Shapeshifter Yoga by Kris Fondran is an entry-level yoga program for beginners that also doubles up as a fat loss and muscle toning program. The plan works by gently stimulating your body through a progression of yoga moves without the high-impact stresses on joints typical of cardio.
Shapeshifter Yoga is organized with video instructions on single moves and more advanced move sequences to be implemented once you have mastered each of them.
According to the author, this yoga program was designed on scientific grounds as per her intimate knowledge and experience in the yoga business coming from 12 years of practice and coaching and a Master’s degree in Exercise Science, plus certifications from Yoga Alliance and Satyananda Yoga.
One important aspect of this program is the focus on lowering cortisol levels to offset the ill effects of the modern lifestyle, as cortisol has been proven to have a dramatic impact on blood sugar spikes, with a knock-on effect on fat storage.
Shapeshifter Yoga is a time-efficient plan, with workouts like the “Everyday Flow” sequence lasting as little as 10 minutes, three days a week.
Who Is It For?
Ideally, Shapeshifter Yoga is for beginners interested in a safe foray into yoga without having to incur common setbacks caused by poor planning or insufficiently qualified tutors.
Kris Fondran is certainly qualified for the job (more on this later) and has developed Shapeshifter Yoga knowing exactly that the standard routines and stretching offered by regular classes often result in haphazard and unnecessarily strenuous efforts.
In fact, she makes a point of distinction between a “good soreness” and bad, excessive discomfort for continuous progression.
This program is also ideal for women who do not want just a professional yoga plan to be done at home without any gym membership costs, classes, or commuting times, but also an effective fat loss and muscle toning workout to improve their physique while lowering their stress levels.
Last but not least, Shapeshifter Yoga bodyweight routines are gentle on the joints, making it ideal for women seeking an alternative to cardio and jogging as a means of burning fat.
Now, because the program contains a lot of alignment and core yoga poses demonstrated with useful tutorials with an eye to correct implementation, it is really more suitable for beginners but a bit redundant for advanced yoga practitioners.
The whole point of Shapeshifter Yoga is to give you a head start on the yoga world with professional instructions on the basics and a focus on injury prevention for a quick and safe learning process.
If you already have some yoga foundations, a more suitable plan may be Yoga Burn by Zoe Bray-Cotton, of which you can read the review here.
The Program Strategy
ShapeShifter Yoga is a yoga program that combines elements of fitness within its framework. The basic moves and the sequences work for a wider range of benefits than yoga alone could supply.
While the gentle movements induce the usual benefits associated with yoga such as lowered cortisol levels and an inner sense of relaxation and soothing, the workouts are actually challenging enough to elicit calorie burning, fat loss, muscle tone, and improved flexibility.
The advantage of this program over treadmill cardio or running is that it enables you to burn off just as much fat without stressing your joints by using your own body weight in a seamless, smooth action.
The yoga sessions are structured in two different ways, one being the foundation for the next one.
Shapeshifter Yoga Movements
The basic routines are called Shapeshifter Yoga and consist of individual tutorial videos designed to teach you the foundations, that is all the basic yoga movements to be performed for 4 to 6 weeks until you become proficient.
Next, you can switch over to the 10-minute Shapeshifter Flow routine, which is a combination of all the single movements wrapped up together in a single sequence, in addition to the single moves.
Later you can jump in straight into the Shapeshifter Flow routine as needed.
The good part is that this routine is flexible and not set in stone. You do not have to necessarily execute it from start to finish but you can choose to follow along with parts of it, or stop if you feel like it and resume it sometime later.
According to the author, you can burn as much as 7 calories per minute or 420 per hour. Some of the moves described in the program are:
- Crocodile Pose: a specific movement for those with back pain or slipped disk.
- Shoulder Socket Rotations: movements designed to increase flexibility and range of motion of your shoulders, so much neglected through a sedentary lifestyle.
- Cat Pose: another move targeting shoulders and neck flexibility if you spend all day at work on a computer.
- Neck Warm-Ups: again, a set of movements designed to restore suppleness and flexibility in your cervical region to be done before the Shapeshifter Flow.
About Author Kris Fondran
Chris Fondran is a multi-skilled athlete and coach from Cleveland. Aside from being an elementary education teacher, she is also a skating coach and a certified yoga instructor.
She also runs her own skating business, the North Coast Inline Skating School in Cleveland, and is director of the Inline Certification Program.
Her yoga skills trace back to 2008 when she sought a method to increase flexibility and reduce the stress from life at the same time.
Since yoga helps reduce cortisol, the primary bypass product of stress, Chris learned, practiced, and became proficient in all the techniques involved, getting a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science at Cleveland State University along the way.
More specifically, Chris Fondran has acquired an impressive catalog of formal achievements like:
- Jignasu Initiation from Paramahamsa Satyasangananda Saraswati.
- Mantra Diksha Initiation from Paramahamsa Niranjanananda Saraswati.
- Accredited Yoga Teacher Level 2, Satyananda Yoga®.
- E-RYT 500 (Experience Yoga Teacher 500-hour level).
- RCYT (Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher), Yoga Alliance.
- Atma Center Teacher Training Program.
She also attended many yoga seminars and workshops to expand her knowledge, such as:
- Satyananda Yoga Nidra® Course.
- Yogic Studies 2 Satyananda Yoga®.
- Yogic Studies 1 Satyananda Yoga®.
- Essential Inner Purification-The Tantric Practice of Tattwa Shuddhi with Swami Satyandharma Saraswati.
- Ashram, Yoga & Satsang Week with Paramahamsa Niranjanananda Saraswati.
- Antar Mouna-Tantric Meditiation with Paramahamsa Satsangananada Saraswait.
- Satyananda Yoga® Workshops, satsangs, and continuing teacher training.
As you can see, Chris Fondran is a super qualified author with a deep knowledge of yoga and how it should be taught.
What’s Inside Shapeshifter Yoga?
Shapeshifter Yoga is a digital program comprising several eBook manuals, video tutorials, and audios, which you can follow from your tablet, smartphone, laptop, or iPod. It is available instantly upon purchase. There are 6 main parts and 4 bonuses included:
Shapeshifter Yoga Quick Start Manual – This is a shorter version of the main manual with all the essential information to get you started without having to digest the whole program first.
There are 14 stretching poses and information on the importance of stretching as an injury prevention measure.
Shapeshifter Yoga Pose Video Library – These are the 32 basic yoga movements shown by Chris in her tutorials, detailing how to implement them and how to breathe, poses like Cobra, Boat, or Equestrian all designed to tone your muscles, burn and lose fat, and improve flexibility.
However, while the tutorials are well made, the video production quality has a somewhat outdated feel.
Shapeshifter Yoga Program Video – This is the follow-along, sequence version of all the 32 single poses put together, which you can do only after you have mastered the individual poses.
Shapeshifter Yoga Everyday Flow Follow-Along Video – A scaled-down version of the main follow along-video, consisting of movements targeting all the main muscle groups for a total body workout in just 10 minutes.
Shapeshifter Yoga Pose Manual – A manual to go hand in hand with the video tutorials. The book breaks down all the movements and explains them in detail, in case you miss or misunderstood some aspects of the video tutorials. It is a quick reference source for all aspects of any movement.
Shapeshifter Yoga “At A Glance” Wall Charts – Printable charts that you can hang on your wall for visual reference, whenever you like. There are two charts, one with the 32 poses of the Shapeshifter Yoga program, and one with the Shapeshifter Everyday Flow poses.
All bonuses are iPod-friendly audio files covering different aspects of yoga or complementing the video files whenever you need to follow along and practice the moves without watching.
Follow-Along Audio Files – There are two follow-along audios, one for the Shapeshifter Everyday Flow and one for the complete Shapeshifter Yoga Flow.
Breath Awareness Meditation Audio – Two relaxation sessions designed to help you maximize your results by helping you reduce cortisol levels. The first meditation is a 10-minute abdominal breathing pranayama practice, the second is about increasing awareness of your breathing.
Body Awareness “Absolute Stillness” Audio – The spiritual side of this yoga program, a meditation session called Kaya Sthairyam, whereas you are taught to explore body awareness and balance, visualize to increase body stillness, and use emotion to get comfort.
Yoga Nidra Guided Meditation Audio – A Yoga Nidra session to reduce tension, anxiety, and reduce cortisol levels even further. This audio session is ideal before you get to sleep for full recovery.
Shapeshifter Yoga is a simple but complete introduction to yoga for newbie yogis with detailed instruction on the basics and time-efficient yoga flows.
The program also doubles up as a viable alternative plan for fat loss and muscle toning, as the yoga routines offer a robust bodyweight workout with resulting calorie burning and boost metabolism, but without the negative side effects that cardio and running have on your joints.
Like any yoga program, Shapeshifter Yoga also offers a spiritual side on top of the physical routines, with tools introducing you to meditation, self-awareness, and breathing techniques.
However, even these spiritual aspects of the program have a tangible focus on reducing cortisol levels, hence contributing to overall hormonal balance and fat loss.
While the routines may be a bit too basic for experienced yogis, Shapeshifter Yoga still delivers a solid and proven blueprint for beginners designed by a knowledgeable author with tons of experience and qualifications.
Whether it be for yoga practice, fat loss, muscle toning, flexibility, or all of these qualities, Shapeshifter Yoga offers the right information in the right format for the job.
Deborah loves keeping fit and staying so for life. She’s been training for the last 12 years and has a simple goal: making it as simple as possible for women to find out about the best training and dieting methods for their goals (see all posts by Deborah).