It has been a bajillion years since I did a workout DVD review up in here, which is pretty shameful since I use them every day. I’ve just been in a workout rut until recently, so now that I have a couple new DVDs, I should share them with you because they’re pretty great.
I haven’t been miserable in my workout rut because much of it has consisted of Physique 57 and Jillian Michaels, both of which I like and am comfortable with. Still, I’ve always thought I could stand to pay more attention to yoga, since I like it when I do it and always feel like a million bucks afterward.
Enter Shiva Rea’s Daily Energy DVD. I first read about it in one of my many health/fitness magazine subscriptions…something of the SelfShapeFitness variety. Then I read Gina’s review of it on her blog. That pretty much sealed my decision to go ahead and buy it. The fact that it’s fully customizable was a huge selling point for me—I like yoga, but not always for 60+ minutes! Not ever for 60+ minutes, actually. I am just not quite that kind of pretzel yet.
The “yoga matrix” allows you to mix and match different portions of your practice. There are a couple of brief meditations, a selection of 20ish-minute flows, a couple short segments for core or forward bends, and, of course, a nice 5-minute savasana. You can also select one of the preset practices, which are balanced combinations of the aforementioned segments and range from about 40 to 60 minutes each. See Gina’s review for an image of the yoga matrix and the names of each flow.
I’ve used the DVD a handful of times by now and have had a very different experience each time. I did a preset practice the first time, which included the 20-minute “Fire” flow, and thought my arms would fall off by the end! I don’t think I’ve ever done so many pushups in one workout. But that’s a point worth mentioning—each time I’ve used this DVD, I do feel as though I’ve gotten a workout, or rather, my muscles quiver from exertion and I can tell that I’ve made a positive effort towards strengthening and toning. In my previous experiences with yoga, I’ve found it more to be just a really good, long stretch more so than what I’d consider a workout. With Shiva, on the other hand, I break a sweat without fail.
That said, there are the water/lunar portions of the DVD that balance out the fire/solar bits, so if you do want a more meditative, flowing practice, you’ll get that too. This yoga matrix is a wonderful thing! I’d much rather choose between fire and water flows than between red pills and blue pills. ;)
If you’re interested in a long and lean physique, yoga is clearly one of the best things you can do for yourself. Using only your own body weight is a great way to get toned without adding bulk.
Shiva Rea Daily Energy: Highly recommended!