Wow, have I been MIA. Working full-time and taking a Psych class have definitely eaten up a lot of my time, but I am loving it all nonetheless. My job is excellent. I love what I’m doing. I just have to remind myself to take breaks away from my computer — and maybe, you know, blink every once in a while. I definitely work harder when I work from home. Maybe that’s a post for a later date.
Anyway. Last year, I ordered the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and I have to say, it is a great aerobic workout. I did not do it for the full 30 days because at that time, I was about 4 months postpartum and was having real difficulty with some of the exercises. Needless to say, I got super frustrated and moved on to something more my speed. Mental note, I should get that 30 day shred workout back out and dust it off! I know I can do those exercises now! I’ve come a long way.
Well, I thought the Shred was a little much so I ordered the Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown dvd, thinking yoga would be a little slower-paced and the focus would be on core strength, which you so desperately need to rebuild after having a baby. It took me a year — A YEAR — to try that yoga video. Maybe it was just sheer laziness because I knew it would kick my ass. Maybe I was intimidated because Jillian is a tough trainer. Who knows. Two weeks ago I finally dug it out and got my trusty yoga mat out and hit play.
I should stipulate that I am a yoga novice. I have taken a few Hatha classes, but am no expert. That said, this dvd is marketed for people like me. There is a “beginner’s” level which starts with a “gentle vinyasa” — that’s flow yoga if you didn’t already know, and it focuses on the movement from one post to the next — and nowhere on the box does it say that you should have prior yoga experience to be successful with this workout.
After about 15 minutes of contorting my body so that I can look at my TV to see what Jillian is trying to get me to do and feeling the muscle in my neck start to strain, I turned it off. I felt a little defeated, but at the same time I found myself a little angry. I respect Jillian as a trainer. She’s tough. She pushes you to get you to the next level. But, I felt this dvd was very irresponsible of her. Here’s why:
- Too fast paced — there was nothing gentle about the vinyasa. It was way too fast for a beginner’s level. Especially if you are someone who doesn’t know the names of the various yoga poses, and therefore find yourself relying heavily on your TV. She also transitioned from one pose to the next with little explanation, which meant I had to watch her to see what she was doing.
- Dangerous extensions — at times, Jillian had me extending my neck and back in poses that are downright dangerous. In an actual yoga class, the instructor will tell you to only go as far as your body feels comfortable. You know your body best and you should always listen to it. Some yoga poses really stretch you to your limits, and that’s great BUT generally those poses come after you’ve really warmed up and begun loosening up your muscles. She dove right in to some of these extensions, when my muscles were clearly not ready. As a result, my neck was strained for 2 days and I had tension in my upper back. Part of this, I’m sure was due to the fact that I was trying to look at the TV to see where she was going next.
- Zero guidance — after trying the 30 Day Shred, I had an expectation for guidance, especially with a yoga workout, but Jillian did not really explain the poses and she tried to combine yoga with aerobics and strength training. Let’s be real, yoga by itself is strength training and various types of yoga can be more aerobic than others. There’s no need to modify the poses the way she did. If done right, yoga can be a great workout and leave you feeling stronger and more relaxed. She also didn’t clarify that you should only go as far as your body feels comfortable. Knowing that myself, I did not stretch past my limits, but I couldn’t help but think of other people who could potentially really hurt themselves because they didn’t know better. Also, Jillian does not do most of the poses herself and so you’re left trying to follow the girl who is supposed to show Beginner modifications — and typically, there really aren’t many modifications anyway.
I still love Jillian. Don’t get me wrong. I think she’s great. I’ve read one of her books and I credit her for helping me get on the road to a better me. But, I would not recommend the Yoga Meltdown to anyone. I think there’s great potential for injury and I don’t think anyone should attempt these workouts alone, much less without prior yoga experience.
If you have never attempted yoga, you should definitely not start with this workout! It will give you the absolute wrong impression and you could seriously injure yourself. I bought this dvd on Amazon and read through a good portion of the reviews. I did not know enough about yoga at that time to really understand why this was not a good purchase for me. That is why I felt compelled to share my review here.
I’m curious. Has anyone else tried the Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts. This review is just MY opinion, afterall.