Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Buti Yoga Transformation DVD Review

Price: £35/ $50
Length: 25, 45, 60 minute sections
Workouts: Full body
Suitable for: Intermediate
Rating:   ★★★☆☆
Based on 5 weeks of use.


   Buti Yoga is a unique style of yoga, incorporating classic moves with the cardio of tribal dancing. It's great fun, looks amazing and will keep a smile on your face while doing it. But it's not for the faint-hearted. You need experience with yoga already if you want to try this as the moves are around the beginning of intermediate level, and the transition between moves is quick, giving you little time to look up and check your form. But it's very unique, great fun, and something to look forward to doing.

Overview
   The Buti Yoga Transformation series is the first in Bizzie Gold's line of tribal dance yoga, and it consists of 3 full workouts - Feel which is 25 minutes long, Think which is 45 minutes long, and Look which is 60 minutes long. There's also a bonus section called 'Buti Basics' where you run through the signature yoga moves you'll only find in Buti Yoga - and as such can find little help for outside of the Buti community - and a few toning sections for upper and lower body. The workouts all run alongside high-energy music that really give you something to move to and really bring it to life. It's great fun when you get the hang of it.

Difference in Difficulty
   Each workout difficult, and they're each harder than the last, but this is more down to the duration of each section rather than the moves. When it comes to yoga, everyone struggles with different things. There were moves in all 3 workouts I had trouble with either because I wasn't flexible enough or couldn't keep up with them, and there were moves in all 3 I found quite easy. It's down to your experience. But they do offer you the perfect opportunity to get cardio burn into a yoga sequence as none of the poses are static. The sequences are all fast-paced, however, which is why you need some experience with yoga. You're not given the time to check your form as you move quickly from one move to the next. You need confidence in your poses if you're going to get a good burn out of it as it's easy to get it wrong when you're moving too fast to think. That said, if your yoga is good but you're struggling with Buti, stick to Feel until you're confident enough to move on - and remember that if it turns out the next workout is too hard for you, there's no shame in going back.

Trademark Moves Instruction
   This was, unfortunately, a big problem I had with this DVD, and ultimately why I can't decide if I like it - well, that's not strictly true. I can decide: I want to like it, but the instruction really let it down. I think Bizzie Gold's idea is great, infusing yoga with tribal dancing is seriously right up my street, but I think she would be a better instruction in person than on a DVD. The basic poses I had no trouble with - how can you get a downward dog wrong? But the trademark moves were something else entirely. An example? The Buti Shake. It looks so simple, but I can't figure it out. I watched the Buti Basics section after struggling through Feel a couple of times, hoping it would be cleared up, but the brief section on that move amassed to a quick demonstration and a vague description of shifting your weight side to side, and then it moved on to the next move. Shifting your weight from side to side is kind of helpful, but that much I'd figured out already, and my question was ultimately left unanswered. My issue was not knowing where I'm shifting my weight from. Is it my hips? My knees? Or do my legs stay locked straight? Is it my feet? And if it's my feet, is it my toes or my heels? Like I said, it looks like an easy move, but after 5 weeks of use I just couldn't figure it out. I'm still none the wiser. And that's just one move as an example. Every move I struggled with I found wre actually one of the 'trademark Buti moves' and no matter how hard I tried, how closely I listened or rewatched 'Buti Basics', I just couldn't get the info I needed.
   In person I think she'd be a fantastic instructor - of course she would, because she could see you struggle and give you the help you need so you could get the most enjoyment and physical benefit from her class. But online or on a DVD it's just not the case, and yet I've used so many DVDs from so many different instructors - celebrity fitness trainers and indie fitness instructors - and this is the first time I've come across this problem, and I'm very patient with this kind of thing. Things shouldn't be easy - but they shouldn't be so unclear that you can't do it at all.

Summary
   I really wanted to enjoy this, and when everything was going right, I did, but instruction is so important and this DVD really, really lacks it. Perhaps her more recent DVDs nail it, I don't know, but if I'm honest, I'm not keen to spend $60 to find out. This is my first negative review, and I admit that I feel guilty writing it. I'm not attacking Bizzie or her workout, I think her idea is - forgive me - golden, but I'm not so sure she's the one that should be instructing the DVDs. Or she just needs to try to remember that her trademark moves aren't found anywhere else, and since those moves are what make Buti Yoga so unique, it's fairly important that we're able to understand how to do them. That clarity and understanding of the moves should be a big priority. It's her workout she wants to share with the world, and that's great, but I think she could do a better job. It let the entire DVD down, all three workouts were made so much harder because of lack of proper explanation. If things are hard because of weights used or number of reps or stamina, fine, but not when it comes to understanding and communication. It's a fundamental part of instructional DVDs.

   Fortunately, if you're interested in this workout but unwilling to spend the $50 on the series, you're in luck. By signing up to the Buti Yoga newsletter, you'll be emailed a password to a 53 minute buti yoga workout video. It's a full workout, but it gives you a generous taste of the signature movements. It has the same lack of proper instruction, but it can sate your desire to try it. If you don't get on well with the free video, you won't get on well with the DVDs, but if these signature moves I personally struggled with click for you, then that's  brilliant. Maybe I'm missing a subtlty in the moves or she's implying something that I'm not picking up on - whatever the case, I don't recommend buying these or any of her DVDs without trying that free video first - ideally using it a good number of times. I used it twice and, sadly, regret buying the DVDs.



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