Element: AM & PM Yoga for beginners

AMPMyogaI loved Element: Daily Yoga so much that I wanted to try more of Element‘s offerings. I went to the library and checked out AM & PM Yoga plus two more Element workouts (a barre and a ballet conditioning workout). First, though this workout was filmed very similarly to Daily Yoga, I did not like it nearly as much. The trainer is different and I didn’t like her as much as Mia Togo. Second, some of the exercises in this workout were actually too beginner for me and others were modified for beginners but the modification was awkward. Finally, as I have mentioned before in other reviews, I have plates and screws in my feet; there is a long series in the AM workout in which you do warrior poses. After doing a series on one side, you simple shift the placement of your feet to do the same warrior series on the other side of the body. This shifting of your feet from side to side was not something my rotten heels liked at all. So, unlike Daily Yoga, I will not be purchasing this DVD.

But lets start at the beginning. AM & PM Yoga contains two approx. 30 minute yoga routines. The trainer is Elena Brower. As you would expect, the more strenuous, standing poses are in the AM practice and the more relaxing, sitting/laying poses are in the PM practice. I never broke a sweat once in either sequence btw. That isn’t exactly a negative if I felt I got something beneficial out of a yoga or stretching workout but I didn’t feel like I got a lot out of these workouts. On the main screen you have the option of playing either just AM Yoga or just PM Yoga or both combined–AM followed by PM. When I did this workout I did the the combined mix which is 63 minutes long.

Just like Element: Daily Yoga the setting for the workout is beautiful. The trainer is by herself outside and the scenery is gorgeous–green with flowers and trees and an ocean or lake behind her. I don’t love these workouts, won’t be buying AM & PM Yoga and therefore will never do them again, so I am going to keep my reviews very brief. Almost every pose is held for several breaths. When you are holding the poses, she focuses on the breathing, having you round your back when inhaling and then extending your spine and moving deeper in the move with the exhale. For some reason my spine didn’t particularly care for the repeated rounding in sometimes awkward positions.

AM Yoga is 35:30 minutes long. You start doing deep breathing in mountain pose, bringing arms over head. Forward fold and flat back. Cat and cow. Down dog. Child’s pose. Plank to down dog (flow between the two). Twisted lunge. She next has you do a very basic and modified sun salutation. Next is the long warrior series mentioned above; you will do modified versions of warrior 1, 2, 3 and side angle (not in that order btw); she also inserts a wide leg forward fold in the middle of the warrior series. Next is a modified side balance pose. Sphinx pose. Locus pose. Boat pose. Bridge pose. Supine bent knee spine twist. It ends with about 1:30 minutes of sitting cross-leg with eyes closed.

PM Yoga is 27 minutes. This workout starts sitting cross-leg and doing breathing exercises in which you round and straighten your spine. Down dog, plank, chatarunga, cobra, down dog to child’s pose. Pigeon. Down dog. Child’s pose. Thunderbolt pose (sitting on knees). You will do an odd, modified spine twist (seated twist). Next you do stick pose (sit on bottom with legs straight out in front of you, feet flexed, spine straight and hands at hips). You will spend a lot of time in stick pose and also return to it between other poses. Do another seated spine twist but this one is the non-awkward one I am accustomed to. Bound ankle pose (butterfly). Head to knee pose. Lay on back and bring knees to chest then straighten legs to floor with feet flexed. Next you do approx. 2:30 minutes of corpse pose. The workout ends with approx. 1 minute of sitting cross-leg with eyes closed.


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