Power Yoga, Volume 1: Energize

Bryan Kest
Year Released: 1995

Categories: Yoga



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An awesome power yoga workout that leaves no muscle untouched. This is part of a 3-volume series (Energize, Tone, and Sweat). Even though this one is called Energize, it's still some hard work, and you sweat just about as much as you do with the Sweat tape. It's 54 minutes and goes by really fast (as all of Bryan's tapes do for me). For 24 hours afterward, you'll feel like you're gliding through the air instead of walking. Grace Lazenby got me interested in power yoga through her All the Right Moves tape, and this series of Bryan's got me hooked on it. And I mean totally addicted. A+.

Annie S.

08/18/2001

I like this video a lot, despite how annoying Bryan Kest is. From his outfit (cutoff jeans shorts? Hello.) to his voice, I have to try my best to ignore him while trying to follow him (hard, but possible.) I did this video once with someone who takes yoga classes 4x week, and she was puzzled as to why he went straight into some deep stretch poses without easing into them with other poses first. The workout is great though, and it has converted me (who believes strongly that strength training is key to fitness and weight loss) into a power yoga fan. I would say that a power yoga workout is about equivalent to a medium-intensity strength training workout.

Diana Chen

08/16/2001

An awesome power yoga workout that leaves no muscle untouched. This is part of a 3-volume series (Energize, Tone, and Sweat). Even though this one is called Energize, it's still some hard work, and you sweat just about as much as you do with the Sweat tape. It's 54 minutes and goes by really fast (as all of Bryan's tapes do for me). For 24 hours afterward, you'll feel like you're gliding through the air instead of walking. Grace Lazenby got me interested in power yoga through her All the Right Moves tape, and this series of Bryan's got me hooked on it. And I mean totally addicted. A+.

Annie S.

08/04/2001

This is my first experience using Bryan's videos. Previously, I have done a few Yoga Journal tapes (AM/PM Yoga, Yoga for Beginners, and Yoga for Flexibility) Kathy Smith's New Yoga, as well as my favorite Yoga video - Yoga Mind & Body with Erich Schifmann. I was very glad that I had done these videos previous to trying Bryan Kest.

Bryan's set was a very pleasing studio/class like set with a wooden floor and exposed brick walls. The participants were dressed in light, non-distracting colors. All of the participants seemed very flexible. The music went well with the instruction and was played at a perfect level.

The series of poses were strenuous, but very doable. A push up, upward dog, push up, downward dog series was inserted between each pose. The poses themselves were held (in my opinion) the perfect length of time. Again, I was glad I had exposure to other videos before attempting Bryan's tape. The poses included Penguin Pose, Tree Pose, Lunges, etc. most of which I had seen in other videos. The pace was fairly quick, but again, very doable.

I really enjoyed Bryan's teaching style. He continuously stressed the importance of working hard, but not pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone unnecessarily. He seemed to challenge, yet be understanding at the same and he was very good about reminding me to breath just when I was about to tense up.

Although Bryan instructed without participating (except to encourage the participants to go deeper into poses) a cut-away scene of him demonstrating each pose was inserted while he explained how to achieve it. I really liked this approach.

I can't write a review without mentioning this - he is indeed a yummy pants!! Wow, now I know what all the talking was about a couple of years ago. This with his long, dark hair and a sexy accent is guy as incredible to look as he is wonderful to listen to. Best of all, he seems very caring.

Tami Skelton

05/01/2001

I'm a yoga fan, but am not nuts about this video. It's definitely not for beginners, or someone new to yoga (especially power). I don't like the setting/atmosphere and how he insists on touching people. I much prefer Baron Baptiste's style of teaching. I've only done this video a few times because I'll find myself reaching for Baron first. Maybe I'll grow to like it, but I guess Baron's style is as 'athletic' as I'd like to get during yoga.

He tries too hard to be sexy, but just isn't. I much prefer Baron Baptiste.

Marion

10/15/1999

I REALLY enjoyed this video. Finally, I found a yoga tape that didn't bore me to tears. I tried every tape in the Yoga Journal 5 tape boxed set, along with Total Yoga, and I just couldn't focus. My mind would wander and I got bored. This tape definitely appealed to my need to feel like I am *working* and to feel very engaged. The music and Bryan's continuous form pointers, affirmations, and encouragement really pull me in.

Now that I have started doing vols. 2 and 3, I consider this my "lighter" power yoga video. Still a great workout that leaves me breathless in places and totally sweaty, but less likely to leave me quivering and with that pleasantly exhausted feel.

I would NOT recommend this to a person who has never done yoga. I take Iyengar-style classes and the form pointers I get in class have been very helpful and remind me to check myself. I think that in Power Yoga (at least, in these videos--I have not taken an actual power yoga class in person) there is less emphasis on form, which might lead to bad habits if a person doesn't know what proper form is.

Instructor Comments:
Mr. YummyPants! I still haven't figured out his accent, but I'll continue to try. His cuing is good, and I like how he stresses working at your own pace, listening to your body and not trying to meet some "ideal".

Renee Drellishak

08/19/1998

I thoroughly enjoyed this video. For $14.95 I really feel I got my moneys worth. After three and a half years of advanced aerobics and weight training, I was beginning to burn out. I had heard about Ashtanga style yoga and was interested in it because of the intense workout it provides as well as relaxation and improved flexibility. I had previously tried New Yoga Basics by Kathy Smith and even though I enjoy her aerobics tapes, I was bored to death with just plain yoga. However, there is nothing boring about Power Yoga. I honestly don't have any complaints about this tape. The instructor, the music, length, and the workout were all wonderful. I only had difficulty holding a few poses but I feel with continued practice and patience I will be able to accomplish them. By the end of the tape I feel I have had a great strength and flexibility workout. As soon as I feel I have mastered the poses on this video I am going to buy the next video in the series.

Instructor Comments:
Bryan is a wonderful instructor. He is very reassuring, always telling you to do your best and that is good enough. I found it very refreshing for an instructor to say "If you're doing the best you can then you're doing this class perfectly" Bryan gives plenty of modifications to make the poses easier for the beginner as well as modifications for those who are more flexible and would like to go for a deeper stretch.

Michele Avery

06/03/1998

This video is meant as an introduction to Power (Ashtanga) Yoga. I can't imagine that a beginning exerciser would be able to do this workout. I do quite a bit of strength training, and I have some difficulty holding the poses. However, Bryan says throughout the video that you need to find your edge, hold the poses only as long as you are comfortable and can maintain proper yogic (nose) breathing, and should only go as far as you can while keeping your face relaxed. At the time I am reviewing this, I have only done this video two times, so I can't recall a lot of details. Also my only other experience with yoga is with another video, so if you are experienced with yoga, you may have a different opinion of this video than I do. I have read the newsgroup alt.yoga, and have heard a couple of complaints that this video is too commercialized, and uses too much sex appeal to sell it. This is probably true, but I figure I am the target audience for this video (female fitness nut looking for something different, yet challenging), so here goes.

Bryan teaches the class, he does not participate, there are nine students of various levels in the class. Even the least flexible of them is pretty darn flexible. He starts by warming up by repeating several series of poses, but even in the beginning, he throws in a push-up between levels. (example, start in upward push-up position, do a pushup, shift into upward dog, push-up, downward dog, hold down dog for a few seconds, another push-up, then on to the next pose. He does this sequence constantly between poses, throughout the whole video). I would suggest previewing the video at least once before doing it, it is very difficult to watch while completing the poses. I also found it easier to position myself sideways to the tv, as opposed to facing it, so I can turn to the side to check my positioning. Bryan does do a good job of talking you through the poses. Also, my favorite quote is "If you are doing your best, then you are doing this class perfectly". I consider myself pretty darn fit, but I am nowhere near as flexible as these folks are, and though I think my legs are very strong, I had a hard time holding some of the more difficult poses as long as they did in the video.

Bryan constantly reminds you to ease off if you are uncomfortable, and gives tips to avoid injury. I also like the way he says...If you feel comfortable and loose, feel free to [insert instructions for more intense version of pose here]", instead of the other way around, like most aerobic videos, where they say something like "feel free to [insert easier modification, like do this move off the step]". It made me feel more comfortable to feel like it is more unusual to be able to slide your head under your leg while in a lunging position, while I was barely able to do the easier version.

After I did this video, I was sore in muscles I didn't know I had! I enjoyed it, felt like I had a good strength and flexibility workout. I will definitely add this video into my weekly workout routine.

Trish Ransom

(no date)