Retro Review: Strength Building Yoga

I don’t claim to be any sort of yoga guru. I enjoy yoga, but my hammies always tell me that I need to be doing it more often. They say that yoga is a practice and if Rodney Yee: Strength Building Yoga taught me anything, it’s that I need more practice. Much, much more. Since I’ve previously enjoyed the modern-day Rodney Yee: Yoga Burn and Yee’s Power Yoga: Total Body Workout, I decided to hearken back to 1992 and try out the strength DVD. Unlike other exercise DVDs from the 90s where everyone has mall bangs and neon shorts, Rod looked pretty much like he does now: long hair and practically naked.The program boasts a 10-minute warm-up and two 30-minute workout sessions. Unlike many recent DVDs, you’re not given the option of choosing which workout you want. Instead, you play the program and have to go through all of it or skip ahead by chapter to find the next session. The DVD starts out with what is a scary preview of what’s to come: Sir Rodney himself, with mood lighting and everything, doing poses that I’m pretty sure mere mortals shouldn’t be able to do. I wasn’t sure if it was the warm-up or not, so I played along for about a minute until I realized that it was just a way to display what you might be able to do if you stick with yoga—or what I like to call, “What I’ll never be able to do in my lifetime.”The first session is basic and fairly manageable. You start with vinyasa sequences and move into some more challenging poses, such as triangle pose and some downward-facing dog poses. It was my first experience with a bent-arm down dog, which felt like the most abnormal pose at first, but I grew to like it with practice. A two-minute hold in down dog, and I was feeling strengthened already. After the inverted poses, Rodney made some demands: “You’re going to need a chair, several blankets, a small towel and a belt.” What the heck, Rodney? Anything else I should grab? A couple of tin cans? Soap on a rope? The tools turned out to be for assistance with shoulder stand pose and plow pose, both of which I could remember doing easily as a child while watching television, but felt slightly (read: a lot) more awkward doing as an adult. I relinquished my soap on a rope to finish up with a leg stretch and pat myself on the back.The second segment was also interesting. After a series of standing poses—triangle, warriors and forward bends—you get down on the floor for some real fun. Well, actually, the real fun consisted of me taking a break after boat pose. There was just not a chance in the world that I was going to be able to do, nor sustain, this.

It was, however, quite impressive to watch Yee do these poses, and both my character and muscles were strengthened in the attempt.

FBG Rating (Out of 5)
Instruction: ****
Long-Term Likeability: ***
Music: ***
Fun Factor: **
Meets Expectations: ***
Overall: ***

Fit Bottom line: With great cuing and pointers, this one’s for more advanced yogis or for anyone who doesn’t mind taking a break mid-workout if not up for the challenge. —Erin


 

 



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