Power Yoga

Kristin McGee
Year Released: 2006

Categories: Yoga

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I’m reviewing this workout after doing it once.

General workout breakdown: This 48-min. power yoga practice focuses on building strength, both outer and inner.
Postures include standing in mountain, standing forward bend, half lift, lunge, downward facing dog, 1-legged down dog – knee to nose, high lunge – straighten front leg, down dog variation w/ Achilles tendon stretch – plank, chaturanga, several rounds of sun salutation A (w/ plank – down dog), warrior I, several rounds of sun salutation B (w/ utkatasana or chair & warrior I), lunge w/ torso inside front leg & hands clasped behind back, forward bend w/ reverse prayer, warrior III, warrior II w/ straightening & bending knee, reverse warrior, triangle, extended side angle, wide-legged standing forward bend w/ hands clasped (suggested but not shown option: tripod headstand), tree, twisting lunge (w/ some arm variations), ardha chandrasana (half moon), reverse half moon, standing split, standing forward bend w/ toe hold, standing forward bend w/ hands under feet, squat on toes, crow, staff, head to knee w/ twist, head to knee, (half) pigeon, full pigeon (w/ back leg bent, knee to back), seated spinal twist with foot over opposite leg, countertwist, rolling down, (a short) corpse, and return to seated position with a final bow to seal the practice.
As with any power yoga video, the pace is quick, although Kristin doesn’t move at a lightning fast pace and has some holds, allowing you to get deeper into poses to build some strength and/or flexibility.

Level: I’d recommend this to experienced exercisers at the beginner / intermediate level of yoga or higher. There’s not enough basic form and alignment instruction for true beginners; Kristin assumes you have some idea of what you’re doing on the yoga mat already as well as some preexisting strength and flexibility. Kristin offers only a few slight modifications for some moves (e.g. suggesting holding elbows instead of taking reverse prayer, showing the hand on the shin instead of on the floor for triangle).
As with pretty much any power yoga practice, those with wrist, elbow, and shoulder issues should approach this with caution. This was a little too much for my elbow, but that’s pretty much true for most power yoga practices.

Class: Kristin alone, who instructs live.

Music: upbeat instrumental (mostly guitar), with almost kind of a rock flavor.

Set: interior space with floating blocks of reds and browns along the back and side walls.

Production: clear picture and sound, with Kristin’s voice louder than the music but the music not too quiet. The camera angles are mostly helpful rather than being distracting, although there are a lot of close-ups of Kristin’s smiling face.

Equipment: yoga sticky mat (or equivalent).

Space Requirements: enough space to do a full sun salutation and to lie down with arms and legs extended.

DVD Notes: I have the mass market version, but I’m assuming the details are the same as Kristin’s original production. The main menu allows you to Play Routine or choose one of three chapters.

Comments: This video is different than Kristin McGee’s MTV Power Yoga. (The back cover says this is to take those who like Kristin’s MTV yoga videos to the next level; I only had Kristin’s original MTV Yoga, and this is definitely more challenging than that.)
Kristin suggests that if you don’t have enough time to do the full practice that you can break after the first 25 min. (more like 30 min.), which stops before the balance section; this gives you an energizing practice that would be great for mornings or whenever you need to recharge.

Instructor Comments:
Kristin exudes a friendly, encouraging, positive but not too perky presence. She cues well, with mirror cuing (i.e. when she says “right,” she is referring to the viewer’s right). She has more of an athletic or Western approach to yoga, in that she focuses during the practice on the physical aspects of the poses, uses mostly English names for poses and straightforward language, doesn’t include chanting or anything metaphoric, flowery, or spiritual, but she doesn’t lose sight of connecting movement to the breath or yoga’s potential to help you reconnect with yourself.



The Setting:

Peach toned background with muted earth colors on squares in the back drop. Kristin is dressed in similar colors with a pink top and brown shorts. She stands on a wooden platform with a blue mat.

The Music:

I personally liked the music. It was a little different than other yoga videos I have. Pretty instrumentals flowed well with the practice.

The Workout:

The dvd has the following chapters in it:

Intro to Power Yoga

Power Yoga Program (the entire 50 minute class)

Short Routine (I believe this is only 30 minutes long)

Floor Routine


Standing Postures:

Kristin begins the practice with mountain pose into forward bend, giant lunge back with right leg, down dog, right leg dog split. Then she has you spread your toes wide and wrap them behind the calf of your left leg. This creates a deep stretch in that left calf muscle. Holding this position, you then drop into plank, back into down dog. Kristin repeats this entire sequence on the left lead. Standing forward bend into mountain pose ends that sequence. A sun salutation is then repeated 2 times. Warrior 1 follows the 3rd sun salute. Kristin does several deep lunges in this position. Down dog into left leg dog split, step into Warrior 1 on left side, repeating series on left leg. A forward bend into chair is next followed by forward bend, plank, up/down dog. Sun salute all the way through into Warrior 1, repeat to left. Jump forward into standing bend. Repeat one more time all the way through. Next sequence goes from Warrior 1 to clasping hands behind back & lean forward into lunge with arms still clasped behind back and lifted overhead. Then you'll straighten the front leg & fall forward into a yummy straight leg stretch for your hamstring muscle of that lead leg. Then Kristin will have you pull the left leg up in air so you will be standing on one leg. Repeat to the left side. Next sequence begins in Warrior 2, bending and straightening leg several times. Reverse warrior into triangle follows. Triangle moves into extended side angle. Kristin then moves into wide straddle forward bend with hands clasped behind back. Repeat all of this to the left side and finish into standing forward bend. Stepping to the front of the mat, anyone can easily end the practice here if they so choose. If you continue, up next is right knee to chest in standing position going into tree pose. This then flows into a twist pose. Half moon pose then twisted half moon follows the twist pose. Standing split finishes this side. Prior to repeating to left you'll do a forward bend with a great toe hold. Now repeat sequence to left side finishing with forward bend with hands placed underneath your feet. Crow pose is the last pose prior to the floor poses.

Floor poses:

Staff pose, which Kristin states is like Mountain pose for the floor, begins the poses for the floor work. Full forward bend then a sequence to the right side begins: Right leg back, full twist to right then reach right arm overhead, similar to extended angle, and reach for toes of the leg leg. Now turn forward & bend over the extended leg. This is another great hamstring stretch! A deep pigeon pose is up next. After holding pigeon for awhile, Kristin pulls up the foot of that extended back leg and holds it for a deeper quad stretch. Seated spinal twist ends that side. Repeat sequence to the left. After completing the poses to the left, slowly roll onto your back and soften/relax your body. A deep final relaxation concludes the practice. (the floor work section was my favorite---delicious stretchs for quads/hamstrings/spine which I find very relaxing) This section with relaxation is only about 10-12 minutes long so it's a great "add on" section for adding to other workouts.

I loved this workout! I'm looking forward to more Kristin yoga (and pilate) workouts.....


Instructor Comments:
Kristin provides very detailed instruction and visuals to help you get the most from each pose.