Yoga For Bellydancers, Volume One


Categories: Yoga

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I am excited to share the news that Aleili's "Yoga For Bellydancers, VolumeOne" tape is finally out!

[Disclaimer: I am a student of Aleili's and have taken both yoga and bellydance classes with her. I receive no compensation for reviewing/promoting this video and had to purchase my copy just like everybody else. I think she's fabulous, so call that biased if you will.]

Aleili has been practicing yoga since 1970, and has been bellydancing since 1974. She designed this video (first in a series) to help develop the strength and flexibility need for bellydancing.

Having viewed many exercise, yoga and bellydance videos, I was impressed by the clear instruction (done in voiceover), and good camera work. (No midriff-only shots here!) The background music (by harpist Ani Williams) is nice without being distracting. Aleili goes through several costume changes (unitards courtesy of Sugar Petals) which is nice for visual interest the first few times through, but I'm guessing that after that, most people using the tape will be listening while they do the poses and not spending much time watching.

I found the tape to be relaxing (calming voiceovers) while providing a good workout (while Aleili makes every pose look effortless, some of them are challenging, and she encourages viewers to go at their own pace and respect their body's limits.) I particularly liked how Aleili mentions how specific poses will help with dancing, e.g. "This is a great pose to isolate your hip and shoulder shimmies."

I think this would be a fine video for anyone looking to incorporate yoga into their routine. I think that it would be O.K. for beginners, although I personally think that anyone who has never done yoga before should take at least one actual class to receive hands-on instruction. I suspect that people who have been doing yoga for a long time will not see anything here they haven't seen before, but I think that this could still provide a good, focused workout.

Below is a brief synopsis of the workout:

Total tape length: 45 minutes. Actual practice length: 42 minutes.

Section One "Preparation", a segment on deep breathing and relaxation to prepare the body for the upcoming practice. This section includes some seated spinal twists and stretches.

Section 2 "Lengthen and Twist Sequence" is designed to warm up the spine.

Section 3 "The Spinal Flow" --this series (performed twice) flows through cat and cow, downward facing dog, child's pose, a backbend, and hero's pose.

Section 4 " Toe Stretch with Prayer Hands" stretches the feet and the shoulders.

Section 5 "Variations on Backbends"--these are a staple in our weekly class and regular practice has improved my strength and flexibility a great deal.

Section 6 "Abdominal Lifts"-- which will help you learn to control your bellyrolls and undulations.

Section 7 "Mountain and Tree Pose"--for balance and centering.

Section 8 "Sun Salutation"--this classic sequence of poses is done twice, once to each side.

Section 9 "Deep Relaxation" This four minute final section is to relax the body and mind (I always fall asleep during this part in class).

Renee Drellishak