The Karma Collection Benefiting The Westhaven Clinic
An Exploration of Standing Poses. Lay the foundations for an intelligent and dynamic yoga practice with this class on standing poses, taught creatively from the ground up. This practice is appropriate for all levels, from brand-new beginners to advanced students seeking to deepen their understanding of some of the most practiced postures in the yoga tradition.
This almost 2-hour workshop audio features registered yoga teacher Kate Hallahan. Kate’s background in Iyengar training comes through in this routine, which focuses on an awareness of the feet throughout all of the postures, from the standing poses to the floor work. The class begins seated, first just settling into the body, and then spending a few minutes exploring and massaging the feet. As the students come to a lying position, Hallahan continues to lead them through a few basic warm-ups for the feet, including moving between pointed and flexed positions and incorporating work with the arches (Hallahan notes that she learned these moves while attending a recent workshop with yoga instructor Tias Little). She continues the opening sequence with several seated postures with the toes turned under, additional moves on the back, and down dog performed with the feet pigeon-toed.The standing work begins with chair pose, the first of three total performed during this workshop. For all of the standing postures, Hallahan takes her time with instruction and setup, constantly emphasizing the feet and allowing for nice long holds in each pose. The opening standing sequence includes warrior 1, warrior 3, and pyramid pose with hands in reverse prayer. At the end of each standing series, Hallahan has her students perform a forward bend (she incorporates several different variations) and then another chair pose. The second standing sequence begins with the little-seen revolved half-moon posture; after another forward bend and an extended leg balance, Hallahan leads the class into revolved triangle. The final series features triangle, warrior 2, and side angle pose, concluding with the third and last chair pose.With about 45 minutes left in the workshop, Hallahan tells her students that they are going to spend the remainder of the time on the floor. Although she continues to highlight the role of the feet during the floor postures, in this part of the class, Hallahan also talks about the yogic concept of satya, which she states is more appropriately translated as “honesty” than the usual interpretation of “truth.” The transition to the floor starts with a squat; this is followed by a long hold of cobbler’s pose, adding the forward bend if possible. Continuing at this same leisurely pace, Hallahan leads the class through staff pose, Sage 1 (with forward bend and bind), shoulderstand, plow (brief), full seated forward bend, and Sage 3 twist. Finally, Hallahan has her students set up for savasana. She cues most of the 8-minute long relaxation, but for the final two minutes, she sings a song in Sanskrit. The workshop concludes with the participants coming back to seated and chanting a final three “ohms” together.Ideal for advanced beginner yoga students and above, this workshop provides an excellent means of refining your standing postures and re-establishing your connection with your feet throughout your entire yoga practice.