Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Timesaving Yoga Sessions

A friend asked me yesterday if I knew of any dvds that had quick yoga sessions (20 minutes at the most, preferably 10 minutes if possible). I thought I'd write about it in case more of you are wondering the same thing. I told her about my very favorite, but I'll list a few other options, in case you want to explore or have variety. I mentioned these briefly in a previous yoga post over a year ago, but here's a bit more:

My top pick is Quick Fix Total Mix Pilates/Yoga with Tracy York and Suzanne Donegan. The front cover shows Tracy York, but not Suzanne -- they show a model instead (I don't know why Quick Fix often does this on their workouts), but you can learn Suzanne's names in the credits if you're curious like I was. I already knew who Tracy York was. She does many other workouts with Michelle Dozios (formerly Nevidomsky) like the Breakthru Step workouts. But Tracy isn't my favorite. She's okay, but her voice is a bit high and I got tired of hearing her instruction for something peaceful like Pilates -- I like her better for cardio. Plus she spends a lot of time building up each move and I just wanted to get to work.

Suzanne, on the other hand, is a wonderful yoga instructor. She cues enough to let you know what proper form is (like teaching that your feet should be placed with all 4 corners evenly balanced) and her demeanor is peaceful and pleasant. The music is nice and the moves are just right. There are 4 yoga segments at 10 minutes each: Yoga Energy, Yoga Strength, Yoga Flex, and Yoga Challenge. You can do one alone or click on them in succession in the order you like for a combination. It's not super challenging, more soothing and restorative. I don't know how to gush over a yoga instructor, but I either like doing yoga with someone or I don't. And there are a few with whom I just love doing yoga. Suzanne is one of those very few.

I've used this dvd most either for a 10-20 minute add-on to a workout or with all of them in a row for a longer yoga session. I used to own it on VHS before we had a dvd player. It was called Quick Fix Core Yoga then. I like it better on dvd though because I can customize my own workout or skip around. This dvd is no longer available retail, but you can still find it used on Amazon,, ebay, etc.

Another great add-on or brief yoga session is a bonus feature on Crunch Candlelight Yoga. The main yoga session is about 45 minutes long (and is just wonderful -- it's about the least challenging yoga dvd I've done, but it still feels great and definitely worthwhile to do). This is one of Sara Ivanhoe's early yoga productions (she did Crunch Joy of Yoga and Fat Burning Yoga earlier and has since done her 20 Minute Makeover series and her recently produced her own dvd Yoga on the Edge.

The bonus is called Yoga Energizer and it's only 15 minutes long. Its title suggests it's an energy boost for the morning (and it can be), but it's also a nice add-on to any workout or as a stand-alone at night.

Yoga Zone dvds are also fun short yoga gems. They have a slew of Yoga Zone dvds in the 2 -20 minute session format. The first Yoga Zone videos were an hour long (and are led by Alan Finger, my favorite being Conditioning & Stress Release) and are filmed indoors, much different than the following series. The shorter ones I really like are filmed in Jamaica outdoors in a beautiful bright setting with upbeat, yet soothing music. The dvds are made up of 2 segments from a Yoga Zone tv show (which I never saw). You can buy a boxed collection (or this one), but I would get them individually, because I have some favorites and some that just left me thinking I wouldn't care if I never did it again.

My favorite Yoga Zone dvds are: Yoga Sculpting, Evening Stress Release, and Sunrise & Sunset. I didn't really care for: Total Body Conditioning (too many prayer poses), Gentle Yoga for beginners (way too gentle), and Introduction to Power Yoga (I wanted to like it -- I love power yoga, but the poses just didn't feel right to me). I think I've tried Yoga for Abs and Yoga for Weight Loss and have liked them, but it's been awhile and I can't remember. I've loaned out many of these and haven't gotten them back and it's hard to keep track.

The only other short yoga session that I love, but I didn't think to mention before because it's the only yoga on this dvd (and is just 10 minutes long) is the yoga on the original 10 Minute Solution with Michelle Nevidomsky-Dozios. There are a ton of 10 Minute Solution dvds now, but the original one that stood alone for many years was a combination of 5 different exercise methods (going off of memory, Bootcamp, Kickboxing, Ballet, Pilates, and Yoga). I had this back in VHS-only days and had to FF and rewind all the time because I mostly liked the latter two. This was my introduction to Pilates and it's still one of the most challenging 10 minutes of Pilates I've done. Doing it back to back with the yoga is just perfect because after working the core and legs with the Pilates, the yoga is a calm and relaxing (as well as helpful for your flexibility). I still use this yoga to add onto other workouts and it never gets old. Pretty good for a video that is 10 years old!

Now you have some quick yoga options. No more excuses if you don't think you have enough time!

1 comment:

  1. Ya know the FIRM yoga is really good. I LOVE that DVD. It is fun and challenging and not difficult in moves. It is challenging to the muscles though. Really nice workout and stretch.