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My DVD Challenge - Lilias Beginner Cardio Yoga

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I decided to go through my fitness DVD’s one by one and do them all – hopefully one a day until I get through them all. They sit in a drawer next to my bed, and I rarely pull one out. Instead, I think of other DVD’s that I wish I had and think about adding them to the collection of not-used DVD’s. This is an expensive and ineffective path to fitness.

So this was my new fitness challenge to myself: do one DVD a day and Blog about it so I can see what I’m missing. I sorted through them on Sunday so that I would be doing different workouts on each day. I have a bunch of Yoga, Stability Ball Workouts, some Sit and be Fit type stuff, T-Tapp and WATP.

So here we go.

Today’s DVD is the first of a 2 DVD Set called “Lilias Yoga Fitness for Beginners”. This disc is the Cardio Challenge and says it will be my “secret weapon for increasing energy, flexibility and strength”. That sounds like what I need. It then mentions the classical sun salutation, so I know I’m in trouble right from the get-go.

This DVD is by Lilias Folan, who is one of the first fitness professionals I ever followed. When I was in Middle School during the early 70’s, she had a Yoga show on the PBS station. I remember doing her workouts during the summer in the family room. I was so impressed with her calmness, slimness and especially her long thick braid. My chubby self had found a role model.

So, I was very happy to see these DVD’s, but when I got this one at least two years ago, I didn’t even try it. Why? Because it’s the sun salutation, which I cannot do. Here’s Lilias doing the sun salutation way back when to start her show when I was 13:

(The ds part goes with the link - I don't know why it won't stay together)

Or search You Tube for:

Lilias web intro

and it will be the first result with the blue background.

I cannot lunge, or plank, or cobra or downward facing dog or haul my body up and down off the ground. The Sun Salutation is actually 12 poses run together, so you can break it down like that. Luckily, I’ve been on the One Minute Yoga team here at Spark since February. I haven’t been completely faithful, but I have tried a lot of poses and spent a lot of time looking at the examples of poses at Yoga Today even when I can’t do them. I heavily modify these poses all the time, but at least I’m trying them.

It’s a good thing too, because Lilias is aiming at some more advanced beginners than me. This DVD was really difficult. Each Sun Salutation is really two sets – one on each side. The first time, she goes kind of slow, and has you smoosh around in the poses to feel what is right for you. I grabbed my yoga blocks since I can’t reach the ground in any of these poses.

So that first time through, I did moderately ok. The part where you get all the way to the floor on your stomach was more of a belly flop, and the getting back up in no way resembled the example, but I did it and it was fine. So next, we’re going to do both sides again. Lilias talks me through it with a little less detail and goes a little faster. OK. I can do it, sort of, but it's tough.

Next she says, “Let’s try one more time, a little faster”. What! This was hilarious. She just said a few key words to keep you on track, and my yoga blocks were flying and I was just kind of getting to the general area of where I was supposed to be and not really in a timely manner. I now understood where the cardio part was coming from. This was a little bit like a boot camp type of thing. I was losing what little form I had, even in my belly flop!

After I hauled myself up, she says, “OK, now we’re going to do this at speed”. Ha! No we weren’t. Lilias was on her own for the last set. I just watched that last go round while catching my breath. Good Grief. She doesn't have her braid anymore, but she is amazing!

After that came the cool down phase, which I tried to keep up with. It entailed a lot of getting up and down and stretching into positions I can’t do and I was really worn out. I’m sure it was good, and I should have gotten more out of that cool down phase, but I just was not able to.

At the end, Lilias noted that this is really a good cardio workout, and it will get easier as you practice. I will try again after I get through these DVD's the first time and see how I do.

The most important take away from this was that I was able to do a Sun Salutation with maybe 30-40% accuracy. Thanks to Trainer T at One Minute Yoga, I’m a lot more flexible and stronger than I thought I would be. I did get up and down from the floor several times and I wasn’t a complete failure. Just a few months ago I could not have done this at all. Don't doubt me when I say this - I could NOT have done a Sun Salutation in January 2010.

I'm not graceful, but I'm doing it - just amazing to think I can break through yet another fitness barrier.

I’m pretty happy about my plan, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s DVD.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I tried tv yoga once for a month. I said alot of "are you kidding"....It really does need alot of strength. I bet if you go back and do that in another month or so you will be so amazed at your increase in strength. God bless...Maybe I'll even try it again...with some easy poses...

    4070 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7342839
    Your description of doing the sun salutation made me giggle because it's the same for me. I simply canNOT get from one position to the next w/ any grace or fluidity. I love yoga but I really don't like the sun salutation!
    4087 days ago
  • JENNY888
    I love your plan. Don't worry the sun salutation is one of the more complex yoga moves. I had one class in college where the instructor encouraged us to memorize the procedure and then suggested we do them the rest of our lives. I wish I had. If I had I would be in much better shape now.

    I love gentle yoga. The idea is not to push yourself and see the improvement as you practice. It is my favorite type of exercise besides being on my treadmill.
    4088 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4572709
    I couldn't find the video.. but it is a GREAT idea.
    4088 days ago
    This is an awesome plan. I am so scared of yoga for one reason or antoher, but you trying it out makes me realize that I should give it a go. If I keep at it, I will do better.
    4088 days ago
    Great job. It is awesome that you are getting out your DVD's and putting them to use. You are right, they don't do any good stuffed in a drawer some where. Stick with it and I know you will see results once you get through all of the DVD's.
    4088 days ago
    Sounds like a great idea!! I've been trying out different DVDs from my local library, that way I can purchase the ones I like and not waste my money on those that I don't. Good luck!!
    4088 days ago
    What a great idea! I can't do it yet, have to heal my back first. However, I'm going to pull them all out and line 'em up!! Sally
    4088 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/25/2010 11:38:44 AM
    I love this idea! Every day will be a new adventure with new faces. One of the things that always drags me down with fitness DVDs is the sameness of the routine, chatting, jokes. Your idea is a great way to beat that problem.
    4088 days ago
    Great plan!
    4088 days ago


    Awesomeness. What a great start to doing a sun salutation!

    Keep on practicing.

    4088 days ago
    Sounds like you have a great plan. good blog.
    Amazing how so many of us buy fitness accessories and rarely use them (as if the purchase alone is supposed to work its magic). I have a couple of those myself
    4089 days ago
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