I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of Bethenny Frankel’s new workout DVD from the kind people at Acacia Lifestyle. Bethenny’s Skinnygirl Workout – coming out in September – is a follow up to Frankel’s previous DVD Body by Bethenny. Both are yoga based, though I haven’t done the first one so I can’t comment much about that. Because I am in no way a yogi, I begged my friend Kadi to join me and lend me her very extensive yoga expertise for this session.
I can safely say that I am a huge fan of the Real Housewives franchise. Though Bethenny isn’t my favorite housewife (I’m looking at you Manzo and Vanderpump), my interest was piqued enough to give this one a whirl. Especially since she’s piggy-backed this new workout onto her whole Skinnygirl Empire. Has anyone tried that margarita mix? Let me know how it is.
You’ll need a yoga mat for this one and that’s it. The DVD comes out September 12th exclusively at Target.
Bethenny starts us off with a few words of wisdom. She doesn’t believe in expensive trainers. And she doesn’t like people yelling at her (sorry, Jillian). She does say this workout is what she does to stay in shape and is how she lost the baby weight (I know, I know – what baby weight?) The workout is divided into three segments less than twenty minutes each and Bethenny says that each segment tones your entire body. So do all three if you have time, or just throw in one when you can.
Luckily for us, Bethenny is not at the helm of this workout but is being led by a very congenial NYC-based yoga instructor named Michael. Michael was pretty good; even Kadi thought so. Though I have to say, if you have never done yoga before, this is not the workout for you. They immediately go into poses without any explanations of the pose, the correct form, etc. And there are many times when Michael instructs us to “Now move here. And do this. Great.” These vague instructions aren’t very helpful when you’re staring at your mat in Down Dog. I kept hurting my neck craning to look at the TV. This would probably be helped if you’ve done the workout a few times and knew the sequence of poses.
Like all good yoga sessions, this one ends on your back in Savasana pose, which is always my favorite part. There is also a bonus stretching section and the DVD come with some recipes from Bethenny’s cookbook The Skinnygirl Dish.
The Bottom Line
All in all, this was an okay yoga workout. Some of the poses were tough for me and I felt a bit sore the next day. Some were just awkward as they weren’t explained clearly so I wasn’t sure if what I was doing was even correct. And Bethenny, God love her, isn’t exactly who I would turn to for a fulfilling yoga practice. I do think that yoga is a great way to add variety to your workout routine but I much prefer classes with a live instructor to help me along the way.
Kadi mostly agreed with me, confirming that this is not a good workout for beginners. And she wasn’t thrilled with this DVD being touted as a weight loss regimen. In her words: “I felt that the DVD was a poor example of why yoga can be helpful both physically and mentally. Treating yoga as a weight loss method is counter-intuitive and can ultimately be physically dangerous to a new practitioner.” She cited specific examples like when Bethenny instructed us to squeeze our butts during bridge pose. This is a big yoga no-no as you’re not supposed to be using your glutes at all in that pose.
So if you’re looking to try yoga for the first time, go find a local class. But if you just happen to really like Bethenny, give The Skinnygirl Workout a try. Personally, I was not born a skinny girl and don’t see this workout being my entire repertoire. But everyone is different and having spent a few seasons with Jill Zarin and Kelly Bensimon, I can see why Bethenny would need a little yoga retreat.
I just want to remind you readers that I am not a fitness expert. Nor am I affiliated with Bethenny or any weight loss person/method etc. I’m just a girl trying to fit into my back to school wardrobe. From 1996.