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MTV Yoga
Kristin Mc Gee

MTV Yoga

 

5 out of 5 stars =    Invigorating and Sensuous

Reviewer: The Rebecca Review.com

It is rare to find a workout in which you enjoy all the exercises. This is one of those exceptional routines that combines a sensuous flow of movement, motivational music and invigorating routines.

The setting is striking and the music will be loved by anyone who enjoys the “Pure Moods” CDs. What you will completely love is the ability to use your own music. There is an “Alternative Audio Track” containing absolutely no music! That is a real bonus in the Special Features section.

If you have a CD player or stereo in the same room, you can play any motivational music you prefer and if you want to play relaxing music with candles, you can adapt the workout to suit your more relaxed mood.

They have also included:

Position Breakdowns – pictures and explanations
Instructor Biographies

This is actually a medium to fast paced workout in places and then at times it slows to a complete standstill as you relax into the poses. This is the "vinyasa" or flow of poses style.

Frankly, it is perfect. If you are a beginner, you have time to catch up while advanced and intermediate students are already in the “standstill” stage. I loved the way this routine can be adapted for all levels of yoga practice.

While I’ve done yoga for a few years on and off, this has to be not only the most invigorating routine, but also the most enjoyable. My entire body felt warm within a few minutes and at the end I was convinced I had really received an excellent workout. My arms, legs and stomach could feel they had been put through the motions, yet I felt completely relaxed and in a good frame of mind as the routine wound down to a completely relaxed pace.

Kristin McGee is an excellent instructor and her queuing is perfect if not the best I’ve ever heard. She knows how to translate her knowledge to the students all while giving the names of the poses and emphasizing breathing.

You literally fall under her spell and do exactly what she tells you to do. There is no resistance. I was impressed with her creativity and especially enjoyed the unique hip stretches that felt so good. She explains the difference between the lunge and warrior poses and gives tips throughout the workout. You feel nurtured throughout your practice.

Poses you will learn:

Downward Facing Dog
Chaturanga – the most difficult yoga move I’ve tried, but they have variations.
Warrior One
Warrior Two
Warrior Three
Extended Side Angle
Twisted Lunge
Upward Facing Dog
Triangle
Boat Pose
Tree Pose
Baby Cobra
Locust
And more…

The routine opens with breathing and this is emphasized throughout the entire workout. You will know when to breathe in and out and soon you will realize that in fact, once you get past the first 10 minutes, your breathing will become naturally more rapid in pace. You then will be doing standing postures, back bends, forward bends and all the poses listed above. The balancing poses were perhaps some of the most challenging moves and you might want to stand near a wall when first attempting those particular exercises.

This workout is perfect for beginning, intermediate and advanced students. You will need a yoga mat and a block. These are items you can find almost in any store these days or are easily found online.

I strongly advise purchasing the DVD for the special features! Since the DVD offers an alternative audio track, this is appropriate for all ages and you can do the routine without any music if you prefer a more ascetic or worshipful approach. The alternative audio track is perhaps the most exciting part of this DVD besides the excellent instruction.

Highly, Highly recommended! 10 Stars. Now in my Top 10 Favorite Workouts.

 

MTV Power Yoga

 

5 out of 5 stars = Invigorating Yoga Workout

Reviewer: The Rebecca Review

Kristin McGee is an instructor at "Crunch." I love her yoga workouts because she is serious about yoga and makes each workout enjoyable while still challenging you to your limit! This is a fast-paced Ashtanga-style workout.

An Ashtanga-style workout presents a series of postures that produce intense internal heat and purifying sweat to detoxify the organs and muscles. You will feel the improved circulation and no one will have to tell you to "breathe deeply" You will breathe deeply because you need to.

This is definitely an advanced workout because it moves so fast, there is really no time to actually learn the moves. You have to know what the poses are and move very quickly from one to the other. This is an outdoor workout in Phoenix, Arizona. This is quite the colorful workout. Not only are you outdoors with greenery in the background, there are red flowers, large red mats and blue/purple yoga mats.

Some of the exercises you will be doing include:

Sun Salutations
Downward Facing Dog
Awkward Chair (chair pose)
Rotating Triangle
Plank Push-Up
Forward Bend
Warrior Stretches
Standing Stretches
On all Fours Series
Seated Stretches & Forward Bends
Backward Bend
Twists – Enter new levels of making yourself into a pretzel.
Final Relaxation
Pilates for Abs

There were quite a few poses that were highly creative and that I've never seen in any yoga video before.

The Special Features Section includes:

1. Position Breakdowns for half moon, eagle pose, dancing shiva, half wheel, full wheel.

2. Instructor Biographies – Nice to see Jess is now certified as a yoga instructor. I was very inspired by his level of practice in the first MTV Yoga workout.

3. Instructor Only Audio – this seems to be a unique feature on MTV yoga workouts.. You can then play your own music for variety.

4. Blue Six Music Video – Nice to play while you are flat on your back after this workout. Maybe you could say: "Ahhhhh" a few times and get in a few minutes of meditation. That is what I ended up doing. This workout is pretty strenuous and therefore the word: power.

The only problem with the special features and bio section was the back tracking you have to do to get back to the main menu. They should have had "main menu" on all those other pages. It wasn't that difficult to back track, but requires an added level of patience. Maybe that is part of this routine. ;)

If you are new to Yoga and Pilates, I can highly recommend the first MTV Yoga DVD to learn the poses. Then, try the Winsor Pilates videos. If you can make it through Accelerated Body Sculpting then the Pilates section at the end of this workout will not be that much of a challenge. It is a short section to tone and tighten, but the instructor expects you to know how to do all the Pilates moves and fairly quickly.

While the cover says: "We incorporate beginner, intermediate and advanced versions in one routine," the problem for beginners is going to be the frustration they feel at trying to not only learn the correct position, but keep balance and follow the "poses" in a fast sequence. Speed is going to be the problem. Yes, there are instructors for each level, but the speed is all the same for every level. I think it would have been amazing if they had taken this routine and made it more accessible to all levels. Say, have three different speeds, beginner, intermediate and advanced speed.

Also, you don't hold poses like "warrior" for longer than a second. I would have liked to have spent more time on each pose, but if that is also your preference, then you will love the first MTV Yoga workout. This workout seems to be more about stamina and getting the body warmed up and burning calories.

There are also some pretty intense balancing poses (dancing shiva) and strength poses (half and full wheel, imagine being on all fours upside down) that will give intermediate and advanced students some great challenges.

For those who are advanced, this will be yoga heaven. I'm probably less than intermediate and I made it all the way to the end. I just was not doing all the poses to their full extent and many of the poses might take a year to learn properly. Yoga requires a lot of flexibility and this takes time.

What I did notice was that I was stretching further than I've ever stretched before and this might have been due to the excellent warm-up sun salutation routine at the start.

I look forward to future MTV workouts because I like the music they choose and the instruction is inspirational and the workout really gives you the results you are looking for. I'd love to see Kristin make a MTV Pilates workout and maybe even a stretching DVD.

For this workout, you will need:

Yoga Mat (no other yoga tools/blocks, etc. are needed)

Comfortable tight fitting yoga outfit that sticks to you like glue, otherwise any loose clothing will get in the way of your speed. Jockey Activewear has some silky soft outfits that are perfect for this type of workout.

Enjoy! This is a great challenge and the results are a calm mind, strong body and a powerful sense of accomplishment.

 

 

Pilates Mix

5 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Pilates Challenge, March 23, 2005

If you have been working out for years and have tried Pilates, Yoga, Ballet and a wide variety of traditional exercises, Kristin McGee will take you to an entirely new level of fitness. Throughout this workout you will recognize Pilates exercises, but they have creative twists and present new challenges for the intermediate level.

The creativity in this workout is stunning and mediocrity is not an option. Kristin presents challenging isometric exercises to test your highest level of patience. Yoga definitely prepared me for the concentration needed to count to ten.

So, the first time I tried this DVD I thought for sure I would never complete the exercises. My mind tried to tell me I was not young enough and that I should probably go back to a milder form of exercise at a slower pace. However, I'm back to say that you can do this if you watch this DVD first, then try the exercises at your own pace. By the third viewing you may find you can almost complete all the exercises with a few modifications.

This workout is in a club setting. The fuchsia mats are set on larger purple mats with white stars. The dark floor and the sapphire backgrounds make this an aesthetically pleasing workout.

Routines

Routine 1: This is a ˝ hour body shaping routine with a focus on strengthening core muscles, toning the arms and working the abs like never before! Combine this routine with the second routine for a full-body workout. The beginning of this workout is deceptively easy. You quickly warm up and then move from standing to the floor in a quick sequence of movements you may recognize as a type of Vinyasa. Then you spend a lot of time doing push ups without really realizing you are doing push ups. This is wonderful because the variety helps you tone up your arms without boredom.

Your wrists may start to tire out if you don't give yourself enough breaks. I did wish she had alternated with exercises you could do on your back because I started to feel that I was spending too much time looking down at the mat. However, the bonus is a test for your patience level.

Due to the fast-paced style, I'd recommend this to anyone who has a basic knowledge of Pilates and Yoga. A Yoga mat is needed, even though this is presented as a Pilates workout. There are many Yoga postures and while you are in the isometric positions it is helpful to be working out on a secure surface.

Routine 2: This is a ˝ hour workout designed for the legs and abs. You will feel your entire body being strengthened and toned. The beauty of Kristin's teaching style is in the motivational quality of her challenge. She presents the challenge and gives you more options. You can follow her and go for the advanced routine or you can choose beginner or intermediate. I found I was alternating between all three, depending on the exercise.

Bonus Routine: You could add this to the hour workout (Routine 1 and 2) or you could use this routine when you have less time. I'd actually say it is filled with creative interpretations of Pilates exercises.

Create Your Own Routine - Step-by-Step selections lead you to your perfect exercise routine.

Audio Setup - Want to listen to your own music? You can select the Instructor-Only Audio Track. I enjoyed the music on this DVD and it kept me motivated. After exercising, you may enjoy the music-only audio track for stretching. There is not a lot of stretching or a cool down section at the end, so that might be an option.

This DVD is not only a true test of your physical strength, the exercises will test your endurance and willingness to push your body to the next level. I was very determined to make it through this workout and on the second try I made it through most of the exercises. It brought out an entire level of competitiveness I didn't even know I was capable of and I was determined to make it through this DVD as if the world would end if I didn't complete the exercises. Now I look forward to incorporating this workout into my weekly routines.

Definitely an intermediate to advanced workout to try after learning the exercises in the MTV Yoga, MTV Power Yoga and MTV Pilates DVDs. The Music on this Pilates DVD is perfect and compliments Kristin's teaching style. Whatever will she think up next? I can't wait for the next DVD and I look forward to the challenge.

~TheRebeccaReview.com

 

 

 

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