Sonic Yoga Vinyasa Heat Live! Intermediate

Jonathan Fields
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Yoga

Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer

Show oldest reviews first

SOnic Yoga: Vinyasa Heat Live! Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Comparison For the benefit of those who are interested in the Vinyasa Heat Live! videos but can't decide which one(s) to get, I've made a brief comparison.

All three hover around 55 minutes long from the start of the practice until "Namaste". (54, 52, and 56 minutes.)

All are filmed in an all white room. The beginning tape was either filmed at night or in a room without windows. The intermediate and advanced tapes are filmed in the same room (with windows, so it's a bit brighter.)

The music (by Raven Recordings) is the same in all 3.

They feature 8, 18 and 12 exercisers respectively, but the beginning tape looks almost as crowded as the intermediate tape because they are crammed so close together. Many of the exercisers appear in all 3 tapes.

Lauren Hanna leads the beginner tape and Jonathan Fields leads the intermediate and advanced tapes. You can see Lauren reading the cue cards. She sounds *exactly* like a female version of Jonathan, from her cadence to her pronunciation. I found this kind of irritating. At least Jonathan sorta seems like himself (although frankly I think he's a poor imitation of Baron Baptiste.)

The advanced tape has virtually no form pointers or detailed pose descriptions. It is explicitly stated that you should know these before attempting the tape. There are a lot more descriptions, form points, and modifications in the beginning tape (as there should be.)

They all follow the same format. A slow motion sun sal A to warm-up, and then the sun sals begin. Do 3 As and then 3 Bs. On the second or third sun sal B you do a warrior 1, warrior 2, side angle sequence (this varies a leetle bit). It's pretty thigh cooking. Then other standing poses with vinyasas in between. They are *much* faster in the advanced tape.

Once you get to the floor, all feature locust, bow, bridge/wheel, pigeon, boat, tabletop/inclined plank, lying spinal twist, cobbler's pose, various core strengthening poses, and seated forward bend. Intermediate ends in reclined cobbler, but the other two end in corpse. Intermediate includes crow, which the others do not.

All have a few interminable down dogs.

The biggest difference between the intermediate and advanced tapes are the speed of the vinyasas and the one-legged planks and chatturangas he throws in. There are other minor differences in the sequences (tree vs. padanguthsasana vs. warrior 3 for balancing poses) but they all really are very similar.

Renee D


This is a slow-paced power yoga workout about 55 minutes long. It’s intermediate level and challenging, but the postures are also do-able for those with a minor amount of yoga experience. Despite all the hype surrounding the release of this tape, there is nothing new here. If you’ve done Bryan Kest and Baron Baptiste, you’ve done this. That’s okay because I’m always up for a good power yoga tape, but I was expecting something “cutting-edge” and different. Jonathan Fields’ teaching style and mannerisms are just exactly like Baron Baptiste’s. In fact, if I had never seen the tape and were only listening to the audio, I would think it was Baron. This is a good tape to have if you like power yoga, but don’t let the hype influence you. Grade A for the workout itself, but grade B when I compare the workout to the advertising/media hype.

Annie S.


I read about SonicYoga in the October issue of Yoga Journal. The article author and her friend took her class and the exact comments were "it was too hard for me. After awhile I thought I was going to pass out." Well, I have a lot of yoga cd's and tapes and I wanted one that I could 'grow' into. I didn't want to "pass out" but I did want to feel like I had nothing left after doing the class. So I found the web site and ordered the tape. After waiting 2 months (the YJ article caused high demand for the tape), it finally arrived.
I plopped the tape in and much to my suprise it looked just like a Baron Baptiste tape. The music, the camera angle, the format, almost everything a Baron clone!! The production is kind of fuzzy and the audio sounded just like the music that Baron uses in his tapes. Even though, Jonathan said in the YJ article that he uses loud contemporary music--not Jai Utal 'moaning' music. As for the workout, the tape box says intermediate. At best, it's advanced beginner. In fact Jonathan keeps referring to beginners not intermediate students. There are no poses on this tape that a beginner can't do or that would challenge an intermediate student. There are no inversions and probably the most challenging pose is crow pose. As for burning 540 calories an hour, not by using tis tape. If you want to sweat buckets, try the Flow series - Fire.
SonicYoga is coming out with an advanced tape. The jury is still out on whether or not I will get it. I may just get Bryan Kest's Advanced yoga CD. Not that I'm a fan of Bryan Kest, but I know that when Bryan says advanced, he means it.

Instructor Comments:
He looks and sounds just like Baron Baptiste--right down to the doo-rag on his head. How long did it take to make this tape. Even a couple of students in the front row don't know what's going on.