Louise SolomonsYogaAndPilates

2003, $2.99, at Goodwill on Brand in Glendale

First Impression: The front cover announces that it’s a breakthrough workout. I’m ready to break through!

Second Impression: Is that her real hair? It looks like a fall from Cinema Secrets.

The production company’s bumper is this epic sweep over CGI Misty Mountains, underscored by a born blast, with this powerful ice arrow thing zooming up into the heavens. I’m prepared to be dazzled.

The opening sequence looks like the credits for a James Bond movie, with female silhouettes bending and stretching in front of a swirling lava lamp background.

Louise Solomon then talks about her personal exercise history while standing in front of a potted plant. They intercut the interview with shots of what appear to be Clothos, Lachesis, and Atropos performing synchronized stretching on a beach. The tide is going out, which makes me reflect on the passage of time and the ephemeral nature of it all.

Then there’s another clip of Louise Solomon telling us about all the different sized towels we will need to gather together for the workout. The tide’s going out and you’re fussing over tea towels, Louise.

This is followed by a montage incorporating shots of six women doing Pilates in an all-white room. There’s a white cyclorama for a backdrop, which gives the illusion of infinite space. They are identically dressed in a stark black uniform, carefully holding their faces in disaffected expressions, and I have a vision of a dehumanized dystopia, a world of fruitless endless exercise without a glimmer of hope.

Then there’s a clip of Louise Solomon telling us the correct way to breathe, and another clip of her demonstrating the correct way to lie on the floor. When she finally utters the words, “Now we’re ready to start your Yogilates workout,” we are eleven minutes and twenty seconds into the damn program, and I am ready to scream.

I did both workouts on the disc, and I must say I didn’t feel any effects of it like I usually do after I exercise. Maybe if I did this DVD every day for three months, my body would be completely changed, as Louise Solomon claims in one of her many many introductory segments. I just don’t have that kind of patience!

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