Island Yogarobics

David Wicker
Year Released: 1998

Categories: Yoga

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I came across this video at my local Borders and had never heard of it before so thought I would give it a try. It is a mixture of Tai Chi and Yoga. This video is filmed in Hawaii and has two different background scenes. The first scene which is the Tai Chi Section is filmed on a grassy area with some trees in the background and a rock formation. You can see just a little bit of the ocean which looks far away. There are two female participants doing this segment with him. The 2nd scenery (the yoga workout) he is by himself and right on the beach with large rocks behind him and the ocean and you can hear the ocean waves. The production was very good and the music was a little more aerobic sounding in the Tai Chi section and gentle, soft, instrumental music in the yoga section. This video comes with 2 companion tapes (I have not seen these) called "Yoga in Paradise" and "Tropical Stretch and Energizer". You can find information on these tapes at his website at

The instructor himself presented himself in a very businesslike (not stiff though) manner..very easy going, not your mystical yoga instruction but like he was a business man leading a fitness class on the side. I liked his personality and found it somewhat refreshing from most of the voice overs we get in our yoga videos. His was not a voice over. He had an unusual way of saying "we're going to disconnect now" when moving out of a pose at times.

The intensity varied throughout the workout. The warmup and first segment were all very low impact Tai Chi Moves and a few stretches. I found my heart rate start to climb in the first segment after the warmup but it wasn't aerobic. The 2nd segment I felt I was in a moderate aerobic state but that segment was only about 8 minutes long so I wouldn't rate this workout as aerobic. It's a good Tai Chi/Yoga/Easy Low Impact workout and I really liked how it was broken into segments where the Tai Chi was separate from the Yoga section. I am fairly new at Tai Chi with my only introduction to Urban Tai Chi so my experience is very limited and can't give an opinion on how the Tai Chi compares to other Tai Chi videos. I will basically break down the exercises to give you an overall view of what this video is like.

Warmup is 10 minutes and consists of very slow Tai Chi moves with some yogaish static stretches:

1) Thundering Shake Down: Breathing in deeply and exhaling and shaking your entire body
2) Embracing The Sun: In horse stance you reach your arms towards the sky and do a foward bend
3) Neck Stretches and Rolls
4) Eagles Lift Off: Standing up, you do knee bends and full arm rolls, then lunges with arm rolls and end with a lunge stretch.
5) Magician Sparkle and Dangling Ropes: A couple variations of arms swings while twisting upper body side to side.
6) Gathering the Stars: Reach arms towards the sky and then you press this imaginery ball of energy down with your hands.
7) Side Reaches
8) Hip Swivels
9) Gliding Sphere Move: Lunging side to side while sweeping arm across body and then turn to your side and push the ball of energy in and out (looks very similar to a Taebo Tai Chi Cooldown). Then you go into a side tirangle stretch, Pyramid/Runners stretch and a revolving angle pose. Repeat on other side.
10) Lean forward and rest hands on knees and twist side to side to stretch shoulder to knee
11) Spinning Top: Knee swivels.
12) Prayer Squat: Squat down on toes to center and balance for a few seconds then straighten into a forward bend and stretch arms out behind you.
13) Stand up and do a chest stretch
14) Thundering Shakedown again to close the warmup segment.
Segment 1 Introduction to Fluid Tai Chi Movements: This segment he introduces each move that you will preform in Segment 2 (the Aerobic section) and you do quite a few reps to learn the move and practice it. This segment is 6 minutes long.

1) Gliding Sphere: As in the warmup, only more aerobic, you do side to side lunges with swinging arms and then moves into a gliding side to side aerobic move. (There is a skip in between and the arm does a move like holding a sphere and letting it go for Segment 2)
2) Knee Lifts/Back Leg Lifts with flowing arm movements
3) Minstrel's Dance: Step to the side and do a curtsy dip and repeat side to side.
4) Solid Crane: The transitional move. You squat with circular arms and then squat with alternating knee lifts and then with alternating side kicks.
5) Bowling Ball: Stationary lunge twisting your body to the side and swinging the arm like your bowling. Alternate side to side.
6) Cross Country: Swing arms back and forth and do knee lifts and then to a knee lift, front kick on one leg and then repeat on other leg after so many reps.

Segment 2: This segment takes all the moves learned in Segment 1 and you go at a much faster aerobic pace to get your heart rate soaring (although I didn't feel it soared like with some of my more interval or high impact aerobics). He mixes the exercises up from segment 1 into an aerobic pattern and repeats the routine 2-3 times. With all the low impact moves such as kicks, knee lifts, curtsy dips and the sliding skips I felt this was a great low impact segment. Only complaint was it was too short! You cool down to what's called "Tiger goes to the Stream". It's like a curtsy dip and you scoop up imaginary water in your hands and reach your arms above your head to open them up and then repeat this a few times and then he ends this move into a yoga tree pose where you balance for a few seconds. Then you repeat on the other side. He does his thundering shakedown to end this segment.

Segment 3: The Yoga section. This segment concentrates on deep stretches (not power yoga) and feels wonderful after your body is elevated from all the heat generated into it. I felt VERY relaxed after this segment was over with!! This segment is 27 minutes long.

1) Explains the breathing pattern.
2) Forward Bend
3) While resting on one knee, lunge forward and hook one arm over your head and one around your side and up to meet your other hand so you can interlock your fingers and then into a standing hamstring stretch.
4) While in a forward lunge position with your back leg and foot on the floor, you turn your lunging foot to the outer side and loop your same side arm underneath the leg and hold onto your foot and then you stretch your upper body to one side and to the other side. Wonderful stretch!!! Don't know the name of this pose.
5) Cat tilt and dog tilt poses
6) Downward Dog to a low pushup, then rest entire body on ground with head facing one way, then push into a modified cobra pose, then lay back down on ground with head facing other direction and then push back up into cobra pose and then down into Child's pose.
7) Threading the Needle Pose (wonderful spinal stretch)
8) Camel Ride (Rock back and forth while sitting on knees)
9) Do the opposite side for #3 & #4
10) Sit in straddle position and do what's called "Polishing the Stone". Place one hand on top of other hand and in a circular motion start at one foot and bend forward moving toward the other foot for a few circular reps then repeat other direction.
11) Sit in straddle position and do side stretches
12) Lay on back with legs outstretched and stretch arms above head and let them fall behind your head and stretch.
13) Easy Table Top pose (you move into the table top and immediately back down..he does a few reps of these)
14) Few reps of crunches bringing knee towards the chest, then you do a couple of leg stretches. One stretches hamstrings by raising leg straight up in the air. The other one you rest ankle on bent knee and open the hip.
15) Repeat crunches and stretches with other leg
16) A few reps of regular crunches
17) Then repeat #12
18) Then you do the laying down knee down twist for the spine
19) Ends with sitting in half lotus and breathing for a couple minutes.

Ending Note: I liked this video well enough that I will probably order his other 2 tapes. Again, it is not an aerobic workout even though he has approx. 15 minutes where the body gets in the low aerobic range. Basically I feel this is a good segment to prepare your body for the yoga deep stretching. Even if you don't like Tai Chi, I feel the Yoga segment is excellent to cooldown to other videos if you wish for more deeper stretching. However the videos are not cheap being $20.00 a video if you would only want to try it out for the yoga segment. If you enjoy both Tai Chi and Yoga then this would be a good workout for that combination.

Deb Rolin