Jivamukti Intermediate/Advanced Yoga Class

Sharon Gannon

Categories: Yoga
- Audio Workout


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Just did the Jivamukti Intermediate/Advanced Yoga Class CD with Sharon Gannon. [Note: They also have an Intermediate/Advanced CD voiced by David Life. It is different.] I like it! It's not perfect, but it's got a lot going for it. It really is Intermediate/Advanced, in that there are a few advanced poses (forearm stand, wheel that you just push into without any preliminary bridge and no discussions of modifiers), but a beginner who knew a few modifications and when to not push could do this comfortably. Here is the list of poses from the front of the booklet:

Siddhasana (sitting); tadasana (mountain); utthita trikonasana (triangle); surya namaskara I (salute to the sun); surya namaskara II (salute to the sun); parivrtta utkatasana (awkward twist); parivrtta trikonasana (revolved triangle); urdhva prasarita ekapadasana (standing split); ardha matsyendrasana (seated 1/2 spinal twist); garudasana (eagle); uttita hasta padangusthasana (standing one-legged extenstion); uttanasana (standing forward bend); chaturanga dandasana (plank to low push-up); urdhva mukha svanasana (upward facng dog); adho muhka svanasa (downward facing dog); vasisthasana (side arm balance); paschimottanasana (seated forward bend); baddha konasana (cobbler); tarasana (star); purvottanasana (tabletop); mayurasana (peacock feather/forearm balance); bhujangasana (cobra); salabhasana (locust); hunumanasana (split); dhanurasana (bow); urdhva dhanurasana (wheel); salamba sarvangasana (shoulderstand); halasana (plow); matsyasana (fish); savasana (corpse).

The Plusses:

It's less than an hour long, which for me is important. It clocks in at 57:59.

It has some variations that are fairly uncommon on the videos that I usually do. Her version of Sun Sal B has a warrior 2 thrown in right after the warrior 1, which I really liked. We also did hanumanasana (splits) which I've never done in a video. It also had a variation of uttita hasta padangusthasana that I actually liked! I did skip forearm balance, because I've never done it before and wouldn't attempt to do it without instruction.

Great breath cuing. I came to expect it so much that a few times when she didn't do it, it sort of left me hanging, but next time I'll know.

Nice Krishna Das music underneath. Loud enough to hear but not overpowering her instruction.

Pretty good instruction. I only had to look at the booklet a couple of times.

The booklet shows every pose in order.

The Minuses:

It's all one long track

I didn't really care for the chanting at the beginning. I managed to FFWD 2:30 minutes in to the beginning of the asanas, but a separate track would have been nice.

The first time you do a pose, she uses the common as well as the sanskrit term, but after that, she only uses sanskrit. For those who do not know the sanskrit terms, this will be a challenge (although it might help you learn them!)

Somewhat woo woo. No weird metaphors, but a lot of talk about how focusing on finding fault with others hampers your own spiritual development (true, but...)

No guided meditation! She gets you in to corpse and then says "Now you might want to get up and put in the relaxation CD..." Most annoying. Fortunately after that the music slowly fades out and the CD quietly stops, so you can just lie there undisturbed. But I still think it's a bit of a rip.

Now this may just be me. Her voice is just a little...I don't know how to describe it, but if you ever listen to NPR and have heard the woman who read the Edgar Allan Poe stories, she sounds a bit like that. A little too full of the wonder of the universe...but hey, she's a yogini, right?

The sequence is a little different than what I'm used to in that it has you go from floor to standing (as in, from rolling like a ball to tadasana) in a couple of places and she doesn't instruct the transition, so it's hard to know the best most graceful way to get up. There are a couple of other weird transitions as well.

The booklet's kind of thick and I had a hard time getting the pages to stay open. A poster might have been more helpful. The again, I don't anticipate needing it again now that I've done it once and will know what she's talking about.

I guess this might be a plus for someone else, but you do shoulderstand for, I'm not kidding, 5 minutes. I would have preferred a shorter inversion (I just did legs up the wall, since my elbows can't take shoulderstand that long) and more attention to the final resting pose. (Or she could have skipped the chanting at the beginning.)


Anyway, despite the list of gripes, I do like this and expect to use it regularly (gotta work on those splits!)

Renee D

12/11/2002