Thursday, May 21, 2009

Getting in Touch with my Feminine Side

I have felt guilty not working out the last few days, despite riding my bike to work and back- it's finally nice enough to do that. Well, OK discounting the gale force winds and light rain...still, nice enough (no snow is enough for now - been a cold spring).

On holidays I swung by a few bellydance studios in Toronto looking for cool swag (there're no bellydance stores here) and other than a cool coin chain belt for dancing and a neat sword for learning balancing and dancing, at the Dark Rythm Studio (run by a costudent of my tribal teacher) near Kensington market I picked up a new workout DVD. I should have gotten a few more DVDs and a nice hip scarf while I was there, but it had been 3 days of a whole lot of seeing things and shopping and I tend to burn out after a while and not get anything at all...but I couldn't pass this DVD up.

The DVD had been recommended to me by my tribal teacher as a good workout, with bellydance based movements - the Fat Chance Bellydance studios Woman Power Workout DVD. I checked the length on it yesterday (~70 min) and skimmed it while having breakfast so I could get up today armed with weights and a veil to try it. Although I do have a few issues with the camera work (occasionally it's more arty than instructional so you can't see what the ladies are doing with all their limbs) it *is* a good workout. There is a beginning stretch and warm up and then the workout is broken down into 12-15 minute chunks - one is a bellydance based cardio part, one is a veil workout with lots of arm work and one part is a strength and toning workout where you use either a resistance band and pole or free weights in comnibation with squats and lunges to work your major muscle groups. There is also a cool down stretch out portion at the end where the stretches are based on traditional indian dance poses...neat.
Over all I liked this DVD, but it is definitely not for a beginner. If you had not taken a tribal bellydance class before, this DVD would be very frustrating, because although she gives verbal cues of what moves come up next, if you don't know how to do them, you're out of luck. You would just have to watch and learn and hope you have the right technique for the cardio part, though the other sections are pretty self explanitory. Other DVDs I've gotten from places like Dance New York have an intro section on their DVDS where they go over the moves and teach them to you before putting them all together into a routine or workout-I think this DVD just assumes you have either taken classes or you have their 2 instructional technique DVDs (which I've been told are very good teaching tools) and have learned the basics first.
It *is* a remarkably good workout though. The cardio bit is fun, and the strengthening portion is a good workout...I could feel it in my arms and legs by the time it was done. The veil stuff was fun , altho I will have to tuck my cats away next time - they like the veil a bit too much and got in the way. The cool down was interesting as some of the poses were really beautiful, but most of the poses are new to me, so I'll have to do it a few more times before I feel at ease in them. Not as good a stretchout as other workouts, but sufficient. A few more times through the whole DVD should give me the familiarity I need to get the moves right, and not feel so fumbly...I can feel that I used my muscles - particularly my butt, back and upper arms. Good stuff. It is nice to have a choice of DVDs to go through to change up the workouts...

Now? After some cereal and a bike to work, it's time to get to it. Bye :)

2 comments:

Scrumpy's Baker said...

When are we going to get to see a picture of you dancing with a sword on your head?

(Loved the bacon grafitti too!)

Zhoen said...

Fat Chance are, or were, a terrific troupe, seen them a couple of times.

There's a story about their name.