With Intermediate Flow Yoga, students familiar with the basic Yoga asanas may benefit by an increase in flexibility and strength, as well as a more grounded connection to the Divine within. With excellent instruction and wisdom of the postures themselves, Stephanie guides us away from stress and tension with her loving and compassionate Yoga spirit.
In a follow-up to her Gentle Flow Yoga, instructor Stephanie Keach has created a more comprehensive yoga practice that is still accessible to virtually all levels of yoga practitioners. Intermediate Flow Yoga is a flowing vinyasa practice with a strong emphasis on breath. Stephanie also incorporates some fluid movements within the postures, most likely a remnant of her study under TriYoga instructor Kali Ray. The practice begins in easy seat, where Stephanie has you take several “ah!” breaths before moving on to a simple seated forward bend; you’ll also bend to each side before moving into a simple seated backbend. Transitioning to hands and knees, Stephanie leads you through some cat flows and then a lunge series (low lunge, lizard’s pose, and hamstring stretch). After performing your first down dog of the day (including “walking the dog”), you’ll move into a standing forward bend and then come to standing.Continuing to warm-up the body, Stephanie guides you through six total rounds of lunge salutations, ending up in standing forward bend with a shoulder stretch. Surprisingly, however, no traditional standing postures follow; instead, Stephanie has you return to down dog and then shifts into some easy backbending (several variations of locust plus bow pose). After a brief rest in child’s pose, you move from down dog into pigeon. Here Stephanie adds a pigeon flow and then performs a nice long forward bend on either side. A series of seated postures follows: you begin in a wide-legged position, coming into a forward bend, bending over each leg (adding a flow), and returning to a bit deeper forward bend. You’ll also bend to both sides for revolved head-to-knee posture. Boat pose follows, with Stephanie offering several options. You’ll then lie on your back for bridge pose, again with an option of staying here or rising up into full wheel. After bringing knees to chest, Stephanie begins to wind down with a luxuriously long reclined twist (about 4 minutes total). Finally, she encourages use of a blanket for a 5-minute savasana, and she concludes the session with 3 OMs in a seated position.Throughout this 64-minute session, Stephanie is encouraging and playful. In her introduction, she suggests that the practice is designed for experienced beginners and beyond, which seems like a more appropriate estimation than the “Intermediate” in the title (also notable is that Stephanie uses only common English names for the postures, no Sanskrit). Although few of the included poses are overly challenging, with the help of Stephanie’s thorough instruction, I somehow found myself melting more deeply into the postures. While it might not appeal to those who prefer a faster-paced practice, this video has a definite feel-good vibe, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.