AM & PM Yoga for Weight LossSuzanne Deason
Year Released: 2002
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AM/PM Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss provides three short yoga practices (AM, PM, and a bonus practice) that are especially appropriate for someone just starting out with yoga, but more experienced yogis looking for some shorter, basic practices are likely to enjoy these as well. Although the workouts in and of themselves are unlikely to provide weight loss, instructor Suzanne Deason makes a point of saying (both on the DVD itself and in the helpful included leaflet) that these practices form just a part of an overall weight loss program that would also include healthy eating and other fitness activities.
All three practices are filmed in beautiful outdoor settings, and for both the AM and the PM workouts, there is a list of poses included in the accompanying leaflet. The AM practice begins and ends in hero's pose (which I believe she calls "seated warrior"). It focuses on gentle opening of all areas of the body through lunges, standing poses, twists, and finally, simple core work and backbends; two yoga bricks are used to allow greater access to the postures. The PM practice also uses props, this time a yoga wedge and strap (substitutions can be made for these). It starts with some nice shoulder openers using the strap and then includes just a few standing postures such as downward dog, lunge, and wide-legged forward bend. However, the focus of this practice is on seated forward bends, which are supposed to be calming, and so you will do a variety of these before ending in relaxation pose. The AM and the PM workouts come in at just under 25 minutes each.
The bonus workout, Breathwork Through Yoga, is a bit shorter (about 22 minutes). This time, Deason does not use any props (although she reminds you of how you can use them as in the other programs if you wish), and she places a greater emphasis on the breath while moving through the postures, with the practice beginning and ending in a seated meditation. She again leads a brief series of standing poses--pyramid pose is included this time, and the wide-legged standing forward bend is especially nice--moves to kneeling for gate pose, and then moves to the floor for both backbends and core work. The most challenging poses included in this practice are probably bow pose and a boat pose variation; therefore, it has a higher difficultly level than the other two practices but would still be very doable for experienced beginners. A final bonus on the DVD is an approximately 7-minute interview with Suzanne Deason during which she explains the rationale behind each of the workouts.
Overall, this DVD provides some excellent practice experiences for those new to yoga as well as offers options for the more experienced yoga practitioner.
Suzanne Deason is a marvel--it's amazing how beautifully graceful and fit she is, especially for her age (around 60? the interview said she'd been practicing yoga for 35 years, I think). She has such a gentle, calm manner, and she offers excellent voiceover instruction. Her form pointers are very good, but she does not perform mirrored cueing.
This DVD features 3 short yoga workouts. If you like Suzanne's other workouts, you will probably enjoy this one also. If you are more of a Power Yoga person, these yoga practices may not appeal to you. This series is supposed to be an add-on to her original Yoga for Weight Loss video. Like that video, the yoga doesn't have anything specifically to do with weight loss. It is more about the ability of yoga to help you connect your mind and body. The dvd includes a bonus interview where Suzanne talks about this. It all makes perfect sense to me, but there is nothing special about this yoga as opposed to any other yoga practices in terms of tapping into that benefit.
Suzanne gives good form descriptions (although no mirror cueing) and I like the way she leads a yoga workout. This workout is not as nice or as thorough as her hour long Yoga for Weight Loss, but it is nice to be able to get finished in 25 minutes. These workouts are beautifully produced.
Overall, there isn't anything super special about these workouts, I just personally like having a bit of variety. Also, I most often reach for SHORT yoga workouts, and these all clock in at under 30 minutes.
I like this routine because it has a lot of poses that stretch the lower body (lunge, triangle, side stretch, down dog, forward bends). The props in the video are just 2 blocks, but you really don't need them. It isn't radically different than Suzanne's other workouts, but I appreciate having the variety.
This is a nice relaxing workout that gives me a nice 25 minute stretch. It has a little something for many areas of the body, but includes a lot of poses that will stretch your hamstrings. I find it similar to some of Suzanne's other short yoga workouts, but different enough for me.
Bonus - Breathwork:
A third short workout on the dvd that also works well for stretching. The purpose is supposed to be to focus on breath, but it doesn't seem different from any of Suzanne's other workouts in terms of focusing on the breath.