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by Gwen Lawrence
Gaiam, 2012
Review by Christian Perring on Apr 8th 2014

Yoga for Fitness

This DVD has three 20-minute yoga sessions. 

  • Lower Body Tone
  • Upper Body Blast
  • Core Definition

Fitness instructor Gwen Lawrence demonstrates the practice and talks you through it in a voice-over.  The practice is filmed in a rather large studio illuminated with colored lighting and a few decorations.  She does her work on a sort of metal platform with pillars behind her. There's bland electronic music accompanying all the practices.  The DVD is directed by James Wvinner, who has done many other yoga videos, and this has his signature style of smooth production, warm colors, clear voice, and some signs hinting at an Eastern symbolism.  However, the mystical side is counteracted by Lawrence's style of talking, with a distinctive New York accent, and several comments showing that she is more interested in exercise than spirituality.  She is spontaneous, practical and a little irreverent, making the occasional funny comment.  When she says "whatever it is, it is" she sounds more Queens than Buddhist. 

The workouts are good. She provides some modifications but this is mostly a workout for people who are already used to some yoga.  It is mostly chaturangas, downward dogs, lunges, squats, planks, side-planks, warrior poses, and variations on those.  There is some twisting while lying on the floor, but not much.  There are no inversions.  She gives directions about which poses can be held for longer to build for strength and flexibility.  She gives a good deal of advice about how to do the poses and how to tailor the workout for your own needs.  Doing all three workouts in one session is definitely challenging.

As the title indicates, this DVD is aimed at people who want get fit.  Gwen Lawrence has plenty of sessions online, so it would be worth checking them out before deciding whether to purchase this DVD. 

 

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© 2014 Christian Perring

 

Christian Perring, Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York

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