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Pilates Conditioning For
Weight Loss with Suzanne Deason

Pilates Conditioning

5 out of 5 stars Ocean Waves & Pilates

If you are a Pilates fan and you also love ocean scenery, this is one of the best workouts yet! I love the “yoga” atmosphere and Suzanne Deason is actually a yoga instructor who has been teaching for over 25 years. She brings a calming influence and intuitive awareness to the entire workout. You learn to integrate mind, body and breath.

The focus is not only on exercise. This DVD also has a small pamphlet with a nutrition and weight management guide (more a reminder than a complete program). Suzanne’s philosophy is to regain a sense of balance and then you can use diet and exercise to help you with your weight loss. We all know that when we are stressed, we munch more and make poor food choices. If you take an hour to exercise each day, you will notice you are eating more salads, drinking more water and basically making better choices because you feel more calm.

You will notice an increased awareness as far as the whole mind/body connection is concerned. You will feel more awareness during the day and the days that follow this workout. It is as if your entire body is more in tune and you have more confidence on all levels.

The scenery is gorgeous and you can truly escape into Maui! Lately, I’m thinking of exercise as a mini vacation for my soul and body. This workout also calms your entire nervous system and gives you an inner calm and confidence on a higher level than most workouts.

First, you are watching just Suzanne sitting near the water and then two friends join her to show you the beginner and intermediate versions of the exercises. Suzanne shows the “challenge” exercises. If you have done any Pilates videos, you can almost be assured you will be able to do the challenge section. I found it warmed my body completely, yet I was not out of breath.

The cueing is excellent and actually, Suzanne is not talking during the exercises, she is talking about what you are doing. It is as if you are just working along with three other students. This approach does take some of her personality out of the workout and yet it made it more personal and calming. So, she is still cueing, but not talking while she
is exercising, it is more of a dubbed over approach.

You need: Pilates Mat or Yoga Mat and Pillow.

The workout starts with an excellent “creating awareness” warm up that wakes up all your muscles. If you have chosen to go with the combined workout (recommended at first so you can see what level you enjoy), you can follow the beginner, intermediate or advanced versions or switch between them depending on your level in that particular exercise. You can also chose to just do the partially modified or the fully modified versions. This is more relaxing as you don’t’ have to listen to instructions for all three versions and you can up the challenge level if you want to go with the advanced versions.

The Exercises: Foot and Angle Work, The Hundred, The Roll-Up, Leg Circles, Single-leg Stretch, Cross-Cross, Hip Circles, Double-leg Stretch, Gentle Spine Twist, Spine Stretch, The Mermaid, The Saw, Quadraped, Swam Preparation, Lower Body Leg Lifts, Swan, Child’s Pose, Bridges, Hamstring Stretch, Scissors, Unicycle, Side-leg Lifts, Side-leg Circles, Inner Thigh Lifts, Bicycle, Double-leg Circles, Standing Roll-up, Cat Spine, Arch Curl, Side Stretch, The Hammock.

The exercises were chosen with the idea that larger bodies would be performing them. Amazingly enough, many instructors don’t take this into consideration. The pace is perfect and I felt I could do all the exercises without feeling I had to reach some impossible goal.

There is a way to access additional information about a specific exercise when a special icon appears. This is called the “personal instructor” option.

The funniest thing was while doing the “Cat Spine” exercise, my one cat was walking under me, back and forth thinking I must be a cat. It was cute. The exercises were all familiar, yet Suzanne does include some variations I had yet to try. Her Swan was more like a swim and I liked that version more. Her roll-ups don’t quite go as far over as I’d like, but with any workout, you can change the exercise if you like another one more. There is more foot/ankle work which is always a good thing because most workouts don’t focus on this area at all.

So, you get three workouts on one DVD:

Complete 60-minute Pilates conditioning workout
Two 45-minute workout variations to allow you to progress to the next level

Well organized, smooth transitions and comforting environment. Excellent music and ocean scenery was a real plus!

Recommended for Pilates & Yoga fans who love well organized and highly effective workouts.

Also look for:

Pilates beginning Mat Workout
Pilates Intermediate Mat Workout
A.M and P.M. Pilates Mat Workout

~The Rebecca Review


Yoga Conditioning


5 out of 5 stars =    Yoga in Nature

The stunning beauty of the red rocks and panoramas of Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona Arizona makes this video one of the most beautiful yoga workouts to date! The blue mats are just striking against the background and that makes this quite visually pleasing.

If you love exercising in the evening, this workout is perfect to promote a general feeling of well-being and relaxation. Suzanne Deason has created a calming escape you can enjoy for 45 minutes.

While I can’t say for sure that you will lose weight while using this particular video, I know you can condition your body with Yoga and Pilates.

I like the combination and have many DVDs and videos. So, I recommend this in addition to all the other workouts you own. Variety seems essential in keeping us all motivated!

The theory behind this workout is that yoga can be used for therapeutic applications. Being overweight has a lot to do with an imbalance in your body’s physiology and an internal disconnection between the mind and body.

If you think about when you overeat it might be when you are feeling stressed. It is much easier to keep to your healthy nutrition plan when you feel calm and in control. I also have come to believe that when we are stressed, our bodies pack on the pounds.

So, this workout gives a calmness to your being and in this way you help to control the bodies healing process.

There are four workout levels:

Complete Workout – For anyone who has experience in yoga. All you need is a yoga mat.
Slightly Modified (1/4) – To build strength and stamina.
Partially Modified (1/2) – When your flexibility improves.
Fully Modified – If you have tight hips or hamstrings, you can use a strap, bricks
and a blanket.

All the workouts contain a 10 minute “Body and Breath” warm-up section to loosen the muscles and heat the core. The breathing cues are excellent and you will find yourself enjoying the deep cleansing breaths.

This is followed by “Active Yoga Conditioning.” A mirror behind you is helpful at first until you learn to moves. Or you can just do some backwards and still see the screen. Many of the poses where chosen with larger bodies in mind. This is great for people who are just starting yoga. You will notice that three of the instructors are definitely more like the “normal size” woman.

It was comforting to me to see women who modified various poses as I often have to. Instead of feeling like I could not do the poses, I felt I was reaching a level that was comfortable for me. You may also find you can do some of the poses from the advanced level and some from the modified. You feel so proud of yourself when you can finally feel comfortable doing most of the advanced poses.

Finally you enter the 14 minute cool down phase called: “Balance and Relaxation.”

During the workout you might notice a Personal Instructor Icon. On my DVD control I had to select the “ok” to get this feature to work. There is also a nice way to get to various workout levels. You just press the “angle” button.

Once you watch the complete workout/combination workout, you can then figure out which level you are at. After watching the combined workout, you will more than likely enjoy just working out with one instructor. You have the choice of four instructors.

I find that my yoga and Pilates workout “moments” have become so healing and nurturing. If you wish to make your setting even more comfortable and are familiar with yoga, I would recommend a nice duvet/comforter covered in a soft fabric. Once folded in half, this gives you a nice soft padded space on which you can place your yoga mat, etc. If you need props, there is information in the pamphlet that is included with the DVD.

Think of exercise as your own private mini-vacation and suddenly exercise is something you start to look forward to. You could also walk for 30 minutes before starting these exercises or walk in the morning and do this video at night.

An exercise program for the entire mind/body/spirit connection. The 16-page full-color pamphlet also contains a mini-nutrition guide, tips on healthy eating and a weight management guide.

Develops concentration, patience, body awareness, muscle tone and a sense of emotional calm.

If you are new to Yoga, this might be the best place to start. 

~The Rebecca Review 


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