What It Is: A yoga DVD – released this month – from Bethenny Frankel, reality TV star best known for her appearance on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City and her Skinnygirl brand, which includes books, DVDs and her famous Skinnygirl Cocktails. The DVD contains 15-minute, 30-minute and 45-minute yoga routines plus a bonus 12-minute stretch.
What You Might Not Know: Bethenny is pictured solo on the DVD cover and she’s in the DVD, but this “housewife” is not the instructor – whew! That distinction goes to Mike McArdle, Bethenny’s NYC-based yoga teacher, who, according to the DVD’s cover, is certified in Bikram yoga and Pilates.
Feelin’ the Love: Both Mike McArdle and Bethenny Frankel are likeable on-screen workout buddies, and McArdle is clearly an experienced yoga teacher. I enjoyed the yoga routines and bonus stretch he put together for this DVD. Each yoga segment balanced toning poses with stretching ones. And I liked how McArdle frequently brought my attention back to engaging specific muscles – like inner thighs, abs and back – in each posture.
Plus, I got a giggle out of a surprise celebrity sighting on set – Bethenny’s dog Cookie scampering across the floor. I’m a dog person, so any cute canine automatically scores bonus points with me.
If I Could Change One Thing: Someone forgot to point out that cues for “right” and “left” sides should be according to how the viewer will experience the poses. Instead, McArdle cues directly to Bethenny, who’s sitting right beside him, facing the same direction as he is. I played this DVD on my computer and was facing the screen, of course, so my right side was their left side and vice versa. Since I like to close my eyes while holding a stretch, or when I didn’t have a good vantage point of the screen in poses like Downward Dog, this backwards cueing mixed me up.
The routines and bonus stretch helped release muscular tension, but the frequent chit-chat between Bethenny and the instructor distracted me from toning down my mind’s clutter. I just couldn’t mentally “let go” to achieve true inner calm with all the yammering going on … (Breathe … relax … did I just hear Bethenny refer to menstruation as “lady holiday”?)
Should You Buy It: I’m not a huge fan of aligning fitness with skinny girls or reality TV stars making fitness DVDs, but I warmed up to this DVD quickly. Still … all that chit-chat! If you’re more “Zen” than I am, you might not be distracted by the running commentary throughout this DVD; in fact, Bethenny fans might love it! In that case, this one’s definitely worth a try.
Sold exclusively at Target and Target.com (at time of post); $16.