Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Free Yoga Friday

By Anytimeyoga @anytimeyoga

Of something that may be of slightly more practical value to readers — not that I don’t love gratuitous sweet food pics — I’m going to spend as many Fridays as I can reviewing free yoga practices available on the Intarwebs.

I think guided practices can be immensely helpful for folks who want instruction in certain types of poses or who just have trouble figuring out and/or remembering asana sequences on their own. However, not all Internet practices are created equal — and different sites may have plenty different definitions of what’s “gentle” or “moderate” or “level two” or whatever. Hopefully, some of these may help folks determine more concretely whether a given practice is a good idea for them — or maybe even help them (or me!) reflect on what it is they want from any given practice.

Note: I’m at least starting with classes that have an audio component available, as I find it generally easier to try to simultaneously match myself with an instructor’s verbal cues. I find it pretty distracting to continuously refer back to visual pose guides, so I’m trying to pretend practice guides like that don’t exist for right now. (Though if anyone wants to guest review a practice that has a visual guide only, please do not hesitate to get in touch.) I’m also initially limiting myself to practices in or under the thirty minute range or so — because I want to cultivate this habit in myself, and giving myself manageable goals — in this case, shorter practices to review — is a meaningful step in accomplishing that.

The Practice:: Detox Yoga 1 by Lisa Richards at Yoga Download
Instructional/Physical Parameters: Experienced and able with varieties of chair pose and high lunge
Props: none mentioned, but I could see where folks would want a block
Length: 20 minutes

Okay, first — I feel like this practice is safe for anyone with the requisite strength and yoga knowledge. That is, folks who are comfortable holding chair pose and high lunge for several breaths at a time.

Second, I feel like it is structured reasonably well. It goes from integration to warming movement to standing strength work to cool down. For a 20 minute practice — particularly for a 20 minute practice condensed from a longer practice — it feels relatively complete. I could do this and not feel like I was missing anything major.

That said, this 20 minute practice felt a little like reading the Cliff’s Notes of a good book. Solid Cliff’s Notes, to be sure — I feel like I’d be able to make a passable grade on any test or essay that came from this book. But there is a certain satisfaction that comes from actually reading the book, and that is what is missing here.

Partly because of that, there are places where I want blocks in the lunges and twists here — even though the instructor does not offer them. In general, Lisa seems to assume — as may befit the level 2-3 the class is aimed toward — that students need less instruction or modification in chair pose or high lunge variants.

As for me, I would probably not purchase a longer version of this class, nor take this same class again — That said, I am happily able to sequence my own twisting flows. Were I not so able, I would have no qualms about using this sequence or purchasing extended editions of this sequence.

Bottom line?: Not sorry I tried this, though not inclined to try again. A good expansion for students who are relatively solid in their lower body foundations. A reasonable time investment, though not an enthusiastic one.

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