Yogatopia: The Art of Vinyasa Flow (Power, Sweat & Connect)

Litsa Kapantais
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Yoga

This DVD is chaptered:

1. Intro
2. Breath
3. Main Flow
4. Music Flow (option to do practice without narration)
5. Interview
6. Artwork
7. Credits

Litsa performs this 60-minute vinyasa practice alone on a round, raised platform. There are votive candles lining the edges of the platform. Litsa's wearing a lavender tank top with dark purple pants. The room is awashed in shades of light purple and there's nothing in the background. The music is loud initially and there's a combination of flute and drums. Litsa cues in voice over and her cueing is often times late. The practice starts at a slow, relaxing pace and then it moves swiftly. Litsa doesn't mirror your movements and she uses quite a bit of spiritual language.

Sitting in cross-legged position, Litsa begins with an "om" chant. She asks you to send your breath into prayers, while inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Next is breath of fire for 30 seconds.

As the main flow practice begins, the music grows softer in the background. Litsa moves from seated position into cat stretches. She presses back into child's pose and then into downward-facing dog. From there, she moves into mountain pose and then into a series of sun salutations (with variations on the sun salutations).

She moves forward into warrior I, warrior II, triangle twist, reverse warrior, side angle twist, 3-legged downward-facing dog, crane pose (yikes!), squat pose, standing forward bend, prayer twist in chair pose, warrior III, half moon pose, crescent lunge, wide-angle forward bend, pyramid pose, dancer pose, eagle pose, inclined plane pose with breath of fire, seated forward bend, seated half spinal twist, side plank pose, hero pose, seated yoga mudra, pigeon pose, double pigeon pose, plank pose, deep cobra pose, bow pose, camel pose, bridge pose, full wheel backbend, eagle crunches, spinal rocks, bound angle foward bend, plow pose, little boat twist and finally shavasana. Come to seated position. Litsa ends the practice by bowing to the front, the side and then upwards---she's bowing to "divine love".

This is a fluid, vinyasa practice and the many poses aren't held for long. It's definitely not for someone who is unfamiliar with yoga poses or who has limited range of motion. Litsa puts a twist on almost all of the poses, by varying the placement and positioning of the arms and legs. Certain stretches are deepened with these variations.

I have mixed feelings about this practice. I've only done it a couple of times, and it moves a little fast for me. Some of the poses are too advanced for me and the fast pace frustrates me (guess that means I'll need to practice it more often!). I did feel quite a bit of heat building up inside my body and I like the strengthening and balancing postures (only because I need to work on these two areas). I could, however, use less of the spiritual language (I don't mind it, but I'm not purposely looking for it, either).

Verdict: It's a keeper (for now)---a challenge to work towards!

Instructor Comments:
Litsa Kapantais is a yoga teacher who owns and directs her own studio (called Yogatopia) in Charlotte, NC. Litsa is a very agile and graceful yogi. She speaks calmly and quietly.

Leslie (blue_hydrangea)