Yoga for Your MoodsCarolyn Hardman
Year Released: 2004
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I’m reviewing this workout after previewing both beginner and intermediate workouts and doing each beginner premix at least once.
General workout breakdown: This power yoga DVD features two routines, one for “beginners” and one for “advanced,” that are also divided into shorter premixes. Both levels feature the same set of premixes: Let Me Sweat (55-min., for the total body; this is the full routine), Stressed Out (30 min., focusing on relaxation), Coach Potato (40 min., for energizing), Swimsuit Season (45 min., for intense toning of “problem areas”), No Time Lower Body (25 min., focusing on lower body), and No Time Upper Body (25 min., focusing on upper body). The routines themselves are nothing out of the ordinary: they being with sun salutations, move on to standing pose series (e.g. warrior 1 & 2, balance poses), move to the floor for more strength work, continue with more flexibility-oriented exercises on the floor, and then end in savasana. The pace isn’t warp speed, but it’s not exactly slow.
Level: I’d recommend this to experienced exercisers with previous yoga experience. The “beginner” routine isn’t for true beginners; it’s better suited for those at a decent level of fitness with some yoga experience who aren’t quite ready for intermediate routines. The “advanced” routine is more suited for (low to mid-) intermediate yogi(ni)s. I’m usually an intermediate / advanced exerciser, and I’ve been practicing yoga for about 6 years, although I seem perpetually at a beginner / intermediate stage (forever working up to fully intermediate poses like headstand, for example). I find the beginner sufficiently challenging for my fairly limited strength and flexibility; a few poses in the advanced practice are a little beyond me yet.
Class: Carolyn alone, with instruction via voiceover.
Music: The choice of soundtracks is one of the neatest things about this DVD. Classical features the Strings of Elegance string quartet performing songs by Bach, Beethoven, etc.; Guitar has Michael Lucarelli performing classical guitar pieces; Waves just has ocean waves gently rolling onto the shore; and No Music is just that.
Set:the corner of a room with hardwood floors, white pillars, and neutral walls;
Production: decently clear picture and sounds, some oblique camera angles.
Equipment: yoga sticky mat (or equivalent). Carolyn is barefoot.
Space Requirements: enough to do full sun salutations and to lie down with arms and legs extended
DVD Notes: The main menu allows you to choose Audio Set Up (which also includes on / off for voiceover instruction), Beginner Routines, Advanced Routines, the Introduction Movie, and Production Credits.
Comments: Carolyn posted clips on YouTube (look under YogaChoice).
Carolyn and her sister write that they were inspired to create a DVD with some shorter time options because of their busy schedules as moms of young children and health professionals. (Apparently they were not aware that there are videos out there with shorter segments, but their contribution is appreciated.) Carolyn certainly exhibits a love of yoga and claims to be a yoga expert, although I can’t find really anything on her formal teacher training. Her voice is pleasant and earnest. Her form is OK but not super crisp. That said, I love that she’s a normal fit woman, not a genetically blessed supermodel. As with most power yoga videos, the approach is more on the athletic side, without much in the way of flowery language, etc. Carolyn does not mirror cue.