Hip Opening Flow #2

Lisa Richards

Categories: Yoga
- Audio Workout

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Iím reviewing this workout after doing it once.

General workout breakdown: This 22-min. yoga MP3 focuses on hip opening, especially the outer areas of the hips, and includes a few twists. The practice begins in the seated position of your choice before moving through these poses: down dog, rag doll, samasthiti, surya namaskar A (mountain, standing forward fold, half lift, chaturanga, up dog, down dog), chair, 1-legged down dog, low lunge, half pigeon, seated twist, double pigeon, seated forward bend, supta baddha konasana, knees into chest, reclined spinal twist (1 leg bent), and savasana. The pace doesnít feel rushed (I need to modify chaturangas and had just enough time to do so), and Lisa leaves you in savasana, allowing you to stay down much longer past the end of the MP3 file.

Level: Yogadownload rates this as Level 3, or 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. Iíve been doing yoga for something like 6 years now, although I donít practice at a particularly advanced level by any stretch of the imagination, and I find this perfectly doable yet still worth doing. I tried it today after kickboxing, and it was a great way to open up the outer hips areas. Iím glad I was warmed up before I tackled it, though, as Iím not particularly flexible to begin with.

Music: kind of a tribal beat. Itís 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.

Comments: This isnít anything fancy or innovative, just a straightforward yoga practice that dives right in.
Iím always up for a good hip opening practice, and this one will come in handy for days when I donít have a lot of time but need to undo tension from too much sitting, weights, kickboxing, etc. Itís a little unfortunate that it zeroes in on the hips so closely to the detriment of other areas in that general region of the body, but sometimes it does feel good just to get into that pigeon pose. (It might be interesting to combine this with the Hips practice from Gary Kraftsowís Viniyoga Therapy For Low Back, Sacrum and Hips, which focuses on the muscles around the hips - those in the low back, the hip flexors, etc. - but Iím just rambling here.) This feels kind of like a Cliffs Notes version of Eoin Finnís Magically Hips from Power Yoga for Happiness or his Tragically Hips MP3.

Instructor Comments:
Lisa has a pleasant voice. I feel like I might almost be in her live class. She cues well. Thereís not a ton of form instruction, alignment tips, etc., but Lisa includes a decent amount to keep you on track but not overwhelm you. Lisa uses mostly English names of poses. Her language is perhaps the most metaphoric or flowery of the yogadownload.com instructors Iíve tried so far (Dawnelle, Jackie), but itís really not anywhere close to Shiva Rea, Rainbeau Mars, etc. (She says things like asking you to stand tall as if to connect your head to the heavens, for example.)