Raquel Total Beauty and Fitness

Raquel Welch
Year Released: 1991

Categories: Yoga



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This elegant and timeless 90 minute Hatha yoga video may be the crown jewel of my 20 year fitness video collection. Produced in 1984, it is everything this VF diehard still wants in a video: great production values, a fabulous set, a confident and competent instructor, and a challenging workout. Lead by the equally timeless Raquel Welch, its 45 minutes of tough standing poses followed by 45 minutes of difficult mat poses. There are 2 sets of each of the 26 poses, giving you lots of opportunity to "get it right" before moving on to the next position. Miss Welch verbally cues each posture in great detail ("weight on the right leg, left leg extended to the side, right arm under the left", etc.) as she and her team of background exercisers demonstrate each pose and hold them for long, slow counts; forcing one to concentrate, breathe hard, and get the most out of each move. During the holding portions, Miss Welch's distinctive voice is overdubed giving much meeded encouragement as well as gentle teasing and humorous comments about her own learning experiences with the postures. In between poses, or recovery phase, Miss Welch is relaxed and jovial with her students, even sharing in their groaning at the difficulty of certain moves and their effectiveness. Its a relaxed atmosphere among friends and you're part of the gang. All poses, by the way, are referred to by their common english names ("eagle", "dancer's pose", "rabbit", etc.) making them recognizable to regular Hatha yoga devotees.

And here's the best part: its all fabulous to look at, too. Flimed in a gleaming, marble-floored foyer in a moorish-styled tropical beach palace its the ultimate "spa-getaway-in-a-box". The background music is subtle early-FIRM instrumental -- barely detectable. Even better are the natural sounds that were picked up in this stereo recorded production: tropical birds sing and fountain waters cascade delicately in the background. I found this very refreshing and invigorating to listen to -- such a nice change from all the terrible canned music in most workout videos.

Overall rating: "A". Don't let the 1984 production date turn you off. The only thing that looks dated in this video may be the short, green legwarmers and white ankle length tights on two of the background exercisers. But they're barely on camera. If there was a "wish list" for v

Instructor Comments:
Miss Welch is obviously a devoted yoga pupil and a gifted instructor. In her 40's when this was filmed, she has amazing flexibility yet humbly reminds us in voice-overs that she wasn't always that way. I found her easy to follow and inspiring. Her voice is especially soothing and

Ann

09/26/2004