Core Power: Abs, Back & Bliss

Baron Baptiste
Year Released: 2001

Categories: Yoga

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This is part of Baron's "Live!" series. It's about a half-hour long, and it's yoga and yoga ab work. To be honest, the ab work isn't all that challenging for me, but I really like the tape. It leaves you with that nice stretched and relaxed feeling when you're done. Plus, I like Baron's style a lot, so that probably has something to do with it. If you're looking for a true yoga-style abs tape, you're probably better off with Rodney Yee's Yoga for Abs. But if you're looking mostly for some intermediate-level power yoga with some moderate ab work, this is a good one. Grade A-.

Annie S.


Core Power is just short of 25 minutes and focuses on poses requiring abdominal strength, sandwiching them between a brief sun salutation/back bend sequence and a forward bend/relaxation finish. Boat pose is the centerpiece of the abdominal work and, although the sequence is brief, I found it challenging. Itís a nice step up in level-of-effort from Rodney Yeeís very fine Abs Yoga. I know Iím disagreeing with a previous (and very proficient) reviewer in saying this but find it amusing that such divergent opinions can be inspired by the very same tapes.

This is a well-designed program and, although I am not a Baptiste fan, I use it with some regularity. My problems with this tape are minor (except for my basic low tolerance for the Baron). Since the class is very large it looks a bit cluttered, although the variety of skill level shown is nicely encouraging. Perhaps the sense of clutter is a bit heightened by the sound track which is by Krishna Das. I like the chanting of Krishna Das very much, but here his music and Baronís verbal instruction seem to run into each other. Perhaps the pitch and volume level of the voices are a bit too close.

Over-all this tape packs a lot in into 25 minutes Ė surprisingly vigorous and thorough. It makes a terrific add-on. I think Core Power is suitable for intermediate and advanced exercisers who have some basic experience with yoga.

Iím 57 and have been a home exerciser for 2 decades. I like to maintain my fitness level at advanced intermediate.

Instructor Comments:
Baptiste is a fine instructor I'm sure. His verbal style just rubs me the wrong way -- we are, I'm afraid -- always doomed to sensibility dissonance. I still do his tapes though and that says a lot.

Sharon Frost


This video is part of Baron's Live! series: each video was filmed during a large, live class. Core Power is a shorter, more concentrated version of Baron's more lengthy practices such as Soul of Strength. Given that it is a power yoga workout, the practice moves along at a brisk pace, although Baron also builds in time for restoration throughout.

The practice begins with several sun salutations to warm up; each downward dog is held for several breaths. Following this, Baron skips standing poses and moves directly to the floor to focus on poses which engage the entire core area, particlarly the abdominals. Baron alternates between postures to stretch and lengthen the abs--e.g., bow, camel, bridge--and those that are designed to build strength, including crunches. At times, Baron moves quickly from pose to pose, but he uses postures like boat to provide longer, isometric contractions. The practice ends with a brief svasana, but since the music continues as the credits role, you could easily hold this relaxation pose for a longer period. At 23 minutes, this is an excellent short practice for days when you have less time and/or when you want to focus specially on core work.

Instructor Comments:
I really enjoy Baron's teaching style, which I find to be very accessible for all levels (although absolute beginners to yoga will want to learn the poses elsewhere).

Beth C (aka toaster)