This DVD has 3 different workouts, of 20, 40, and 60 minutes, with a short relaxation after each. They are for people who already have done some yoga and have some strength and flexibility, and who want moderately strenuous workout. Although it is called "Fat Burner" it also builds strength. It is definitely not just for people who want to lose weight. The workouts will get your heart pumping fast and you should be sweating after a few minutes -- Reed recommends doing the yoga in a warm room, since the whole idea is to build internal heat. It may also get you breathing hard, so it provides some aerobic exercise. Most of the postures are very familiar yoga poses, and for all three workouts, she starts out with standing postures, moves on to seated postures, and then ends with lying-down postures.
The production quality is high. Reed instructs two women and one man in a studio. The studio is decorated nicely, and candles are liberally scattered around. There is upbeat Eastern flavored music in the background. The camera moves around the studio showing the practitioners from a variety of angles. The edited fades from one camera angle to another are smooth and professional. Reed walks around and in between the mats as she gives her instructions. Her voice is energetic and her wording is clear. Occasionally she teases her students about how hard she is making them work, and often she encourages them. She also emphasizes making the most of relaxing postures, where one can let one's mind and body rest and recover for a moment.
Some of the postures and movements are very demanding, and many people will need to do fewer numbers of repetitions or try less challenging versions. Most of the time Reed explains how to do easier modifications of these challenging postures. Practicing them makes them easier to do, as you build up strength and flexibility, and learn better how to position one's body to balance.
Reed's approach is very no-nonsense. She talks a little about mind-body connections, but she is mainly focused on the body. Other yoga DVDs are far more calming, and some are filmed in far more beautiful locations. However, if you are looking for a good yoga routine to build strength and stamina, this DVD could be very useful. It is especially nice to have 3 distinctively different workouts of different lengths. The DVD is set up so that you have to watch ads for Adrienne Reed fitness products at the start before you get to the main menu, which is annoying, but it is possible to fast forward through these. I have used this DVD on a regular basis for about six months, and I found it very worthwhile. Recommended.
© 2007 Christian Perring
Christian Perring, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York.