Review of "Yoga Sculpt"

By Kathy Smith
Goldhil Home Media, 2006
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Aug 8th 2006
Yoga Sculpt

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 appropriate. 



© 2006 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Christian 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.


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