Having been a group fitness instructor for over 15 years, I am not one to 'relax' when I exercise. And until recently, I found both Pilates and Yoga to lack the intensity that I needed to feel as though I got anything out of the workout. However, as I get older, I continue to gain appreciation for more variety in my workouts, including incorporating low-impact and stretching regimens.
Recently, I tried Suzanne Bowen's and Leah Sarago's Release Workout DVD. It teaches moves that are part of their Ruah Mind Body Movement, utilizing a method they term "Postural Movement and Flow" to strengthen the mind, body, and spirit. It is centered in principles of lengthening the muscles through deep muscle work with stretching. Here is what I thought:
- Video Synopsis: The video is about 55 minutes long, with 15 minutes dedicated to lower body, 25 minutes dedciated to upper body and core and 10 minutes of the video dedicated to stretching and relaxation. All of the work is done in a low to non-impact format, utilizing both standing movements and matwork.
- Type of Workout: Although the video claims that the exercises offer the three components of cardio, strength, and flexibility training, if you are especially in shape, I would offer that the video is more geared towards strength and flexibility. The more fit you are, the more it takes to increase your heart rate. If you are a beginner, however, I would say that it definitely offers some amount of cardio.
- How to Incorporate: Although I would never use this video to replace traditional cardio or strength training, it is definitely something to consider incorporating into your overall workout regimen. If you are especially prone to skipping stretching or relaxation, and feel it is a waste of time, this video incorporates enough movement to keep even the most non-yoga types engaged.
- Level of Difficulty: The moves are simple in regards to coordination and choreography, but still challenges the muscles.
- Level of Creativity: If you have taken a yoga class or a pilates class, many of the moves will be familiar. They are not especially unique and can be a bit repetitive (this is not a dance video!), however, Leah and Suzanne combine various moves into a sequence which gives the moves a bit of a new twist.
- Overall Review: I recommend "Release" for beginners who want to ease into an exercise program or for those individuals who are fit, but want to get more stretching, lengthening and toning into their workout regimens.