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UnderReview: Yoga with the Best of Them

One of the main reasons we work out is to maintain our sanity and clear our minds. While a good run or session on the elliptical does the trick, sometimes you need a good yoga DVD to really stretch and mellow out. Plus, these titles promise to burn a few calories while you do so. In typical FBG fashion, we put them to the test!

Element: Yoga for Weight Loss

Okay, so I’m a little biased when it comes to Element’s workout DVDs. They’re just always so relaxing…like a trip to the spa without the bill. And the same could be said of this workout DVD. The scenery is beautiful, the voice of instructor Ashley Turner is soothing and welcoming, and the entire 50-minute routine flows with just enough cues for safety and just enough quiet time for reflection and relaxation.

My only real complaint is that the title is a little misleading. By including the word “weight loss” in the title, I expected more moving and some sweat. Granted this DVD did have you moving more than any other Element yoga DVD I’ve done, but I wouldn’t recommend it for its calorie burn. What I would recommend it for though is it’s mental approach to weight-loss. Throughout the moves, Ashley cues you to smile, focus on your goals and envision yourself at your healthy weight. Yes, it’s hippity-dippity. And, yes, I love it. For many, the emotional/internal struggle is what weight-loss is really about.

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

Overall: ★★★★

Best for: Those who are ready to address the emotional side of weight loss—and get bendy at the same time.

YogaWorks for Everybody: Body Slim

This was our first venture into the YogaWorks series of titles, and I have to say, I’m a little torn here. In this 50-minute routine, you get the feeling that you’re in an actual yoga class (albeit a brightly lit and somewhat crowded one), which I liked. The instructor gives great cuing, but there’s JUST SO MUCH OF IT. Like she never stops talking. And her voice is kind of like Carrie Bradshaw, only higher and more nasal. Even my husband was getting annoyed, and he was sitting in the other room.

Then there’s the actual workout itself. The first half I found to be pretty easy and kind of boring. The second half? AWESOME. You constantly move, get your heart rate up, and hit just about every muscle. So, I loved it, and I hated it. So torn.

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

Overall: ★★1/2

Best for: Those who need a yoga DVD that burns calories but also want an easy 20-minute warm-up. Also good for those with Dr. Jekell-Mr. Hyde personalities.

Hemalayaa Yoga for Everyone

I’ve tried a couple of Hemalayaa’s Bollywood dance DVDs, and while they’re not the most challenging workouts I’ve done, they are a thoroughly enjoyable break from the gym and a lot of fun.

Hemalayaa brings her same goofy personality to Yoga for Everyone, a set of two20-minute workouts. Both segments of the DVD are on the easier side, so it’s definitely a yoga session for someone who is slow to move in the morning but wants a stretch or for someone who wants an easy recovery day.  Both segments are quite similar, so if  you’re looking for a huge variety, this isn’t it. But the sessions incorporate gentle stretching in down dog and hip-opening floor lunges, squats, tree poses and forward bends. You also get to chant—”yuumm” in one segment, “ruumm” in the other—and make funny faces. The chanting and funny faces might throw you off, but they do have a strange way of relaxing you. Plus, I couldn’t help but think this would be a great introduction to yoga for kids; they would love the funny faces coupled with exhalations.

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

Overall: ★★★

Best for: Those who are new to yoga and may be turned off by the seriousness of many yoga DVDs. Also great for those who just want a mellow stretch and relaxation session.

FIT BOTTOMED LINE: IF YOU’RE MORE HIPPITY-DIPPITY, GO WITH ELEMENT. IF YOU WANT YOUR YOGA TO BURN CALORIES AND ARE OKAY WITH HITTING THE FAST-FORWARD BUTTON, GO WITH YOGAWORKS. IF WANT LIGHTHEARTED YOGA THAT DOESN’T TAKE ITSELF TOO SERIOUSLY, HEMALAYAA’S YOUR GAL.

Jenn & Erin

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!