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Does Wii Fit work?

Before she starts the test, Sally selects a female instructor and then goes into performing four exercises - deep breathing, half moon pose, warrior pose and the tree pose.

GR: Are these exercises accurate to yoga? Were they taught correctly?
Sally: The instructor is pretty good with the instructions. But it’s weird keeping your foot on the Board the whole time - like with the Warrior pose [which only requires one foot at a time]. For breathing, it was fine though. I could’ve used more direction. Tree pose could have been better. Warrior was kinda lame, but the half moon one was good.

GR: Is the instructor giving you good tips on the exercises?
Sally: Not too much. You never get a sense how you’re supposed to “feel” doing the pose. So you don’t really know if you’re doing it right. Like… analogies are a great way to get into and feel the pose properly.

GR: How do you feel about your personal trainer? Helpful? Sadistic?
Sally: She was positive and nice. But she did get pissy with me when I stepped off the board. Other than that, she was encouraging and friendly.

Points are scored by how well you balance on your feet during each pose. Sally scored well enough to be labeled a “Yoga Trainer” on the Deep Breathing and Half Moon poses, yet was scored as a “Newcomer” on Warrior and Tree pose.

GR: Many yogis know that yoga isn’t competitive and that it’s a personal journey - yet, when you saw that you got a high score, you cheered. What gives?
Sally: I guess I was happy to see that, but not so happy when I saw I wasn’t doing well. Like any game right? I stand by the “own journey” part even though in group class it is so not about watching your neighbor and how far they can go. It’s about working yourself and opening yourself to new awareness.

Yoga’s main aim in a nutshell is to calm the mind using breath and body and to bring awareness for great circulation and health. Yoga has cognitive, physical and emotional benefits. I did not feel that in the game.

4 comments

  • gishstar - October 5, 2011 7:09 a.m.

    I realize this article is a little old. Thanks for sharing this information. My job has recently become more stressful and I was thinking of using my Wii Fit for Yoga to calm and center myself. I figured there was going to be some differences between real yoga and Wii Yoga, I just didn't know how beneficial it was going to be relaxing-wise. I think the Yoga instructor is correct in saying that when you learn yoga, it's an experience that a computer just can't measure. However, one thing I will share about is the Wii Fit Age. While it's encouraging or discouraging to see the age on screen, the board is just a computer taking measurements. Think of it like a really expensive leveler. All the board is measuring is your ability to correctly perform the tasks, in the way it wants you to perform the tasks. It measures your speed, and you body and eye coordination (which can dwindle as you get older), and your balance (which can also decline with age). I'm not a doctor, but I think we all agree that as our Grandparents aged, their physical and mental agility doesn't exactly improve over time. Unless they're committed to keeping their minds and bodies agile. If you're unfamiliar with video games, and the concept of just "giving the board what it wants" your Wii age will be higher than your actual age. However, if you practice the tests it gives you, you can decrease your Wii age by just simply knowing the concept of the various balance games it gives you. The Wii Fit cycles through a few different balance games to calculate your Wii Fit age. So if you're patient enough to listen to all the instructions for the balance tests over and over, you can lower your age by a lot.
  • MSCR - September 11, 2008 3:44 p.m.

    Well its a good thing she's just a yoga instructor and not an actual health professional otherwise her opinions might actually have influence on something. Also, doesn't it say right there that the game is designed for over 16 yrs (something like that)? Course you showed up as a fatty little girl, you're not supposed to play it. Never mind the fact that BMI is junk and based on dubious and outdated scientific data.
  • Sizzler - October 17, 2008 3:38 p.m.

    Burn. This was interesting.
  • GamesRadarShanePatterson - October 10, 2008 4:24 a.m.

    Because yoga's included in the game, we figured who better to judge the yoga then an actual instructor? Yoga instructors aren't health professionals either smart guy. You think the woman teaching your mom at 24 Hour Fitness has a medical doctorate? Also, Wii Fit is for all ages. Never mind the BMI - if it's made for all ages, it's made for all ages. Get your facts straight.

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