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Newspaper Reviews

The Seattle Times
Videos on Review by Molly Martin

"Strong Bones Yoga"
Reviewed by Helen Zoerb

"This is a quiet, calming, soothing tape," said Zoerb, although some of the movements and holds can be endurance tests-"I had some screaming quadriceps the first time I worked out with it." Three approximately 20-minute workouts feature Viniyoga (described as a quiet, slow practice), along with resistance training focusing on the health and strength of the bones. Zoerb liked the music, narration, selection of resistance exercises and the low-key instructors who show two levels of intensity and use a chair, blanket and light (1 to 3 pound) to moderate (4 to 7 pound) hand weights. "The video was fun and interesting", she said, "but mostly calming and relaxing, and I will continue to do it."

Detroit Free Press, Tuesday Feb. 18, 2003

"Do Yoga for your bones"
Holly Hanson/Your Workout

3 practices focus on strength, balance

Exercise is an excellent way to maintain healthy bones, but there aren’t many exercise programs that make bone health the primary goal."Strong Bones Yoga" is the long-overdue exception.

Developed by Christine Dormaier, owner of a Seattle yoga studio, the program combines the familiar yoga poses with basic strength-training moves using hand weights. The hour long tape, which includes three 20-minute practices, is designed to build bone density, improve balance and increase upper-body strength.

Everyone can benefit from such a program, but the tape is clearly aimed at women who are more likely to suffer from bone loss and osteoporosis.

Because if its emphasis on yoga, the tape is more serene in mood than many tapes devoted to strength training and toning. The music is calming, the lighting soft. Dormaier even prefaces many of the instructions with the word "Please," making it almost seem like a request rather than a command.

Dormaier is an accomplished leader, giving clear instructions throughout. She also offers clear modifications of the more difficult moves, such as using a chair for support when needed, bending forward to touch the seat of a chair instead of the floor or performing certain moves without weights. These modifications are performed by the two women who exercise with her.

The three practices are efficiently organized. Each begins with a short warm-up focused on breathing, then moves into some yoga postures.

Weight training takes up most of the middle segment, with a cool-down and stretch at the end.

The first segment focuses on standing moves, including slow forward bends and a set of biceps curls performed while lunging.

The second segment begins with the exercisers seated on straight back chairs, performing forward bends while slowly circling the arms. This section also includes biceps curls and lateral raises, this time done seated.

The third section is done on the floor, with the exercisers stretched out on their backs. The abs get a workout with a series of leg raises performed with one knee bent and the other straight, lowering closer to the floor with each repetition. The strength-training moves are done lying down too, with exercisers on their sides. (Sounds great, doesn’t it?)

However, the need to maintain balance in this position adds an extra dimension, making this part of the workout more strenuous than it looks.

Though it’s easy to do the workout at home, it does require rather extensive equipment.

You’ll need a yoga mat (sometimes called a sticky mat), a straight-backed chair with no arms (the exercisers on the tape use metal folding chairs), a blanket (used to support the body on the floor and provide cushioning on the chair) and two sets of hand weights, 1-3 pounds and 4-7 pounds. If you are new to weight training, you can perform the tape with just the lighter set, but veterans will want both, especially because the routine calls for performing only eight reps of each move.

"Strong Bones Yoga" is not the most exciting tape in the world, but it is well-produced and thoughtfully done.

Organizing the programs into three segments offers lots of options, since you can do the practices individually or link them into longer routines. And the relaxed atmosphere should be especially welcoming to beginners.

Though the tape has its corny moments-at on point Dormaier urges the group to "acknowledge the gift of the practice to nourish your bones" - it certainly has its heart in the right place.

And it clearly has good bones.

Magazine Reviews

Yoga Journal February 2004

Strong Bones Yoga with Christine Dormaier

This new video is the brainchild of Christine Dormaier, a certified Viniyoga therapist who lives in Seattle. Her method is aimed at women 30 years and older, who can lose anywhere from 25 to an astounding 75 percent of their bone mass as they age.

Strong Bones Yoga is likely to be especially beneficial for women who smoke, have a family history of osteoporosis, lead a sedentary or high-stress lifestyle, or have poor eating habits. The sessions use both familiar yoga asanas and resistance or strength-training exercises(with pairs of handheld weights), sometimes combined, sometimes not. Dormaier claims that the work helps build bone density and prevent osteoporosis, increase overall strength without creating bulkiness, and improve balance, coordination, and flexibility. The presentation consists of three 20-minute sessions, which can be done separately or consecutively for an hour-long practice.

For the most part, the sessions progress from primarily free-standing or chair supported standing poses, to seated exercises, to reclining or side-lying floor exercises. As is typical of the Viniyoga method, the asanas are performed with slow, methodical, repetitive movements (usually eight repetitions) rather than being statically held: for example, in a modified Warrior Pose III, the front knee is bent and then straightened several times as the weight-bearing arms are simultaneously moved in various patterns.

Dormaier’s instructions are physically precise, with many cautions and reminders to breathe properly. I find the wording of her directions a bit indirect ("Let your knees be soft," "Come to sitting" - why not just say, "Soften your knees", or "Sit down"?), but I understand that such an instructional style is preferred in some of the gentler approaches to asanas. These sessions are well conceived and executed, and appropriate for women of the targeted age group who want a simple and moderate-yet effective- exercise program.

Catalog Reviews

Isabella Catalog:
Books & Gifts for Reawakening the Spirit

"Strong Bones Yoga"

As we women age, we need to keep our bones strong and healthy to avoid the danger of osteoporosis. In this video, Certified Viniyoga instructor and Yoga Therapist Christine Dormaier has created three twenty-minute workouts designed to build bone density and help prevent osteoporosis: increase overall body strength without adding bulk; improve balance, coordination and flexibility, and increase energy throughout the day. She combines easy –to-learn yoga postures with the use of small hand weights to create a series of dynamic, flowing routines that will benefit exercisers of all ages and abilities. It’s never too early to start ensuring your bone health for the future!

Library Journal December 2003

"Strong Bones Yoga"

As yoga continues to grow in popularity, so does the number of yoga videos. Strong Bones Yoga is a solid addition to any library. For those just beginning an exercise program, it is a good introduction to yoga and strength training. The weight work combined with yoga is also a valuable tool for women to combat osteoporosis. It is even appropriate for those who have never undertaken an exercise program before. There are no frills in this production, but the opening information is clear and concise, the participants are capable without intimidating, and Dormaier does an excellent job of instructing. The explanation of each position is thorough, and alternatives are offered for those less flexible. The moves stretch and work all parts of the body. The three 20-minute segments may be done each alone or in combination.

Video Librarian November 2003

“Strong Bones Yoga”

Developed by Christine Dormaier, "Strong Bones Yoga" presents three 20-minute routines that offer a combination of yoga poses and light hand-weight work (1-7lbs), performed with repetitions to build muscle and bone strength. The first routine concentrates mostly on standing, upper-body strengthening exercises; the second is largely built around chair-based exercises; and the final set is performed on floor mats-with all three sections easily combined into a complete hour-long workout. Viewers are encouraged to move with their breath, flow with slow steady action, and hold positions as in traditional yoga practice. For those unable to use weights or to bend completely for some of the poses, variations are demonstrated, but for viewers who can take full advantage of the workout routines, this program offers a winning combination of techniques allowing exercise enthusiasts to add simple and safe yoga and weight training features to their regular routines. Recommended!!!!