Anusara Essentials

John Friend

Categories: Yoga
- Audio Workout

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I like the audio yoga CD, Anusara Essentials, very much.

The thing I find attractive about Anusara is it retains the Iyengar-like emphasis on alignment, but provides a more flowing, heart-centered practice. Someone said it combines Iyengar and Kripalu-like styles - that sounds accurate to me - and something that is very appealing.

The verbiage is not as flowery as John's Yoga for Meditators VHS, but it does have a healthy dose of what VFers sometimes call "spiritual woo woo". I thought it was fine, and enjoyed his teaching style. He doesn't use the signature Anusara spiral/loop terminology, he does talk alot about "melting your heart", "lifting your heart", letting your "spirit spread through your body like moonlight" or words that effect.

The routine is basic, if memory serves - opening anusara chant, preps, sun salutations, standing poses, including half moon (which he instructs very well), pigeon prep, seated forward bends, leg stretches - supine and seated, side twists, savasana, closing invocations. No wheel, no inversions. He gives very detailed instructions for each asana and the transition between asanas - which is great. Its an hour long and very easy to follow. A fold out insert comes with the CD but I barely referred to it.

This would be an excellent CD for the somewhat experienced beginner who is interested in the Anusara style. My only hesitation in recommending it to the complete beginner is its a CD rather than VHS or DVD, and a rookie might need the visuals. I'm not even sure that's true - its a very accesible practice.

Instructor Comments:
John Friend is a master American Yogi who was originally certified in the Iyengar School, but went on to found his own school, Anusara. His experience is apparent. He's a terrific teacher.

Jane C