Green Girl Disclaimer: The Green Girl is not a fan of yoga but she is a huge fan of Jillian Michaels.
After the Green Girl's break-up with yoga, she was thrilled when her Snowboarding Buddy gave her a copy of the Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown DVD for her birthday earlier this year.
My first impression of Level 1 of the DVD was that you need to have enough yoga experience to be able to perform the poses without guidance because Jillian offers little in the way of pose instruction. I'm also used to a lot more emphasis on breathing from the instructor during yoga sessions.
Instead of defaulting to Downward Dog as the resting pose, Jillian had us start and end the sequences with Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
I learned a new and much more challenging variation of Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) from this DVD. Jillian had us start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), raise our arms overhead in Urdhva Hastasana (Raised Hands Pose), gently arch our back, lean forward with a flat back, bend forward head to knees, lunge, plank, Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose) slowly with a hold, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog), Downward Dog, lunge, head to knees, straighten with arms overhead, gently arch our back, and return to Tadasana.
I was also introduced to two new poses: Ushtra-asana (Camel Pose) and
Advadanta Sirsasana (Dolphin Poses). I was not able to touch both my hands to my ankles at the same time for the Camel Pose so instead, I sat in Virasana (Hero Pose).
When Jillian had us move into Locust Pose (Salabhasana), I knew this DVD was made for me. I have a strong core but a weak back. I'm tired after a single Locust Pose.
The pose I struggled with the most was Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose). I was able to alternate from side to side but my weak right wrist was unable to hold the pose for an extended period of time. I tore the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) in my right wrist a few years ago and it never fully recovered.
When Jillian had us do Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose), I was sold. I struggle with insanely tight hip flexors and Pigeon Pose is my friend.
I won't move onto Level 2 until I feel I have sufficiently mastered Level 1.
In conclusion, I would not recommend this DVD to a yoga first-timer because I think it's important to have some level of familiarity with the poses before following Jillian's routine. I feel Jillian's target audience for this video are people like me who know they should be doing some yoga but find traditional methods slow and/or frustrating. For someone with limited flexibility and a strong core, this is a great workout.