If your cable company carries the Oxygen network, then you’ll be able to get your yoga groove on with Steve Ross and his Inhale Yoga. It’s hip, it’s happening, it’s ahhh…Inhale. Actually, as far as yoga TV shows go, Inhale is a good one. It’s not dated and cloying like Lilias, and it is is a welcome antidote to the cheesecake female exploitation on Namaste Yoga. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of young female hotties here with midriffs a’showing, but not all are super slim, and there are cute guys thrown into the mix. (My friend David, who appears in these videos, is a major hottie who has been a model for many years. He is, in fact, a walking sex magnet. If you need proof, when Inhale begins, just look for the tan guy in the back who is often either giving, or receiving, a shoulder massage with one of the young ladies. Flirtatious Leo!) So while Inhale has enough sexy people to appeal to all genders and sexual persuasions, it’s really all about the yoga. Well, for me at least. I can’t speak for some of the horny yoga guys reading this blog. (Nod to one of my brave, honest commenters.) So how is the yoga? Pretty darn good. The “draw” of the Steve Ross school of yoga is that you don’t have to listen to boring new age music the whole time. You get to listen to…bum bum ba dahhhh…motown hits! Reggae! And maybe even a little mild hip-hop! It’s the Big Chill soundtrack of your life, this time synched to downward facing dog. Wow! This is sooo revolutionary, at least that’s what the marketing portrays. Ehhh, maybe. It is definitely a refreshing change from the annoying, pretentious new age soundtracks you’ll find sometimes (like the notoriously bad one included with Ali MacGraw’s video). But as to whether it really enhances my yoga practice…personally, I could take it or leave it. The yoga itself generally follows a pattern of a lengthy “warm up,” consisting of a lot of power flow moves that can get quite repetitious at times. Downward facing dog. Up dog. Downward facing dog. Stick your leg up in the air. Plank. Lower to the floor. Up dog. Down dog. Up dog. Etc. etc. I truly despise downward facing dog and the repetition in some of these flows can be a little annoying, but not any worse than those awful 20 sun salutations you often have to do in classical yoga. If you are out of shape, your muscles will definitely feel it the next day. The second half will typically involve a lot of deep stretching. This is my favorite part of the show. In fact, this is what I started yoga for…to “exercise” while sitting down and not doing much of anything. Because of the balance between the strenuous flow series and the deep stretching, you will get a terrific workout from these shows. Steve Ross is a good teacher, and usually provides clear instructions that are generally easy to follow even if you aren’t looking at the screen. He has a very laid back personality and likes to poke fun in his classes. Mostly, I like him, though if I were in a bad mood I can tell I might find him to be a bit too smarmy at times. He also plans out the class so that you will be doing some sort of standing forward bend during the commercials. Because the music is generally upbeat, if you are watching this “live” on TV then the commercials won’t be as jarring as they are in Namaste Yoga. Also, since you get an hour, you will not be cheated timewise. I hear that Oxygen seems to be stuck running the same two episodes over and over again. If you are lucky, you can sometimes find other copies elsewhere, though they are not on DVD yet. I have a few now and they make a good addition to my yoga video collection. While I personally don’t find myself drawn to practice with Inhale daily because it’s almost too casual and workout-oriented for my tastes, having a few different episodes recorded means I have a variety of yoga routines I can rotate through and keep my home practice fresh. My only big caveat is that these shows might be tough for total beginners. I would suggest pacing yourself in the beginning part of the show and resting in child’s pose if it gets too strenuous. But if you have a choice between this and Namaste Yoga, definitely choose Inhale…unless you are just looking for hot chicks to drool over.
April 22nd, 2007 at 11:53am |
Posted in Yoga Reviews