Yodates Cardio

Brandi Woodard
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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This review is for the Yodates Cardio BONUS DVD. There are several workouts on this DVD: an "express" workout, a "core" workout, and a nice "stretch." The Express workout has more core work than the full workout; between that and the nice guitar music in the background, it has a completely different (but completely wonderful) feel from the full workout. Brandi reminds you not to squeeze your butt in this workout; it’s hard to remember that when you're having so much fun, so the reminder is very helpful!

We begin with some nice arm stretches, then get right into “riding the horse” which is rocking hips back and forth with arms going along for the “ride” before moving into an overhead backhand move and a smack-down to the hip move. The hips continue the party with some single/single/double action along with different arm movements. I found myself thinking “This is fun, but is it doing anything for me?” I’ve gotten rid of so many dance workouts that I felt didn't do much in terms of either cardio or toning. But Brandi kept reminding me to hold everything tight while circling my hips; and as I began to really feel it in my hips and stomach, I knew this would be a keeper. There are hip circles with alternating high/low arms. There are hip shifts left and rights. There's Brandi extolling you to “Sit down on that saddle” and “Work that saddle!” Before you know it, you’re at the home “stretch!” This was a truly fun express workout at just under 20 minutes (17:30, to be more accurate.)

The Bonus DVD also includes a 15-minute mat workout in which Brandi works the lower body and core. Once again, I noticed how descriptive she was in describing how we should hold the positions and what we should be feeling.

The mat work is followed by a gentle stretch; and once again, I appreciated her telling me what I should be – and shouldn’t be – feeling. And as she moved into an impossible-for-me straddle, I especially appreciated hearing her say, “don’t push your body to do something it doesn’t want to do.”

I really enjoyed the Bonus DVD!!

Debbie J


I've done the new Yodates cardio workout twice now and simply love it! The setting is a bright room with totally cool round yoga mats (I want one!) The music is, in a word, AWESOME! The workout itself consists of several short dancey segments (just dancey "moves", not "steps", so don't be intimidated by the word "dancey!") of about 2-3 minutes each, done continuously (with short water breaks in between) as one nice, long workout. Each segment is chaptered, so if you go to get a drink of water without pausing the DVD, you can easily "chapter back" to the beginning of that particular section.

The warm-up begins by circling our hips left, then right, then rocking our hips front & back, and side to side. Brandi says the circle is happening between our legs, and she made me laugh when she said “the party between our legs.” Okay, so I’m infantile, but it was funny to me ... and she said it several times! Next came a backhand move, which was really more like an overhead lasso. She kept saying “make it ugly” when she really meant (I think) just let yourself go. I never felt my moves were “ugly” – in fact, I felt they were graceful and free. Maybe I wasn’t doing it right, LOL!

The next move was a backstroke and hip rock, with “your choice” arms. Then came a “cardio zone” section where we did a small jerking movement as we circled our hips, and this was followed by a backstroke move with hi/lo hip circles. Next up was a slap-circle move with a hip rock; first on the left, then on the right. Then we snake our arm across our chest and do a sort of lasso circle before “riding the horse” with quick pushes of the hands and hips. This was one of my favorite moves; bad club dancing, indeed!

Next came arm lifts with hip circles – and when she said “your thighs are crying”, she was right. Then we went “riding in the car” where we turned the “steering wheel” in single, single, double turns; raised the “convertible top” to throw our arms up and around; then returned to the car interior and continued with single, single, double turns of the steering wheel. This was another really fun move! The next section included shoulder drops wth hip rocks, followed by arm circles and more hip rocks. We then returned to our horse and did “throw it away” and “wash your hair” moves, followed by little hip pushes and “basketball” tosses. She cracked me up with the next move, a forward bend which she said to think of as “advertising.” I suspect she has a mischievous sense of humor. This was really so much fun!!

At the roughly 35-minute mark, we began weighted work, which included bicep curls, then hip circles while holding light weights in our hands with arms extended at our sides. Tricep kickbacks were next, followed by upright rows and a “stir the pot” move. At about the 40-minute mark, we moved into standing abs, starting with graceful toe touches across the front of the body, then shifting our weight into our back hip with a little stretch forward before repeating on the other side. The stretching begins at approximately the 50-minute mark. Throughout the workout, the background exercisers showed several modifications without really talking about them; I found that to be a huge plus.

I loved, loved, LOVED this workout! Brandi really exudes confidence in this update to her original workout; this has a much more modern feel (i.e., no bodysuits) and there was a good variety of great music. They also took plenty of water breaks; and if you don’t want to take a break, you can just keep moving your hips as I did (making it ugly, of course, LOL!)

The Yodates yoga workout starts with Ojaia (?) breathing and moving meditation before beginning floorwork (seated butterfly, spinal flexion, and child's pose. The setting is bright, and soothing music plays continually in the background. The flow begins by moving through plank to cobra, and back into child's pose. Other moves included downward-facing dog and variations of this pose (i.e., high push-ups), and forward folds. After returning to mountain pose and a small back bend, we transition into forward fold, flat back stretch, forward fold, etc., then add sun salutations. There were several flows along these lines, and when Brandi moved from a standing forward fold into a headstand; I was impressed! The workout continues with standing moves: triangle pose and variations, high lunges into full splits, and more triangle pose variations.

Brandi is extremely flexible and moved easily into all the poses; the background exercisers demonstrated varying levels of flexibility, so those who aren't as flexible or advanced shouldn't feel intimidated. At a running time of 75 minutes, I personally felt this went on a bit too long -- I know, though, that some people prefer longer yoga practices, and this one certainly fits that criteria! I enjoyed the classical music throughout the practice; it was appropriately soothing for this workout.

Instructor Comments:
Brandi has a wonderful sense of humor and she uses good imagery in describing how we should be standing or feeling, for example, “zipping our zipper” and “sitting on our horse.” She also continually reminds us to keep our “zipper zipped” and not to squeeze our butt, and I was glad for the reminders to work my core and not my glutes.

Debbie J