Although there are many benefits to practicing yoga at a studio, I mostly practice yoga at home. I prefer it to studios or gyms for many reasons: I can practice it on my own my own schedule, I don’t have to worry about getting ready, there is no time spent on transportation to or from, no worry about parking or transportation costs, no membership or drop-in fees, I can control the climate, and I don’t have to worry about germs or other people’s body odor (sorry to be so blunt!). And if those reasons were not enough, I can decide exactly what yoga routine I’d like to do based on my needs at the time.
One yoga hybrid DVD I really like and have been practicing regularly is Yogalosophy with instructor Mandy Ingber.
Inbger is known for her A-list of celebrity clients including Jennifer Aniston, Kate Beckinsale, Jennifer Lawrence, Ricki Lake, and Brooke Shields. I’m not necessarily impressed by celebrities, but since these people have a world of resources to choose from, it tells me that Ingber must have something worthwhile to offer.
Ingber’s style is different than traditional yoga instruction in that it is a combination of yoga poses integrated with toning exercises. Some yoga purists are put off by the fact that it is not 100% traditional yoga, but it doesn’t claim to be. The instructor makes it clear that this is her particular hybrid of yoga poses and toning exercises, and what she has named “Yogalosophy”.
A different kind of yoga
The fact that Yogalosophy is a little different is actually one of the things I find interesting. Plus, it’s fun to follow along with. Her delivery is positive and lighthearted which helps to make the experience enjoyable, all the while doing something that’s good for your mind and body.
One of the other features I find appealing is the calm, blue setting by the ocean. Also, the music is fitting and not distracting. Overall, the Yogalosophy DVD was very well produced. Although production quality is not generally a deal breaker, I find it helpful when there are many angles to see the positions, and I appreciate crisp and clear audio and video. It just makes it that much easier to follow. This DVD definitely gets high marks in that department. It seems there might be a couple of edits that aren’t the exact count of repetitions, but I don’t think there’s any harm in doing an extra rep or two.
For this DVD, I’ve tried my mat both parallel and perpendicular to the screen/monitor. I’ve found that when I lay my mat with the top of it facing the video, I spend less time turning my head and neck to watch along, causing less strain.
The Yogalosophy program starts with sun salutations to get your heart rate moving. The instructor suggests either a cardio warm up before you practice, or to do sun salutations such as these. This segment runs about 7 minutes 44 seconds (minus the intro/talking). She offers eight different versions of sun salutes. If you find one is too difficult, she suggest going back to a simpler one. She talks us through the sun salutes (which are cued with voiceover), and keeps it moving.
At the end of the sun salutation warm-up, she reminds us to set an intention for our practice, what we’d like to get out of practicing today. I appreciate that, as it always puts me in the right mindset.
Next is the main section. It’s roughly a 35 minute practice, where there is enough variety to feel you are getting the whole body engaged. Here the instructor uses some live cuing along with voiceover instruction. Some moves are easier than others, but by the end I feel I’ve had a good workout.
Once you are familiar with the program, you might opt for the alternate version of the main Yogalosophy workout on the DVD which has no verbal cuing, but still has music and affirming and supportive text dissolving in and out of the picture.
The next section is the brief “Rock Block” which is a series of warrior poses that are intended to strengthen the thighs. It only runs only about three and a half minutes, which is fine after you’ve already done the 27 minute workout, but I do wish it was a little longer…my thighs can always use extra strengthening.
At one point the instructor says you should be feeling the burn in the glutes during these, but I never feel the burn there. I wonder if I’m not hugging the muscle closely enough to my bones. I do, however, always feel the burn in my arms.
The 4th section is the balance challenge which is aimed to build core strength. A very quick three minutes.
The 5th and final section of the workout is the stretch portion of the DVD. It runs six minutes, which I think is a perfect length after this particular group of yoga poses and toning exercises. I find the workout most gratifying when I follow all five sections together with no breaks.
When I started following along with this DVD, I was wishing she would verbally cue each time she repeats a move so you can hear when to go to next position without having to look at screen. But you kind of get the hang of it after following along with the DVD a few times.
I have been practicing along with Yogalosophy for about six months and I feel I’ve made significant progress with my strength, balance and flexibility. I know this because I took a few weeks off from doing it and when I finally got back into it, I was definitely not as strong or adept at holding some of the postures that I had been making such headway with a few weeks prior. Lesson learned…gotta keep it going!
Yogalosophy with Mandy Ingber might not be the most vigorous workout in the world, but even after months of following along I have not grown tired of it. I still find it challenging and rewarding. Until I completely master some the tougher positions, such as the boat, v-ups and push-ups, I will continue to keep this DVD in heavy rotation.