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Jennifer Kries 
Hot Body/Cool Mind

 

Jennifer Kries HotBody/CoolMind

 

Empowering Workout for Energy Enhancement, February 20, 2007

Jennifer Kries' new workouts combine energy enhancement with elegant exercises to inspire within an environment of emotional healing. The exercises boost your metabolism and tone you all over, but they also heal your spirit and nurture your entire being.

The set is interesting with a circular wood platform set against a horizon with a sunrise or a cloudy sky. The open-air feeling gives the workouts even more energy and freedom. Jennifer Kries gives you all the individual attention you could wish for and unlike "cueing" she actually seems to guide you into a space of total awareness so when she moves, you move and you are completely in tune with everything she is teaching you. This is to me a sign of a master teacher who intuits your every move, takes care of your every concern and knows exactly how to motivate you to reach your highest goals.

The first section explores a unique series of "waking up" exercises which include a gentle tapping of the body with the hands and you can really feel the energy start to move and vibrate through your entire being. This is when you start to massage your feet and awaken your "chi" or life force. "Waking Energy Standing" progresses into a warm-up dance that feels like an all-over body massage from the inside out. Side stretches lead into exciting challenges like the wing tip flex and then move to elegant purposeful exercises.

The 5 Tibetans are the "Rites of Rejuvenation." These exercises remind me of yoga and there is a focus on the breathing and the flow of the motion. I found that a towel on my yoga mat made the exercises comfortable and these timesaving exercises help to balance the charkas.

To correct postural problems, Jennifer Kries leads you through her classic Pilates series and in 34 minutes you have gone through a variety of exercises with an added sense of precision. The invigorating teaser is like a reward for keeping up with your training sessions and rolling like a ball is rather fun. A short side series is also included.

The set is beautiful, but in the Yoga section the beautiful cherry red and black outfits along with the turquoise mats makes this visually stunning. This is a traditional Vinyasa style routine with flowing postures and the integration of breath and movement.

The Jazz section is the most energetic and creative section because it involves a few unique dance steps that are fun to learn. The dance flows with a jazzy sensuality and you can let go and just enjoy your aerobic workout while working your way into a choreographed routine. A classy Ballet routine follows with classic dance exercises to make you feel like a real dancer.

You may want to find a big comfy blanket to put on the floor for the Yin Yoga and Meditation session. This 21-minute segment is perfect if you have been wishing for an extended stretching session. Here you enter into a deeply healing series of stretches that can bring out a variety of emotional reactions as your patience is tested. What this section really does is it allows your body to relax and then stretch while warm. This was exactly what I needed and you may find this is perfect as a daily stretch to increase flexibility.

Hot Body/Cool Mind has 8 exercise routines with 7 variations. When you start the DVD it will progress through all the routines or you can select a specific workout combination:

Hot (Yang) Energizing, Cardio-Pumping Power
Cool (Yin): Calming, Gathering Recharging
Hot (Yang) & Cool (Yin)
Dance to Fitness - both dance routines
The Perfect Balance - Yang and Yin: Pilates, Yoga, Meditation
Original Method Pilates, Yoga and Dance - both dance routines with yoga and pilates
On the Fly - The 5 Tibetans, Short version of Pilates and Jazz dance.

To be honest, I was more than impressed with the individual routines and how they are combined in the individual workout combinations. I've always thought of Jennifer Kries as the Pilates Goddess, but this DVD takes her to the level of Fitness Guru! This workout is spiritual in a subtle way, emotionally healing and physically nurturing.

Instead of depleting your energy, this workout gives you more energy so you can face your day with renewed strength and grace. The deep breathing exercises throughout also give you clarity of mind and gives your skin a healthy glow. I think this is one of the workouts of the future as we all move towards living longer and learning about the invisible dimensions of exercise.

Highly Recommended and Truly Fascinating!

~The Rebecca Review

 

Jennifer Kries Pilates Method 3-dimensional Toning

 

5 out of 5 stars Sexy Creative Dance Style Workout, January 28, 2004

"Our bodies move in every conceivable plane of motion, in varying ranges of expression. Most traditional exercise formats are comprised of linear one-dimensional or at best two-dimensional movements and are geared towards enhancing or changing appearance, rather than improving the body's efficiency or level of functionality. With this three-dimensional fusion of Pilates, Yoga and Dance, you will feel better, stronger, more flexible." ~Jennifer Kries

You might be surprised by Jennifer Kries' sassy red top and short hairstyle. Her personality shines in this beautiful workout filled with sapphire yoga mats, marble style floor and open-air temple in Athens feel. The workout is an invigorating dance and yoga experience that will test your creativity, balance and coordination.

Workout 1 - Pilates Based workout that will give you a lean, straight, limber new figure. This is a standing/dance style workout that I would call intermediate to advanced because this workout builds on the knowledge you have gained from previous Jennifer Kries exercise videos. This workout involves a lot of leg work, balancing, bending over, stretching hands to the ceiling, dance positions, stretching legs, lunges, side stretches and some very creative new moves/poses I had never tried before. If you enjoy ballet workouts, this one will be very interesting to you. I found the balancing exercises to be a wonderful challenge and when I did them without falling over, I was so proud of myself. In this workout, there are four other instructors/workout partners. Table is still the ultimate challenge for me. I'll be working on that pose for years.

Workout 2 - Core Conditioning for buns, abs, sculpted legs and thighs. You don't need high impact aerobics to see wonderful results. Jennifer Kries has one of the most beautiful bodies in the world and when you do her exercises, your body starts to improve at a rapid pace. In this section, Jennifer works out on a purple mat, same outfit. I love the individual instruction, all the helpful tips and the pace of the second workout. This is almost a reward for working out in "Workout 1." You are flat on your back to start and then you will start to recognize yoga and Pilates based exercises. She starts with breathing exercises, roll-ups and leg stretches. Leg circles will be familiar to you if you have been doing Pilates workouts. I love the rolling like a ball and stomach exercises. Jennifer takes you through all the basic poses and concentrates on precision. I like the way you can actually hear Jennifer breathing in various exercises, it reminds you to breathe! She ends with a teaser and a deep breath and then magically disappears. I'd like to see a nice relaxation/stretching section added to her workouts.

Jennifer Kries is definitely the Pilates goddess of the workout video/DVD world. Not only does she create challenging workouts, she gives precise instruction and teaches you to respect your body in a new way. I love her new workouts and I see fast results in all-over body toning. In fact, your skin will be softer and radiant and your entire body starts to become smooth and sculpted. Of course, I still have a way to go!

If you have the choice between a Video and a DVD, go for the DVD. Isn't rewinding a video the bane of the workout existence? It is so eternally slow.

This is truly an exciting new workout from Jennifer Kries. I always look forward to trying all her new workouts. Also look for: Perfect Mix and Precision Pilates. These three workouts can be used together to add variety to your workout routine and will help to get you into shape fast.

~The Rebecca Review

 

Ultimate Pilates

 

Detailed Illustrations and Pilates Exercises , April 5, 2007

"The program is planned first to address your body's structural problems and improve its posture, and then to integrate each change in to your way of moving, so that it becomes a part of your natural movement pattern." ~ Dreas Reyneke

When Dreas Reyneke retired from dancing, he began teaching at the first pilates studio in London. In this book, he presents his system to promote perfect posture, balance and well-being. This whole body approach is based on the original 34 exercises developed by Joseph Pilates who said they would "transform the body if practiced regularly." The main sections include:

Timelines & Historical Facts about Fitness
The Exercise Experience
Body Conditioning
Body Structure
Muscles and Movement
Dynamic Posture
Principles of Practice
The Exercises
Breathing to Reduce Stress
Planning Your Program
Level 1-3
Special Adaptations
Pilates for Pregnancy
Pilates from 55 to 105

Full-color illustrations and drawings explore the postures and what is happening on every level from the muscles being used to how the brain responds to new exercises. The section on Key Muscles gives illustrations for every main muscle you are using in the exercise along with names and pictures of the exercise. This gives you an inside view of what is happening as you exercise and this section will be especially appreciated by teachers of Pilates.

All the exercises are shown in detail with more than one picture to illustrate the posture or motion especially where exercises have various steps progressing from one movement to another. Variations and "Points to Watch" make the exercises safe and effective.

This book will compliment any Pilates routine and may give you additional exercises you may not find on a Pilates DVD. I can highly recommend this to Pilates teachers and students or to anyone who wants to understand how the body works while exercising. You may also enjoy:

~The Rebecca Review

 

New York City Ballet Workout 1

 

Authentic Ballet Workout, April 5, 2007

Ballet improves your posture and gives you a sense of grace even when you are not working out. The New York City Ballet workout presents exercises in a formal ballet style setting. For minutes at a time you forget you are not a ballerina as you work through the warm-up with first and second position.

Fluid movements follow as you move from side to side and then put a spring in your step. A floor routine follows with leg stretches and then you work your abs in every possible way, although each movement is so precise you are getting double the workout in half the time.

The unique and challenging postures and dance steps are explained as you are doing them, although at times the choreography takes center stage as the narration lessens and you focus more on the dancers instead of following the cueing.

This is a well structured, intermediate to advanced workout that requires a sense of determination, some experience with Pilates and possibly Yoga. The jumps are the most challenging and the entire workout fine tunes your balance. There are 17 exercise sessions and bonus programs including video diaries, behind the scenes footage and interviews.

Back exercises appear during the floor workout, but you are using your entire body at all times because most of the workout requires you to be super focused and keep your balance so you may feel this the most in your back after the workout. Throughout the exercises classical music guides you into a peaceful space where you feel relaxed even though you are working out at a fairly high level that requires patience and endurance.

~ The Rebecca Review

 

New York City Ballet Workout 1 & 2

 

Ballet from the Viewpoint of a Dancer, February 9, 2007

Workout 1

Ballet improves your posture and gives you a sense of grace even when you are not working out. The New York City Ballet workout presents exercises in a formal ballet style setting. Your body becomes a paintbrush, sweeping along walls and floors in beautiful choreography like an artist painting on black art paper.

For minutes at a time you forget you are not a ballerina as you work through the warm-up with first and second position. Fluid movements follow as you move from side to side and then put a spring in your step. A floor routine follows with leg stretches and then you work your abs in every possible way, although each movement is so precise you are getting double the workout in half the time.

The unique and challenging postures and dance steps are explained as you are doing them, although at times the choreography takes center stage as the narration lessens and you focus more on the dancers instead of following the cueing.

This is a well structured, intermediate to advanced workout that requires a sense of determination, some experience with Pilates and possibly Yoga. The jumps are the most challenging and the entire workout fine tunes your balance. There are 17 exercise sessions and bonus programs including video diaries, behind the scenes footage and interviews.

Back exercises appear during the floor workout, but you are using your entire body at all times because most of the workout requires you to be super focused and keep your balance so you may feel this the most in your back after the workout. Throughout the exercises classical music guides you into a peaceful space where you feel relaxed even though you are working out at a fairly high level that requires patience and endurance.

Workout 2

With frequent pacing changes, you are working out slow one minute and fast the next. The rapid movements get your heart beating faster, but the graceful flowing movements make you feel more relaxed.

The narration made me feel very relaxed, so the entire first two-thirds of the second workout seemed more relaxing and centering than invigorating. The exercises begin with a warm-up and progress to dance steps, floor exercises for the abs, legs and arms. During the exercises you do have to count for yourself and there are bonus exercises later in the program that you can add in to your own routine.

While I found it much easier to follow the first DVD, the second DVD has much more complex moves and you need a much higher degree of intense concentration and precise balance to enjoy the exercises. Having some split-sole sneakers might help with the jumping, but you can do most of the workout in bare feet or with ballet slippers.

The booklet in the second DVD shows more of the exercises and has a glossary for Turnout, Demi Plié, Grand Plié, Releve, Tendu, Dégagé, Passé, Fondu, Grand Battement, Changement de pieds, Pas de Basque and Piqué Arabesque. On the DVD, all of these are shown in detail in a section in the special features.

After trying the workout a few times, you may also want to personalize it and there is a way to select specific exercises and then play them all at once for your own personalized routine. The sections you can choose from include:

Upper Body
Lower Body
Comgined Movement
Stretches
Abdominal Strengthening
Floor Barre Supine
Floor Barre Side Lying
Floor Barre Prone
Plié & Tendu
Dégagé
Passé & Fondu
Grand Battement & Little Jumps
Reverence

An inspirational "Born to Dance" segment features all the dancers in their daily life and there is also a behind-the-scenes bonus feature as well as a number of promos for fitness studios in New York. What do dancers do after exercising? The first DVD gives a more detailed look into the dancers' lives, but this DVD has a combined section that briefly explores the dancers' interests when not dancing. Overall, the second workout is more complex and progresses into real dance steps so you can feel like a real dancer.

~ The Rebecca Review

 

 

 

 

Braun Blender

 

5 out of 5 stars What you need for blending protein and vitamin powders, January 28, 2004

I have had my sturdy Braun blender for years. I use it to mix protein drinks right in the "jar" or to smooth out a lumpy gravy when I forget to use a whisk. Most chefs have one of these tools to make smooth sauces and creamy rich gravies. Definitely a must have in the modern kitchen. This is the only tool I have that will adequately blend  my All-One Vitamin Powder into milk and fruit juices. So, basically, if I didn't have this item, I'd be less healthy. Great product that lasts for years and years.

~The Rebecca Review

 

 

 

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