CRUNCH SUPER SLIM DOWN PILATES YOGA BLEND

2006, $1.49, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: That sounds like the most delicious smoothie recipe ever.

Second Impression: Yes, I will take a shot of wheat grass!

This is the instructor, Ellen Barrett:

She wears pink and purple at the same time. I can respect that.

As she makes her introduction, the class attendees engage in performative hugging in the background. So friendly! Don’t you wish you were their friend, too? 

If you’re looking for yoga woo woo, this isn’t the video for you. Sometimes you want all the flute tootling and the incense and the encouragement of your “inner light,” and sometimes you want the teacher to bark orders in her chirpy voice, underscored by mild rock music.

By the way, how does she get her hair to do that? If I cut my hair that short, it looks more like this:

Ellen Barrett has us circle our arms around “like you’re tracing the full moon with those arms.”  OK, that’s just a hint of yoga woo. But it’s also somewhat Halloween-themed, so I’m on board.

We squat with some Zig-Zag Reaching:

This is exercise! Reaching is exercise now.  You know, I’m not mad at it.

The music switches up to a sexy saxophone riff, a lazy knockoff of Wham’s Careless Whisper. We transition to the aptly named “Little Piece of Heaven” as she directs us to stretch all the way back to release our sacrums:

And what’s more fun than Can-Can floor kicks?

Whee! “You are now an official Crunch Superstar,” Ellen Barrett declares. My little cat agrees:

She’s completely worn out from watching me Yoga Blend for 42 minutes, and will require a nap to recover.

The level of difficulty in this video is exactly right. Sometimes I attempt one of those “rip it, bro” faux-bootcamp workouts, and all the flailing around just makes me irritated. 

After this routine I have the satisfaction of accomplishing something within my reach, and the next day I can feel all the muscles I’ve worked.  To sum up, way better for you than eating a bag of Funyons on the couch, and more enjoyable than an uphill noonday hike surrounded by loud talkers.

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