Now that’s what I call music.
Like an edition of the long running hit single compilation albums, NOW, Les Mills has packed Body Balance release 68 with current chart smashes.
Top artists like Maroon 5, Sia, Ella Henderson and Beyoncé go with our Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi moves. In the past Body Balance has showcased lesser known bands like Conjure One, Delerium and Sleepthief. Perhaps this is the most “hit” oriented playlist we’ve ever had.
So what about the work out and the moves that go with the music. Let’s have a look at the tracks (and you can click on the songs to see them on Amazon)
Tai Chi Warm Up – Tessellate – Borderline Snake
Tai Chi Warm Up – It Was Always You – Maroon 5
First time we’ve seen a double dose of Tai Chi and it’s glorious. Tessellate is a calm reflective song with gorgeous slow movements, swing and wrap arms and weight shifting to warm our legs. The more upbeat song by Maroon 5 introduces the Starburst move, a beautiful expressive sequence that makes people smile. We move quicker to the beat here complete our warm up.
Sun Salutations – Of The Night – Bastille
Doctor Dave says on the instructors masterclass video that this Sun salutations is “deconstructed”. You’ll have heard this term on cookery shows like Masterchef. A deconstructed cheesecake for example doesn’t appear on a plate as a traditional slice. The biscuit base, cheese and topping appear in separate heaps.
It’s the same here. Rather than the usual flow of poses linked together that make up the traditional yoga Sun Salutations, they’ve presented the moves separately. We do each move on its own several times. For yoga purists this will appear clunky. It’s an interesting change though and allows us to explore the moves differently.
An interesting experiment but I do prefer the “proper” Sun Salutation. I guess that makes me a yoga purist then.
Standing Strength – Elastic Heart – Sia
Standing Strength – Glow – Ella Henderson
A couple of strong strength tracks with interesting flows between the warrior poses. I like the way we revisit some of the Tai Chi moves from the warm up at the end of Glow. It makes a release feel complete when themes and moves recur. We also see the Tiger Pose from the Sun Salutations later in the Core Back too. Excellent class design from Jackie and Diana here.
Balance – Life Of The Party – Shawn Mendes
A catchy tune combined with deceptively tough balances. Staying on tip toes throughout Angel Pose and Diver’s pose presents a challenge of strength as well as balance. And Diver’s provides an intense stretch to your hamstrings.
Hip Openers – Budapest – George Ezra
Down on the floor for Hip Openers, we begin with Frog Pose. Always an intense stretch. From can take you right to the boundary between pleasure and pain. I like to take people right to the edge but hold short of crossing over.
Core Abs – Come Get It Bae – Pharell Williams
After the super short Core Abs track in the last release I was expecting a longer abdominal workout this time round. Turns out it’s another short one however but tough especially the second round of endless Oblique Curls. Finger clicking adds fun but I have to admit to forgetting to offer this option. And I’m a fan of cheesy moves.
Keep your lower back pressing into the floor during all the moves with particular focus during the Pilates Seal Claps. Feel it in your abs not your legs.
Core Back – Don’t be Gone Too Long – Chris Brown
Two Core Back tracks and the first offers a better workout. We combine Bridge Pose with Kneeling Side Hover crunches and Thread The Needle for an energetic sequence. When we finally get to the Bridge with Leg Raise Pose fatigue threatens to set in. I find few people take the option for the full back bend at this point.
In the second song we explore Single Leg Plank to Crocodile Pose. You expect to feel the effects in your arms but actually experience a burn in the glutes.
Twists – Pretty Hurts – Beyoncé
Once again Twists seem to turn people’s brains into much. All concept of right and left, front and back disappear. Instruct the, to twist to the front and they’ll twist to the back. Coach them to reach with the right arm and they’ll reach with the left. Perhaps it’s because we do the moves side on to the front of the room?
Another catchy song and a delicious combination of Twisted Down Dogs, Twisted Lunges and the last exquisite Twisted Pyramid Pose.
Forward Bends Hamstrings – Let It Be Me – Ray Montagne
A mellow Forward Bends song with a jazz blues feel and the physical pace calms down in trying to lull and stretch us into the relaxation phase. We have plenty of time to explore deep stretches and experience the new Turtle Pose. A beautiful end to the physical work in this class.
Relaxation/Meditation – Angels of Victory – Aeoliah
After all that pop music Angels of Victory, a gentle instrumental with soothing piano and flute sounds, invites us to focus our attention on the breath and to relax and take stock after working so hard for the last 50 minutes.
One of the best Body Balance releases for a while, 68’s overdose on chart hits and challenging but achievable moves is a winner. Whilst the focus on hit songs is welcome I hope Jackie and Diana treat us to some more lesser known artists in future classes. Where, for example, is the next Conjure One?
Now it’s your turn:
Do you agree with my Review of Les Mills Body Balance release 68? Do you like the music list? Please leave a comment or post a link to your own review. If you enjoyed this article please share it with your friends.