These special 2-hour Master classes with Stephanie Keach are the ultimate way to discover the sanctuary of your own heart as you transform your body. Stephanie weaves an eclectic blend of styles into her teaching: Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Core Strengthening, Zen Philosophy, Compassionate Humor and Ecstatic Chanting. You will build core strength through ancient yogic purification, energizing and healing practices. Your body and mind will thank you and reward you in countless ways!
This almost 2-hour audio (1 hour, 56 minutes) is led by vinyasa yoga instructor Stephanie Keach. Consistent with being a master class (recorded from a teacher\'s training series), Keach includes a little bit of everything here, from standing poses to arm balances to backbends and inversions. Furthermore, she utilizes mainly Sanskrit names for the postures, and she weaves in additional yogic elements such as pranayama (breathing) and references to bandhas (locks). The class in fact begins with a session of Breath of Fire while seated in a square lotus position. Keach takes her time warming up the group, having them do a bit of playing with seated forward fold, down dog, and standing forward fold before beginning with sun salutation series a. Staying with the slower pace, she moves the class methodically through this series, including a round of squeezing and releasing the perineal floor before moving on the sun salutation b series. Chaturanga variations, such as an L-shaped plank pose, follow, and then work in squat and a standing forward bend/straight back flow. This prepares the class for a noose/side crow series; with the latter, Keach emphasizes that it is leverage, not strength, that is important for the posture. From here she challenges her students to go even further in attempting one-armed side crow. At this point, the practice moves to the floor, again working with one leg in square lotus for forward bending and twists. Cradle pose also appears here, and for those who can, the leg goes beyond the shoulder (or, as Keach says in her uniquely humorous way, you go from \"rock that baby\" to \"smell that diaper!\"). Keach then has her students flip into a prone position for several bow variations. Gomukhasana legs return the class to seated and eventually onto their backs, whereas Keach cues some challenging core work which incorporate mini-situps. This is followed by the inversion practice. Keach begins with handstand partner work; if you are practicing by yourself at home, you can try handstand against the wall on your own or simply do handstand prep work (e.g., half handstand at the wall). Next comes a long (4 minutes) inversion - here Keach gives the class a choice of either headstand or shoulderstand. Following the inversions sequence, Keach winds the class down with a quiet series of janu sirsasana variations. She offers a nice long (11 minutes) savasana that includes no cueing, just relaxing music in the background. After bringing the group out of relaxation, Keach begins what she calls the \"symphony of om\"-rounds of chanting in which everyone is following their own pace so that the sound is continual for several minutes. Once this subsides, Keach concludes the practice with three rounds of \"om-shanti-shanti-shanti\". Clearly this practice is intended for advanced students. Keach definitely challenges her class participants, always seeming to assume that they can do more. But although she expects her participants to work, at the same time, she clearly expect them to have fun, too! Her sense of humor clearly permeates the entire practice; after many of the more difficult postures here, she jokes with her students \"where\'s the love?\" I would recommend this class for serious yoga students who don\'t take themselves - or their practice - too seriously.