Heart Opening Flow #1

Jackie Casal

Categories: Yoga
- Audio Workout

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Iím reviewing this workout after doing it once.

General workout breakdown: This 24-min. yoga MP3 flows through several vinyasas, with an emphasis on stretching across the chest and opening the heart both in the usual flow poses as well as a few backbends. It begins in childís pose before moving through these postures: down dog, twist (in standing forward bend), half lift, standing forward bend, tadasana, standing back bend, high plank, chaturanga, up dog, 1-legged down dog, warrior 1, humble warrior, warrior 2, extended side angle (with optional half or full bind or with arms open), triangle, prasarita (or standing forward bend with hands clasped behind back), boat, reverse table top, knees to chest, camel (prep or full variation), sit on heels, spinal twist (reclined, with one knee bent), and savasana; the practice ends after rolling through supported fetal pose in a simple seated position for a final bow. The pace isnít too fast but isnít too slow (I had sufficient time to modify the chaturangas, for example); I never felt rushed, although if youíre looking for long holds, especially in savasana, youíre a little out of luck here.

Level: Yogadownload rates this as Level 3-4, or what they consider intermediate to advanced intermediate. Iíd say this would be accessible to someone with a good amount of yoga experience under his/her belt, enough so that an audio-only practice isnít something frightening. If youíre familiar with the poses listed above and have a decent amount of strength and flexibility youíll be just fine. Although Iíve been doing yoga for something like 6 years now, Iím not practicing fully intermediate poses like wheel, headstand, etc., or advanced ones like forearm balances, and I found this worked well for me.

Music: atmospheric. Itís sparse and in the background, not at all intrusive or obnoxious or anything like that.

Production: clear sound, no extraneous noise.

Equipment: yoga sticky mat (or equivalent).

Space Requirements: enough room to lie down with hands and legs extended.

MP3 Notes: This MP3, available at yogadownload.com, comes with an Adobe Acrobat file showing you the poses. There are also 30 min., 45 min., and 60 min. versions of this practice available.
There are no chapters within the audio file. There is a very brief YogaDownload.com intro, which appears before every file.

Comments: This isnít anything fancy or innovative, just a straightforward yoga practice that does what it does nicely.
Jackie says this is to warm the muscles, which I interpret to mean she designed this as a practice for the morning. However, I think this would also make a great post-work or study session practice to counteract all of that hunching over computers, books, steering wheels, etc. (I probably wouldnít use this as a just before bed practice because of the backbends, although you can tone them down a little if you want or need.) To me this practice can both energize and release tension.

Instructor Comments:
Jackie has a pleasant voice. She cues well. Thereís not a ton of form instruction, alignment tips, etc., but Jackie includes a decent amount to keep you on track but not overwhelm you. Jackie uses mostly English names of poses, and her language in generally is relatively straightforward and plain.