Fitness VHS goddess Jane Fonda is returning to what she does best- video workouts. Reconnecting with her lotus-roots, the soon to be 75 year old is releasing a DVD called “Prime Time AM/PM Yoga for Beginners.”
No longer in the business of sculpting your buns into steel, Fonda aims for an audience who can relate to age creeping up on them. She can count on her baby boomer audience to recognize her rightful place as virtual fitness guru; in the 1980s, Fonda produced more than 20 high-energy hard-core aerobic workouts.
“I used to be all about going for the pain,” says Fonda, “not anymore. I’m not asking them to do anything too hard. I do them with older people in mind. I want it to be fun and easy for them, but effective.”
Fonda underwent back surgery last March and has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, a disease that affects 27 million Americans and causes cartilage, the cushion between joints, to break down. She has had a knee and hip replacement. You would never know all this by her attitude. Yoga “makes me feel happy, alive and healthy.”
The DVDs are broken down into AM and PM segments, and many poses offer demonstration with props and chairs to assist. The cues are gentle, but don’t let all of this lead you to believe the political activist has gone completely soft. “These exercises are blended with some Pilates,” she says. “They’ll build strong muscles to protect your joints, build stronger bones and make you limber.”
Fonda reportedly used to practice a more strenuous yoga: “two hours a day. But those days are long gone. It got to be too hard.” All of that hard work has paid off even as Fonda approaches her golden years, though. “Every single time I go to get out of a car now, I say ‘Thank you, Lord, I have strong quads,’ ” she says. “Because if I didn’t have strong quads, I couldn’t be independent. You have to keep your back and legs strong so you can remain free and independent.”
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In the non-gentle, non-restorative, non-senior citizen 50+/Boomer yoga field, Susan Winter Ward has practically had the mass media field all to herself with her DVDs.
I’ve done one of them. Yes, one of her lineages (you guessed it) does not scare me.
So, now I guess the John Friend fallout has had many many spillover effects … Jane Fonda ought to be flying off the shelves …