Flexibility, strength and enhanced well-being are just a few of the things I love about yoga, so, I was hoping BeFit’s 10-Minute Daily Yoga Fix would be the perfect way to supplement my thrice weekly established practice; short enough that I wouldn’t blow it off, but long enough to keep my muscle memory and sanity even when I can’t make it to the studio because, well, life.
Due to the time limitation, I expected the workouts to include short sequences of basic postures, stretches and possibly a little bit of flow thrown in for good measure. However, this curriculum offers a unique take on yoga called Ra’yoKa. Personally designed by L.A. fitness instructor Rainbeau Mars, Ra’yoKa is a hybrid of traditional yoga asanas and tai chi-esque martial art movements.
The DVD is divided into five 10-minute mini routines that promise to reshape and rejuvenate your body. Each of the segments specifically focuses on a unique target, be it toning, fat-burning detoxification or stress relief.
This revolutionary workout is divided as follows:
Ra’yoKa AM Yoga
“Designed to get some blood flowing and to gently wake up those sleeping muscles.”
Rainbeau Mars, our instructor throughout the series, invites us to create heat and strength in our sleepy limbs with some basic sun-salutation type moves. A moving balance and a runner’s twist seem a bit overzealous at only five minutes into a progression, but with the limited time allowed, I guess it’s understandable.
We wind up this morning routine with some of Rainbeau’s martial arts-inspired kicks, but they are all done slowly, purposely revving up the circulation and warming up the joints.
Ra’yoKa PM Yoga
“Stress relief and relaxation are the goals for the second workout in the series.”
This segment starts with a few martial arts maneuvers (executed slowly, then double time) to help wipe the day’s palate clean and remove built-up frustration, but quickly segues into some of the more basic elements of yoga.
Hamstrings, groin and psoas are given a good once-over before moving into a couple of twists accompanied by my personal favorite, the lion’s pose, which is executed to release any residual tension in the face and the neck.
There is enough forward bending, deep breathing and facial yoga to help diminish even the worst case of road rage and relax anyone for the evening.
“Refine and define your core with intense, ab-focused yoga.”
This segment gives us 10 minutes of an exclusively abdominal workout. Yoga planks and boat pose variations encompass the first half, followed by five minutes of old reliable scissor kicks, bicycles and crunches, making for a solid but unimaginative core routine.
At this juncture of the video, two fellow fitness enthusiasts join Mars to offer variations in degree of difficulty.
Bootylicious Buns and Lean Legs
“Slim and tone those legs, hips and butt with a mini fat-burning workout.”
This leg-toning and butt-shaping bonus segment attempts to get a lot done in the few minutes allowed. There is absolutely no warm up, unless you believe that immediately dropping into a deep squat is just that.
All of the big muscle yoga moves are incorporated: chair pose, crescent pose and eagle are done progressively, followed by half moon balance poses. All are great poses if you know what you are doing; however, without an elevated heart rate, fat burning is going to be minimal.
Yoga Lean and Relax
“Reverse gravity, lean out and calm down.”
Gentle, seated stretching and deep breathing make up the bulk of the final workout.
This might be the perfect opportunity to utilize the DVD’s music-only option, as Mars’ constant chatter starts to feel a bit like a lecture on the benefits of tuning out.
An optional inversion is available at the end of the workout — inadvisable unless you have been thoroughly instructed on the posture as the weight placed on the cervical spine could lead to neck injury.
Final Thoughts on 10-Minute Daily Yoga Fix
The DVD as a whole doesn’t give a recommendation as to whom these workouts are intended for — the beginner or the experienced practitioner. Some cues are given for alignment, but without previous yoga experience it would be difficult to follow and would undoubtedly lead to improper execution. However, the more seasoned yogi might find the interruption of flow and the many pauses to be a bit of a distraction.
While some of her cuing — “now, let’s move to the good leg” — makes absolutely no sense, she seems genuine enough in a hippity-dippity (to borrow a phrase from Jenn) sort of way. “Shining like the sun” and working for “strength and world peace” are not the worst ways to start your day.
Perhaps I am a yoga purist, but I didn’t particularly dig Rainbeau’s interpretation of the ancient art form. You might want to YouTube it first for a “try it before you buy” sample before purchasing.
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★
Fun Factor: ★ ★
Meets Expectations: ★
Fit Bottomed Line: While I did find some use for the Ra’yoKa PM and Yoga Lean and Relax portions of the video, overall I found 10-Minute Daily Yoga Fix to be lacking. Poor instruction and amateurish execution led me to believe that further editing needed to be done before release. With little to no warm-up, perhaps these workouts are best used as add-ons after more strenuous activity.
What do you think of the 10-minute format? Too short? Or just right? —Karen