Gentle Flow YogaStephanie Keach
Year Released: 2006
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Disclaimer: I received this video as a free download from iHanuman.com.
As the title suggests, this 60-minute practice by Stephanie Keach consists of a gently flowing series of yoga postures. Performed entirely on the floor, the poses offer a combination of restorative work and mild stretches. Stephanie starts you off in a supported cobbler’s pose (using a blanket as a bolster), where she guides you through some basic pranayama (yogic breathing) work. Removing the bolster but continuing to lie on your back, you will perform knee hugs, hip opening work (including half dead bug pose), and a reclined twist. Next it’s on to hands and knees for cat rolls, child’s pose, and cobra, working up to a flowing series which seamlessly combines these three postures (Stephanie’s study under Kali Ray is apparent here). Moving to a seated position, Stephanie performs neck rolls, a simple seated twist, cow seat, and then full cow pose (unfortunately, you may find that your upper body is not sufficiently warmed up for this posture). The final seated posture is head-to-knee pose using a strap; Stephanie has you flow in and out of this pose several times before holding it wherever you are able to do so. Returning to lying on your back, you will work your abs with knee drops and then perform bridge and crossed leg twist. Finally, Stephanie sets you up for a long (about 10 minutes) savasana, with only the sound of gentle music playing in the background until a soft bell calls you to finish the practice.
This video reminded me very much of Rainbeau Mars’ Pure Tranquility, partly because both practices are performed entirely on the floor, and partly because Stephanie’s teaching style is very reminiscent of Rainbeau’s, particularly with her frequent focus on the breath. Stephanie also talks about our overactive “monkey mind,” encouraging you to let go of thoughts and to concentrate on your body instead. Overall, this is a very nice, calming, relaxing practice accessible to all levels of yoga practitioners.
Stephanie instructs well using mirrored cuing. At the start of the video, she is shown performing postures in a beautiful outdoor rocky brook location; I would've preferred this to the actual indoor location of the video.