Yin Yang Workout (aka Tai Chi Balanced Workout)Janis Saffell, Scott Cole
Year Released: 2001
Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts , Tai Chi / Qigong
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I was reluctant to try a fusion workout but I have practically all of Janis Saffell's workouts and love them, so thought I'd try this out. In the end, I loved the Tai Chi sections with Scott Cole almost as much .. if not more .. than the kickboxing sections!
The workout starts off with a 10 minute Tai Chi warmup led by Scott, with Janis stepping in to do a few quick stretches at the end. They will do this fairly often .. stepping back and forth and changing between Tai Chi and kickboxing. It is not distracting and in fact it was a nice balance as it keeps you on your toes.
Essentially you can call this circuit training as there is a contrast between the fast paced kickboxing and the slow but concentrated Tai Chi movements. It almost feels like you're having a nice stretch or massage after each kickboxing segment. Don't get me wrong, the Tai Chi segments get progressively tougher as we go along and you do work the muscles if you really focus ... so you will build up a sweat pretty quickly.
This 'circuit' goes on for about 28 minutes before going into an 8 minute strength segment. This section is very very tough and it relies a lot on balance with lots of slow movements which really makes you work those muscles. You can really feel the burn, especially in the pose that Janis takes the group through .. a flamingo-like pose where you're on one leg leaning forward with your other leg lifted high up behind you. After all that hard work you have a nice slow 8-minute stretch/cooldown.
It is also a good introduction to Tai Chi .. although I've heard that that itself is not 'pure' Tai Chi but it is a fusion of Tai Chi + aerobics. Personally I found it interesting enough to explore other Scott Cole workouts.
If you love Janis Saffell's workouts .. I'd recommend that you get your hands on this, albeit for something a little different.
This workout is readily available through homeworkout.com. You can also get in through Amazon.com, but it takes quite a bit longer to ship from them.
Disclaimer: I am a big fan of Scott Cole’s workouts (in particular his Tai Chi and Millenium Stretch tapes) so I might be a bit biased. While I am not a fan of Janis’s kickboxing tapes (too high impact) I do enjoy her strength tapes (Brand New Butt, Brand New Butt & More).
Set/Production Quality: CIA red barn set (but no cow skull). A couple of lighted candle pillars were added to the background for ambiance. There are 8 background exercisers…I recognized Laura and Melissa from Millenium Stretch.
Music: usual Dynamix fare in addition to the Spanish guitar song(s) from Scott’s new Tai Chi workouts
The Breakdown: this workout is approximately 50 minutes total. Janis and Scott trade off leading this unusual workout. Scott leads the Tai Chi segments; Janis leads the kickboxing segments. The tape starts off with a Tai Chi warmup (8 ½ minutes). Janis then does a kickbox warmup (3 ½ minutes). The movements in the warmups are slow and controlled. I could really feel my hip flexors and shoulders stretch out. On to the cardio segment: Scott leads a segment of martial Tai Chi (6 minutes). It reminded me of the fast set of Tai Chi in Scott’s Tai Chi Training tape. Janis then leads a heartbeat-raising section of kickboxing…jabs & crosses, uppercuts and hooks (4 ½ minutes). Scott takes over with another set of fast Tai Chi…Tai Chi kicks and “brush pushes” (6 ½ minutes). More kickboxing with Janis, this time she does mostly kicks: side kicks, front kicks with jabs, roundhouse kicks and knees up (5 minutes). After the cardio, Scott and Janis go into a short strength section. Scott leads a Tai Chi based squat segment with some balancing moves (4 minutes). I felt it a bit in my inner thighs, but frankly didn’t push it too much as I did Cathe’s S & H Legs workout the evening before. If I had pushed into the movement more, I would probably have felt more of a burn. Janis then leads a kickbox strength segment that I Really felt: one legged balancing squats and slow straight-legged side kicks (5 minutes). Scott begins the short cooldown (2 minutes) with a Tai Chi segment based on the five elements (fire, water, metal, wood, earth). Janis ends the cooldown with a slow kickboxing style stretch (3 minutes). Scott and Janis together lead a Tai Chi move called “reeling the silk” and then finish off with the traditional tai chi closing (2 minutes).
Summary: I really enjoyed this tape. However, during the cardio section, Scott half-times the Tai Chi movements at first so that they are learned properly. This brought my heartrate down some. Then Janis would bring my heartrate back up with her kickboxing. This doesn’t bother me, but it would probably bother some cardio fans that prefer having their heartrates going in a consistent range. I consider this tape a great workout for those light cardio days, or days when I’m sore and need a workout that is less intense.
Janis and Scott have a great rapport in this tape. I found it fun watching them interact with each other.
This review is based on doing the video once. It is about a 45 minute workout that combines slow and fast forms of Tai Chi with kickboxing moves. Janis of course does the kickboxing segments while Scott leads the Tai Chi segments. They alternate every few minutes. Janis segments has her typical punch kick combos that you recognize if you do many of her videos. Scott leads several forms of Tai Chi movements, first slowly than quickly with precision. While this video has segments of cardio work it is more about strength as opposed to cardio work, which is one of the reasons I like the workout so much. Being a kickboxing enthusiast since for six years I like martial art workouts that focus more on strength and precision instead of just how high your heart rate can get. Since I work full-time and commute, I can not do several workout videos in one day. I need to find videos that combine all the aspects of strenght as well as cardio. If you are like me this is a good video. If you are looking for a workout that can give you focus and stamina, I recommend this one highly. If you are looking for a high paced cardio workout this isn't it.
Scott & Janis work really well together and they seem to enjoy working with each other. They alternate every few minutes leading the workout but both will be giving tips and suggestions. Janis is my favorite instructor and her goals in her videos resemble my goals much better than any other instructor. This is my first video with Scott and I would like to try others.
Length: 52 minutes
A detailed description of the workout has been entered before this review so I will just give my thoughts. I am an intermediate/advanced exerciser who has over 300 workouts. This is different than any I own. It was a great way to spend an hour working on balance and peace. I have not done Tai Chi before so cannot speak about that but I thoroughly enjoyed the mediatative qualities of Scott Cole's instruction. Janis Saffel came after the Tai chi sections with simple kickboxing cardio. I worked up a sweat in a very relaxing way. She did boxer shuffles, jabs, punches, upper cuts, knee ups and a variety of kicks. Scott did slower controlled movements emphasizing body awareness and balance. What a cool workout. It was fun and different.
Consise cueing by both instructors. Work well together.