to cushion you during the seated stretches, but a towel or exercise mat would work just fine.
I love Scott Cole! He cues well, doesn't bark instructions at you, and just seems very easy going and friendly. He injects a little humor (but no Gin Miller-style vocal impersonations. I love at the end when he does slow motion movements ("Now you've caught the football." Do you spike the ball? No! You give it to a small child.") He's just great!
My first time during this video I was not to sure I liked it. It has grown on me. Scott begin with rhythmic movements to warm up the body. Movements are similiar to Tai Chi. Next are the 8 Poses of Enpowerment1. Maybe with practice I will feel the purpose of these. Next some standing stretchs for the legs some yoga stanchs are used, than the heart of the video the seated poses. There are some very good poses here. Several verisions of steaded forward bends and other yoga like poses. Each poses is held for a long time. You can get a good deep stretch. He ends with breathing and visualization.
I would recommend this to any one seeking a good deep stretch with yoga influences.
Scott Cole is very likeable friendly and knowledgeable. He seems to know his stuff. At times he is a little to chatty, I worry that comments may start to get on my nerves after repeated viewing.