Sunday, September 30, 2012

A delicious snack to help quench sugar cravings!

**Only 60 pageviews left until we reach our goal of 1000 pageviews for the month of September! I'm so excited about the support that I have received this month and I hope to continue giving my thoughts on workouts.

I've been asked if I will also be sharing some healthy food tips to go along with the workouts. The answer is yes! However I want to focus on the physical aspect of fitness especially. Along the line of this thought I wanted to share a fun snack that I packed to eat on the way to the competition this weekend. Only two ingredients! I came across this by accident. I had a craving for bananas and pomegranates and only one tupperware to put them in. :)

Ingredients needed:
1 Pomegranate
1 Banana

Servings: 2-4 (depending on the amount you want to share or eat)

  1. Cut your pomegranate in half 
  2. In a large bowl of cool water gently work the pomegranate seeds (bubble) out of the pulp. This should be done underneath the water. The pulp will rise to the top of the water and the seeds will sink to the bottom. When you are done  you can scoop the pulp out, drain the water and there you have your pomegranate seeds!
  3. Slice the banana and gently mix the two. The pomegranate gives color and a slight tartness, while the bananas give almost a creamy vanilla taste. I ate it with a spoon as a snack between meals. I can also see this as a healthy dessert or appetizer.
 Happy Training! à bientôt!

BALLET BEAUTIFUL: Total Body Workout

I love the Ballet Beautiful Foundation, this is evidenced by my previous posts on Mary Helen Bowers' other DVDs Classic 60-Minute Workout and Ballet Beautiful Blast Series. Mary Helen Bowers trained Natalie Portman for her role in Black Swan. I haven't seen this movie but I have seen pictures and I certainly have felt and seen the results of using the Ballet Beautiful program in my life! This DVD is the same workout as the Classic 60-Minute Workout, just marketed to those outside of the dance realm rather than dancers only. I realized this after recognizing all of the workouts. A fantastic DVD but you'll probably want to avoid owning both the Total Body Workout and the Classic 60-Minute Workout since they are basically the same thing. :)

This DVD is updated to have the matrix menu option that allows you to choose what segments you do and what order you do them in! It's fantastic! Anyone can do these workouts! They are not classical ballet, they are to help condition and form your muscles like a ballet body. She does move quickly, but speed will come over time, as long as you are doing the exercises you will definitely get a workout! Also I would recommend pausing the DVD (if you have time) whenever she stretches and take a little longer on some of the stretches or get a drink of water.

The workouts target specific areas and muscles! One of my sisters joined me for this workout and made the observation halfway through, "Wow, this is really targeting all the areas I need!" When working out on our own we so often don't push ourselves through the areas that need the most work in strengthening, toning, or stretching. Mary Helen Bowers helps you through those areas and doesn't go easy! All of the segments are short, and all of them burn! Below is a list of the workout segments included on this DVD.
  • Bridge Series
  • Abs
  • Inner Thigh
  • Outer Thigh
  • Arms
  • Standing
If you are interested in purchasing this updated version on Amazon see below:
Purchase Total Body Workout on Amazon

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Vegas Competition

I just got back from my competition. I was able to place in four of the five dances competed and earned a trophy for "most promising dancer" in my section. Definitely worth the long drive and time it took to prepare! After the competition and workshop I was finally able to remove my shoes and found a gnarly blister. I was able to stay motivated and help calm my nerves by focusing more on sharing my love for this form of dance rather than focusing on winning.

Happy Training! à bientôt

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

YOGA BEAUTY BODY: Kundalini Yoga with Ana Brett

Ana Brett and Ravi Singh's Kundalini yoga dvds are how I was first introduced to yoga. So of course I have a nostalgic spot for them. I am selective about what sequences I participate in, but that's just because of my own personal beliefs.

I would recommend this DVD for married women or mothers, especially seeking meditation and relaxation. Life can be overwhelming sometimes and when it is, this is a good DVD to use. Ana and Ravi talk you through each step and help you clear your mind and focus on positive things.

Using the matrix menu option I selected the following:

Breath Primer (5 min.)- a short exercise that introduces the different breathing styles used in the DVD and warms up your lungs. The music playing is relaxing and energizing at the same time!

Warm Ups (4 min.)- I quick warm up beginning with breath and then moving with the breath to warm up the legs.

Yoga Set Part 1 (19 min.)-Begins in child's pose. This is a workout that is more emotional and personal. Meditation is included between exercises. The specific breathing techniques are also important. But if you have to modify breath of fire (like me because I have a stuffy nose) then you can breath through your mouth. There is a variation on chair pose, bow pose, locust pose and a few others!

Yoga Set Part 2 (16 min.)-This is a continuation of the first part. You can either stop before this and continue to deep relaxation or you may complete this part and then continue to deep relaxation. I skip the last pose Sat Kriya more often than not. You may find that you want to as well, or that you want to try it.

Deep Relaxation (3 min.)- Consists of savasana or corpse pose and some deeply relaxing music.

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD on Amazon see the link below:
Purchase Yoga Beauty Body

Happy Training! à bientôt

CORE STRENGTH VINYASA YOGA: Total Body Sculpt with Sadie Nardini

Sadie Nardini is the creator of Total Body Transformation yoga DVD series. She's also a wellness expert with Dr. Oz. Sadie breaks up the routine on this DVD into eight different sections that you can select separately to build your own workout using the fabulous matrix option, or you can do the entire thing. Again, I love this flexibility in the workout to be customizable to your needs for each day! I'm not going to lie, this was a difficult routine, she has unique approaches and transitions that I haven't experienced before. I found some poses difficult and so I would advise that this is an intermediate/advanced yoga DVD. If you are a beginner you can certainly still use this DVD and work your way up to doing each pose.

Sadie narrates as she demonstrates the routine. There is an option if you play it on your DVD player to select audio 2 which includes music. I was using my laptop in my studio so I didn't have that option (or couldn't figure it out), so I ended up playing some Japanese flute music which was an incredible experience with the movements. If you choose no music the only sounds other than her voice will be that of the outdoor location she was in, a soft breeze, a thunderstorm in the distance, etc.

Below you can find each of the different segments and what I thought of each of them:

1 Core Warm-Up (12 min)- Includes some great progressions and abdominal work!

2 Core Salutations (14 min)- Really good for your core and your lower back alignment. Sadie takes you through the poses with unique transitions and she includes kicks and lunges, down dog splits, and other power-full movements. She has you exhale a little "ha!" for some of them, I have a sore throat and am losing my voice, so I couldn't do that, but I imagine that it would allow you to access your core much like martial arts. You also get to do some hops that might be counted as inversions. It is incredible to watch her power and control as she does these. If you weren't warm enough after the warm up, you will definitely warm up during this sequence!

3 Standing Sequence (14 min)-My favorite transition was from warrior I to diving warrior to reverse warrior. The images that she gives about a golden egg in your core is helpful in remembering to lift the abdominals. When I think of standing sequences I think of tree pose and dancer pose, and all of those other balances. While I was doing this section I wasn't sure why she called it a standing sequence, but in hindsight you are standing, you aren't on the floor.

4 Standing Sequence 2 (12 min)-lots of prayer twist, prayer twist lunge, and other twisting poses. In the morning this feels fantastic on the spine! Crow pose is a part of this sequence as the ending goal. Sadie calls these goals adventure poses.
5 Standing Sequence 3 (11 min)-The goal is to work towards firefly. This sequence goes by pretty fast and feels fabulous! You get to venture through half moon, and other poses that are similar. Firefly pose is done at the very end of this sequence.

6 Deep Core Strength (7 min)-This is a tough one, but short! So keep your energy up and it will be so worth the effort! Lots of plank, twisting plank, etc.

7 Floor Stretch and Counterpose (12 min)-This is a nice stretch sequence that begins with boat pose and moves into other poses including pigeon, down-dog split then bending the knee and opening to release the hip flexors. There is also a middle splits pose that feels fabulous.

8 Inversion and Counter Posing (12 min)- This is for those that are into headstands. I used to be able to do them, but I've stopped practicing and preparing so I wasn't so graceful on this one. After the headstands she moves into bridge poses and finishes.

This is a yoga DVD that is going in my favorites list! It is challenging, feels good, and builds strength and power physically and emotionally.

Here is a link to purchase it on Amazon:

Here is a link to Sadie Nardini's Website:

Happy Training! à bientôt

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Utah Performance at the Covey Center!

October 1st I will be performing at the Covey Center in Celtic Traditions! This is an awesome performance featuring the Wasatch and District Pipe Band, Highland Peaks Dance Co., and the Shelley School of Irish Dance!! It will be a great show, and a fun activity for a Monday evening.

Monday October 1st, 7:30 PM @ the Covey Center
Tickets range from 8-12 dollars depending on your seat. 

It will be a great show! and I'll be freshly back from my competition and ready to perform! 
For more information on this great show, or to purchase tickets see the link below:

If you are interested in the Highland Peaks Dance Studio Click Here.

If you are interested in the Shelley School of Irish Dance Click Here.

If you are interested in the Wasatch & District Pipe Band Click Here.

Happy Training! à bientôt

PURE BARRE: Lose Inches, Sculpt Muscles, See Results Fast

Carrie Rezabek leads you through a fitness routine that will focuses on isolations. It's filmed in a studio, but isn't awe-inspiring film quality. But that shouldn't effect whether or not the workout is effective. Carrie totally makes me think of a buff Jennifer Love Hewitt! The music isn't the most interesting but it has a beat to keep you going.

This is a workout that anyone can do. If you don't have a mat then a rug would work great to pad the knees. If you don't have a barre you can use a chair, table or something else that is stable. If you don't have weights you could lift water bottles and cans. You might get bored with the small isolations, but they are effective and will do the job!

This is the first out of her Pure Barre Series, and her later ones may have more variation, or be very different. I plan on trying one of them too to see what Pure Barre turned into!

What you'll need:
  • a mat
  • two set of weights (a light set and a heavy set)
  • stable support (table, chair, barre, etc)
Below is an outline of the workout:
  • Warm Up (11 min.)
    • You'll begin with weights, move to plank poses and other upper-body exercises.
  • To the Barre (7  min.)
    • She begins with a plié inspired exercise, that really isn't anything like a ballet plié sequence but it sure burns! I think the purpose of the barre in this workout isn't to make you a graceful dancer, but to use it as a tool to workout.
  • To the Mat (3 min.)
    • Begins by stretching out your thighs, and other muscle groups.
  • To the Barre (8 min.)
    • More muscle isolations. The first muscles isolated are behind the knee (popliteus) and the "seat" muscles. 
  • To the Mat (6 min.)
    • This time you are doing toning exercises at the mat.
  • Stretch on the Mat (1 min.)
    • Staying on the mat you move into some stretches which feel glorious after all of the reps.
  • Abdominals (5 min.)
    • She does things so slowly that it is difficult to stay focused sometimes, but you will likely be feeling an intense burn by the end of the ab section. My muscles were already tired so I was shaking! This section consists of 3 abdominal exercises.
  • Stretching & Toning (2 min.)
    • stretch on your back, then move into an up-dog position, continuing into various stretches.
If you are interested in purchasing this DVD view the link below:
Purchase on Amazon

If you want more information on Carrie Rezabek then check out her website:
PureBarre Website

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

BALLET BEAUTIFUL: Classic 60-minute Workout

This is my first review that I did the workout for in my new studio space!!
I really admire Mary Helen Bowers, she always comes up with the most amazing workouts! If you are not familiar with her, you can also read my previous post on her Ballet Beautiful: Blast Series, which is also amazing! These workouts are always a low-impact series of movements that include ballet inspired movements. They seem little, but I promise they will burn before you are half way through with each one. As a professional ballerina she is very good at hiding her effort, don't let this discourage you! Instead try smiling or going to your happy place, if you can control that, then it will help you make it through any workout!

Ballet Beautiful: Classic 60-minute Workout is just what the title says. An entire hour of targeted workouts that will improve muscle tone and strength. Mary Helen Bowers always splits her DVDs up into different segments based on the area your are targeting. Below is a list of what is included in this 60-minute workout (times are approx. The entire workout might be just shy of 60 min. but you should be stretching afterwards anyway):

  • Bridge Series (15 min.)-A killer sequence that you will feel in your legs and butt for sure!
  • Abs (6 min.)- A short series of ballet crunches holding your arms in first position, but she also gives variations so that if you aren't comfortable there you can hold your arms elsewhere. The twisting crunches are my favorite, and she ends with pulsing.
  • Inner Thigh (7 min.)-Simple exercises that will definitely burn! I felt it not only in my inner thigh but a portion of my hamstrings and quads as well. She give reminders to lengthen the knee, this just means to straighten all the way.
  • Outer Thigh (10 min.)-A ridiculously good amount of burning! The great thing about this one is that you are fatiguing the muscles-which I've heard is good for increasing flexibility- the hard part is to get your outer thigh to relax after the sets in order to stretch!! :) I sat in butterfly position (knees open feet together) until they released then went into the stretch that she shows on the DVD.
  • Arms (10 min.)-Different than her Swan Arms from the Blast Series DVD, she has you do dips and some other ballet inspired movements with the arms that will definitely tone!
  • Standing (4 min.)-Great to finish off the workout. Not as intense, so it acts more like a cool down. Make sure that you stretch everything after the entire workout!
Since this is a customizable workout, you can do one or all series! You can also choose the order in which you do them. This is great for if you need a quick workout in the mornings, or before Thanksgiving dinner, etc.  I completed this workout starting with Arms, then Bridge Series, Outer Thigh, Abs, Inner Thigh, and last Standing.

I love the music on her DVDs, but if you don't like the classical feel then there is an option to turn off the music and you can play your own motivating music! Her voice is soft and precise, and very encouraging. She give regular reminders about alignment and lifting the abdominals. The cinematography is also amazing. She performs this DVD on a yoga mat and keeps a water bottle nearby. The mat or a rug would provide excellent padding for any of the sections. I definitely recommend this one to anyone that wants to develop toned, lean muscles. If you are looking for some conditioning to do outside of your dance classes, this is also a great option! Anyone can do it!

If you are more interested in the Ballet Beautiful Program you can check out her website:

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD see below:

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Place of Happiness

We are finishing part of our place into a mini studio. I'm so excited! I'll have my own place to meditate, dance, condition, choreograph and teach. This also means that I will have a better place to try out all the workouts than the current 3'x6' area of carpet in my bedroom! So far we've done the primer...
.....and painted the walls...
 ....One of the walls is a nice blue called foggy mist...
 These two walls are each going to have ballet barres (one 14' long the other 10' long) that will be placed at two different heights (one lower one higher)...
The floor being installed!!
The floor is in! 
I added some curtains since we don't have blinds yet. I also hung up a cute little clock (not shown) on the other side of the room. We were able to get this rug on clearance for $24!! I can easily roll it up and put it in the closet whenever I'm using the whole floor or teaching. (don't mind the extra base molding and flooring under the window there...:) )

The ballet barres have arrived and are waiting to be attached to the wall. I've put up a whiteboard sticker on one of the walls (not pictured here) and a large dandelion vinyl on the blue wall. I love it!

The Ballet Barres are up!! See below :)
 We ended up putting the longer barre on the blue wall after all, even though the original plan was that the shorter barre would be the higher one and the longer would be the lower one. But I'm happy with how it turned out and use them all the time!

Happy Training! à bientôt!

ELEMENT: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga

I've already tried an Element Yoga DVD and I enjoyed it. I really liked her teaching style. This DVD I wanted my sister to take a look at, since she is actually pregnant. Below are her thoughts:

"This is a great routine for beginning to intermediate yoga practitioners. Both the instructor demonstrating and the voice-over guidance are easy to follow. The calming, but minimal acoustic guitar in the background combined with the soothing voice of the instructor sets a relaxing tone for the work out. The exercises themselves flow well, encouraging gentle opening, energizing and strengthening without holding the poses for so long that it becomes uncomfortable. This routine would be good from the beginning all the way to last month or so of pregnancy - with the second trimester probably being the best time for it.

For me personally at 38 weeks, there were a few poses I had difficulty with and chose not to do, namely triangle, side angle, tabletop and plank. If I had been doing this routine a few months ago perhaps these poses would not have presented any problems. So if you are far along be prepared to modify or exclude some of the exercises as needed. The instructor mentions a few third trimester modifications, but does not dwell on them, so previous knowledge of how to modify poses is helpful though not absolutely necessary.

This 30 minute sequence takes you from standing salutations to variations on chair, warrior 1 and 2, side angle and triangle and mixes in some floor work with plank, squats, pigeon, tabletop, and child's pose punctuated with plenty of down dog and forward bends. The last 10 minutes or so are a seated cool-down sequence and meditation. Overall, I thought it was a very balanced work out, though not ideal for the last few weeks of pregnancy. Always listen to your body and if a pose doesn't feel good, back off and substitute one that does."

Thank you Krysta! This DVD also has a routine for about 6 weeks after giving birth. You can look forward to another review regarding that routine, also by Krysta, in the future.

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD on see below:

If you are more interested in Element Yoga see below:

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Highland Dance

I just got my photos back for Highland dance...I definitely  have some Scottish pride going on. I mean just check out this kilt! I am so psyched for the competition this month!

Anyway, that was a side note...

Happy Training! à bientôt!

RADIANT FLOW YOGA: with Janet Stone

**For the Intermediate/Advanced yogi

Absolutely exquisite! Radiant Flow is an intermediate-advanced yoga DVD for those that want to take their practice to the next level (Or those with dance experience like ballet, contemporary, jazz or modern). Right away I knew that this was a routine that I would love! It keeps you moving and at times it would be fast moving for a beginner. I lean more towards yoga that moves like a dance, which usually means power yoga or Vinyasa flow yoga--which is exactly this! Your body will warm up quickly and you will be introduced to some "new" poses (Some of her poses I have never seen on a yoga DVD before) almost immediately. If you are looking to get into the "pretzel" yoga poses (i.e. putting your foot behind your head) then this is the DVD for you! Janet does encourage you to use a strap or towel if you aren't as flexible as she demonstrates, which I did have to do for a few of the poses.

The menu is pretty simple, there's an option to either play the entire routine or to go to a chapter selection. If you are familiar with the routine I imagine that this would be an awesome feature to go to the section you like! (Again with the customizable guys probably have me all figured out!) The music is incredible. The studio is done on a cement floor that has a small amount of water and the class is on slightly raised mats. This makes the visual really cool! Janet narrates as she and the class demonstrate the routine.
This DVD includes a 69 min. routine that will challenge any yogi! You will begin with a small amount of meditation (literally only a minute), finding where you are at that time. Janet doesn't mess around, she jumps right into the routine. I can tell that she has thought through the routine and that she has created a sequence that will prepare you to be strong and progress to the more difficult poses in the routine. Her voice has the perfect tone to give you energy and keep you relaxed at the same time. This is definitely one of my new favorite yoga DVDs, and I definitely recommend it to anyone that is looking for a challenge and progression in their yoga practices. An incredible routine for strength, balance, core connection, flexibility and of course for muscle toning! The routine ends with some counter poses and the ever-popular corpse pose.

Some of the poses include:
Down-dog Split
(Some poses that Shiva Rea used in her Dancing Warrior sequence  that I LOVE...but obviously don't know the pose names)
Side Crow
push-ups before down-dog
Warrior 3-arms entwined
Back bends
Half-happy baby

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD see below:
Purchase Radiant Flow

If you are interested in Janet Stone and her yoga studio or other DVDs see below:
Janet Stone Yoga

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Given that the New York City Ballet post randomly landed on September 11th I thought it prudent to mention that if anything this is meant to honor those who lost their lives and loved ones that day so many years ago. 

I've owned this DVD for a while, and always enjoy doing it. I love how gain an increased sense of your rotation (turn out) and alignment. There is a fluid quality to a lot of the movements that make you feel like you are in a modified ballet class. I was first introduced through conversation a few years ago to the series and I was intrigued but thought it beyond my skillset. However, I think that anyone could pick it up given that they have basic dance or particularly ballet experience. You will be able to work on your strength, core, flexibility, as well as your turn-out. The additional benefit on top of all those listed above is an increase in body-awareness; which is so good for everyone!

The DVD has a caption at the base of the front cover that says "Stretches and Exercises Anyone Can Do for a Strong, Graceful and Sculpted Body." I agree whole-heartedly with this statement. It truly will sculpt your muscles and make you feel like a dancer even if you aren't one! The dancers that demonstrate the entire workout are evidence of this. Their bodies are beautifully sculpted, strong and limber. Everything you need to be functional and more!

All of the exercises are done to classical music (also an option for contemporary music on the main menu!), demonstrated by dancers, and narrated/instructed by Peter Martins. 

What's included on this DVD:
  •  Section 1 -Warm Up One (3 min.): You begin working in parallel and then turnout, using the arms separately and with the movement. I love this warm up! I always feel my stiffness go away by the end of the 3 minutes!
  • Section 2-Warm Up Two (1 min. 30 sec.): Two ballerinas take you through a balancé sequence that moves side to side and slightly forwards and backwards. arms are used, and some parallel is employed in addition to the turn-out.
    Section 3-Warm Up Three (1 min. 40 sec.): two danseurs (male dancers) take you through a sequence, that is very similar to Warm Up Two.
  • Section 5-Abdominals & Leg Darts (4 min.): just like it sounds, you are doing core work involving crunches, and rotating crunches including bicycle crunches. Just the right amount to get you sweating if you aren't already. Demonstrated by one of the men.
  • Section 12-Passe (2 min.): a simple exercise to increase balance, as well as precision in the passe movement (lifting one leg to the knee then passing it to the back of the knee before lowering the foot in turned out position.). There are some lovely variations including a plie.
  • Section 9-Plies (4 min.): Plies are an essential part of a ballet barre warm up. When bending the knees make sure that your knees are tracking over the toes and not in front of or behind them (this will protect your knees). Also keeping your butt tucked and abdominals lifted will help you engage the correct muscles.
  • Section 13-Front Attitude (3 min.): This is a great exercise to work on your attitude devant/derriere (bent leg in front/back). You also work on some basic rond de jambe (circular movements of the leg).
  • Section 14-Grand Battement Front (2 min.): The grand battement is a essentially a kick. This is a simple exercise that is great for your propioception and balance. Remember to keep the shoulders down and not to tense up, this will help you keep your alignment and your muscles available to stretch.
  • Section 15-Arabesque Raises (1 min. 30 sec.): An arabesque is lifting your leg directly behind you. be sure to keep your pelvis aligned and spine lengthened in order to protect your back (much like back bends in yoga). 
Sports Options: This includes options for football, skiing, and racquet sports. I haven't ever used this selection but from what I can tell they have taken the segments of the warm up that are helpful in conditioning for the above listed sports. (This might also be fun for my husband to try the football selection)
Exercises: This selection on the menu takes you to each of the exercises that are used in the workout but listed by section #. If you are familiar with the workout then this would be a great place to go to select the exercises you specifically want to practice. The awesome part about this is that there are exercises that weren't included in the workout that you can add to your workout! I am such a sucker for customizable workouts!

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD see the below link to

If you are also interested in workout II of the series, I will be reviewing it at a future date, but I also enjoy that one.

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

SUNRISE TAI CHI: Simplified Tai Chi for Health and Longevity

Thank you Sonya for referring this DVD! 

Sunrise Tai Chi with Ramel Rones is a good DVD if you are looking for some low-impact, Tai Chi inspired (or simplified Tai Chi) workouts that you can do in the mornings. I was hoping that it would include more of the actual Tai Chi movement than it does, simply because of the title of the DVD. However, if you have no expectations and you are looking for a mild, breath centered workout, then you may enjoy this DVD!

Ramel Rones is a renowned instructor in the martial arts and health sector. Originally from Israel, I believe he now teaches in Boston. If you look at the link to his website at the end of this post then you can read more about his accomplishments and works partnering with the medical field.

Sunrise Tai Chi has so much content that I haven't been able to get through all of it yet. On the DVD menu if you select Contents then it will lead you to a few different options. There was so much that at first I didn't know what to select and was tempted to go straight to the workouts. I decided that it would be beneficial to anyone interested in the DVD if I at least translate what the different options are. Those options are listed and explained below:

  • Demonstration
    • A list of small exercises including meditation, breathing techniques and stretches. These are demonstrated with music and mild instructional reminders. You can follow along with these exercises after you understand how to do them. The demonstrations are given with Ramel Rones on mostly flat stone surface with a beautiful backdrop and city in the distant background.
  • Instruction/Teaching
    • These are the same exercises as listed in Demonstration but are broken down and taught in a very detailed way. Something that for me related to the name of the DVD (Sunrise Tai Chi) is that they are teaching in a studio using props like a bed, chair, rug, and there is even a pair of slippers off to the side. This is helpful since I don't own all of the equipment used in the Demonstration section.
  • Workouts
    • This section includes three different workouts at three different lengths. Each workout gives the option of using flute/harp or piano music in the background.  These workouts aren't exactly what I visualize as Tai Chi. They are more like Tai Chi inspired workouts that are for the most part low-impact. When you select the music it seems like you are selecting the music for the a large chunk of the first half (warm up) and  the last few minutes for the cool down. There are three different workouts: 20 minute, 40 minute, 60 minute. The cooldown of the 20 minute is where you get into the real Tai Chi, which is my favorite part, but parts of it may be hard to follow if you are unfamiliar with the movements.
If you are interested in Ramel Rones see the link below:
Ramel Rones Website

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD see the link below:
Purchase DVD on Amazon

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I was a TA for the Indian Dance class at my university this summer, and I miss being able to work on my Bharatanatyam, Bhangra and Bollywood! So of course this DVD was very tempting, and I hoped that it would not only be a workout, but that it would include actual dance steps.
Below is a break down of the workout:

1. Warming (6 min.)
 -My shoulders were so tired after this warm-up! And it wasn't that it was all shoulder or arm movements, but because a segment of it is spent doing shoulder shrugs at a slow, medium then a fast speed. 
-I also feel like sometimes Bollywood is similar to ballroom in that you have facial expressions involved in your movements. This is a very Indian characteristic, especially in Classical or Bharatanatyam. So don't be afraid to just do what she says, let go, use your face! You do use one basic mudra(s) where the index finger touches the thumb (pictured on the cover).

2. Playtime Begins (7 min.)
-You begin to work with the hips and pelvis more, you also add two basic turns. Something I found helpful since she just goes for it and doesn't break the movements down is to think for one of them instead of 4 steps, 1 2 3 together or 1 2 3 switch. This might help in the transition. This section felt really good, and even though I was doing the workout in a 6'x3' space I was able to loosen up my arms and torso and just have fun!

3. Footwork (6 min.)
-I liked this one a lot! The foot work is pretty basic at first, and she does break it down for this one. She will show you slow then speed it up. You can either keep doing it slow or you can try to do it at a faster pace. Throughout the DVD you'll notice the girls in the back will sometimes do variations, if you feel more comfortable with something they are doing, go for it! There was one part that I felt like she got off from the music but I think that was because it was a difficult transition from slow to fast with the music.  My absolute favorite step in this sequence was the gorilla walk! So fun, and anything similar to it is usually my favorite part in bhangra or bollywood dances.

4. Now We're Hot! (8 min.)
-This was also a fun sequence to do. The Hare Krishna step was one of my favorites. I am definitely sweating by this point. So while it isn't as demanding as running it is definitely a good calorie burner.
5. Ground Play (6 min.)
-This one involves moves that may hurt your knees. I'm used to the full bhangra  bounce and don't have an issue with it, but if you aren't then please don't stress your knees! You will then transition to the floor where you do some abdominal work, which was great! and then a step that I categorize as a "sexy move". If you don't feel comfortable you can do something else, like another set of ab work or fast-forward. My favorite part of this sequence was the ab work, for sure! 

6. Playful Dance (5 min.)
- This one was fun for me! Some of the movements were a little fast if you aren't familiar with the weight placement, but as long as you are working at it then it would be a great addition to your workout! My heart-rate went up during this one, which brought me into even more of a sweat!

7. Cool It Now! (9 min.)
- By far the best part of the workout! ;) After the aerobic steps it was nice to be able to relax and stretch out everything. The first stretch feels fabulous, especially when she moves into the circles with the upper body.

After completing the workout I would say that it was worth it! I might even be interested in looking at her other DVDs. The music was fun and had a great beat, and the backdrop was gorgeous as well! I would recommend it to anyone that just wants to have fun, and for the most part a low-impact workout! All of the jumps/hops are done with flat feet and you cushion the impact with the knees. 

If you are interested in other Hemalayaa DVDs see the link below:

If you are interested in purchasing the DVD you can find it on her website or on

Happy Training! à bientôt!