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 full-length audio session (105 minutes) is led by vinyasa yoga instructor Stephanie Keach. Consistent with being a master class (recorded from the last day of a 5-day teacher’s training series), Keach expects quite a bit from her students, leading them through all facets of an advanced yoga class including pranayama, binds, and partner work. Furthermore, she utilizes mainly Sanskrit names for the postures, and she weaves in additional yogic elements such as references to bandhas (locks). Keach actually begins this class in an uncharacteristically gentle manner with a Yin yoga posture, pigeon pose, which is held for 3 minutes on each side. This is followed by downward-facing frog pose, made more active by adding in a shoulder stretch, mula bandha, and uddiyana bandha. From here, Keach instructs the group to move into plank pose and perform 30 rounds of Kapalabhati, while she counts out the pace with the command “exhale, exhale, exhale.”Now the class is ready for sun salutations, although these are no ordinary sun series. Keach cues 1-sided (1-legged) sun salutes which include warrior 1, a long hold of triangle pose, and binding triangle. She also has the group repeat the Kapalabhati breath in plank pose as well as perform a 1-legged bound standing forward fold—Keach herself jokes that this segment is “the never-ending sun salute!” Eventually, however, it does come to an end, and Keach brings the participants to the floor for starfish pose. From here she tells them that they are going to try for “real” lotus pose; that is, with the hands positioned under the legs. At this point, Keach introduces partner work to facilitate attaining this posture.The interaction amongst the class members continues into the next segment, which is backbends. Keach first has the participants break into groups of three to practice upward bow with the use of two straps; she encourages each student to hold the posture for several minutes while being supported by the straps. Following this, Keach playfully cajoles the class to practice drop-backs and walking backbends. Continuing with the partner work, Keach then has her students pair off and come to a wide-legged seated position back-to-back. From here, Keach leads them through a back release, a side stretch, and cobbler’s pose. Finally, she brings the group to their backs for approximately 10 minutes of additional breathwork before initiating a long (12 minutes) savasana, which is mostly silent. With just over seven minutes left in the practice, Keach begins sweetly singing Krishna Das’s “Gorinda Hare,” going through several verses before ending the class with Namaste.Keach is an easygoing, encouraging instructor whose teaching is infused with a playful sense of humor. Given the partner work included in this session, it would be ideal for two friends practicing at home together, especially if both were serious yoga students who didn’t necessarily take their practice too seriously. However, most advanced yoga practitioners should be able to figure out how to modify this class as needed in order to make it work for solo practice as well.