Video Fitness

Erich Schiffman, Live #1

Erich Schiffman

This title is available on Erich's Web site,

This is a live intermediate level class. This new series of Erich・s videos are basically a do-it-yourself project that he made. If you・re expecting the production quality of Yoga Mind & Body, you will be disappointed. He・s very upfront in his marketing regarding this series that it・s homemade. This is basically done using handheld camcorders. The mikes are on the cameras and at times it can be difficult to hear what Erich is saying, but it wasn・t a problem that affected my ability to know what I was supposed to be doing. You・ll hear traffic, trucks in reverse, and an occasional car radio if they・re pulling up to or away from the building this takes place in. Someone comes in late; someone leaves early.

If you・ve never been to a live class or workshop before, this video will give you an idea of what to expect. This is a room full of real people with real bodies who struggle like the rest of us do. There are a few :moaners and groaners;Xthey・re in every class! There is seated meditation. There is no chanting.

I wouldn・t recommend this tape for beginners mainly because the postures are intermediate, and this kind of video isn・t the best place to learn them. Erich gives some form pointers, but not nearly as many as you・d expect from an Iyengar or Anusara yoga teacher, so it・s very helpful for injury prevention if you・re familiar with the alignment of the poses.

I just received these, so I・ve done this video once. It・s about 90 mins long. I enjoyed it. It felt just like being at a weekend workshop.

Here・s a breakdown:

1. Meditation
2. Shaking (yup, exactly thatXyou shake yourself all over)
3. Dangling uttanasana
4. Bent leg arm stretch (that・s standing forward bend, hands clasped behind you, lowering hands toward the floor).
5. Malasana (squatting, heels on floor)
6. Heavy handed dog pose vinyasa
7. Handstand (at the wall, or not)
8. Forearm stand (at the wall, or not)
9. Half salutes (like on his first video)
10. Subset #1--trikonasana, high lunge, dog pose
11. Cobra vinyasa
12. Subset #2Xparsvakonasana, parivrrta parsvkonasana, low lunge, dog pose
13. Cobra vinyasa
14. Lunge 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (these are 3 variations on each side of low lungeXmeaning your knee is down on the floor). Saying they・re hip openers is an understatement!
15. Urdhva dhanurasana (3 of them)
16. Urdhva mukha upavista konasana (between the backbends)
17. Mandukasana (yowza)
18. Savasana
19. Meditation

Despite it being 90 mins, I found when he said savasana I thought :it・s over already?; which is a great sign for me. Poses are held for a long time. Very often Erich sets his watch for a minute or 30 seconds and sometimes he・ll tell ya :only 35 more seconds; when you・re hoping for 5 seconds.

This is a good workout for intermediate level students who like me, are curious about being in a live Erich class. This is not power yoga in the Baptiste or Kest sense but I find I can get terrific DOMS from long held handstands, elbow stands & backbends in particular, but in order to avoid injury, they need to be done with good alignment. Power does not have to mean speed.
To learn the inversions, I・d use Rodney Yee・s Yoga For Intermediates and then when you・re comfortable at least practicing kicking up, you could continue working up to the inversions on this video.

Lisa TV

Lisa TV

Live! 1

Erich Schiffmann

Just a quick note - I tried Live 1 on DVD tonight. I had previously had it on VHS, and was a fan of the VHS, but Erich did a great job transferring. Its fully chaptered, ala the Backyards, so much more versatile. Its still got some sound/camera problems, but they seemed less significant - it might have been my imagination. But the chaptering is very liberating, and its such a fantastic routine. Much more user friendly in the dvd format. Still DVD-R.

also, to update, you can buy Erich's media directly from the store on his website - .

Instructor comments:

Jane C

October 19, 2005


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