Yoga Videos Aren't All Equal At Getting Out The Kinks

Yoga Videos Aren't All Equal At Getting Out The Kinks

Yoga Videos Aren't All Equal at Getting Out the​ Kinks

Yoga used to​ ​ be the​ kind of ​ thing someone's eccentric aunt did - a ​ woman with a ​ braid wrapped around her head who entertained the​ children by putting her foot behind her neck.

I tried screening three different videos on​ a ​ day when my neck and shoulder muscles were tighter than last year's jeans. I had knots the​ size of ​ Rhode Island that had been there for weeks.

Jane Fonda's Yoga Exercise (A.Vision) relaxed them. Kathy Smith's New Yoga (BodyVision) warmed them up. Three hours later,​ after falling under the​ reassuring southern spell of ​ actress Dixie Carter's Unworkout (MCA Universal),​ they melted away.

Here's how it ​ went:

An all-natural Jane Fonda appeared on​ a ​ set that looks like a ​ craggy moonscape,​ wearing plain red leotards and tights,​ and sporting a ​ French braid down to​ ​ her hips. (It's a ​ hair extension,​ but what do we​ care.)

She demonstrated the​ classical Sun Salutation,​ a ​ choreographed yoga routine traditionally used to​ ​ greet the​ day,​ her huge Ted Turner diamond gleaming in​ ​ the​ spotlight.

Then she asked us to​ ​ join her in​ ​ a ​ warm-up,​ several rounds of ​ the​ Sun Salutation,​ and a ​ relaxation and breath awareness segment,​ 60 minutes all told.

Yoga is​ ​ slow,​ I decided,​ slow enough that I have time to​ ​ examine the​ webs between my toes and the​ lint on​ the​ carpet while holding each pose. While nearly standing on​ my head,​ I meditated on​ the​ most profound of ​ Jane's statements: When in​ ​ doubt,​ breathe.

After the​ relaxation segment,​ my thoughts switched to​ ​ her final message: I am relaxed,​ and I will carry this feeling with me.

She said this hour would help me stretch,​ tone and energize my body. At that moment I felt lethargic,​ noodled,​ ready for lunch. the​ knots are still there.

Kathy Smith also appeared in​ ​ a ​ red leotard and tights and urged me to​ ​ do the​ workout on​ an empty stomach,​ preferably just before dinner. She worked with Rod Stryker,​ yoga instructor of ​ the​ stars,​ to​ ​ update the​ ancient disciplines and merge them into a ​ workout for fitness fans.

Kathy stood on​ a ​ raised pylon as she led a ​ more athletic version of ​ the​ Sun Salutation,​ a ​ half dozen other poses and a ​ meditation,​ 60 minutes total.

The great thing about yoga,​ I'm learning,​ is​ ​ the​ great names attached to​ ​ each exercise: the​ downward dog,​ the​ cobra,​ the​ plank.

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