Year Released: 2005
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
I "heard" about this workout in the forum
reading through old threads by people
looking for workouts to use with Karen
Voight's Green Genie balls or Leslie
Sansone's blue walking weights. While I
don't normally have an interest in yoga, I like
working with toning balls. Since Denise R.
has already provided a thorough review of
the workout with a good breakdown, I will
just give my impressions.
You don't need to be familiar with yoga terms to follow along (which is good because I am not). She doesn't mirror cue (which would be a deal breaker for me if this was cardio/choreo), but here I just always use opposite of whatever she says in order to be lined up with what she is doing on screen. Jolene has a lively personality, which is evident despite the voiceover (this is the only voiceover workout I have ever kept). The production values (lighting & camera angles & backdrop) are very well done. I don't know that the workout would appeal to yoga traditionalists or advanced exercisers, but as a low intermediate exerciser just dabbling in yoga postures, I found it very enjoyable. I hope that Jolene will make more DVDs.
The premise behind the title, Yo-Wei, is the combination of Yoga and the use of small weighted balls. The workout was produced by Gin Miller Productions and uses the same set as Gin's newest workouts, with the rocks with waterfall, candles, potted shrubbery. It is beautifully done. The entire workout is done in voice over. Jolene and one assistant demonstrate the moves. Modifications are shown where appropriate. I used 1 lb weighted balls throughout. I enjoyed the use of the balls which challenged me in a new way. It's also short, about 35 minutes in length, which is perfect for busy days. I clocked the breakdown as about a 3 minute warmup, 24 minute progressions, 4 minute core/ab work and 4 minute cooldown/stretch.
Deep breathing with rhythmic arms and side stretches to open obliques begin the warmup. Modified chair poses help to open up the back and warm up the larger muscles of the lower body. Forward fold lengthens the spine. 1/2 bicep curls with rotator moves followed by compound movement of front raises to overhead presses continue on to warm up the upper body. The warmup naturally progresses into the body of the workout. A chair/squat series begin to work the legs. Downward facing dog to modified cobra stretches the low back. This is repeated several times working up to full cobra. Cat/cow is repeated several times after this. The ball is used during a balance move on all fours. One leg balances out and the opposite arm extends out holding the ball. Child pose to stretch and then this repeats to the other side. A series of lunges follows. Overhead tricep press with ball while in a lunge position with back knee on ground starts this progression. A great twist with hands in preacher pose is next followed by moving forward lunges up and down with overhead press with ball in hands. Pyramid stretch is used to stretch out afterwards. This naturally leads into triangle pose. Next is a plie squat position with forward raise with ball. The plie is then held and one arm rotator lifts are done to one side. Repeat plies/front raises then finish up the opposite arm. Down dog, plank and cobra transitions into the opposite leg. After this is completed a side balance move with one knee down, top leg lifts and ball in hand lifts to front. Yogi pushups really work the triceps before going into child's pose. This then repeats to the other side. Balancing poses come next. It begins with bringing one knee up, twisting to side of knee and balancing on one leg. Tree pose follows with ball in hands to heart position which then extends overhead for an additional challenge for your balance. This repeats to the other side before heading into the abdominal section.
Many variations of boat pose using the ball make this a challenging segment for your abs. Several pelvic tilts with ball between the knees finish up this section.
Finally, you'll end the practice with great stretches to release all the tension from the muscles you've just worked. Spinal twists, hamstring stretches and knees to chest are some of the moves demonstrated.
This is great workout that every one can do. Check out her website at www.yo-wei.com
Jolene has 12 years of experience and specializes in yoga. She has a great sense of humor and is really down to earth.