Tag Archives: Pilates

Rodney and Mari

Two more workout DVDs to review!  First off, the inimitable Rodney Yee, he of luxurious long hair and sexy beach poses, and, unfortunately, sex scandals.  I’ve been to his studio in Oakland a few times, though sadly I’ve never taken a class from the buff guru himself.  I picked up his 2-disc Advanced Yoga DVD from the library this week:


If that cover doesn’t make you want to do yoga, I don’t know what will.  The first disc contains an arm balance workout and a “complete hip opening routine.”   The arm balance workout is easy to follow and incorporates a lot of forward bends and easy stretches before moving into arm balances.  I was pretty psyched that I could lift myself off the ground in full lotus.  I guess all the strength work I’ve been doing since February has paid off.

The second disc is all about breathing.  There are four pranayamas.  I found the introduction plus the first pranayama to be very relaxing and more than enough for the day.  The four pranayamas are not necessarily meant to be done back to back.  Rodney’s voice is pretty easy to listen to while you’re relaxing and focusing on your breath, and I feel totally awesome after spending a good ten minutes on the floor chilling out.

Verdict: Both discs are easy to follow and appropriate for intermediate to advanced yoga practitioners. 

Next up…
Winsor Pilates Advanced Body Slimming – Sculpt Your Body Slim DVD


Mari Winsor is another Pilates guru, though not as weird as Romana.  Apparently she’s the “Oracle of Pilates.”  Okay, that’s kind of weird.  This is also supposed to be an ‘advanced’ workout, though I’m a beginner (albeit with ABS of STEEL) and I was able to follow along just fine.  The workout itself is around 20 minutes, but it’s an intense 20 minutes.  I was sweating by the time it was over.  There are a few interesting variations to the classic moves, and Mari actually made my abs burn more than they ever have doing Pilates.

Verdict: I liked this one the best of all the Pilates videos I’ve tried, and will probably buy it.


Pilates Time

I’ve been interested in Pilates for a while now, but lack the cash to take classes. Plus, I’ve become addicted to working out in my apartment. This week I picked up two DVDs from local libraries (I have library cards for Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, San Francisco and San Jose … they all have their perks).

Romana’s Pilates – Ultimate Challenge Mat Workout

The first, Romana’s Pilates, seems to be more in the old-school Joseph Pilates style (though they spell his name “Joesph”). There are a few short vids about breathing and technique, then Romana, a 60s-ish supposed direct disciple of the man himself, works a guy in an embarrassingly tight shiny jumpsuit through the moves. More helpful was the next section, with voice over instructions about breathing, timing, and general how-tos. A woman named Kathi takes us through the hundred, corkscrew, saw, swan dives, and a number of other classic moves. It’s pretty easy to follow, though each exercise moves quickly into the next. Though it was short (15 minutes?) I was sweating by the end.

Verdict: a good video for those experienced in Pilates, particularly those who can clap their hands and feet at the same time from a plank position (wtf?!)


Pilates Powerhouse Workout

Next up, this Pilates DVD from Gaiam.  Gaiam makes some good yoga mats, so I figured this would be decent.  The setting of this vid is pretty idyllic and makes you wish you were also doing your morning workout on an isolated wooden platform by the edge of the ocean, in what looks like Hawaii.  Jillian Hessel leads you through some gentle breathing exercises on a chair, before moving to the mat for some more typical pilates exercises.  This video is lower in intensity, but very helpful for getting the timing of the breathing right  and learning how to ‘scoop’ the abdomen.  I used this as a warm-up for the Romana workout, and it was just right.

Verdict: great, easy-to-follow introduction to Pilates.  Low-intensity.