Yoga Solutions

Tracey Staehle, Josef Matthews, Bobbi Moran
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Yoga

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I was really hoping to like this DVD. I like the main instructor, Tracey Staehle, and I really loved the idea of the various premixes that this DVD has to offer, as they are shorter practices designed to be used after other workouts--I often add-on yoga this way, so this seemed perfect for me. Tracey was several months pregnant when she filmed this video, so she shows modifications for many of the postures. She shares teaching duties with Josef Matthews, a martial artist with whom she produced a previous workout, and her sister, Bobbi, who is a college coach. They are located in a pretty outdoor setting (I believe it is the campus where Bobbi coaches).

The Main Menu of this DVD offers options for Play All--Chapters--Premixes--Credits. Here is the breakdown of the chapter menu (I have added information on who leads which segment in parentheses):

Warm-Up (Tracey)
Standing Series (Josef)
Lunge Series (Josef)
Balance Series (Josef)
Seated Series (Tracey)
Prone Series (Bobbi)
Supine Series (Tracey)
Savasana (Bobbi)

If you choose the "Play All" option, the entire practice is almost 2 hours long. This seemed a bit unwieldy, especially for a practice that is billed as being appropriate "for everyone" (more on that later). When trying the DVD, I chose to focus mainly on the 8 premixes described below (note that the actual names and times differ slightly than what is listed on the DVD case):

Post-Run, 17 minutes
Post-Kickboxing, 19 minutes
Post-Cycling, 13 minutes
Post-Upper Body Weight Training, 20 minutes
Post-Lower Body Weight Training, 25 minutes
Post-Total Body Weight Training, 23 minutes
Post-Cardio, 11 minutes
Time Saver, 42 minutes

I was disappointed in these practices for several reasons. First, they didn't flow very well at all. Because the premixes are taken from the main workout, each one jumps right in, sometimes almost mid-posture. Second, the premixes didn't really seem to be specifically designed to what their titles suggested. For example, when I tried the Post-Total Body Weight Training, I expected to do postures that would fully stretch my entire body. Instead, this premix basically just contains a standing pose flow from the Balance Series chapter (warrior 2, triangle, revolved triangle, tree, half-moon, revolved half-moon, warrior 3). Post-Cycling was choppy, mixing up some postures from the Seated Series and some from the Prone Series. None of the premixes includes savasana.

There are several other problems with this DVD as well, starting with production issues. In each segment, only the instructor leading the segment is wearing a mic. Despite this, the three participants tend to have conversations with each other, which makes no sense--i.e., when Tracey is leading, Josef or Bobbi attempt to jump in with form pointers, but you can't hear them! Another production problem is that between each chapter, there is a black screen telling you what is coming up for the next chapter (e.g., Supine Series); unfortunately, the DVD pauses WAY too long on these, which really breaks up the flow of the practice.

Finally, I get the sense that Tracey was trying to do too much when she created this DVD, and as result, I think she lost her target audience. This MIGHT have been a good yoga DVD for beginners looking for a more athletic style of yoga, but Tracey sort of spoils it for beginners by making the practice much too long (no need to include EVERY variation of every pose, Tracy!), by including poses that are beyond the beginning level (for example, half-moon posture), and by failing to show use of props (e.g., not using a strap for reclined leg stretch). Unfortunately, I can't really see more experienced yoga students (such as myself) clicking with this video either, as there are just too many issues with it and so many better options available.

Instructor Comments:
I actually thought Tracey, Josef, and Bobbi did a good job instructing; it's just too bad that the practice itself wasn't better!

Beth C (aka toaster)