Excellent beginner\'s practice teaching a fundamental practice element, the sun salutation series | iHanuman


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Excellent beginner\'s practice teaching a fundamental practice element, the sun salutation series

This video download is the third in a series of twelve Anusara yoga classes presented by Betsey Downing’s Garden of the Heart yoga studio. Although Downing refers to the two previous classes, particularly the one immediately preceding (taught by Jaye Martin), which provide a foundation for some of the postures taught in this practice, the prior sessions are not necessarily a prerequisite for this one. Downing instructs this session alone in a small room that contains a burbling fountain; snippets of soft piano music can occasionally be heard faintly in the background. The theme of this practice is reverence, and Downing offers frequent reminders of this theme throughout the class.The session begins with seated centering and ujjayi breathing before coming to a standing position for mountain pose. As she did in the first practice, Downing provides detailed form cues, such as reminding you to connect all four corners of each foot to the ground in mountain. She returns to the floor for cat/dog with variations as well as downward facing dog with variations, continuing to allow rests in child’s pose in-between the postures. Next comes practice of various techniques for moving from down dog to a lunge position. Here Downing explains that she is breaking down the 12-part sun salutation series into individual poses and teaching them one-by-one. She carries on with this instruction, leading into plank pose, lowering knees to the floor (she does not do chaturanga here), and performing baby cobra. Coming back to standing, Downing cues two round of sun salutations, which is the pinnacle of this practice; the second round is performed at a suggested rate of one breath per pose.Following the sun salutations, Downing finishes the class with a few standing postures. She introduces warrior 2, a pose that has not appeared in either of the two previous sessions, and then triangle pose, which is shown performed with an optional block. Downing then moves back to the floor for bound angle pose, which she suggests performing on a folded blanket to improve posture, and a simple seated twist. (Note: although Downing does mirror-cue the standing postures, she fails to mirror cue the seated twist.) With 15 minutes left in the practice, Downing comes to a lying position, setting up for a brief savasana before beginning the guided relaxation segment. The guided relaxation for this class is an approximately 6-minute “tense and release” sequence in which Downing cues you to first firm an area of the body, then relax and release it. After moving through the entire body in this manner, the class concludes with an additional 7 minutes of silent relaxation, with only a gentle music change signaling the roll of the credits at the end.The third practice session continues with the gentle, beginner’s level pace of this series. It is ideally suited to provide new yoga students with the opportunity to become skilled in the practice of the sun salutation sequence, an essential component of any yoga practice. However, this session would also work well for more experienced students looking for a mini-refresher course in this fundamental series of poses.

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