Over the past few months, I have acquired a few more workout DVDs even though I am spending a lot of time in the gym doing the New Rules of Lifting for Women. (I'm just about finished Stage 5, by the way, and I'm still highly, highly recommending this program.) The new titles I have acquired in the cardio genre are Amy Bento Advanced Step Challenge, Michelle Dozois Peak 10 Cardio Interval, Cathe Friedrich HiiT. The new yoga DVDs I have are Shiva Rea Daily Energy Vinyasa Flow Yoga and Power Flow Yoga, Element AM & PM Yoga, Yoga Zone Flexibility and Stress Release, Rodney Yee Ultimate Power Yoga and Yoga: Spirit of Vinyasa Flow by Deb Dobbin. Eventually, I'd like to review all of those titles but today I thought I'd review two: Cathe Friedrich HiiT and Shiva Rea Daily Energy Vinyasa Flow.
Cathe Friedrich HiiT consists of three different workouts, each at a very reasonable 30 minutes (approximately). HiiT is high intensity interval training and it's one of the best way to stay in good cardiovascular shape without sacrificing your hard-earned muscle. This DVD is tough. But a whole lot of fun. Ms. Friedrich is one of my favorite workout DVD personalities. Her cuing is perfectly on point and the routines she has put together are challenging but not complex. What you get is an excellent workout (that includes a great warm up and cool down in a short amount of time). When you're done, you'll know that you worked out.
I've also been eyeing Ms. Friedrich's Intensity because I really like these DVDs where you can customize how much time you spend on cardio. I really don't need to be doing cardio for an hour these days so I'd rather do a DVD that gives me a choice. (And, I don't know, it bothers me to cut a DVD short.)
Shiva Rea's Daily Energy Vinyasa Flow Yoga is really a gem. I borrowed it from the library twice before I decided I needed to buy it. There are seven 20-minute practices on this DVD from which you can choose. There are some pre-set practices or you can make up your own. If you add the 5 minute warm-up/meditation and then the 5-minute cool-down/savasana, to one of the 20-minute practices, you have a solid 30-minute yoga practice that is energizing but also very relaxing. Each 20 minute routine is very different from the others. Some require more energy (Fire) and include lots of push-ups and strength building moves. Others are more sedate and relaxing (Shanti) which is wonderful for doing after a run because it targets many of the areas that get really tight from running such as the hamstrings and especially the hips. Shiva Rea's style is always calming and I love how meditative doing yoga with her can be. I find myself constantly drawn back when my mind starts to wander. I find my energy to be significantly calmed after doing one of the practices.
I'm really working hard right now going to the gym three times a week and fitting in short cardio sessions and yoga practices around that. I'm not going to any yoga classes in part to save money but also because the times for the classes are not all that convenient for me. (There was a 6 o'clock class on Thursday mornings I was going to for a while but the teacher's style just didn't work for me.) So yoga DVDs are really the way to go and I have a couple more on the list that I'd like to get soon.