Level II August 29, 2007 | iHanuman

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Level II August 29, 2007

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This class is a restorative class with poses including Adho Mukha Svanasana, Supta Baddha Konasana, Janu Sirsasana, Triangaikapada Pascimottanasana, and Salamba Sarvangasana .All John's classes follow the Iyengar method of yoga, based on the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, the foremost living yoga teacher in the world. His rigorous approach emphasizes a balance between strength and flexibility, builds endurance, and develops Self-awareness through precision in movement and attention to subtleties of body, breath, mind, and spirit. Level II classes are for the students who have completed the introductory (Level I) course. The basic poses will be refined with an emphasis on all the standing poses. Inverted poses (headstand, plow, and shoulderstand) will be introduced.

by: Beth Cholette
In this 90-minute practice, Iyengar-trained yoga instructor John Schumacher leads his class through a series of restorative yoga postures. Before attempting to follow along with this practice, be sure to have a wide variety of props handy: Schumacher has his students use multiple blankets (some postures require 3-5), blocks, yoga straps, and a backless chair in addition to their yoga mats. Also, given that Schumacher uses mainly Sanskrit terminology to cue the postures, a fundamental familiarity with Sanskrit is suggested.Schumacher opens the class in a simple seated posture for three rounds of OM, then has the class come forward into downward-facing hero’s pose. The first supported postured is downward facing dog with the head supported. Reclining bound angle follows; this pose is set up using several blankets, two blocks, and a strap. This pose—as is the case with all of the restorative postures in the practice—is held for a significant length of time. Next comes a series of forward bending postures: head-to-knee pose, half-hero forward bend, and full seated forward bend. Schumacher has some class members perform these forward bends over a chair, while others use a bolster. The final two postures in this practice are even more prop-intensive and thus require a more detailed setup procedure. Schumacher instructs students who are unfamiliar with this process to observe, but given that this is an audio offering, that is obviously not possible for those not participating in the live class. I found it particularly difficult to visualize the correct setup for the first posture, bridge pose at the wall; Schumacher’s verbal instruction was insufficient to allow me to understand the correct positioning for his version of this pose, which was unfamiliar to me. This was followed by supported shoulderstand performed over a chair. I found the shoulderstand setup to be a bit easier to decipher, but still, I think that the audio format hinders the practice of both of these postures.Upon completion of shoulderstand, Schumacher instructs the class to rest with their calves on the seats of their chairs for several minutes. He then brings everyone back to an upright position and finishes the session with approximately five minutes of silent, seated meditation (no savasana). Although this practice suffers some difficulties from the transition to audio, overall, it is still a relaxing and restful yoga session. I would recommend this class mainly to those who have some knowledge of Iyengar yoga in general and who are fairly experienced in working with yoga props in particular.