Pacific Northwest | March 14, 2004Pacific Northwest MagazineMarch 14, home
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Videos on Review
Soothing yoga, intense Pilates, fast dancing and a disappointment
 Video jacket
Video jacket
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"Wai Lana Yoga: Beginners Workout" (50 minutes, $19.95;, 800-228-5145). Reviewed by Sue Hansen, 43, of Poulsbo.

"This is an easy and good introduction to yoga for someone who has a limited background like me," said Hansen. Though it took a few minutes to get used to instructor Wai Lana's accent, Hansen thought her voice was calm and soothing and her explanations slow and thorough. "She encourages you to go at your own pace and she showed or mentioned alternatives if the poses were too intense. She also mentioned the area of the body each position focused on, such as kidneys, abdominal or the back." Hansen said the name of each pose displayed in the upper corner was helpful and the music was peaceful, but she found distracting the beautiful background scenery, which changed with each pose. "When I closed my eyes and just focused on her voice, I found it more serene and could then relax." Overall, Hansen said, "I enjoyed this video, and it is one I would do again."

"Karen Voight: Pilates Total Body Training" (50 minutes, $14.95; , 800-735-3315). Reviewed by Debby Boltman, 41, of Bothell.

This workout uses a Resist-a-Ring, a type of Pilates equipment. "Maybe the ring fits better on certain body types. I'm very fit after exercising intensely for over 20 years, but I still have meaty legs and found it difficult to keep the ring where it belonged. On the other hand, once you get the hang of holding the ring between your legs, you can really feel the burn in the inner thighs and buttocks." She preferred the exercises without the ring: "incredible stretches of the inner thigh and you could work up an actual burn. Very challenging but very good." The many advanced moves and quick instructions led Boltman to think beginners might have difficulties following the tape. "You really need a good, solid core to perform the exercises."

"3 Flavors! Aerobic Dance Workout: African! Latin! Hip-Hop!" (60 minutes, $19.95,, 201-342-2631). Reviewed by Suzanne Doughty, 42, of Mount Vernon.

Instructor Debra Bono presents three 20-minute workouts with beginner to intermediate levels of difficulty. "I enjoyed the new moves taught with the African and Latin workouts immediately," Doughty said. "There are more sequences to string together and remember. The Hip-Hop was initially more challenging because of the mirror images and quicker moves," which she thought would be good for the 18-to-20-plus age group. "Others will like this because you don't realize your legs are moving so fast (or exercising) due to focusing on the moves. Once you know the routines, you feel accomplished! You can put more into the exercise and work harder without having to count repetitions as with an individual group of exercises." She would have preferred the workout in DVD, so it'd be easy to jump to a particular workout. (This workout plus Bono's "African Dance Workout" are available together on DVD for $35.)

"Stott Pilates: Body & Soul (Pilates-Infused Yoga)" (51 minutes, $14.95;, 800-910-0001). Reviewed by Natalie Wilcox McCann, 32, of Seattle.

"I was very excited to view this video and use it to not only improve my body, but to practice meditation as a way to benefit my mind and spirit, as the title suggested," Wilcox McCann said. But she was disappointed by the repetitious exercises, "with little diversion and little to impress the soul." The majority of the exercises were basic yoga Sun Salutation poses, she said, the instructor's voice was monotonous, there was little creativity, minimal emphasis on meditation and even the background was a bland brick room. "I tried to find redeeming qualities to this video," she said. "However, I cannot in good conscience recommend it to those who enjoy working out at home who, like me, seek a physical challenge or at least an opportunity for greater inner peace!"

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