The Trainer's Edge series of workout DVDs continues its trend of offering solid, useful programs with Long and Lean Yoga with Baron Baptiste. This 50-minute "power yoga" workout takes participants through a series of challenging but satisfying poses that work on both flexibility and muscle toning (hence the "long and lean" in the title).
As is appropriate for a yoga workout, which is intended to relax the mind as well as tone the body, Long and Lean Yoga offers a calm and smooth progression of stretches and poses. Baron Baptiste doesn't participate in the workout himself, but instead guides and instructs the two in-studio participants who model the poses. While I was surprised at first to see this approach, it actually works quite well, as it allows Baptiste to provide a steady stream of instructions and guidance to the participants. He has a calm and relaxing voice, and does a good job of explaining how to do each of the poses.
Long and Lean Yoga is a full-body workout, with poses that work on the legs, core abdominal muscles, back, and upper body. Viewers who have practiced yoga before will likely recognize the poses, which include the upward and downward dog, the boat, the plank, and two warrior poses, as well as others. The workout is well paced, with a gradual warm-up before tackling the more challenging poses, and a stretch and relaxation segment at the end. Many of the poses are quite challenging, but Baptiste does a good job of explaining how to modify or dilute each position to suit the level that viewers are at.
One thing that I appreciated about Long and Lean Yoga is its no-nonsense style. Baptiste focuses on the practical, physical benefits of practicing yoga, as well as the mental benefits of relaxation and correct breathing. There's no mysticism or philosophy tossed in: just an excellent workout.
Long and Lean Yoga appears in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, and it looks perfectly fine for what it is: a workout program. The picture is a bit soft, but not excessively so, and colors are bright and clean.
The soundtrack is nicely handled, with Baron Baptiste's voice always sounding clear and distinct. The music portion of the soundtrack is very low-key and is kept well in the background during the entire workout.
As with the other Trainer's Edge workouts, Long and Lean Yoga comes with a 10-minute mini-workout from another trainer. In this case, we get a "Cardio Blast" bonus workout with Petra Kolber.
I found Trainer's Edge: Long and Lean Yoga to be an enjoyable and beneficial workout, providing a surprisingly challenging set of exercises while being entirely impact-free and non-stressful. It's accessible to new participants such as myself as well as more experienced yoga practitioners. Recommended.