Yoga Fusion Fix

Yoga Fusion Fix is another of Jessica Smith‘s new releases. This one contains 3 intermediate level yoga practices of varying lengths. Jessica is by herself. All of the workouts are set on a wooden deck with the ocean in the background. I enjoyed all of these yoga practices. The longest one, Strength + Flexibility, was the most intense of the 3. My flexibility has declined over the past year. I do not know what to attribute it to since, during cancer treatment, I did more yoga/flexibility work than I did prior to it. I can’t help but think the cancer treatment has made some lingering (but hopefully not permanent) changes to my body. My hips and shoulders are tight and ache at times. I do not have the same range of motion in my shoulders that I used to and, as I already mentioned, my flexibility has decreased. So I think these yoga practices challenged me more than they would have just a year ago. So they are obviously valuable for me! I need this work and they all worked me well–especially the third one. So another great yoga/flexibility offering from Jessica!

Yoga for Stress Relief + Relaxation is 17 minutes. This short practice did start out very relaxing but then about halfway through it got a little more intense. Not super intense–it is still a low key practice, but it ramps up a tiny bit. It is a nice way to finish off a more intense workout. I did a cardio + strength workout and finished if off with this. There is a lot of spine and upper body focus.

This workout starts sitting on your mat with your legs crossed, hands on knees. In this position you will do a seated cat/cow, arching your spine then rounding your spine. Still sitting cross-leg, do a side stretch, reaching one hand overhead and to the side, the other hand is on the floor beside you. Spinal twist (still cross-leg, place one hand on knee and twist torso looking over shoulder, other hand is on floor behind you). Place both hands on floor behind you and arch spine, tipping head back. Fold forward over crossed legs, arms stretching forward on floor. Cat/cow on hands and knees. Downward facing dog; flow slowly between being on hands and knees and down dog. In mountain pose, take a deep breath then fold forward, extend the spine/flatten back then step back to plank. Flow slowly between plank and “floating” child’s pose (child’s pose, but knees are still a few inches off the ground). Lay on belly, legs extended straight and palms on floor beside ribs, raise chest into modified cobra. Extended puppy pose. Child’s pose; still in child’s pose but reach hands to one side. Sit up on knees, bottom on heels, braid arms into eagle pose and flow between arching then rounding spine. Butterfly pose. Lay on back and raise hips in bridge pose. Corpse pose.

Yoga for Balance + Core Strength is 21 minutes. This is another short practice but more active than Yoga for Stress Relief + Relaxation. There is some balance moves but nothing excessive. It was even doable for me. Not that I was able to hold the poses without tapping my toe down a few times, but I was able to attempt them and hold them for a few seconds. Before I did this practice I did Jessica’s Flow Cardio from her Feel Good Fusion DVD, so I was already warmed up. This kept me working until the end. It is not an advanced practice at all but it will still give you some nice flexibility and strength work.

This workout starts standing and doing side stretches, flowing side to side and reaching arms long and wide. Bring legs/feet together and extend both arms straight overhead, raise one knee and hold (balance move). Flow between chair pose and standing and extending arms wide overhead while arching spine. Cross-leg forward fold. Chair pose w/ arms extended overhead; lift one leg while still in chair pose; with leg still lifted, straighten out of chair pose so that you are now balancing one one leg (Jessica calls it crane pose, but that is not the crane pose I am familiar with). Crescent lunge; while in crescent, reach arms to side while also rotating torso. Return to standing with one knee raised and arms extended overhead. Forward fold into plank into down dog into warrior 1 into warrior 2 into triangle pose back into warrior 2 then back to mountain pose. Get on hands and knees and do a “half crow crunch”–extend one leg out straight behind you with foot flexed, pull knee into same side elbow on outside of body then push foot back out behind you. Push back into down dog and lift one foot off floor a few inches and hold (she calls this 3 leg down dog hover). Lay on belly and raise up onto elbows w/ hands clasped; raise into elbow plank and hold; lift hips up into dolphin pose and hold. Lay on belly and clasp hands at small of back, lift legs, chest and arms (locust pose). Child’s pose. Lay on back, knees bent and feet on floor, extend one leg to ceiling and raise and lower hips off the floor (single leg bridge). Bridge hold (both feet on the ground and hands clasped under body). Still laying on back, hug knees into chest and rock hips side to side. Still laying on back, knees bent and raised, arms extended straight out to sides on floor, lower both bent legs to one side and turn head in opposite direction (spinal stretch). Still on back, knees still bent w/ feet raised off ground, crunch upper body up while bringing knees into chest and extending arms straight along sides of body then lower upper body while bringing legs back to starting position. Corpse pose.

Yoga for Strength + Flexibility is 34:30 minutes. This was definitely the most active and intense of the 3 practices. And the longest. This one is a strength-focused yoga practice. There is flexibility but the poses were more challenging and there was more balance moves that were difficult to modify. I had to hold onto something to do them. It did work me well though. It is still an intermediate yoga practice, but a more intense one. My flexibility is not what it used to be, so I feel like some of the poses would not have been as challenging to me just a year ago. But that’s good! This helps me work on it.

This workout starts standing. Take a deep breaths, reaching arms overhead and lowering them in prayer. Open arms wide out to the side and behind you, expanding the chest then round forward; flow between these two moves. Interlace hands, extend arms overhead and lean arms/torso to side. Rotate torso side to side, looking over shoulder and wrapping arms around you. Place hands on small of back and arch spine. Forward fold; while remaining in forward fold, flow between flattening spine and rounding spine. Round back up to standing.

Flow 1: Deep breath, extending arms overhead, forward fold, step feet back into plank; down dog; extend one leg into air and bend knee (opening hip); bring foot forward into lunge, lift torso up slightly and extend arms straight along sides (Jessica calls it a diagonal lunge); raise arms overhead so you are in crescent; warrior 2; side angle pose, lower top hand to ground then extend arm back to ceiling; return to crescent pose then return to plank then flow from plank into crescent lunge and back to plank, alternating legs. Down dog. Repeat Flow 1 on other side of body.

Flow 2: Standing half pigeon squat–stand on one leg, bring other foot up above knee, sit back into hips and reach arms out in front of you and lower in and out of squat in this position (balance move); remove foot from knee and bring it behind you (still lifted off floor) while raising same side arm overhead and other hand is folded behind back and lower slowly until foot touches ground and you are in lunge then reverse it, slowly leaning torso forward, raising foot off floor so it is extended behind you then lower again into lunge (continue flowing between these two moves); crescent lunge then lower into plank, return to down dog then walk feet into hands, roll back up to standing. Repeat Flow 2 on other side of body.

Reach one arm overhead, bend elbow reaching hand down back while other arm bends at waist and other hand reaches up back toward other hand, lean torso to side in this position. Stand with feet/legs wide, clasp hands behind back, opening chest and forward fold while reaching clasped hands up behind back; release hands to mat and extend spine, round spine and walk hands between legs. Still in wide leg forward fold, walk hands over to one leg and hold; pivot legs so you are in lunge, hands and back knee on floor. Pigeon pose (Jessica also shows several variations in case you cannot do traditional pigeon pose). On hands and knees, extend one arm straight in front of you and opposite leg straight behind you and hold; bend knee up and reach other hand behind you, touching hand to heel then extend leg and arm straight again, flow between bending and straightening knee and touching heel. Lay on belly w/ hands under shoulders and lift torso up a few inches off floor (on knees or toes) and hover-hold for a few seconds then lower back to belly. Lay on side, resting on elbow/forearm, knees bent and in front of you, top hand is behind head, lift hips off floor while opening top knee to ceiling keeping heels together, continue raising and lowering hips while opening and closing top knee. Lay on back, knees bent, heels together and knees open, raise and lower hips in this position (butterfly bridge). Still laying on back, soles of feet together, knees bent and open to sides (reclining butterfly pose); lift one foot and grasp heel with hands, bringing foot/leg in closer to chest; bring knee in to chest, foot flexed then raise foot to sky and hug back of leg, then raise other leg and hold in the same position then bring hands to feet (happy baby pose). Hug knees into chest then extend arms and legs into corpse pose.

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