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Sara Ivanhoe Yoga Workout DVDs
Sara Ivanhoe is one of my favorite yoga instructors. She has starred in 12 yoga DVDs including Yoga for Dummies, 20 Minute Makeover and Crunch: The Perfect Yoga Workout. I love her DVDs because of her friendly, laid back style of teaching. She makes you feel comfortable trying yoga. She knows what you are feeling. And she focuses more on breathing and feeling good than doing the poses perfectly. Her DVDs are great for all levels. Her detailed instructions are great for beginners and she shows you how to "kick it up a notch" if you are more advanced.
Buy the box set...
20 Minute Yoga Makeover
The 20 Minute Yoga Makeover series has five 20 minute workouts, each with a different focus. The workouts are great for beginners. They are short. She shows modifications of harder poses. And she does not hold the pose for very long. Intermediate or advanced yogis can do two or more of the workouts. For a real challenge, do all five. I promise you, you will feel it if you do.
In each one, you will start with a warm up, do about 15 minutes of yoga, and end doing a short sitting meditation. You will learn a different mudra, or hand gesture, at the end of each one. Sara says "this will seal in the benefits of your yoga practice."
Sculpted Buns and Thighs will give you a variety of leg strengthening poses, such as warrior pose, chair pose and temple pose. You will do different arm stretches while you are preforming these poses. Your arms and legs will feel stretched out at the end of this DVD, and you will get a little leg work as well.
Flat Abs work your abs in a variety of different positions. You will start with a standing warm up, lifting your legs and twisting. You will also do sitting poses, poses on your hands and knees and some on your back. One tough exercise is a downward facing dog move where you touch your knees to your nose. I felt this one more in my arms than my abs. In the end you will have worked your abs from all directions and stretched your back out too.
Power Sweat is my favorite of the series. You start out sitting and do a twist and a side stretch. Next you will do a side plank. A variety of standing poses are next, many involving twists, which I love. Then a few seated leg stretches and you are done.
Weight Loss is a faster paced vinyasa type of yoga.You will move throughout the workout. When doing lunges for example, you will sweep your arms back and forth instead of holding them still. This will keep the energy flowing through your body.
Total Body Tone with Weights has some interesting ways to include light weights to challenge your yoga routine. Some moves work your balance a little, like when we do a tree pose with a shoulder raise. The arm moves Sara does hit each muscle group of the upper body, but I feel these moves in my lower body more. For example, we do three bicep curls while holding warrior pose. Warrior pose is tough for me to begin with and even more challenging with weights. Three little bicep curls don't really do much for my biceps however. My favorite part of this DVD is the breathing with lifting weights. I try to breathe this way through all my weightlifting workouts now. It makes the exercises feel good.
My only qualm with this series is the over inflated titles. I don't think you can lose weight doing this series alone. Cardio and calorie reduction are necessary too. And I don't actually sweat doing power sweat. They are still great you workouts though. I am no yoga expert, but I do feel calm, relaxed and stretched out at the end of The 20 Minute Yoga Makeover.
Crunch: The Perfect Yoga Workout
The Perfect Yoga Workout DVDis my personal favorite.It has two separate yoga workouts, The Joy of Yoga and Fat Burning Yoga. It is great for those new to yoga or people who like a lot of detailed instructions. If you practice it a lot there is a music only option as well.
The Joy of Yoga is more of a strength building workout. You will begin with a warm up and then move into twelve minutes of standing poses. You will do a lot of lunge type poses and twisting warrior poses with downward facing dog as a "rest" pose in between. Tough for your arms and legs. Then you will move to your hands and knees for cat cow pose. A push up move with opposite arm and leg raise is next. Then a few more stretches and on to your relaxing cool down. You will do a few relaxation poses, then corpse pose at the end.
Fat Burning Yogais a faster paced workout, more focusing on burning fat. You start a variety of sun salutation-like vinyasas. You will do a six minute ab workout. Then a few more floor stretches and you get to relax.
Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies
Sara Ivanhoe's Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies is the perfect introduction to yoga. You will learn 12 basic yoga poses. She will explain the pose, then you will try it yourself. This gives you a little rest between poses so that you can breathe and relax. I like to do this DVD on days when I am really tired and just want to stretch out and breath. It is not too strenuous, just relaxing. This DVD moves slowly. Sara will demonstrate the pose and show you how to modify or make it more challenging.
Beyond Basic Yoga for Dummies is the same idea, but with a different 12 basic poses.
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