'Yoga + Weights' DVD strong but short

Multitasking might offend yoga purists, but a new DVD combines traditional poses with light weights for a workout that’s more burn than bliss.

Kimberly Fowler, the self-proclaimed creator of “hybrid” yoga, recently released “Yoga + Weights,” a fast-paced, 30-minute workout using 3-pound hand weights. She is the founder of YAS Fitness Center, which combines spinning with yoga, and has a studio in Costa Mesa.

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In a calm, steady voice, Fowler offers instruction for the yoga poses, which range from push-up style planks to downward facing dog. Weights are used for the majority of the sequences. If your legs burn while squatting back in chair pose, imagine the added intensity from hand weights stretched overhead.

But as the super-toned Fowler says, yoga comes first, weights come second. Form matters most. The workout can be done without weights, and Fowler says to put them down at any time. She emphasizes slow control of movement and breath.

The easiest weight segment involves alternating biceps curls from a lunging crescent pose. One of the toughest was holding both arms out at shoulder level in warrior two and lifting 2 inches for five reps. I also felt a burn in my quads and my arms when kneeling in hero’s pose, and then rising upward with weights in hand and my arms stretched overhead before leaning back down onto my knees.

My only complaint is the short duration. I prefer a 60-minute workout, and based on a vigorous Yoga Pump class that 24 Hour Fitness used to offer, I know that much more can be done to combine yoga with weights.

Fowler is fairly stoic in her style. She keeps the commentary to a minimum and moves the workout fluidly between poses and from standing to mat. At times, the DVD cuts to a room full of participants, who are clearly real people of varying ages and body types. The choreography is distraction-free, and unlike most fitness DVDs, there is no music.

“Yoga + Weights” costs $14.95 and is available at amazon.com.

Contact the writer: cperkes@ocregister.com 714-796-3686

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