Been a bit obsessed with this DVD lately. I used to "practice" yoga at a fancy studio a few times a week and I really did love it. Unfortunately, it shut down (John Friend anusara drama) and I've been left with a yoga-void. Luckily, I picked this up at Target for $9 and have had my yoga fix at home.
Warning: this is not normal yoga. No chanting. No meditation. No nonsense. Just a lot of calorie burn and shaking arms and legs.
In fact, since I've been doing yoga Jillian-style, I haven't touched the weights in the gym. And I haven't felt like I needed to. Body weight training, as JM describes, is extremely effective and believe it or not, I've been sore from these workouts.
What I Like:
- It is no nonsense. I don't do yoga for its meditative benefits, which is why Yoga Meltdown is a good fit for me. You are working out and sweating the entire time. No oms. No complicated breathing techniques. Expect to be exhausted afterwards. Expect to grunt during.
- It's hard. I used to think that at-home workouts were supposed to be easy. Not with this. There are many poses in this DVD that I have yet to master (crow, holding chatarunga for 15 seconds) and am still doing the modified versions.
- There are modified versions. There are two assistants working out with JM and one of them shows modified versions of the moves that are a bit easier. On the flip side, there's another assistant who is kicking butt and doing super difficult versions of the moves that you can strive for. It's inspiring.
- You break a sweat. I've taken plenty of yoga classes that I've enjoyed, but left feeling like I still needed to do a "real" workout that day. Not with this. 30 minutes and boom: you are done for the day and you will be sore tomorrow.
- Levels 1 and 2 complement each other. Level 1 seems focuses on arms and shoulders and Level 2 focuses on your legs and abs, so if you are inclined (and a little crazy) you can do both back to back for a full body workout. That being said, they are both super effective on their own.
- Jillian's mantras. Ever heard "You've got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable"? Makes me laugh every time she says it in this video.
What I Dislike:
- It's not for beginners. I am so glad I had a decent yoga background before I purchased this. If not, I would have had no idea how to do some of these moves effectively (she doesn't give much direction- another con) and would have been beyond frustrated.
- Not a lot direction. To piggy-back off that, Jillian doesn't take a lot of your time explaining how to do a certain move - it seems as if she'd rather keep you moving. If you are familiar with Warrior II and Sun Salutations (among other typical yoga poses), this is no big deal. If you aren't, I'd suggest watching the video first before you actually try it. But in all fairness, I've never been closer to holding Crow than I have with Jillian's instructions. Something she said about it just clicked and I got up there (for a split second and then fell on my head).
- Repetitive. Duh. It's a at-home workout DVD. I kind of wish she'd have three levels (like 30 Day Shred) for some more variety. But I can totally handle 30 minutes of the same workout if I don't do them back to back.
The results: After doing these yoga workouts 2-3 times a week and a few stints on the treadmill or elliptical a few times a week, I've gotten noticeably stronger, leaner and have been maintaining my weight without dieting (always a plus). I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has a bit of a yoga background and is looking for a difficult workout without having to lift weights. I'm no trainer or expert, but I am a believer in Jillian and this DVD - cheesy as it sounds.
What's your favorite type of yoga?