Yoga Fusion: Strength & Sculpt

Yoga Fusion: Strength & Sculpt is currently only available on VHS. It is the sister workout to Yoga Fusion: Power, which I reviewed last Sunday. As I shared in the review for that workout, I have had these 2 VHS workouts on my Amazon wishlist forever, waiting for them to one day appear on DVD. Unlike most of my other favorite VHS workouts, these still haven’t been converted to DVD. However I purchased a used VCR and a digital converter. Not for these DVDs, but for home videos of my kids. Since I could now convert them, I figured–why not? So I purchased both of the VHS tapes (brand new!) and converted them to digital. To do them, I just stream them from my computer to my AppleTV just like I do the Cathe Live downloads that I purchase.

That’s the background. So, I am reviewing a workout that probably isn’t available to a lot of people. The VHS tapes are actually still available brand new on Amazon (from marketplace sellers). So if you are still able to play VHS workouts, then this review may be of interest. Or maybe you are able to digitally convert it like I did. Regardless, this review is primarily for me. Just like all of the workouts on this blog, I will may want to return to it one day and when I do, I have the breakdown and my thoughts right here. If you have recently read the review of Yoga Fusion: Power then some of this will be redundant, but not my thoughts on this specific workout. I bought both Yoga Fusion workouts on VHS 20+ years ago. I remember loving them. Then Chalene Johnson released PiYo, which I also loved but it was so reminiscent of the Yoga Fusion workouts that I wanted to revisit these workouts–really badly (that sounds grammatically incorrect…). But I no longer owned a VHS player and had gotten rid of all of my VHS tapes. That is when I started following them on Amazon, hoping one day they would be put on DVD.

Yoga Fusion: Strength & Sculpt is led by trainer Kim Haegele. The VHS cover says it is a fusion of Pilates, core training, strength, sculpting, dance with hatha yoga. I found that to be true. This workout has a stronger body weight strength focus than Yoga Fusion: Power does. This one is also more challenging. I remember that, even though I liked both of these workouts, I liked one better than the other. Having done them both now, it was Yoga Fusion: Power that I liked better. Maybe that was because it is easier. This workout had a few very challenging moves (#26 & 41 below)–for me at least, but was otherwise intermediate level. There is a modifier for some of the more challenging moves. All these years later, I still like Yoga Fusion: Power more. Strength & Sculpt did work me well but it just wasn’t as enjoyable. When you do a stretch, you don’t hold it very long and almost every single stretch that is done in this workout I wanted to hold longer. And I am not referring to dynamic flexibility moves, where you are flowing between poses. She does actual stretches but you hold them so briefly, I didn’t feel like I got the benefit of them. Also, some of the exercises seemed kind of pointless to include. You need light hand weights for a few exercises (#32). The first part of that exercise I am not sure what good light dumbbells will do unless you are completely out of shape. And if you are, then this workout is too challenging for you. The second part of #32 the light hand weights are more appropriate for. Also, the way you are sitting for that exercise was incredibly uncomfortable for me. But that is likely due to the fact I have metal heels–it was my feet that did not like the position. So I probably will not return to this workout. There are too many other yoga fusion workouts I like much more (including Yoga Fusion: Power).

Yoga Fusion: Strength & Sculpt is 46 minutes; 1:30 minute intro. Equipment: fitness mat, light dumbbells and a pilates or playground ball. Start sitting cross-leg on your mat.

  1. Cat/cow
  2. Downward facing dog; raise and lower heels
  3. Still in down dog, raise one leg to ceiling then step it under you into kneeling crescent pose, return to down dog then repeat on other leg
  4. Forward fold with hands clasping elbows; still in forward fold, clasp hands together behind back, reaching arms to the ceiling
  5. Stand, reaching arms overhead, raise heels so you are on your toes, fling/swing arms down while also squatting and bringing chest to thighs
  6. Still standing, open arms out to sides, arching spine and looking to ceiling; clasp hands behind back and pull arms down, opening chest, then forward fold, reaching arms to ceiling
  7. Forward fold then step back to plank, bend elbows lowering partway to ground then into upward facing dog, press back to downward facing dog, walk feet to hands so you are in forward fold and stand, reaching arms overhead
  8. Repeat #7 but when you are in downward facing dog, raise one leg to ceiling, raise and lower the heel of the foot on the floor, repeat this on other leg then jump or walk feet to hands so you are in forward fold, stand reaching arms overhead
  9. Chair pose into forward fold, jump back to plank, lower into partial tricep push up then into upward facing dog, push hips back to down dog, step forward into warrior one, return to plank and repeat doing warrior one on other side of body
  10. Chair pose; continue to hold chair pose but extend arms out to sides in a T; still holding chair pose, extend arms straight in front of you
  11. Warrior 2
  12. Right angle pose
  13. Plank, lower into partial tricep push up then into upward facing dog, push hips back to down dog, jump feet into hands so you are in forward fold, rise into chair pose then stand
  14. Wide plie squat with arms extended to sides in a T; changes to wide plie squat pulses
  15. Tree pose
  16. Reach arms overhead, raise heels so you are on your toes, bring hands to prayer, lower into chair pose with heels still raised then lower heels for forward fold, step back to down dog
  17. Hold the pilates ball in both hands, lay back on mat, knees bent, feet on mat and bring ball to floor overhead, extend one leg straight keeping knees and thighs in line with each other, from this position, do a sit up, reaching ball toward raised foot
  18. Lay on mat with legs straight and arms extended straight to sides in a T, lift torso while bending knees and pulling them in toward torso, knees are tilted to one side while arms are extended in opposite direction, alternate sides
  19. Full (straight leg) boat pose
  20. Sit cross-leg and hinge forward over one leg, reaching arms along floor in line with knee
  21. Repeat #19
  22. Repeat #20 on other side of body
  23. Repeat #19
  24. Repeat #20 but this time fold forward
  25. Straight arm plank, lower body to mat and do a cobra
  26. Lay on stomach, arms extended to sides in a T, legs are together and knees are bent so toes are pointing to ceiling, raise arms, chest and knees off floor; pulse knees up higher; hold with knees raised off floor and pulse knees toward each other (insoles of feet are together)
  27. Child’s pose
  28. Forward fold
  29. Lay back on mat again, knees are bent, feet on mat, place pilates ball between knees, hands/arms are on floor alongside body, raise hips off floor into bridge, draw shoulder blades underneath you and clasp the hands, while holding this position, pulse squeeze knees against ball; raise heels and continue pulsing knees against ball while on toes; lower heels and raise toes, continue pulsing knees against ball
  30. Figure 4 stretch (reclining pigeon)
  31. Still laying on back with knees bent and pulled into chest, hands on knees, rock back and forth massaging the spine
  32. Kneel on mat, sitting on pilates ball (kneeling position but with ball between calves and under bottom), holding a light DB in each hand, do a bicep curl into an overhead press; changes to side raises with palms facing the body and elbows slightly bent
  33. (set DBs aside) Place hands behind head to stretch chest then round neck/spine forward bringing elbows in front of you
  34. Repeat #32 & 33
  35. (set DBs and pilates ball aside) Puppy pose
  36. Forward fold then roll spine up to standing
  37. Standing side bend with arm reached overhead, pulse arm over head
  38. Stand with knees bent and arms in front of you as if holding a beach ball; bring hands to prayer then push hands downward then raise arms to sides and overhead then press hands down again
  39. Sit on mat for seated forward fold
  40. Seated spinal twist pose
  41. Still seated on mat, hold same side toes with hands, raise legs so you are balancing on your glutes, spine is straight, legs are straight and open, pulling on hands so arms are straight
  42. Bridge pose with hands clasped under body
  43. Happy baby pose
  44. Corpse pose
  45. Sit cross leg with hands in prayer

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