Level 1 – River Flow, Opening the Currents of a Yoga Practice

Tias Little
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Yoga



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I had heard good things about yoga instructor Tias Little for years, so I was interested to try this practice. Little studied Ashtanga vinyasa yoga with Pattabhi Jois, but he is also a licensed massage therapist a long-time student Vipassana meditation, Tibetan Buddhism, and Zen, all of which influence his practice.

More than just a yoga routine, this DVD incorporates many elements as described on the main menu, which I have reproduced below. [I have provided the additional information in brackets.]

Play All
Poem by Takahashi [brief, titled "Words"]
Prelude
Dharma Talk on "Non-Clinging"
Meditation--6 minutes [6:40]
Asana--46 minutes [46:12]
Closing Meditation--5 minutes [4:45]
Savasana--5 minutes [5:09]
Poem by Wendell Berry ["The Peace of Wild Things"]
Credits & Out Takes

In the Prelude, Little refers to yoga as a "contemplative practice." The talk about non-clinging includes the concept of the "Teflon mind" as well as the non-permanence of things, from the Twin Towers in NYC to the sand mandalas created by Buddhist monks.

The meditation/asana practice starts at 22 minutes into the DVD. Little is shown practicing alone in various outdoor settings, and his instruction is via voiceover. He uses mainly Sanskrit names for the postures but will sometimes refer to the common English translations as well. Occasional still photos are interspersed with the video, usually to show a modification. The postures that appear in the routine are listed below. (I use the English pose names to make them more readily recognizable to most.)

Hero pose on block, adding chin lock and arms overhead
Downward-facing dog, coming to standing
Sun salutations
Standing forward bend variations, including hold toes, feet on palms, feet on hands
Triangle
Side angle pose
Warrior 2
Half Moon
Wide-legged forward bend
Pyramid, optional arms in reverse prayer pose
Vinyasa to downward facing dog; hold 5 breaths
Staff pose; supine staff pose
Half hero forward bend
Head to knee pose
Half lotus prep (rock the baby) to half lotus forward fold
Half fish pose
Vinyasa to butterfly with forward bend
Wide-legged forward bend; supine wide-legged pose
Legs up to wide-legged plow to plow
Shoulderstand variations; back to plow

This is a nice practice with excellent form and alignment cues. I find it more serious than some of my other yoga practices, but definitely good for when I feel the need for a refresher of basics. Also, I found the addition of the meditation segments and poems a nice bonus. I would definitely recommend this DVD.

Instructor Comments:
I liked Tias. As noted, he comes across a bit serious, but he certainly seems to be an excellent, knowledgeable instructor.

Beth C (aka toaster)

02/22/2015

There are 2 DVD's, sold separately.

Level 1 – River Flow, Opening the currents of a yoga practice

Leve1 2 – Freeing the Bird of Prana, Opening the wings of a yoga practice

The DVD’s are beautifully and professionally produced, and chaptered--although the asanas (yoga poses) are all on one chapter. In its entirety, its what I think you would expect from his workshop, some yoga philosophy, chanting, Buddist teachings, and a well-sequenced asana practice with gentle but careful cueing for correct alignment, and very knowledgeable in anatomy. He is warm and funny in person, but more serious in the DVD. It is done with voice-over, and he sets the tone for a contemplative practice with images and poetry. He uses both Sanskrit and English. There is soft music playing in the background, hardly noticeable, but calming. He demonstrates on New Mexico’s stark, redish rock formations. Modifications are shown, example—using a block or a strap.

Level 1--Opening the currents of a yoga practice. 80 minutes total

Chapters are:
Poem by Takahashi
Prelude
Dharma Talk—Non clinging
Key points for the practice
Meditation—6 minutes
Asana—46 minutes
Closing meditation—5 minutes
Savasana 5 minute
Poem by Wendell Berry

The asana sequence moves slowly, with long holds, and good form pointers throughout, except for the Chaturanga (plank) to Upward Facing Dog, which surprisingly, had no form pointers. To prevent shoulder injuries, drop to your knees if you can’t do a regular pushup, and pull your shoulder blades back and down, and keep tailbone down, belly button pulled in.

Suitable for a experienced beginner. The poses are:

1. Viranasa (hero), sitting on a block, then Parvatasana (hands overhead)
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (down dog), head on a block
3. Samastithi (standing/waiting)
4. Surya Namaskar--Iyengar version (sun salutations
5. Pada Uttanasana series: hold toes, then feet on palms, then feet on backs of hands
6. Trikonasana (triangle), block optional
7. Parsvakonasana (extended side angle), block optional
8. Virabhadrasana 2 (warrior 2)
9. Trikonasana to Ardha Chandrasana (triangle to half moon), block optional
10. Padottanasana series (wide leg): on fingertips, then palms and top of head on floor, then hands on outer heels
11. Parsvottanasana (side extended) series: hands to floor/block, then hands on waist, then namaste behind back
12. One Sun Salutation
13. Dandasana (staff) on blanket, then Supta Dandasana (supine) with legs up, strap optional
14. Triang Mukhaikapada Pascimottanasana—1 leg in Virasana, then extend and forward bend
15. Janu Sirsasana—a leg bent, then extend and forward bend
16. Adho Mukha Svanasana (down dog)
17. Half Lotus preparation—shin on forearms, then Ardha Badda Padma Pasimottanasana (half lotus stretch), strap optional
18. Maricyasana (twist), strap optional
19. Caturanga Dandasana, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana
(plank, lower down, up dog, down dog)
20. Konasana series: Baddha Konasana (bound angle), Upavista Konasana (wide leg forward extension), Urdhva Konasana (legs up), and rock back into Supta Konasana (wide leg plough), then legs together for Halasana (plough)
21. Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) series: 2-3 blankets and strap optional, Eka Pada Sarvangasana (1 leg down), then Halasana (plough) with arms on floor


Level 2—Freeing the Bird of Prana, Opening the wings of a yoga practice

Total 90 minutes. Intermediate level. The chaptering is similar, but this Asana practice is 59 minutes, and definitely more challenging, with full arm balance, headstand, camel, full backbend, lotus. I am going to modify, or skip the poses I can’t do yet.

1. Viranasa (hero), sitting on a block, then Parvatasana (hands overhead)
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (down dog), head on a block
3. Samastithi (standing/waiting)
4. Surya Namaskar--Iyengar version (sun salutations)
5. Pada Uttanasana series: hold toes, then feet on palms, then feet on backs of hands
6. Adho Mukha Vrksana (full arm balance), option to do down dog, then walk
half way up the wall
7. Trikonasana (triangle), block optional, then Parivrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle)
8. Parsvakonasana (extended side angle), block optional, then Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (revolved side angle)
9. Virabhadrasana 1 (warrior 1)
10.Padottanasana series (wide leg): with arms bent and palms on floor, then
interlocked fingers and arms overhead, then with arms in handstand position and top of head on floor
11. Trikonasana to Ardha Chandrasana (triangle to half moon), block optional,
then to Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (revolved half moon)
12. one Sun Salutation
13. Salamba Sirsasana (headstand), wall optional
14. rest in Virasana, then down dog
15. Supta Eka Pada Virasana (reclining 1-leg hero), bolster optional
16. Setu Bandha (bridge), block optional, then with legs extended
17. one Sun Salutation
18. Ustrasana (camel)
19. up dog, down dog
20. Urdhva Dhanurasana series: 3 variations, with rest in between, then Dvi Pada Viparita Dandasana (headstand backbend), then walk feet out for Inverted Staff, and back into backbend
21. Supta Padangusthasana (supine big toe), strap optional, then upper leg crosses midline
22. Padottanasana series (wide leg): side bend to 1 leg, then other, then fold forward with palms and head on floor
23. Sit in Padasma (lotus), option sit-cross legged, then twist, holding feet or strap
24. Bound Lotus, holding both feet or strap, then forward fold



Instructor Comments:
Here is a recent article on a workshop he conducted:

http://www.yogachicago.com/mar04/tias.shtml

And his website:
http://www.yogasource-santafe.com/boutique/dvdinfo.htm



Katie W

06/22/2006

I recently attended a workshop with Tias Little, at the NW Yoga Festival, and really liked him, so e-mailed him to order his new DVD’s:


Here is a recent article on a workshop he conducted:

http://www.yogachicago.com/mar04/tias.shtml

The DVD’s are beautifully and professionally produced, and chaptered--although the asanas (yoga poses) are all on one chapter. In its entirety, its what I think you would expect from his workshop, some yoga philosophy, chanting, Buddist teachings, and a well-sequenced asana practice with gentle but careful cueing for correct alignment, and very knowledgeable in anatomy. He is warm and funny in person, but more serious in the DVD. It is done with voice-over, and he sets the tone for a contemplative practice with images and poetry. He uses both Sanskrit and English. There is soft music playing in the background, hardly noticeable, but calming. He demonstrates on New Mexico’s stark, redish rock formations. Modifications are shown, example—using a block or a strap.

Level 1--Opening the currents of a yoga practice. 80 minutes total

Chapters are:
Poem by Takahashi
Prelude
Dharma Talk—Non clinging
Key points for the practice
Meditation—6 minutes
Asana—46 minutes
Closing meditation—5 minutes
Savasana 5 minute
Poem by Wendell Berry

The asana sequence moves slowly, with long holds, and good form pointers throughout, except for the Chaturanga (plank) to Upward Facing Dog, which surprisingly, had no form pointers. To prevent shoulder injuries, drop to your knees if you can’t do a regular pushup, and pull your shoulder blades back and down, and keep tailbone down, belly button pulled in.

Suitable for a experienced beginner.

1. Viranasa (hero), sitting on a block, then Parvatasana (hands overhead)
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (down dog), head on a block
3. Samastithi (standing/waiting)
4. Surya Namaskar--Iyengar version (sun salutations
5. Pada Uttanasana series: hold toes, then feet on palms, then feet on backs of hands
6. Trikonasana (triangle), block optional
7. Parsvakonasana (extended side angle), block optional
8. Virabhadrasana 2 (warrior 2)
9. Trikonasana to Ardha Chandrasana (triangle to half moon), block optional
10. Padottanasana series (wide leg): on fingertips, then palms and top of head on floor, then hands on outer heels
11. Parsvottanasana (side extended) series: hands to floor/block, then hands on waist, then namaste behind back
12. One Sun Salutation
13. Dandasana (staff) on blanket, then Supta Dandasana (supine) with legs up, strap optional
14. Triang Mukhaikapada Pascimottanasana—1 leg in Virasana, then extend and forward bend
15. Janu Sirsasana—a leg bent, then extend and forward bend
16. Adho Mukha Svanasana (down dog)
17. Half Lotus preparation—shin on forearms, then Ardha Badda Padma Pasimottanasana (half lotus stretch), strap optional
18. Maricyasana (twist), strap optional
19. Caturanga Dandasana, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana
(plank, lower down, up dog, down dog)
20. Konasana series: Baddha Konasana (bound angle), Upavista Konasana (wide leg forward extension), Urdhva Konasana (legs up), and rock back into Supta Konasana (wide leg plough), then legs together for Halasana (plough)
21. Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) series: 2-3 blankets and strap optional, Eka Pada Sarvangasana (1 leg down), then Halasana (plough) with arms on floor


Level 2—Freeing the Bird of Prana, Opening the wings of a yoga practice

Total 90 minutes. Intermediate level. The chaptering is similar, but this Asana practice is 59 minutes, and definitely more challenging, with full arm balance, headstand, camel, full backbend, lotus. I am going to modify, or skip the poses I can’t do yet.

1. Viranasa (hero), sitting on a block, then Parvatasana (hands overhead)
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (down dog), head on a block
3. Samastithi (standing/waiting)
4. Surya Namaskar--Iyengar version (sun salutations)
5. Pada Uttanasana series: hold toes, then feet on palms, then feet on backs of hands
6. Adho Mukha Vrksana (full arm balance), option to do down dog, then walk
half way up the wall
7. Trikonasana (triangle), block optional, then Parivrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle)
8. Parsvakonasana (extended side angle), block optional, then Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (revolved side angle)
9. Virabhadrasana 1 (warrior 1)
10.Padottanasana series (wide leg): with arms bent and palms on floor, then
interlocked fingers and arms overhead, then with arms in handstand position and top of head on floor
11. Trikonasana to Ardha Chandrasana (triangle to half moon), block optional,
then to Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (revolved half moon)
12. one Sun Salutation
13. Salamba Sirsasana (headstand), wall optional
14. rest in Virasana, then down dog
15. Supta Eka Pada Virasana (reclining 1-leg hero), bolster optional
16. Setu Bandha (bridge), block optional, then with legs extended
17. one Sun Salutation
18. Ustrasana (camel)
19. up dog, down dog
20. Urdhva Dhanurasana series: 3 variations, with rest in between, then Dvi Pada Viparita Dandasana (headstand backbend), then walk feet out for Inverted Staff, and back into backbend
21. Supta Padangusthasana (supine big toe), strap optional, then upper leg crosses midline
22. Padottanasana series (wide leg): side bend to 1 leg, then other, then fold forward with palms and head on floor
23. Sit in Padasma (lotus), option sit-cross legged, then twist, holding feet or strap
24. Bound Lotus, holding both feet or strap, then forward fold

His DVD’s have just been released, and are not listed for sale at his website yet.

http://www.yogasource-santafe.com/

Katie W

05/27/2005