Yoga Booty Ballet: Yes, it’s ridiculous as it sounds.

I really like infomercials. Whenever I'm depressed about life, or money, or whatever, a good informercial perks me right up. Everyone is so happy about the merchandise they just bought! Everyone is healthier, more physically fit, richer, prettier, warmer (in the case of the Snuggie), and has a stomach full of meat (in the case of the Showtime Rotisserie and many other products). A few years ago, I was infomercial-surfing on a Saturday morning, when lo and behold! I spied a great thing. Yoga Booty Ballet.

'What the crap?' I thought. 'This is stupid.' But then I started watching what they were doing. Gillian and Teigh, the adorable fitness instructors, were dancing around, having fun, sweating, partying, and reaffirming their inner Goddesses. The concept behind Yoga Booty Ballet (or YBB to aficionados) is to stretch your muscles (yoga) while burning calories (booty) and doing balance moves (ballet). Each workout starts and ends with meditation. I was intrigued. These videos looked far more practical than the last ones I had wanted to buy, which involved a tiny trampoline. However, I was a poor undergrad with no funds for exercise videos. My birthday rolled around, as it tends to do, and my mom ordered the starter set of DVDs for me. She is a nice lady. I started Yoga Booty Ballet that day. Let me say that I absolutely needed to do something about my weight at the time. I was nearly obese, according to the crackpots at the National Institutes of Health, and I felt gross. I abhorred exercise and mostly just sat around, drinking Cherry Coke and eating two cheeseburger meals from Burger King. I also worked at a coffee shop, where I constantly indulged in day-old pastries and white chocolate mochas. (This came after two years of working at a popular take-and-bake pizza place.) In short, I was really unhealthy and I had bad habits. The titles in the Yoga Booty Ballet collection as of yet are: The Rehearsal and Mediation, Total Toning Basics, Advanced Fat Burning, Cardio Cabaret, Hip Hop Abs, Latin Flavor, Go Go, Body Sculpting Bollywood Style, Light and Easy*, Pajama Time*, Goddess Booty, Goddess Abs, Yoga Core, AM Latte, Abdominals and Core Strength, Sculpt, Complete Body Shaping, and Baby on the Way*. (I don't own the ones with the asterisks.) Some of these, like Cardio Cabaret, focus on aerobic exercise, and others, like Yoga Core, concentrate on intense yoga moves for strength. With this many titles, it's easy to find variety in your workout. A lot of people get bored with working out, but when you are dancing around your living room like a moron, it's hard to be bored. If you do YBB in a semi-public setting (communal living room, in front of a bay window, etc.), you will get made fun of. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Amidst all the sweating and flailing around, I realized I was having a really good time. Seriously. It's like a dance party. I recommend starting out with the first five on the list (sometimes packaged as a starter set). Here's a sample of Cardio Cabaret, which is by far my favorite. Yeah. It's ridiculous. Here's another sample, this time from Latin Flavor. It's spicy! I didn't notice that I was losing weight until a co-worker asked me if I had been working out. I weighed myself and I had lost ten pounds. So this whole "exercise" thing seemed to be effective! I kept it up, and the weight flew off. During this time, I gradually cut out fast food, started eating more vegetables, and did a YBB DVD four or five times a week. It fit really well into my life, too, which is vital. The longest YBB workout is an hour. Most are around 35-40 minutes. So I had a choice: I could sit on my patootie for another half hour a day, or I could get buff and hot. Decisions. I went from a size 12 (almost a size 14) to a size 6 in about eight months. I have really wide hipbones, so that's not changing. My bra size (hey Internet!) went from 34DD (holy jeez) to 36C. I developed abs and biceps and that little thigh muscle line. My cheekbones emerged. My waist (waist??) shrunk. I have more energy than I've ever had. I permanently changed my eating habits, but I let myself have a cheeseburger a week. I work out almost every day, because guess what? I actually love exercising. It relieves stress! It makes me feel good about myself! It makes me look awesome! It's a place to put my nervous energy! Who knew? I was not a physically-inclined person, despite taking dance for fifteen years. In addition to YBB, I recently started doing TurboJam, another Beachbody product. It's more kickboxing-y than YBB, and it's gotten me through the winter. I highly recommend all Beachbody products; they're the people who make P90X and 10 Minute Trainer. High production value, effective workouts, fantastic online support. And now for the big moment. My before and after picture is sort of mind-blowing, at least for me. I had no idea that I had let myself get so unhealthy. In fact, it was this picture that made me want to do something about my weight and health. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="385" caption="L: Me at around 180, maybe more. R: Me around 130 lbs."][/caption] Questions about Yoga Booty Ballet or exercise in general? Drop me a line: amandahyphenated (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Amanda Hyphenated is a librarian in Madison, Wisconsin. She likes cats, coffee, tattoos, and young adult literature. Her obsessions include The Clash, Stephen King, and Castle Crashers.

33 Responses to “Yoga Booty Ballet: Yes, it’s ridiculous as it sounds.”

  1. Brandon Werner February 24, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    isn’t “Body Sculpting Bollywood Style” just eating a lot of chickpeas?

  2. Amanda Hyphenated February 24, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    heh. no, it involves a lot of hopping up and down and doing fun hand motions. and pretending you have a sari that you twirl.

  3. Snuggie Pattern Pattie February 24, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    Good work with your exercise plan!

    All hail the Snuggie!

  4. Mary February 24, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    This is really impressive Amanda! I had no idea that those crazy dance videos worked. What about the work out helped you tone your muscles (When I think about toning, I just assumed weights had to be involved)

  5. Amanda Hyphenated February 25, 2010 at 6:03 am #

    With Yoga Core (and some of the other ones), you are in positions where you are lifting and lowering your own body weight. Here are some pictures of yoga poses you do in Yoga Core:,,, etc. If you have really good form (they walk you through it!), you will see results. Yoga Core is my favorite “non-dancey” YBB video!

  6. Brandon February 25, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    Amanda, doesn’t it come with a big blue ball to work your booty with?

  7. Amanda Hyphenated February 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    yes it does! it’s called the Squishy Ball, and you use it for ab and booty work. my cats, unfortunately, attacked mine, so i bought a cheapo playground ball from the 99 cent store.

  8. Sammi February 25, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    So inspiring!!! I’ve been practicing yoga for about 6 years… and I love it.

    Have you ever done the p90x yoga video? I highly recommend it for a hardcore calorie-burning yoga workout!

  9. Liz February 25, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    AMANDA!! I am SO proud of you! (considering I’ve known you since we were what size 8? that’s child size 8 not grown up size 8) You look AWESOME babe! Congratulations!

  10. Liz February 25, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    ps i hate emoticons. that’s grown up size 8 end parentheses, not grown up size cool guy with shades.

  11. Amanda Hyphenated February 25, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    Liz, you totally lie. You meant for that to be a cool guy with shades. Hah.

    Sammi, I haven’t done any P90X videos at all! They sort of scare me… super intense!

    My next exercise-related purchase is going to be TurboJam Max Results. I love Chalene Johnson, the instructor. She is adorable and motivating.

    Thank you so much for all the positive feedback! I think I’m more muscular now than I was in that “after” picture, and I feel awesome.

  12. Marietta December 7, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    I am not trying to be rue or anything, I am interested in trying this myself but I have been skeptical. Now I noticed you had a before and after picture, in the before there is a tattoo on your left arm and the after it is not there? Is that really you? The only reason I question it is that one part of the tattoo looks as if it raps to the side of your arm so I should be able to see a little bit of it in the after picture? Maybe I am mistaken but I just dont want to purchase something that doesnt work. I am hoping it works though because I have little toddler age girls at home that love to dance and can do it with me to keep us all busy :-)

  13. Amanda Lanyon-LeSage December 8, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    I took the second picture in a mirror, using my right arm, which has a smaller tattoo. The cat tattoo in the first picture is on my left arm, which you can’t see in the second picture.

    And it really does work! I don’t work for Beachbody, and I have no affiliation with them, aside from liking their products.

  14. Marietta December 9, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    Awesome, I definitely want to try this out….thank you :-)

  15. Rachel January 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    how is it a different arm when you are facing the same way???

  16. Amanda Lanyon-LeSage January 3, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    The After picture was taken in a mirror. For reference, here’s a picture of me on New Year’s Eve this year, no mirrors involved.

    Definitely me. Definitely works.

    • Angel March 8, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      Holy Smokes! I’m convinced! You look great. Congratulations and I think I need to pick up my own copy yesterday, if not sooner. I don’t care if it’s silly as long as it works and I don’t hate it. Thanks for the review.

  17. Beth @ To the Fullest January 10, 2011 at 7:42 am #

    I love YBB, too! It’s what got me started on my fitness journey. SO fun. (And, yes, it’s ridiculous, but who care.)

  18. Shonna January 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    I’m a deployed soldier/mother of 2! After baby number 2 the weight wasn’t coming off and there was no time to go to a gym. My husband and I have our own business, so there wasn’t much time for anything at all. I had done a couple of these workouts that someone let me try while I was still at home and I loved them! In the military all the work outs are all Hooah and hardcore and I really don’t enjoy that. So while I’m deployed I decided to order the videos and “set my inner intention”. We’ve been here for 4 months now and we’ve started a class here on post. So much fun! A great way to be girlie in this “man’s world”. Best of luck!

  19. PAUL ONEAL January 28, 2011 at 5:07 am #

    Can guys also use this program? It is pretty inexpensive. Are there any guys that have actually use this product, or is it just for women?

  20. Amanda Lanyon-LeSage January 28, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Yay! I’m so glad people are getting results with this program. Beth and Shonna, that’s amazing. :) I definitely agree that doing YBB makes me feel sassy and feminine.

    To answer your question, Paul, there are guys who do YBB too! In every group video (like Cardio Cabaret), there’s at least one guy. While YBB was created by women, it’s not just for women. I hope you have fun!

  21. c.d. February 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    thank you so much for writing this! your before and after is amazing! i have two yoga booty ballet dvd’s and i have been dieing to get toned and be healthy. my eating is decent, but could be a lot better! i just turned 17 and i really want to feel healthy and carry good habits into my adult life. i was apprehensive about starting YBB, especially because it really does look ridiculous, but you have reassured me very much. if you have any more tips i’d love to hear them but besides that, thank you so much for sharing your story!

  22. Amanda Hyphenated February 7, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Hi c.d.! My biggest tip: make working out fun. If it’s not fun, you won’t want to make it part of your routine. :)

    And there really are some moves in there that you can “take to the club,” as Gillian says!

  23. Lindsay April 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    I just wanted to say that you’ve really motivated me! I’ve had YBB for a while and would do it religiously, however I fell off the ship and found it hard to climb back up. Now I’m going to get off my butt and doooo thisssss! Thanks!

    • Alyssa June 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

      Me too! A few years ago, after my second baby, YBB helped me get back in shape. I’ve put on a bunch of weight over the years, and I’m hoping YBB will work for me again. Congrats on your success!

  24. Morgan November 13, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    Okay, so I’ve had the Yoga Booty Ballet starter kit for YEARS and I think I used it once. I’ve been feeling icky about myself lately. I moved across the country 3 years ago and lost 50 pounds in the year following. Everything was looking up. Then I got sad again and started eating too much and I’m pretty much back where I started. I was googling to see if the YBB DVDs would really be worth it, and you have definitely inspired me to get off my ass and start integrating these DVDs into my daily routine. THANK YOU!!!

  25. Brook January 8, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    wow, you really did slim down, and I just thought those videos were a crock. Good job!

  26. Suzie March 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    Thank you so much for your inspiring story and your candid review. Ive seen those same informercials and I’ve wondered about them for some time. You’ve inspired me to go ahead and order them and get moving. Thank you!!

  27. Louisemarie December 31, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    I love working out this way too! At the moment I am using ‘Insanity’ and I absolutely love it! Theres nothing to be ‘scared of -Shaun T is the king of leading you through :)
    I have also tried Brazilian Booty Lift, but its far too hard on my knees; half a workout and my knee hurt. But no problems with Insanity at all.
    Actually I am surprized that bbl is a beachbody product, its not as professionally set up as the other programs, and the moves are so hard on the knees from the beginning, I wouldnt recommend it to anyone at all, at least not to anyone whos not really really fit.
    Kindly from Louisemarie :)

    Ps, I am not native english speaking, so I apologize for my poor spelling and expression.

  28. Jo April 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    I have had this DVD for years and never used it (I’m 27 and obese – always have been although I was an active child and teen)- I am going to start tonight. Thanks for the inspiration!

  29. Mel December 4, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    I cannot see the before and after pics for some reason on my phone. Can you post them in a comment?

  30. Alyssa September 26, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

    I love YBB!
    But I may just love this review even more…

  31. nikki July 25, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

    I get that this is an old post. I have a beachbody on demand subscription and wanted to try this out. I have no problem with exercise. I have a food problem. I am weird when it comes to reheating meats- I hate the taste. So meal prepping is a challenge for me. A lot of the workout video series I have seen focus around meals that you eat that prepped ahead for the week. Ewww. Also my husband doesnt diet and likes for me to cook stuff. He eats a lot and has a high metabolism. I like low carb stuff when I am watching my weight and he loves carbs and junk. I am saying all this to limit a lot of going back and forth when I tell you- I need easy nutrition! So my question is – you say that you gradually cut out fast foods and added more veggies. Did you count carbs and/or calories? Or did you exercise portion control? And precisely how gradual was the cutting back of fast food? I know you cant out-train a bad diet. But I will stick with something when I can see results. I have done some routines in the past, and when the scale didnt budge after 3 weeks, I stopped the routine. I know this workout series boasts results in 2 weeks,and I am just wondering if portion control and watching calories will work with this particular series. Thanks for your help!

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