American Power Yoga Beginner StretchKurt Johnsen
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Iím convinced Kurt Johnsen is really Bryan Kest in disguise. Pretty much everything he says is just exactly what you would hear from Bryan. Which is okay Ė I like Bryan. This is billed as a beginning power yoga workout, and I would agree that it is beginning for power yoga (but intermediate for Hatha yoga in general). This one is wonderful for when I feel the need for some yoga strength work, but donít feel like going all out. Good production, low-key new-agey music, and a pleasant workout. Grade A.09/12/2004
I agree with another VF reader who once said that when you see Johnny G teach, you understand how a single personality can drive an entire fitness fad! He's one of a kind.
I recently bought a trainer for my road bike and thoughth I'd give spinning a whirl. This video was actually my first experience with spinning--probably not the best place to start, but I'm a total convert. I won't repeat Dawn's great description, but will add my own thoughts.
Besides Johnny G's great imagery and sincere encouragement, I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed being able to do portions of the workout with my eyes closed. That's not something you can try while running or stepping, that's for sure! It was relaxing and energizing all at once.
After I finish this video I have this incredible sense of accomplishment, and I know I've had a productive workout. I suspect this is due in part to the workout's intensity, in part to Johnny G's coaching.
I've been told that spinning is difficult to do on a "regular" stationary bike, so unless you have either a bike+trainer or a spinning bike, you might consider whether you can really "stand up" on your stationary bike before you buy the video.
This is billed as a beginner video, but I would not recommend it for beginners of yoga, only those who have a base of practice and are interested in trying out a vinyasa or power style workout. The instructors at this studio trained with Bryan Kest, and you can hear some Kestisms in Kurt's patter, but without the curmodgeonliness.
Kurt also incorporates some moves or poses from different traditions of martial arts and even "good old american rehab", as he calls it (it's a good move too). This is a great variety of different postures linked by vinyasas, with a lot of standing work, then floor work. I suppose I would rate it alongside Kest's Vol 1 or 2 for difficulty, also Baptiste's Soul of Strength--it will definitely get the sweat beads a poppin'.
Kurt has a sweet demeanor, very friendly. He uses English descriptions for each asana, making them very approachable to the novice.