2004, $2.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: Can you hear the bamboo flute?

Second Impression: Can you smell the incense?

Halloween is almost here, my fit little ghosts and goblins! I bring you a review of an exercise DVD guaranteed to send a chill up your spine and make your very blood run cold!  Because what fills you with more dread than contemplating your own inevitable decrepitude? (evil villain laugh, then coughing, then a sip of water.)

Anyway! There’s four different routines on this disc, and we’re going to spend them all inside a curtained-off area in this lady’s basement:

We start with Beginner Practice 1. Yogi Marlon maintains that it’s designed “for the special needs of seniors.” If everything I’ve learned from commercials is to be believed, that would be: telephones with large buttons, inexpensive life insurance, and always knowing where the beef is located.

I always appreciate a nice gentle stretch that gets the kinks out. But truthfully, this routine is so slow and boring that I can feel my very life’s essence slipping away from me, so I skip ahead to the Hamstring Opener.

As the camera does a slow, shaky push in, Yogi Marlon opens her eyes, and affirms that she does not drink… wine.

She gives an exaggerated demonstration of Ujjayi breath, emitting the hoarse wail of the undead. I hurriedly fashion a protective amulet out of fallen cat whiskers and loose threads from my yoga blanket. 

Yet, I am not spared. What is this sorcery?

Needing to fortify myself for the ordeal yet to come, I move on to the Strengthen I segment. The music grows sour and sinister as we prepare for Pranayama breathing.  Yogi Marlon shows us the proper way to hold our fingers:

Just like a monkey’s paw. Careful what you wish for.

As she twists and moves through the routine, an audible creaking comes through her mic, like the sound of a ghost ship.

Now for the Eye Strengthener routine. Yogi Marlon briefly shows us a book that claims that you can improve your eyesight with yoga, so I guess that’s settled.

Apparently, you must gently press on your own eyeballs so that you may truly see. I politely decline.

Now, this one’s just silly.

The final bone-chilling session on this disc is intended for Osteo-therapy, as yoga poses involve using your own body as resistance. “Your body weight is always the right amount of weight for you to lift,” she asserts, and I support this philosophy, until she instructs us to lick our finger and dab our own saliva on our third eye. I use my safe word and exit the haunted house, but did I carry a part of it home with me?

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