Liberation

David Life

Categories: Yoga



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David Life is co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga, a well-known studio in New York City. This video, however wass filmed at a studio in Maui when he held a workshop on yoga. It is filmed in a studio, not on a sound stage, whose class consists of people who have not studied with him before, although they all seem familiar with some level of yoga. The tape begins with David in a middle of a discussion of yoga in general, then he reads some yoga sutras and discusses them. I skimmed through this once and it was fairly interesting, and I expect to go back every now and then to listen again.

The tape then moves to a class which was already in session! This is not a power yoga, nor is it ashtanga. It is certainly more vigorous than anything which will appear via Yoga Zone of Living Arts, though. He goes through some standard yoga poses, starting with a few sun salutations, then triangle, side stretch, warrior, then onto some seated postures. What I like best about this tape is his teaching of poses which will help with other poses. There are a few very interesting hip opening poses which are both amazing and fun. He spends a long time working on proper alignment for opening the psoas, as well as aiming for length in backbends. Then it is onto a very long shoulder stand (100 breaths), a brief headstand and a very long relaxation.

There are a few things about this tape I would like to point out. One is the production quality. It is in a yoga studio, and a few times the camera lingers for a long time on a single photo, or the film just stops while some voice over catches up to it. There are also times when the speed of the film slows down, too. While doing the practice, however, I really didn't watch enough to see this.

The second thing is what happens between David and the students. He is working with people, while familiar with yoga in general, are unfamiliar with his kind of yoga. Although his verbal directions were crystal clear to me, some of them had trouble with right and left. Since he was a guest teacher, there were some students who seemed to be there more to enjoy themselves than to learn as much as they could from him. He seemed to be occasionally irked at their silliness in a Willem Dafoe kind of way.

The flow of the tape seems to stop about 45 minutes (it clocks in around 65 total). At that point he starts holding some poses very long, and is often interrupted by the students with sort of inane questions. I am very glad to have the chance to hear David Life in this class and love some of the things he does. Most likely I would do this tape when very tired or need a break from harder yoga. For those looking to expand their yogic horizons it is nice to have. (It is available from ashtanga1.com.)

Fran Goldsmith

03/16/2001