It’s time for the summer class releases from Les Mills – including the stunning Body Balance release 61.
If you live in Scotland you will know the joke that “summer is the best day of the year.” Well this year we have had a glorious summer with clear blue skies and hot sun. I find great weather combined with the usual holiday season reduces class numbers considerably.
But not in Body Balance. Not this year. Classes remain packed. This is a testament to the continued excellent quality of the releases.
And Body Balance release 61 is yet another excellent class. It’s challenging, flows beautifully and once again has a great soundtrack.
So let’s have a look at the tracks.
Tai Chi Warm Up (Paris): This is a lovely opener. Delerium’s music suits Body Balance so well and this track is angelic and heavenly. I like the way that we build up the Tai Chi moves layering more flowing arms lines and finishing with the archer and circling of the arms. Even though the words are in French I find that I want to sing along.
Sun Salutations (Where Have You Been):They’ve added Sun Warrior pose into the sun salutation this time and it’s an obvious fit. Whilst I like the music when I listen to it on its own I am not sure it works for sun salutations. It doesn’t work for me for some reason.
Standing Strength (Try): I’ve always thought that “rockier” tracks suit the standing strength tracks and Pink’s Try works well here. Nice to see triangle pose back again and I like the transition straight to extended warrior. I would have preferred to stay in the poses for longer but the music requires quick changes. Some participants have found twisted warrior one pose quite hard.
Towards the end there is a simply dreadful musical edit with silence for a moment which causes people to stop and look around confused. I know there are often issues with editing original artists music but that is a real hack.
Balance (Forever): I love the flow and the grace in this balance track. Dove wing hands, lovers hands, switching from eagle, to tree, to star and finally to warrior three is beautiful and surprisingly challenging. I’ve seen many wobbles from people during this sequence. And it’s always good to see dancer’s pose appear in the class.
This music was the cool down in the last Body Pump release and I have listened to it for the last 3 months waiting outside for my Body Combat class. It feels as if I’ve done this one for longer than I have.
Hip openers (Diamonds): For a man, cow face pose is not the easiest yoga position to get into. You only need to listen to Doctor Dave going on about the need to “re-arrange yourself” or “make adjustments” to understand why. On the DVD for Body Balance release 61 they teach us a new way of getting into cow face pose. For the first time in nearly ten years of doing Body Balance I can do it perfectly. And without hurting my bits either!
Core abs (Can’t hold us): Is this the hardest abs track ever? I’m sure I’ve said that before but this one hurts. Don’t those hovers with the knee drops look easy but then start to hurt after you’ve only done about four? On my launch weekend I taught this twice on a Saturday morning. When I went to teach it again the following day my abs were so sore I had to cheat. This is a track that gets results. Great music and savage exercises.
Core back (Lights): After the storm we have some calm. Cobras, upward facing dogs and some slow leg raises (which are deceptive and again created a real ache in the glutes for me the first few times I did this) and one of my favourites, bridge pose. I’m glad on this occasion that they decided not to take bridge higher to a full back bend. This was challenging enough after that core abs track.
Twists (Clouds): Short and sweet I like the twisted downward facing dogs. People have such a pained look on their faces in this pose.
Forward bends/hamstrings 1 (Summertime Sadness): What a great piece of music. And we spend a very long time in various versions of a wide legged forward bend with an added twist. What a great long stretch we get from these poses. Great to sing along to despite being upside down.
Forward bends/hamstrings 2 (Lost): A slower tempo and quiet contemplative music allows us to sit on the floor and take ourselves slowly through a gentle, last, sequence of forward bends. After this we are certainly ready for some relaxation.
Relaxation/Meditation (This is Our Tale): We finish with a lovely calming piece of music which sounds to me live waves lapping up on the shore.
Jackie and Diana Mills have given us another stunning Body Balance class. I am enjoying teaching this and the feedback from my participants has been a great big thumbs up.
Your turn: Do you agree with my review of Body Balance release 61? Do you think it is challenging enough. What are your views on the core abs track? Is it the hardest ever? Please leave a comment or post a link to your own reviews.