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. In the Spring Session, John concentrates on strengthening poses to build stamina, like standing poses, abdominal strengtheners and arm balances.
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. Level III classes are for students with previous Iyengar training who are strong in standing poses and can do headstand, shoulderstand, and plow with confidence. Level II/III classes are, as the name suggests, combined classes for students of both levels. Please do not attempt poses that are outside of your skill level.
This live audio consists of an intermediate-to-advanced class led by Iyengar trained yoga instructor John Schumacher. At 90 minutes (actual time is 84 minutes), it is shorter than Schumacher’s Level III classes, yet it still features the practice of advanced postures, including an extended inversion sequence (although an alternative pose option is offered). Furthermore, Schumacher uses only Sanskrit terminology to cue the poses, so a solid familiarity with Sanskrit is needed in order to follow along with this class.Schumacher tends to begin his classes slowly, allowing his students to take time to focus their attention on fundamentals such as breathing and posture. Here he also allows the participants to gradually warm up their hamstrings with the leisurely practice of downward dog and several standing forward bends. The group is then ready for an extended inversion series which includes both headstand and the less-common Sirsasana 2. Schumacher then transitions his students back to their mats for seated postures, including several different arm balances and variations. Finishing postures include a long shoulderstand sequence (12 minutes), plow, and then a 14-minute savasana. Schumacher spends the first 6 minutes or so of the savasana guiding the relaxation, but the final 8 minutes are in virtual silence.This practice is just a single day’s glimpse into ongoing series of classes between Schumacher and his experienced participants. Schumacher obviously has a strong familiarity with each of his students, as he constantly referring to individual students by name, pointing out particular issues of challenge for specific students, and asking the class questions such as “who has done X [name of asana] since last week?” Although Schumacher does not hesitate to correct his students on alignment issues, sometimes noting exactly how their pose has gone awry, his teaching is always infused with a playful humor. Overall, this would be an enjoyable class for intermediate-to-advanced students who would like to experiment with more challenging postures under the tutelage of a master instructor.