Bethenny does yoga, her way

If you squint, you can see Bethenny Frankel of Bravo's "Real Housewives" fame on the left. To the right is a yoga teacher (and apparently model) named Kristin McGee. I don't claim to have standards when it comes to television -- "Jersey Shore" and "The City" are DVR staples  -- but I can't get into "Real Housewives," to the disappointment of one of my friends. She very badly wants me to love the show, but I don't, so she is instead trying to convert me to the brand of Bethenny.

It's working, sort of. I like Bethenny's website and tips on healthy eating. I watched half an episode of her new show, "Bethenny Getting Married." I'm oddly enamoured by her personal story and the way she spells her name. And I did her yoga DVD, "Body by Bethenny with Bethenny Frankel."

My Bethenny-loving friend is new to yoga, so I helped her with confusing poses. Because despite Bethenny's supposedly helpful subtitles -- "Warrior Three: Hamstring and lowback strengthener" -- her yoga was not accessible for newbies. The video is set up as a class, with Kristin "teaching" Bethenny, a long-time practitioner with fairly good form, a flow series. Kristin's yoga is hard, like intermediate hard. The level makes it easier for Bethenny to play the part of friend, chatting up her favorite pose (triangle), suggesting bring-your-boob-to-your-knee asana, and showing a few modifications. I could have used even more. Kristin dives right in with upward dog, with no discussion of a standard modification, low cobra, until Bethenny shows it to us. Kristin moves on speedily through some warrior series, including this flow:  chair -> warrior 1 -> warrior 2 -> reverse warrior -> triangle -> warrior 2 -> forward bend -> pyramid -> warrior 3 -> half moon -> standing split. Not easy at all.

We broke a sweat in the 55-minute DVD. Bethenny utters some very yogic themes, such as "You can't have an ego about yoga." There also are a couple of odd choices, like doing back bends after core, in reverse of the order intended to help neutralize your back post-back bend. Kristin does nothing new or earth-shattering in teaching technique or her flow, although I suppose that would steal too much thunder from Bethenny, our real yogi star. Still, I've gotta give the housewife credit for spreading the gospel of yoga, even if it did introduce some cringe-inducing, aerobics-style attitude. It can't even come close to ranking among great yoga videos, but it's not supposed to. Rating: C-


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I agree with Bethenny's choice to have a video that doesn't work for newbies. My boss, Leeann Carey, believes that yoga should be accessible to everyone. She has a free yoga video on half moon pose that your readers could benefit from: http://planetyoga.com/yoga-blogs/index.php/free-yoga-video-pose-breakdown-of-half-moon-pose/

Googlover/keishua said...

Oh, Bethenny. She is one of my fav RH. I can understand not getting into it though, all the cattiness can get old.

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