The ever growing library of Jillian Michaels continues to provide affordable access for the entry level fitness enthusiast. This time yours truly looks at Yoga Meltdown, a single DVD that promises to give you Chernobyl levels of fitness benefits minus the deadly fallout. Hot dang, how could I resist?
I was hoping to write this sooner, but your old friend the DP has been a bit busy as of late trying to keep up with the latest in fitness videos. I’ve also been drafted into maintaining 30 beehives for an injured family member. Yes, in addition to fitness reviewer and writer, it would seem I’m now also a buzz rancher.
What you get:
I was able to acquire the DVD at Wal-Mart in the fitness section. I also suggest while you’re there to pick up some light-bulbs, a new shirt and possibly some fresh gourmet coffee that is not Folgers. You deserve it.
Yoga Meltdown 1
Time: 35 minutes
There’s a heavy amount of upward/downward dogs and warrior postures. However, there is not a tremendous amount of variety. The workout ends with 5 minutes of ground work that focuses on the hamstrings and glutes. Level One is fairly straight forward and should not pose a problem for a beginner.
Where postures differ from other yoga videos is that they move fast and incorporate pulses to add resistance motion. So while it’s not necessarily a relaxing thirty minutes, it does allow for some cardio work. The music matches the mood too as it’s a faster beat and not the calm tones of something like P90X.
The set is quite nice for a discount workout and Jillian is easy to follow along with. Her two demonstrators manage to avoid falling into dopey-smiles territory and are quite competent at their tasks.
Yoga Meltdown 2
Time: 30 minutes
Regular yoga with the added bonus of balance postures and some advanced moves. Some postures near the end attempt to fold you in half like you were being stuffed in a box by the Russian mafia. So things go from beginner to advanced in fairly short order. Know your own limits to avoid hospitalization.
This faster paced cardio-yoga has its definite downsides. Instead of slowly moving and adjusting to deeper postures, Jillian instead opts to get a cardio burn. The tradeoff might make the beginner more prone to injury if they don’t back off.
Jillian is one of the leaders when it comes to highly affordable workout DVD’s that don’t suck. She doesn’t come off as a bubbly idiot or merely a pretty face for the camera, although she has a demeanor that for some reason reminds me of a female Rocky Balboa. She has skills and good communication, which is evident given her popularity. However, like many trainers she will either motivate or irritate you. For me it was a little of both as she talks a lot for a workout I generally associate with calm relaxation.
Trying to measure the level of difficulty really depends on who you are. Are you brand new to yoga? This would be a good way to break in…as long as you don’t go all nuts with the complex moves at the end of the second workout. Are you a P90X ( or similar ) grad or have had past experience with yoga? This will bore you to tears with how easy it is most of the time.
There are some things to keep in perspective. If you think you’re going to get a revolutionary new type of yoga that is inspired as a DaVinci painting, then you expect a lot for ten dollars. Lower those expectations to the level of say, Bob Ross and you’ll be more on par with this offering.
Still, you get better value for $10 than you will with many other programs. Some higher priced video packages serve to be little more than comic relief so you should be able to avoid buyers remorse with most any Jillian Michaels purchase.
I do have a critical eye when it comes to marketing however. The packaging embellishes a little to say the least. Lose mega-calories…really? Mega you say? And losing 5 pounds a week is highly dubious unless you maintain Olympic levels of strictness in your food regiment or have significant water weight. If you’re already reasonably fit, I suggest dismissing such claims and simply enjoying the ride.
If we allow ourselves to come back to Earth with realistic expectations, this will work core strength and enhance your overall flexibility. This is what one should expect from Yoga Meltdown. But if you choose to use this as your sole fitness regimen, those “mega”-calories will not burn as fast as you might be led to believe.
3 Feathers out of 5
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If you need a little variety in your regular yoga regimen, consider dipping into your latte budget and picking up Yoga Meltdown. Just don't expect "Meltdown" levels of fitness.