A Daily Yoga Practice for BeginnersSuzie Hurley
Year Released: 2008
- Audio Workout
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Note: I received a free review copy of this practice from iHanuman.com.
This 48-minute audio yoga practice from certified Anusara teacher Suzie Hurley offers a detailed introduction to Anusara yoga. In her opening comments, Suzie explains that Anusara is the most heart-focused and spiritual of all types of hatha yoga. She also notes that Anusara focuses on the “3 As,” attitude, alignment, and adjustment, and that the theme of this particular practice is Opening to Grace. In general, Anusara tends to include a bit more flowery language than some of the other schools of yoga, and this practice is no exception; Suzie’s instruction is peppered with phrases such as “blossoming buttocks” and “smiley eyes.”
This practice is broken up into separate chapters; these chapters would easily work as stand-alone mini practices.
Suzie moves slowly into the practice by warming up with cat stretches for the spine and a couple repetitions of downward facing dog, providing precise information on alignment all the while. As she has you come into Mountain Pose, Suzie explains the Anusara concepts of loops and spirals in great detail, and from this point on, she continually reminds you to engage these throughout. This well-rounded practice moves from basic standing postures (side angle, triangle, warrior 1, warrior 2, wide-angle forward bend, tree, chair) to a nice series of floor poses (cobblers, bridge, spinal twist) before ending with a nicely set up relaxation sequence.
I’ve had some exposure to Anusara in the past, but I can’t say that I fully grasp the loops concept. However, I found that Suzie’s unique alignment instruction allowed me to go more deeply into many of the postures, even those I’ve never particularly cared for such as side angle pose (a.k.a. lateral flank pose). Although I had no problem following along with Suzie’s audio-only instruction, I would not recommend this practice for those brand new to yoga, as they might struggle with the lack of a visual component. However, anyone who is more familiar with the basic yoga postures should do fine with this practice. I would even recommend this “Beginners” routine to more advanced practitioners, who are likely to discover new facets of the yoga asanas through Suzie’s distinctive teaching.
Suzi seemed warm and genuine, and her cueing was fine.