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This DVD is the latest release from Zayna Gold, owner of Boston Body Pilates and instructor of two prior fitness DVDs, Boston Body Barre and Boston Body Barre: Sculpt Express. In her Introduction to this newest video, Gold maintains that Healing through Movement is intended to provide healing by means of Pilates. She explains that because there are many nerves located in the spine, a healthy spine can aid in healthy digestion and thus impact common conditions such as Crohn's disease, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (which she refers to in the DVD as "IBD").
The Main Menu of this DVD offers options for "Play All" or "Select Chapter." The chapter options are as follows:
Cycle One: Upper Body
Cycle Two: Lower Body
Cycle Three: Full Body Workout
Healing through Movement Core Workout
For all of the workout segments, Gold is teaching live in the corner of a barre studio, and she is accompanied by two background exercisers. They use 2-pound weights for some of the sequences and mats for the core section. I have described each of the segments below, along with approximate times.
CYCLE ONE: UPPER BODY (12 minutes)
Gold and crew use 2-pound weights here for a series of basic upper body exercises. She moves slowly through overhead press, front raises, side raises, rear delt raises (which she called "rows"), bicep curls with optional balance, and triceps kickbacks.
CYCLE TWO: LOWER BODY (12 minutes)
This segment does not use weights. Gold again moves slowly through a series of traditional lower body exercises including wide pliés, squats, half lunge to knee up, and static lunge. She suggests repeating this set a second time on one's own.
CYCLE THREE: FULL BODY WORKOUT (8 minutes)
Here Gold again picks up the weights for combined upper and lower body exercises, including wide plié with overhead press, squat with front raise, side raise with balance, half lunge with rear delt raise, and full static lunge with bicep curl and then triceps kickbacks.
HEALING THROUGH MOVEMENT CORE WORKOUT (11 minutes)
This segment was the only section of the DVD that looked at all like Pilates. Gold begins lying on the mat for the Pilates "Series of 5." She performs highly modified versions of these exercises, but she is very difficult to follow, because 1) she does not mirror-cue to the viewer, and 2) her mat is placed perpendicular to the viewer, affording the viewer with a vantage of her feet only, thus making it very difficult to discern her exact movements. Gold follows with abs work on hands and knees (she notes that for those who have abdominal discomfort, it is important to work the abs in different positions), doing a version of the Pilates Hundred on all fours, and then also doing a version of the Hundred while in a forearm plank. She concludes with a very challenging series of knee dips while holding forearm plank.
If all the segments are performed together, this is a 43-minute workout, one that offers no warm-up or cool-down stretch. The subtitle "Pilates Head to Toe" is misleading, as only the Core section offers recognizable Pilates moves. Otherwise, Gold simply offers a basic total body strength workout at a beginner level. This may in fact be useful for those who have health limitations and are in need of a more gentle fitness regimen, but I see nothing here to benefit digestive conditions in particular.
Link: Boston Body Pilates
© 2013 Beth Cholette
Beth Cholette, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to college students.