Power Stretch & Sculpt

Tonya Larson
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Athletic Stretch

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I really wanted to love this dvd, mainly because I admire Larson's outspoken faith and apparent concern/love for others. (This dvd sends partial proceeds to a humanitarian effort in Africa.)

That said, I don't see myself using this on a regular basis. The dvd is nicely chaptered, with moderately long title screens between chapters. For the majority of the dvd, you'll hear instrumental piano music, though at a few points there are vocals, one song being "It is Well (with my soul)". I thought the music overpowered Larson's instruction at several points. It's a visually pleasing set; Larson performs with one background exerciser. Both are postpartum (4 and 7 months post, if I recall).

You can choose to begin the workout with an optional SPIRITUAL WARM-UP which is *not* generic in nature (mentions Jesus, talks of repentance, quotes the Bible). I didn't find anything in it offensive (though I am of Tonya's faith), but it isn't something I'd listen to each time I did the workout.

The main workout begins with an OPENING STRETCH (11.5 min). It's gentle, with poses like child's pose, cat/cow, shoulder stretch/arm threading, neck & side stretches, standing forward fold; this segment also includes some plies with taps/arm movements to warm up the body. In the entire workout, Tonya describes these moves, never giving them a yoga name. (I wondered if this was an attempt to make her yoga accessible to her Christian exercisers that have an aversion to yoga & its spiritual side...just speculating.)

The next segment is SCULPTING STRETCH (12 min) -- this includes a sun salutation sequence, movements in Warrior 2 and tree pose. This was not particularly challenging or strenuous.

DEEP STRETCH (10 min) is next; this segment includes pigeon, seated hamstring stretch, seated twists, camel, butterfly.

ABS & CORE FOCUS (5 min) is short & sweet and completely do-able, probably because she is marketing this workout toward a postpartum audience. It starts with some leg extensions, a brief crunch segment, and then planks.

COOL DOWN/RELAXATION STRETCH (8 min) starts in savasana (lying on back), ankle rolls, twist leg to the side, quad stretch, kneeling hamstring stretch, etc.

Instructor Comments:
Overall, this is a good, basic stretch dvd ... but it was just lacking the *something* that would make me want to pull it back out and use it again. I definitely say it's more stretch than sculpt, and while it is beginner leveled, it is --at times-- lacking form cues. If you are looking for a dvd with short yoga-inspired warmups or stretches (easily accessed from a main menu), this dvd is a good option.