Saturday 2 August 2014

Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown DVD Review

Price: £9/ $8
Length: 30 minutes per level
Workouts: All-over body
Suitable for: Everyone
Rating:   ★★★★☆
Based on 4 weeks of use.

    Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown is amazing. I love it. I was already a little bit familiar with yoga prior to using this DVD, but not through classes or other DVDs, only through what was printed in Women's Fitness Magazine, so while most of the moves themselves were new to me, I was experienced enough to know how to keep my balance, and perform the pigeon pose during the cool down perfectly, which I was very proud of

   I was always sceptical about how yoga could possibly help you lose weight. I thought it was more of a calming exercise than a workout, and I didn't really think that this DVD would be any different. Well, I was wrong. The moves used in this DVD are not easy - easy moves are used for the warm up and cool down - and what makes it a truly viable workout is that Jillian has you rep in and out of the poses to build up cardio before having you hold them for 15 seconds. And you might think while you're moving in and out of the pose that you can't wait to be able to breathe and hold it - you'd be wrong. Holding the poses is taxing in a different sort of way. For example, moving in and out of the Warrior II is hard on your legs, but holding it is even harder on them, and kills your arms as well. It's insane, especially when it really looks like nothing. It's not nothing.

   The DVD is broken up into two levels, and both levels are made up of 3 circuits lasting a total of 25-30 minutes. Each circuit features three different moves, which you rep in and out of and then hold for 15 seconds. You go through a set on one side of your body, then repeat the set on the other, and then you're presented with either two sun salutations (Level 1) or a bonus move (Level 2) to end the circuit before beginning the next.
   As with all workouts, this isn't supposed to be easy. It's supposed to be easy enough to keep up with after the first few days, and it will gradually become easier. Balance is a must really, but balance improves in time, especially with workouts like this. My balance used to be atrocious, but it's pretty miraculous now. My boyfriend and I did a spontaneous balancing contest the other day (yeah, we're that cool) and I outmatched him by a few minutes. This is simply because I'm becoming fitter - though that doesn't mean that I don't struggle with some of the moves, because I certainly do.
   I also didn't think you'd get much of a sweat going either, but I was proven wrong there, too. I actually consider Level 1 to be more efficient than Level 2, perhaps because, with two sun salutations between each of the three circuits, it feels like it's all broken up better, whereas Level 2 is definitely harder, but instead of sun salutations (which are used in the warm up instead) you do bonus moves which are very difficult, but are there to give to something to work towards. You won't be able to do them at first, but you shouldn't feel bad if you can't. They're bonus moves.

   My single complaint is for the 'perspective-altering' motivational speeches she gives throughout the workout, but, in fairness to her, the things she's saying don't occur to many people and they are things worth taking to heart. For example: it's not about being perfect, it's about practise. And though it's kind of cheesy for her to say these things in a yoga DVD, she isn't exactly wrong in what she's saying.

   I would highly recommend this DVD. I'm still unconvinced about yoga by itself making a great workout, but Jillian's managed this perfectly. I lost a few pounds from it, and that's great considering that it's a workout I'd say is perfect for those days when you just don't want to use weights or dance or do anything with lots of high energy movement, but still want a decent workout.


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