Lakshmi Rocks MeJohn Friend
Year Released: 2007
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This is one of four videos filmed during a 2006 Anusara Yoga workshop webcast from The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. I enjoy the variety of people present at various levels. While John instructs the crowd, a model demonstrates off to the side with draperies behind her. She is fully visible during her shots and there is a good blend of the crowd, John Friend and the demonstrator.
It is a full practice (minus inversion) focusing on inner brightness, shoulder looping, chest expansion and introduction to backbends. The Sun Salutations are not “power” vinyasa; rather a slow and controlled flow with elemental poses held for several breaths.
A high point of this program is Friend’s instruction for the home practitioner to achieve the deepest, highest bridge and then learn to get into wheel. You can opt for blocks or a mat against the wall to elevate hands, or you can learn how to hold a partner’s ankles as your partner coaxes you into the apex position.
The 12 chapters include:
~ Invocation (he chants beautiful Ohms!)
~ Surya Namaskar
~ Parsvokanasana, each side (starting in Warrior II and moving to a side angle pose with hand on floor near foot of bent leg)
~ Surya Namaskar
~ Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Prep, each side (pigeon with backbend alignment - rear leg bent and hand grasping foot)
~ Eka Pada Bhekasana, each side (half bow pose)
~ Setubandha Sarvangasana (bridge)
~ Urdhva Danurasana (wheel)
~ Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Prep, each side (pigeon with forward bend alignment to counter wheel)
~ Uttanasana (standing forward bend)
~ Balasana (child’s/wisdom pose)
~ Janu Sirsasana (alternate head to knee pose, forwarding bending)
~ Ardha Matsyendrasana, each side (seated twists)
~ Supta Padangusthasana (lying alternate leg/hamstring stretch)
While walking amongst the crowd, Friend chats about Shakti, Shri, and Lakshmi the Goddess of Beauty & Light. The practice is peppered with reminders to bring inner beauty into your work, feel “shiny” in your asanas and smile with your eyes. Afterwards I feel upright, strong in the upper body and actually do feel a glow emanating from my heart. He gets you through a lot of work in an earthy, humorous manner. I love this practice, when I have time to do it.
Learn more about Anusara at www.anusara.com. Anusara yoga is highly instructional and its founder John Friend talks – a lot. If you are open to constant cuing for multiple levels of bodily alignment, Friend might stretch and open you deeper than you thought possible.