This video is part of a progressive series of classes taught alternately by Senior Teachers Betsey Downing and Jaye Martin. Betsey and Jaye teach a logically sequenced series of poses within each class, gradually advancing the poses across the series of classes. Perfect for beginners or experienced students looking for inspiration in their home practice. Get the entire set and experience the fun and power of progressive teaching!
Episode 7, led by Betsey, is intended for Advanced Beginners. The pinnacle is Dancer Pose and the theme is Live a Life of Value. The principle embodying the theme is Muscle and Organic Energy.
This video download is the seventh in a series of twelve Anusara yoga classes presented by Betsey Downing’s Garden of the Heart yoga studio. Starting with this episode, which is labeled as being for “experienced” beginners, the sessions begin to be more challenging and to require a greater familiarity with basic yoga postures. Downing introduces this class by talking for a few minutes about the main theme, which is to live a life of value; she works this theme throughout the entire practice by encouraging you to focus on your own uniqueness as well as what you love. Downing is instructing the class alone in a small room; there is a water fountain in the background, and sounds of soft music playing can be heard as well. In terms of cuing, Downing uses mainly English names for the postures, and she provides mirror-cuing during the standing portion of the practice.Downing takes a few minutes to open the session in seated position, setting a focus for the practice and chanting a single “ohm.” Coming to an all fours position, she performs a few cat/cow stretches, then moves on to a more challenging hamstring stretch, first with opposite arm/leg, then balancing and stretching the same arm/leg. She transitions from down dog to standing forward bend to standing to prepare for sun salutations. Downing performs three full rounds (two on each side) of sun salutes, adding an upright lunge and warrior 1 to the second and third series. Following this, she returns to the floor for bridge pose.At this point, Downing begins a sequences of standing postures. She starts with a variation on warrior 1 with the hands clasped behind the back. This is followed by half moon pose, with the option of using a block. Next, Downing begins to prepare for the pinnacle pose of this practice, dancer, by doing a simple thigh stretch. This is followed by easy dancer’s pose—performed holding the foot with one hand—and then repeated holding the foot with both hands. The standing work concludes with standing forward bend, down dog, and a brief rest in child’s pose. Downing does a nice reclined twist before moving into the guided relaxation. This involves about 1 ½ minutes of cued instruction by Downing and then an addition four minutes silent relaxation while the soft, woodwind-like music continues. Downing concludes the session by guiding you back to a seated position and finishing with a final “ohm,” bringing in the total class time (minus the introduction) at about 42 minutes.In practicing along with Downing, I’ve found that she truly makes me feel as if I were in an actual class with her. Although I consider myself to be beyond the “experienced beginner” level, Downing’s constant form reminders serve as invaluable refreshers for my practice. Therefore, I think that this session has the potential to appeal to a wide audience of yoga students, from advanced beginners to more accomplished yoga practitioners.