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3.7 out of 5 stars
Crunch Yoga Mama - Prenatal Yoga
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177 of 179 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2003
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
I am 20 weeks pregnant and have been doing yoga for about 3 years, although I haven't been doing it since about week 9 of my pregnancy. I wanted to find a good video that would help me get back into my practice, stretch me out, and strengthen my muscles.
I bought Shiva Rea's Prenatal Yoga video and was annoyed by it. Although I am very familiar with common yoga postures, I couldn't understand what I was supposed to be doing from listening to her, and I had to keep looking at the screen to figure out what she was talking about. Then, as soon as I got into the pose, she would quickly shift to something else, so I never got to hold any pose for more than a few seconds. Annoying. She also drones on at the beginning of the video for a few minutes, which is minimally boring when you want to get started the first time, but REALLY boring when you are doing the tape on a regular basis and you have to fast forward through it every time. Lastly, I felt like I got no workout whatsoever from Shiva Rea's tape, and barely a stretch. Maybe if I had been able to hold the poses a little longer than the split second she allowed... The woman in her third trimester hardly did anything at all.
Crunch Mama was MUCH better. I really liked the teacher. She was straightforward, and best of all, she was actually pregnant! She gave a better selection of poses, a bit more challenging, but still very easy, and I hardly had to even look at what she was doing...she was very descriptive when telling us what moves to do next. I liked the variety of pregnant women in her "class". She had women in all different stages, and they were all doing pretty much the same moves, except for one woman who was demonstrating modified moves for women who wanted to take it really slow. My only complaint was that I would have liked to hold the poses a bit longer, especially at the end, when she guided us into a closing relaxation/meditation poses that you normally allow at least 10 minutes for in a typical yoga class...in the video we got about a minute to relax and clear our minds before being told to get back up again.
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91 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2000
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
I should start by saying I'm a beginner and never really did any yoga before now. I started this in my 7th month of pregnancy and I found the tape easy to follow, sometimes even when I am not looking at the TV screen (the head is down and the neck relaxed in several poses). The poses certainly helped me create more room in my midsection so I could breathe easier. They also distributed the weight more evenly along my spine and that helped ease lower back pain. Although this is not an aerobic workout, I felt energized and more clearheaded after doing the tape. The instructor is very friendly. She leads a class of several pregnant women at various stages (from slight belly bulge to just-about-ready-to-pop) and one student shows modifications for those who may not be limber enough to do the poses as shown. There is quiet, soothing background music -- not at all distracting, but just enough to help keep things flowing. I'm really glad I bought this tape. I may hang onto it even after I have the baby!
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75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Although I wouldn't call this the perfect prenatal yoga practice, it has some distinct strengths over other prenatal yoga videos I've seen. Visibly pregnant Sue Elkind leads a class of about a dozen women of in all stages of pregnancy through a well-chosen series of yoga poses. One woman demonstrates modifications for the less flexible, but most of the women do the program without modification, even in late pregnancy. The instructor talks through each pose, giving special attention to the balance and posture changes of pregnancy and emphasizing the connections between body and mind and mother and baby-to-be. This constant commentary makes the poses easy to follow even when not watching the screen, but may distract from the meditative quality of yoga practice.
Yoga Mama is most appropriate for women with no or limited yoga experience and no exercise constraints. It may also be helpful for intermediate level women in late stages of pregnancy, for tired days, or as the easy part of a rotation of practices. Advanced yoga students, however might find this video frustratingly basic and prefer to develop a personalized yoga practice using books (try Preparing for Birth With Yoga by Janet Balaskas). Women who need greater modification might want to try the Shiva Rea Prenatal Yoga program instead. Props: sticky mat (or carpet), folded blanket, folded towel (for wrist pain), chair (for modifications)
Personal Experience: I used prenatal yoga videos several times a week in addition to prenatal classes in a yoga studio once or twice a week. Although no video can equal a live class, this one captures some of the spirit of practicing yoga in a room full of pregnant women of all shapes and sizes. For home practice, I could choose between Yoga Mama and Shiva Rea's Prenatal Yoga video. Although Shiva Rea's video is longer and has better production values, I plunked this video in the VCR more than twice as often. I preferred the selection of poses in Yoga Mama (though I wish each pose lasted longer) and I preferred following Yoga Mama's visibly pregnant instructor (skinny Shiva Rea demonstrates first trimester poses with no hint of a belly). In addition, I found it much more motivating to see the whole class perform without modifications in contrast to the extreme modifications in Shiva Rea's program (the third trimester woman does most of the poses seated on a chair). To my surprise, I was able to comfortably and safely perform Yoga Mama without modification up until a few days before delivery. Practicing prenatal yoga helped minimize back pain, leg cramps, and other pregnancy discomforts.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I took yoga classes pre-pregnancy, so the movements were familiar to me. I found that the instruction was on a pretty basic level, and was easy to follow. I just started in my 5th month, and feel I could easily continue until the baby is born. The one thing that bothered me about this video was her constant chatter and quick transition between movements and poses. Perhaps its because I came from a live-instruction atmosphere where there was more time to strech into the positions and really get tuned-into your body and breathing in each one. The choice of exercises is good, but she does a maximum of 3 repetitions each movement,which I don't feel is enough. Also, she talks so much, the "relaxation" exercises at the end are kind of pointless. I can't relax in 3 minutes with her chatting at me the whole time. But overall, this video is good to keep you feeling limber and centered,even when you feel like a house on legs.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I really enjoyed this tape. It is good for either the beginner or the experienced yoga student. The instructor (who is a chic, urban-type) is also pregnant, and does a very good job at explaining the movements, so that you can easily follow along. I have taken yoga classes before, and the tape has a very similar format, with a meditation session at the end. I don't find myself sweating at the end, but I feel very stretched and relaxed. It's not super new-agey, which might appeal to some people. I plan to do this at least once or twice a week until I give birth (and possibly after).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I have been practicing yoga on and off for three years, and I this video has satisfied my urge to do yoga while pregnant. I'm currently 5 months pregnant, and I didn't do any yoga after I found out I was pregnant until I recently bought this video. The poses are not very hard, but they are fine for me. Additionally, I'm recovering from abdominal surgery as well, and this video allows me to get in some much needed exercise and stretches while my belly heals. I like the fact that the video shows alternative ways to do the poses, and the women in the video don't all look like super tough pregnant aerobic instructors. The only thing I would have liked is a few more minutes tacked on to the end that focused deeper on relaxation.
If you're a hard core yoga person, you will find this video too easy. Otherwise, try it- it's worth it!
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I purchased yoga mama at 4 months pregnant, when I was feeling tight and sore. I had heard yoga was great exercise for pregnant women, and thought I would give it a go. I am certain that after this video I will not become a yoga addict. However, that is due more to the fact that I simply had more fun walking outside and going to the gym than exercising along with the tape. [I have gained 30 pounds during my pregnancy, and I am sure I would have put on lots more if I hadn't been so diligent with aerobic exercise]. That said, if you are someone who enjoys work out tapes [and I will be giving them another go when baby comes in a couple of weeks], this is worth the money. The instructor's voice is soothing, the women in the video look "real," the moves are easy, and the length is perfect [about 45 minutes]. Had I been better, I would have supplemented my aerobic exericse with this video more than I did. For the experienced: my friend who practiced yoga before her pregnancy found the moves too easy.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is a good, shorter-length, very positive and upbeat yoga video. The instructor is knowledgeable and the class showcases a nice range of women, both in body types and in trimesters. I am almost into my third and have found this tape to be a good weekly source of stretching and relaxation. I have not had any of the problems many women complain of in pregnancy (back pain, leg cramps, etc.) and think that may be because of this tape and others I've been doing.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2003
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
I really like this video. I was taking yoga classes before I got pregnant and then stopped for some reason. At the end of my second trimester, I was experiencing back pain and thought I should give yoga another try and decided on this video. It is not very difficult, but it does make me feel relaxed and does relieve my back aches. Now that I am in my third trimester I find that I really like the length and ease of the video. You are still moving around, even when your body is finding it more diffficult. As for the commentary, I did not find it annoying. I actually enjoy her comments about the baby. Isn't that the reason you're doing a video titled Yoga Mama anyway?
Overall, this is a good purchase, especially for late pregnancy. It may be too easy earlier on.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2003
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
I'm currently in my 19th week and have been using this video for about 6 weeks. I alternate this video with Rocki's Prenatal Yoga. This is the one I pick when I'm feeling less motivated and want a good stretch, an easy workout and some inspiration. I feel good afterwards, both in body and attitude. I'm VERY inspired by the different body types and love seeing the bare bellies on so many of the moms-to-be. I prefer Sue's personality and style to Rocki's, but I feel more "worked out" from Rocki's video.
I only wish this workout was available on DVD: I suffer from insomnia as part of my pregnancy symptoms and I have found the 2nd half or so to be exactly what I need (at 2am) to tune out my stress and relax my body. Also, I am a work at home mom with a toddler and sometimes 15 minutes is all the time I can make (the full workout is 45 minutes but I find I can break it into 3 segments when I need to). DVDs make it so easy to skip ahead and there's no need to rewind!
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