Fat Free Yoga - Lose Weight & Feel GreatAna Brett, Ravi Singh
Year Released: 2005
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First, there is some confusion about the name of this workout. Although this DVD is often referred to shorthand as "Fat Free Yoga," instructors Ana Brett and Ravi Singh actually released several different DVDs under the Fat Free Yoga series, all with different subtitles (i.e., "Fat Free Yoga: Total Tune Up" and "Fat Free Yoga: Yoga Cleanse"). Also, this particular DVD is actually a REMAKE of the original Fat Free Yoga - Lose Weight & Feel Great which was released on VHS in 2003. That version, although it showed Ana on the cover, did NOT feature Ana performing the exercises; instead another model, Catherine Quinn, accompanies Ravi's voice-over narration.
I had tried the original years ago, but I am thrilled to have finally discovered this updated version! Although the basic workout is the same, the overall look and feel of this DVD is definitely new and improved. Ana gracefully demonstrates the exercises while the narration is solely performed by Ravi; the set is the same clean, white background used for their other early videos, and I recognized much of the music from their Dance the Chakras as well.
This DVD is well-chaptered. You can select chapters from the Main Menu (below), but the workout starts playing automatically if no selection is made within about a minute.
Play DVD/Tune In
Start Your Engines
Fight Fire with Fire
No Impact Aerobics
Your Life is In Your Own Glands
Breath Meditation with Hands Like a Teapot
Meditation for Emotional Healing
Continue reading for my approximate time breakdowns as well as more detailed information on the exercises.
Tune In, 8 minutes
This warm-up segment begins with the traditional "Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo" chant. It also includes breathwork (inhale/exhale through puckered lips to a count of 5) and meditation.
Start Your Engines, 14 minutes
The first two exercises are standing: "Ravi Rolls" performed with Breath of Fire (BOF), followed by side bends. Next is a seated arms in/out move with the breath, then an arms up/down move with the breath, and finally an elbows back/front move with the breath. The segment concludes with a brief lying relaxation, offering the option to conclude here or to continue on.
Fight Fire with Fire, 22 minutes
This section has a strong focus on the navel center, with most of the exercises
taking place either on the back or the stomach. You start lying on the back for alternate hamstring stretches with BOF. Next, you stretch your legs wide, breathing deeply in this position. Coming onto the stomach, you perform alternate leg lifts and then bow pose with BOF. To focus on the abdominals in a seated position, you'll first do single leg raises with BOF and then hold a c-curve position with BOF. Then it's back to a face-down position for boat (locust) with BOF. This segment concludes with a lying relaxation that includes a sun meditation, or creating a "fire in the belly."
No Impact Aerobics, 12 minutes
This very active segment begins with walking in place (knees up/arms up). Next comes frog pose, which involves starting in a squat and raising up into a straight-legged forward bend. Piston pose starts seated on the heels and lifting up and down from this position. This is followed by a modified push-up (performed on one knee). Then, it's onto your back for leg raises with BOF and knees in with BOF. The final exercise is seated, moving alternate arms out to 60-degrees with BOF. This segment also concludes with a brief relaxation.
Your Life is In Your Own Glands, 14 minutes
For this section, you'll begin holding cow pose with BOF, then holding cat pose with BOF. Next is a breathing exercise involving breathing in for 16 "sips"/out 16 sips. After this you will lie on your back for alternate leg raises, raising your head in-between. Coming to seated, you'll hold your arms in a s self-hug and then move up and down in a sort of forward bend. The Deep Relaxation which is listed next on the menu comprises the final few minutes of this segment.
Breath Meditation with Hands Like a Teapot, 3.5 minutes
For this breath exercise, you will wrap your right hand around your left fist, placing your thumbs next to each other. You then slowly breathe in through your nose and breathe out through puckered lips, concentrating the breath out on the small space that is formed between your thumbs. This meditation is supposed to be calming and to help with anxiety.
Meditation for Emotional Healing, 8 minutes
For this meditation, Ravi suggests "if you can feel, you can heal." Therefore, he asks you to imagine feeling particular emotions (sad, afraid, angry) as a means to cope with these emotions. Between each emotional experience, the chant "sa-ta-na-ma" is repeated twice.
Closing Prayer, 2 minutes
As in all of their practices, Ana and Ravi conclude with a prayer for self, for someone who needs a healing prayer, and for peace on earth, ending with sat nam.
I was really surprised by how much I LOVED this DVD! Although I have dabbled in Kundalini here and there, I mostly do more traditional hatha yoga practices. However, I have found myself enjoying Ana and Ravi's DVDs more and more, and I think this one might now be tied for my favorite (with Dance the Chakras). Although this workout is about 84 minutes long overall, I loved how it is broken into shorter segments and how each one ends with its own brief relaxation; I tend to squeeze in yoga when I can, so I expect to be using sections of this DVD quite often as "add-ons."
Overall, highly recommended!
Although I missed having Ana share some of the voiceover duties here, I thought Ravi did an excellent job. IIRC from the original VHS (with Catherine), I found him somewhat condescending and over-the-top, but I think he toned it down quite a bit for the remake. Here he is very encouraging, particularly with the meditations--he mentions several time that it is okay if your mind wanders.
This kicked my butt around the block but I
loved it! High energy and lots of fun.
Even though this DVD felt pretty challenging
for me I really feel this is about as close to a
perfect yoga workout as you can get. This is
one I would like to do everyday because it
seems to get everything covered from just
enough stretching ( which opened my hips
nicely and loosened up my spine) to cardio
which, even though people would argure with
me and say you can't get cardio doing yoga,
made me feel totaly oxygenated. If anyone
asked me if I did cardio today I would
definitely say YES!
Here is a somewhat breakdown of the DVD as best as I can remember after doing this only 1X.
There are 4 parts. You can do them all
together like I did or just 1 section.
The first exercise in the 1st section is called Ravi rolls which is quite interesting and got the heart pumping. You are standing and swinging your arms 1 & 3/4 circles one way then reversing, bending your knees as your arms pass center and doing breath of fire the whole time. The 1st section (called Start Your Engines) continues with a lot of breath and movement exercises for energizing. Side Bends and Thyroid stimulating exercises that also really warm up and open up the upper spine. I think this section also had some warmups and stretching.
Set 2 is called Fight Fire With Fire which has a lot of deep abdominal work. At one point you are holding in a sort of half crunch position doing breath of fire and I felt the burn! Other exercises in this section I can remember are a wide leg stretch, leg lifts on belly, leg lifts on back......
The next set is No-impact Aerobics. Walking in place knees high, then Frogs which always kick my butt, then piston pose which I am sure I will feel in my thighs and butt tomorrow.. Then there are these incredible looking pushups on one knee with the other leg straight behind which at first glance made me say "no way!" but I found I could do them. I might not have looked quite the same as Ana but I think it still worked the same important areas i.e. chest, back and arms and butt again! Then more arm work...
The last set is your life is in your own glands. Alternate leg lifts where you raise and lower your head opposite to your leg. Then there is breath of fire in cow and cat pose. Overall this last set seemed to be a shorter set though this is supposed to be four 19 minute sets. I will try to remember to time them next time Then there are 2 meditations(for calming & emotional balance) which I skipped today for time constraints though I will probably do them other times. I actually felt pretty calm and emotionally balanced by the end ot the workout anyway. Overall it is a tough, energizing and refreshing workout and like most Kundalini yoga workouts contains no sun salutations which have begun to bore me beyond comatose!
The soundtrack is really well done. The music has an Indian flavor but mixed with other influences I can't quite recognize but really liked. You can hear Ana's breathing like she is right there in the room. It helped my breath of fire enormously to get into her rythym.
Ana is always an inspiration. She looks like she is having fun and smiles encouragingly making even the toughest sections seem easier. Ravi is off camera speaking. We never see him. He gives good aligment cues and as always emotional and spiritual support with his soothing voice. Also in the credits before and after the workout you see Ana dancing which is really cool.