Join Erich Schiffmann for a well-balanced yogasana session with backbends as the theme. Pose List: opening #4 - half salutes - triangle - high lunge - dog - bent knee side stretch - twisting bent knee - low lunge - cobra vinyasa - pigeon cycle - double pigeon - locust - cobra - bow - cobra from cat - cobra from dog - hero pose - reclining hero - camel pose - half dog - bridge pose I, II, III - wheel pose - knee to chest - abdominals - reclining leg stretches - twisting reclining leg stretches - reclining sage twist - relaxation pose.
This is the fourth volume in Erich Schiffmann's Backyard Series, and it is designed mainly for intermediate yoga practitioners. In the introduction, Erich calls Backbends a "balanced yogasana session with backbends as the theme"; it's truly a well-rounded practice leading up to a pinnacle series of backbending postures. Erich provides extremely detailed form pointers and is constantly encouraging you to relax, to be in the moment, and to enjoy your practice.Teaching again from his makeshift backyard "studio," Erich of course ensures that you are thoroughly warmed up before moving into more challenging backbending poses. His beginning sequence starts with general stretches, including shoulder-opening work (which is actually integrated throughout the practice). He continues the basic opening process by moving slowly and methodically through half salutes, a few standing postures (triangle, side angle), and various flows from dog pose. The initial backbends are extremely gentle and include cobra, bow, and locust. Erich then stretches the body further with full reclined Hero's pose before moving on to the first more demanding backbend, camel. He has a unique way of getting into this pose which involved revolving one arm forward and then behind the body (although I actually found this method more difficult).After a half dog shoulder stretch, Erich continues the backbending with several variations of bridge pose. He offers yet another novel approach here, this time to help you keep your shoulders down: he has you roll your knees first to one side, then to the other, rolling each shoulder under in turn; this really worked! However, by the time Erich gets to wheel pose (repeated three times at increasingly difficult levels), you might find yourself to be pre-exhausted despite the fact that the practice up until this point has seemed deceptively gentle. Following wheel, you will be extremely grateful when Erich moves on to a serious of delicious stretches: he performs a reclined leg stretch sequence plus a few really unique reclined twists which feel absolutely wonderful. A short savasana follows, bringing in the entire practice at approximately 85 minutes.By the end of this practice, your are likely to feel nicely stretched, with your back and shoulders in particular feeling more open. If, like me, you tend to dread backbending work, at the very least, Erich will make these postures more accessible to you. On the other hand, if you enjoy working with backbends, whether you are newer to yoga or more advanced, this is a must-have video for your collection. I would not hesitate to recommend Erich's wonderfully slow, meticulous instruction to enhance your backbend practice.