Yoga Sculpt is a collection
of 3 previously released videos: New Yoga, New Yoga Challenge, and Functionally
Fit--Lower Body Firming. These are also available on other DVDs in some
combination, and were originally released in the 1990s. The first two programs
go well together, both being about an hour long, and focusing on yoga. The
final program is about a half-hour long and is quite different, being a workout
for your thighs and butt.
This DVD is rather different from
many other yoga DVDs because Kathy Smith is a professional fitness
personality. According to her book publisher's website,
"America's Leading Fitness Expert is a trademark of Kathy Smith
Lifestyles." Smith certainly takes a professional attitude towards her
work, and appeals to mainstream America. Her blonde hair looks like it is
sculpted by hairspray. She has a perky positive attitude and she keeps a smile
pretty much fixed on her face. It is not a style of presenting that I am
looking for personally in a yoga DVD.
However, the yoga programs are
co-presented with Rod Stryker,
who has a rather mellower attitude than Kathy, and who designs a good workout.
The production values are quite good: each program has a different director,
and they all have a 1990s feel to them. The introductions are a little cheesy
in their style, but using the DVD menu, it is possible to skip them, and go
straight to the workouts.
The New Yoga workout is fairly
introductory, but shows variations for people who are completely new to yoga,
as well as more challenging postures for people who have some experience with
it. The New Yoga Challenge is more advanced, and is probably best for people
who have been doing yoga for at least a few months. It also demonstrates variations
for people who need to work up to the intermediate postures. The third
program, Functionally Fit--Lower Body Firming, created by Smith alone, involves
a good deal of repetition of different kinds of squats on either both legs or
alternating from one leg to another, and even though it does not seem too
difficult at the time, it can leave you feeling the burn the next day. It does
not fit in particularly well with the yoga programs, and the contrast in style
between the regular fitness workout and the yoga is striking.
If you are looking for an
accessible introduction to yoga by a recognized fitness expert, then Yoga
Sculpt will serve the purpose. It uses very little terminology from yoga,
and it is easy to follow. Smith and Stryker have a good rapport, and the
workouts they demonstrate will leave you feeling energized. However, for those
searching for a more specialized yoga DVD, this product would not be
© 2006 Christian Perring. All
Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities
Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Reviews. His main
research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.