With all the bread, cookies and treats, I’ve been making, combined with this winter weather, I have moved to some more “aggressive” yoga series that work off the extra pounds, while still maintaining the required union of body, mind and spirit.
As I am traditionally a Hatha yogi, and faithfully take Shiva Rea – Yoga Shakti daily. I needed something new to work muscles and glands that might be getting overlooked. I decided to try Kundalini yoga, as this type of yoga delivers one of the most efficient ways to transform your life. First, understand that the only workout I do is Yoga. Yoga, to me, is a time saver: it works my heart, my lungs, and builds strength and flexibility, while also delivering a path to the “Peace that passes all understanding.”
Fat Free Yoga – Lose Weight & Feel Great w/ Ravi Singh & Ana Brett By title alone, I couldn’t wait to try this Yoga DVD. This yoga focuses on strengthening your core, by combining traditional yoga poses with the breath of fire. There was much emphasis on detoxifying the glands, particularly the thyroid and adrenal glands to boost, and ultimately, regulate metabolism.
This video’s focus on your abdominal glands gives a double bonus: First, it tones and flattens your stomach, and strengthens your core. Second, in yoga terms, your core is your center of power. Working this area of your body makes you more “aware” of your weaknesses, (both emotional and physical) strengthens them, and in turn, gives you more “willpower” to say no to the wrong foods, the wrong choices, and to do what is right for you.
This yoga DVD is hard, but not impossible. This 90-minute DVD offers four 20 minute workout, giving you the ability to choose “how far you can go” on any given day. Still, I was looking for a tough workout, and this one delivered… in spades. The first time I did the workout, I wanted the workout to be over over in the first 20 minutes, and I’ve been doing yoga for over 12 years. I always did the entire DVD, and by the third time, I was learning to “appreciate” the exercises, and no longer found them overwhelming. Uncomfortable, yes. But, as Ravi explains, this discomfort sends a signal to your thyroid gland to secrete chemicals that will balance you, and boost your metabolism. The pain is worth the gain…or loss, depending on how you view it.
My favorite part of the DVD is the Your Life is in Your Own Glands, as this section brings hormonal balance. While I’m busy burning calories, my hormones are getting balanced, which is the gem that yoga brings to any workout. These exercises, along with the breathing meditations, are designed to help you strengthen your willpower, help you build nerves of steel, with the ultimate goal of helping you handle any challenge life presents.
Ravi includes low-impact aerobics, that involve the “cross-crawl” technique to balance the hemispheres in your brain. I thought these exercises were a little too light. I’m thinking about replacing those sections with jumping jacks. However, the poses, are TOUGH. Imagine lying on your belly, grabbing one foot, while the other is straight and off the floor, and rocking back and forth. Now, switch legs. Now, do both legs. I had a brief second there, when I thought I would hang up my yoga mat… forever… But I made it. This pose really is a wonderful stretch, once you get used to it.
The rapid twists, designed to tear out toxins, for some reason, have almost eliminated all of my neck pain. I’m not completely pain free, but I hope this will improve, as more time with Ravi marches on.
Unlike Shiva Rea‘s fabulous collection of musicians on all of her yoga DVDs and CDs, that you can listen to all day and night, I’m not fond of the music on Ravi Singh‘s DVD. So, I’ve written down the poses, along with the time for each, so that I can do it on my own, with my own tunes.
I’ve been doing this video for a month, three days a week, with Shiva Rea – Yoga Shakti on the other two days. (Hatha, it turns out, is the only workout that “stops” my restless legs.) In the end, I have lost 6.5 pounds in one month. The biggest benefit is that these exercises have strengthen my core, which has expanded outward to my arms and legs. I noticed this as I went back to Shiva Rae, and was able to hold downward dog that extended beyond my normal fatigue level. Also, when I run around at the park with the boys, my breath doesn’t get short as quickly.
Emotionally, I’ve noticed I’m a bit more relaxed… still impatient… but able to sit and wait, and not jump at the first sound of a crash in the house, and wait to see if it “resolves itself.”
If anything, Fat Free Yoga has enhanced my Hatha yoga practice. The stretches I follow with Shiva Rea are deeper, as my core is stronger, and the muscles in my legs and arms are strong enough to hold me while I extend farther. With those benefits, this yoga DVD will stay a part of my overall yoga maintenance. The hardest challenge is deciding each day, which one I will do, as I still need both.