Yoga Meltdown

Jillian Michaels
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Yoga

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I wanted to add my own short comments: I am trying to add more yoga in my workouts, I'm open to the possability of going yoga-only if it works for me, but I'm new-ish to yoga and don't care too much about the mind-body connection. So that's where I'm coming from.

I prefer Level 2. I find Level 1 has less variety in the moves and ends up working upper back/rear delts too much. Lots of down dogs, then holding chatarangas while Jillian instructs for quite a while about holding the belly in, etc. It felt like I was working the same muscles too much. And hovering in chataranga (like hovering over the ground in a half-way-down push up position), seems like it'd be too hard for a beginner, and Level 1 is supposed to be the beginner level. I've been doing Level 2 much more often and enjoy it more. More variety in the muscles being worked.

Yoga Meltdown was recommended to me on VF. I like the style of the workout more than I thought I would (reps and pulses), because it raises the heartrate and moves at a fast pace most of the time.

One thing that could be considered negative, she mentions vinyasa means coordinating movement and breath but doesn't instruct to inhale or exhale on certain movements. (So there's a flow to the movements, but she's not really trying to do vinyasa because she doesn't care if you inhale or exhale with each movement.)

Instructor Comments:
Still drill seargent, but not as hard core as in her other workouts - she recognizes that yoga is about making your practice your own, based on your own abilities. She doesn't discourage modifacation here, like she usually does.



illian works out in her newest set -dark wood w/ light blue accents (very nice) with 2 backgrounders. One shows beginner mods & one shows more advanced modifications. The dvd has a level one workout (35 min) and more advanced level two workout (30 min), you can select which w/o you want from the chapter menu- no play all. You wont need any equipment for this workout. I would consider these yoga toning workouts.

This is a very active toning style yoga dvd. The workouts are set up circuit style (like all her newer stuff). Jillian emphasizes that she includes enough movement to get your heartrate up and burn calories and enough strength work to really tone your muscles. I agree on both accounts. She adds pulses/ reps to each yoga pose so you can really feel it in your muscles- then to really burn it out she has you hold the pose for 15 seconds

Level One: Moves include: mountain, chair w/ extension, chataranga, cobra, down dog w/ leg extensions & knee pulls, pulsing crescent pose (basically static lunges), moving warrior variations, plank to side plank, dolphin, lower back work, and concludes with a cooldown. Intermediate.

Level Two: Moves include: pulsing trainangle, revolving triangle, 1/2 moon w/ balance challenge, chair, leg extension toe lock, deep cresent pose w/ a twist, goddess, crow, boat w/ leg extensions, double leg drop, reverse pushups, and finished with a cooldown. Higher Intermediate.

I ABSOLUTELY loved this workout! It is by far my favorite yoga dvd to date! I love that I really felt the work, enjoyed the flow & the moves, and the time went by super fast. Very unique & challenging. I would rate this a solid to high intermediate but absolutely suitable for all fitness levels. I cant say enough positive things about this workout- If you are Jillian fan- you'll love it. You will see the classic Jillian "tough guy" persona here (of course!). The w/o's are perfect as standalone w/o's, combined for a 65 minute blast, or to add on to your other strength workouts. I received this dvd from Exercise TV to review.



This DVD has two workouts, with Level 1 and Level 2, Level 2 intended to be used for more advanced yoga exercisers and/or when you have mastered Level 1. Level 1 is 35 minutes long including warm up and cool down, and this review is for Level 1 only. (Stay tuned for Level 2!)

I disagree with the Collage Video label of beginner-intermediate for this workout – it is solid intermediate and can in my opinion be upwards to low advanced depending on how much effort and attention to form that you put into this workout. This is definitely one of those workouts that you will get out what you put into it. I put in a lot of energy and I was sweating and my heart rate was up.

Jillian works out with two background instructors (both women) one who offers beginner modifications and the other who offers advanced modifications, with Jillian demonstrating intermediate modifications when she isn’t walking to the other two and commenting on form, which is most of the time. The general breakdown of the workout is to “rep it out” and then to hold the pose for 15 seconds, within an overall circuit. The Level 1 workout has about four circuits in between the warm up and cool down. The circuits each include rotating between two or three different poses (usually with one leg leading then the entire circuit with the other leg leading).

-Warm up includes breathing arm raises in mountain pose, chair pose with arms reaching to floor (or to ankle level for beginner) then raising into a standing back bend, and low lunge with knee on floor for a hip opener to begin the workout. Warm up is about 4 minutes long.

-Circuit 1 includes crescent lunge with lateral arm movements then hold a low crescent lunge for 15 seconds. Transition to plank then camel pose and rep it out in camel pose, alternating hands back to touch your heel (beginner modification is to curl toes under to raise your feet, therefore reducing the range of motion because your heels are raised), then hold camel pose with both arms back for 15 seconds. Both the crescent lunges and camel reps are real quad burners.

-Circuit 2 includes downward dog with one leg up in air and pull knee into chest while transitioning into plank pose (and rep that out), then hold the downward dog with leg in air; chatarunga (sp!) pushups which really work the triceps.

-Circuit 3 includes Warrior 2 pulses then hold in Warrior 2, then transition into plank pose and do T-planks (side planks) from side to side then hold the side plank on one side. Repeat the entire sequence on the other side. The plank-side plank series was superb for arm and core strength.

-Circuit 4 Jillian says is the hardest (I would have said Circuit 3 was hardest but this was still pretty darn challenging) and includes Warrior 3 to crescent lunge and back again (rep it out between these two poses) then hold in Warrior 3; dolphin pose on elbows and raise hips into what is like a downward dog on elbows, rep that out until you hold dolphin pose. You do this dolphin sequence two times because the circuit is performed leading on either leg. End with “double time” vinyasa for two sets.

-Cool down is brief and includes slower mountain to standing forward bend, then sitting on floor and finishing in twisting poses and pigeon pose which felt phenomenal for the hips after all that standing leg work.

I really liked the music and it was well synchronized to the exercises. Since it is a yoga workout, it was hard to see the screen most of the time, but I knew my reps were properly timed because I could go with the music. This is not a relaxation video; she intends to work you out hard. This was basically an unweighted strength video. The reps will get your heart rate up and you will definitely feel the burn.

There is no mind-body connection talk and unlike the Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga for comparison, Jillian does not say to relax and have fun because you’re doing yoga. Her persona was the same as it is in Shred, tough girl and laughing at her exercisers shaking trying to hold poses. She is tough! She does use words like “pansy” and “who’s your daddy” and such which might annoy some (it did sort of annoy me, but not enough to interfere with the workout). This is definitely classic Jillian, some people like her and some people don’t. If you don’t like her, trust me you won’t like her here either; she didn’t “calm down” her persona to do a yoga workout.

Overall I definitely enjoy this workout, it works me hard and I feel the burn. I do NOT reach for this video when I want a calming yoga high and mind-body connection exercise, I will save that for Baron Baptiste or Rodney Yee. But this is a great workout when I don’t feel like using weights but still want to work my legs and core hard. The music is very motivating to me (high tempo instrumental) and helps me push myself. The set is uncluttered and not distracting. Jillian and her girls are all an inspiration to look at. The Level 1 chapter does not have chaptering within the chapter, so it will not be feasible to skip the warm up or skip circuits, unless you use the search button. I think you get a high quality workout here for the money. Overall grade A!

Instructor Comments:
I am a big Jillian fan – I have read her books, I have her DVDs (although some of them have a dread factor for me still!), and I always root for her and her players on The Biggest Loser. I really admire her because she was overweight as a teenager and had a difficult childhood, and was really able to turn her life around. I know a lot of people don’t like her, and I understand how her mega over the top A-type personality can get annoying (in her videos and on TBL) but she is obviously really skilled and talented. In her videos (including Yoga Meltdown) she gives really good form pointers and tries to push you to new levels, but also reminds you to respect the level you are at right now. I also think that she is encouraging even with her “tough” demeanor. All of that said, if you already tried Jillian and you know she doesn’t work for you, don’t bother with this workout because she is exactly the same.

Emily B.