‘Women can’t ski’ gloated the young man in the ski lift as we trundled up across the Arapahoe Basin.
At that moment, I felt like going Rhonda Rhousey on him and doing a Samoan drop right there.
But in hindsight, I should’ve probably listened to his advice.
To give you some perspective, I am Margaret, a 35-year old British National, currently working in the United States.
And like a lot of other British families, I decided that Christmas eve last year was the right time to go for what would be my maiden skiing trip (definitely the last one too).
It was easy to see why people thronged to the Ski resorts. It was heaven.
The alpine woods, like a bright spot of green amidst an ocean of white, the sparkling blue sky, the crisp winter air smothering your face with freshness.
That was until I got into Ski mode.
The first thing that hit me was how heavy (and downright uncomfortable) the clothes were. I felt like Matt Damon from the space movie.
Jenna, my woman Friday and a veteran skier as she called herself had promised to keep me safe. She took me to what according to her was a ‘green run’ or a beginners’ slope.
It certainly didn’t look any different from the other slopes around me. But hey, I was the rookie here.
So, I strapped on the horrendous plastic contraptions that they call skis and down the slope I went with Jenna right behind me.
In the beginning, I could see young kids whiz past me at what seemed like the speed of light.
Then all of a sudden, there were wings on my back. I was going a lot faster than I expected to.
I called out to Jenna. No response. No Jenna.
Panic struck and I looked around, desperately for some assistance. Hell, I just wanted the damn thing to stop.
Suddenly, I hit something. And I blacked out.
- 1 The Twisted Knee
- 2 The Weight Gain
- 3 The Random Advices and Yoga
- 4 Yoga Burn Challenge Review: My Experience
- 5 The 3 Phases of Yoga Burn:
- 6 Why everything about the Yoga Burn Challenge is perfect
- 7 What were my results with the 12-week Yoga Burn Challenge?
- 8 My Results: Before & After Picture
- 9 Yoga Burn Discounts & Coupon Code
- 10 Transform Your Body and Your life
The Twisted Knee
The spinning head, the excruciating pain, the podgy French tourist trying to speak to me, everything seems to be a blur after that.
Two weeks later, I was nursing a badly sprained knee at home.
Doctors said that I was extremely lucky to have not broken my femur, which apparently are extremely common with skiers.
This was a sprain in the Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Was it any better than breaking my leg? I didn’t know, cause it was excruciatingly painful.
So much so for the perfect ski destination for people of all ages. Sigh!
Jenna didn’t dare show me her face for the two weeks after the incident.
I forgave her after that. (With secret plans to take her to a bear-infested trail in British Columbia and abandon her there.)
The doctors had predicted that the knee would recover in about 4-weeks.
It took 14-weeks for me to get back on my foot. 20 to start walking normally without the help of crutches.
As I lay on the bed for the next five months, all I did was eat and watch TV.
And as I stood and watched myself in that mirror, I nearly broke down.
The Weight Gain
I wouldn’t call myself an athlete. I am far from it. But I like to keep myself active.
The everyday walk and an occasional run were my way of staving off those extra calories.
But as I stepped on the weighing scale, I was in for the shock of my life. I had gained 28-pounds. And I looked like a blubbery mass of cellulite.
The jean-hugging curves were replaced by formlessness. Hell, I couldn’t get into any of my jeans in the first place.
Desperation hit me as I walked into the plus-sized clothing aisle. I have nothing against being a little stout. But this just wasn’t me.
And I decided that it was time to get back into shape.
The Random Advices and Yoga
Since running was out of the question, I had to figure out other ways to get into shape.
Then, the random (worthless) advices began.
’28 pounds is nothing Marge’
‘Why don’t you try HIIT?’
‘Walk. Swim. Do anything’
‘You’ve got to restrict calories. No other way to lose weight’
‘Why don’t you try OMAD (One meal a day)?’
‘You are just holding water’
I was almost on the verge of a mental breakdown when Lorraine, a fitness instructor and my schoolmate asked me to try Yoga.
For a moment, it felt like the only sane advice.
Yoga was a holistic way of fitness and healing. At least that’s what I had heard and read about it.
So, after googling for an eternity, I found a home workout program called ‘The Yoga Burn’.
It seemed godsend.
The website claims that the program is ‘Helping Women Get Lighter, Healthier and Happier’
I was all set to find out whether those claims hold any water.
Yoga Burn Challenge Review: My Experience
The Yoga Burn Challenge is a progressive Yoga workout plan designed by ‘Zoe Bray Cotton’, a certified Yoga Instructor based in the United States.
It is one of those follow-along styled programs where you can play the video and follow the instructions.
I googled to find more information about ‘Zoe Bray Cotton’ and found her twitter account.
It’s flooded with pics of her pulling some amazing Yoga poses off. To be honest, it all seemed a bit overwhelming.
Could I really do this?
But I really had nothing to lose. So I nudged ahead one step at a time.
Also, the fact that I was going to be dealing with a real live person was reassuring.
The last thing that I needed was one of those cookie cutter programs with nobody to back it up.
As advised by Lorraine, I stripped down to my skivvies and clicked pictures from all angles so that I could cross check this at a later stage.
The 3 Phases of Yoga Burn:
The way the program progresses is called ‘Dynamic Sequencing’ because it goes through three stages of incrementally difficult workouts.
So you can start with the easiest phase, continue with it for as long as you’d like and then move to the next stage. Well, technically each phase has to be performed for only 4-weeks. But I stuck to one of the phases for almost 7-weeks.
I really liked this, as it is like progressive overload in weight training. By the time your body gets adapted to the workout, you are moving on to a more difficult one.
More stimulus equals to growth.
The Foundational Flow
The first phase is called ‘The Foundation Flow’, and as the name suggests, it is the phase where you build the foundation for your entire 12-week journey.
For me, this was undoubtedly the most important phase as I’d never done Yoga before.
It introduced me to some of the core moves or ‘aasanas’ as they’re called. But they started with the most basic ones and I took my own sweet time adjusting to it.
It is a set of 3x 45-minute videos along with one bonus video.
As I got started, the first thing that I noticed was how stiff some of my muscles had become. The hamstrings in particular were like a rock. I just couldn’t manage to keep my feet on the ground for the ‘Downward dog’.
Also, getting the right posture and holding it for the entire duration of the movement was a challenge.
But after a week or so of struggling, things started to fall into place. I was able to perform the basic moves easily.
Nevertheless, I decided to extend this phase by 2-3 weeks until I felt confident enough to move on to the next one.
I must also mention that Zoe speaks at length about the mind-body connection over here. For rookie Yoga practitioners like me, it is very important that you understand this part of Yoga.
It is believed that performing the postures in the right way alters the chemicals in your brain, increasing the secretion of serotonin. You feel better, relaxed and calm at mind.
And as unbelievable as that sounds, it actually did affect me in a positive way.
The restlessness and irritability that I had prior to starting the program slowly faded away. Instead, I was feeling more energetic all day.
My mood had improved. I was looking forward to the workout videos.
The weight loss though, was nothing great in the first 7-weeks.
My arms and legs were looking more toned. That was the only take away. But I was in this for the long run.
The Transitional Flow
The second phase is called the ‘Transitional Flow’, which is like a step-up from the first phase. As the name suggests, it’s like a transition from the foundational phase to the Mastery phase.
During this phase, the workouts start to get slightly more difficult.
However, if you spend your time on the foundational flow like I did, you should be able to adapt to this pretty easily.
The poses are divided into three sets, Upper body, Lower Body and Core.
And this is when it starts to feel like a real workout routine. You will be performing the moves fast and you will be transitioning from one move to the other without taking too much rest.
Your heart rate shoots up, you will be sweating like hell and your metabolism is revved up.
The core workouts in particular were the absolute bees-knees. I couldn’t walk straight for three days due to the soreness in the abs.
The transitional phase is to be performed for 4-weeks. And after the first week, where I lollygagged a little, I started to perform the poses intensely.
By the end of the third week, I had definitely lost weight. I was so eager to complete the four weeks and click pictures to run comparisons.
I went full steam in week-4.
What’s amazing about Yoga is that I didn’t even feel the slightest bit of pain despite coming from a serious injury. I have read and heard numerous horror stories about people tearing their ligaments while performing HIIT.
Yoga Burn is completely safe for your joints despite being an intense cardiovascular workout.
At the end of week-4, I hopped on to the weighing scale and there it was. The magic number. I had lost 5 lbs.
And then I clicked the pics. I had lost most of the weight around my thighs and my arms. Also, my face looked leaner.
The mandatory Instagram Face Gains Pic? Check!
The belly area was still a problem though.
The Mastery Flow
The last one is the ‘Mastery Flow’, which is full blown HIIT performed Yoga style.
This phase is where most of the magic happens.
It is fast, intense and serious. But if you worked your way through the first two phases, I see no reason why you cannot perform the exercises in this phase pretty easily.
Once again, there are three videos and a bonus Pose Tutorials video where you have detailed instructions for performing 21-poses. If you are struggling with your form or your posture on one of the poses, then this is where you can spot and correct it.
Oh, almost forgot to mention that you can mix and match these videos until you hit your weight loss goals.
The exercises are divided into upper, lower and core again.
But the poses are designed and aligned in such a way that your arms, your thighs and your core muscles get a phenomenal workout every time you perform these.
Also, the exercises are repetitive. You will perform a bunch of exercises and repeat them. And do it again and again, until you can’t do them anymore.
I read somewhere complain about this phase saying that it didn’t have variety. I don’t see that as a biggie.
I was looking leaner, feeling stronger, feeling happier and losing weight. I’d cock a snook at variety and live with it.
By the time I ended the fourth week of the Mastery flow, I was close to my pre-ACL sprain weight.
The pics really blew my mind. I was definitely looking more musclular than what I’d ever been in my life. My biceps were peeping out. The cellulite on the thighs had almost disappeared.
My stomach was still holding on to a wee bit of fat. But I was sure that one more round of the Yoga Burn would torch that away.
Why everything about the Yoga Burn Challenge is perfect
I must admit that when I started the Yoga Burn Challenge workout, my knowledge about Yoga was limited to what I’d heard or read or seen in the media.
But my experience with the program was so amazing, that I decided to make it a lifestyle change.
Oh yes, I am a Yogini for life. And here’s why.
It is perfect for beginners: Zoe has designed the perfect program for beginners. At no point does it seem overwhelming or too difficult. That’s despite having some really challenging moves.
You can customize it: Despite it being a 12-week program, I extended it to 17-weeks. Do you know why? Because that’s what worked for me. Nothing is written in stone. You can customize the program to your liking and take your own time with each phase.
It’s just 15-minute workouts three times a week: Oh yes. We know that the workouts are 45-minutes ones. But these are short 15-minute blurbs that you play thrice. So, one set of 15-minute exercises performed thrice back to back. On some days, I was short of time and I couldn’t perform it for the entire 45-minute duration. Guess what? It didn’t affect my progress. I would do 10-minutes less. On other days, when I was feeling up to the task, I would increase it to an hour. It’s fine. And you are free to perform any activity on the rest of the days. So, I would take a walk or cycle for an hour. You are not bound five days of the week to the program.
It eases your mind: The relaxed vibe of Yoga that almost flows for the entire length of the workout eases your mind. It made me calmer, happier and more energetic. I was getting anxiety attacks prior to starting this because of the 20 lbs. that I had gained. Not anymore.
It is easy on your joints: The Yoga Burn Challenge is as good as an HIIT workout. But is so easy on your joints that even someone who’s overweight can perform the moves without the risk of injury. If you have been asked to refrain from exercising because of niggling injuries, you might want to give this a shot.
Zoe is always available: One of the best aspects of the Yoga Burn Challenge is that you can always reach out to Zoe Bray-Cotton. She’s one of the friendliest persons that I have ever spoken to. She’s approachable and always ready to help you with a smile. Whenever I felt low or demotivated, Zoe was there to guide me.
What were my results with the 12-week Yoga Burn Challenge?
Coming from a long rest and recuperation period following the ACL tear, I didn’t have too many expectations from it.
At best, I hoped that it would help me shed some of the kilos that I had gained during the resting phase.
But the Yoga Burn Challenge completely transformed my life.
Here are the results that I gained from it.
My body became toned. I am more muscular.
My flexibility has improved by miles. My muscles are no long as stiff as they used to be. I can perform stretches. I no longer have sore neck muscles from staring on the computer screen all day.
I am more positive. My outlook towards life has changed. I am happier. More energetic.
The mind body connection has really helped change my outlook towards fitness.
My Results: Before & After Picture
Transform Your Body and Your life
The best part? I am heading skiing again next month. Only this time, I will be taking it head on.
Bring it on!
Go for the Yoga Burn Challenge girls. I can’t recommend it enough. Am sure you won’t regret it.