Video Fitness

Yoga Tune Up: Tension Tune Down Series

Jill Miller

This is a multi-CD set that continues on the same path as Jill's previous release, Tension Tune Down: Upper Back and Neck. Each CDs includes a sheet of clear photos of the different positions and exercises, but also some simple anatomical illustrations to help you understand where those balls are going. I like the way the series provides context and direction for understanding how your body works through both illustration and sensation. I admit that Iím quite taken with this series. If you have no curiosity about the form and function specifics of your body it might not be a good fit though. And it does take some practice to get the positions/coordination down.

The routines are all short Ė no more than 20 min.

You can buy the the CDs individually, or as a set and with or without the balls. If you don't already have them, I'd get the balls.

Specifics on the CDs:

Hips/Buttock: an eploration of the entire area. What makes her ball work unique (as far as I can tell from my own outer ball experiences) is that, in addition to the therapeutic/massage aspects of the work, you're also learning to pinpoint boney prominences and major muscles in the area you're working with -- on your own body. This CD in particular gives you a three dimensional picture of a very complex structure.

Rotator Cuff : I tried this one for the first time to prepare for a backbend practice. Most of the work is on your back with the balls on the shoulder blade, with a little bit of supine stuff with the balls just under the clavicle. I'm reminded of my clay anatomy workshops -- after building the muscles on the skeleton armatures we'd work with those same areas on ourselves with balls.

Lower Back: exploration of the quadratus lumborum with some attention to the erector spinae as well. Youíll certainly learn where your QL is from this practice Ė itís an in depth tour by ball of the whole muscle, incorporating abdominal strength to anteriorly and exteriorly tilt the pelvis

Mini Series, plus Calves and Feet Bonus: a compilation of samples of the other 3 routines. I thought it was perhaps a superfluous purchase for me, until I got to the calves & feet segment. I loved it. Iíve done a lot of footwork with tennis balls in yoga class but this short sequence seemed to have a real difference. Some of that comes from the quality of the balls (which work far better on the feet than tennis balls: smaller and gripier) but also the way the calf and full sole of the foot are incorporated makes for maximum effect. I can also see using the sampler for a quick full body rejuvenator.

Instructor comments: According to her bio, Jill Miller has a 23 year background in yoga and other movement study. She obviously knows her stuff and presents it with intelligence, humor and insight. Her language is clear, direct and to the point.

Her verbal cues and pointers are excellent.

Sharon Frost (aka SharonNYC)
April 22, 2009.