Sonic Yoga Flow of the MonthJonathan Fields
Year Released: 2003
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This is the latest Sonic Yoga offering. It's similar to Baron Baptiste's style of practice, without all the silly stuff that Baron is prone to saying. It's long, 90 minutes, but you get a lot bang for your buck and you could cut it short if you want to. I think if you like Eoin Finn's style you will like this one.
It's the hanumanasana (splits) one and it's 90 minutes long. You can cut it to 55 minutes if you want to skip the splits part at the end. For that matter you can cut it down to whatever length you want, I guess. The DVD is not set up that way though. It has an introduction segment where Jonathan talks about splits and an outtakes segment. Other than that the practice is one big chapter. I wish the earlier ones were on DVD, because then I'd be tempted to get them. Since they're only available on VHS, I'm hesitating. Had they been on DVD it'd be a slam dunk.
I think it is different enough from Baron's that it would be worth it for people who already have Baron's live series to get it. Anyone who's read my past posts probably knows I have a low Baron tolerance. The set is similar to Baron's live series. It is like a live class format with Jonathan walking around instructing a big class. I like the yogis in the class. There were a couple of women in particular whose body types I could really relate to, fit but not super thin. People modify when they need to and some use props, there's even one woman who started skipping chaturangas and going straight to up dog towards the end like I tend to do at the end of a long power yoga practice. You see people taking breaks to drink water and wipe the sweat off their faces. I like that, because I'm doing the same thing. There's a lot of work during the last half hour where your back knee is on the ground, so be prepared with some padding if you have sensitive knees.
It's a very complete, challenging power yoga practice. This is definitely not a video for beginners or someone who doesn't know their way around a lot of yoga poses. Even though he does cue some moves for people who are new, the modifications are not clearly shown and a new beginner would probably find it frustrating, if not exhausting. It's fast paced and includes lots of challenging poses. There are also lots of variations on poses that I haven't seen a lot. It is nice for a change of pace for people who have a regular power yoga practice.
The instructor, Jonathan Fields, does kind of have a surfer dude type accent, but his instruction is really good. Better than Baron Baptiste's, I think, because he spends the time cueing the poses rather than saying silly things. He seems very genuine,like he doesn't take himself too seriously. He has a similar teaching style and look to Baron Baptiste (right down to the do-rag). But his talk tends more to instruction than philisophy. I prefer the instruction.
Thanks to everyone here for turning me on to such great workouts and especially some yoga practices I wouldn't normally find out about. Sonic Yoga is on that list and this practice is AMAZING!
Although I liked the Sonic Yoga Adavanced VHS practice, I was a bit bored by it - after years of Baptiste and Kest, it was more of the same. But this practice is of a whole other world!
First, the whole practice is not simply doing splits (hanumanasana). This is done once at the end and although I can do this pose, he shows a great modification using the block and the class has many different levels using the block. But...the practice *is* focused on warming up and stretching the body for this pose. And I just slipped into this pose like I never have before.
Second, the cues in this practice are truly unique and gets you into the poses on a whole different level. For example, he talks about how a pose is actually two different poses - one on the inhale where you might extend, and another on the exhale where you might twist.
Third, this practice is intense! 90 minutes of sweat inducing yoga but lots of modifications. He holds some of the poses for a long time. I consider myself an intermediate yogini and I practice about 2 hours a day. My staple practicies include Anasure Yoga, Shiva Rea, Baptiste, and Kest as well as Kimberly Wilson (sp?) and a few others.
Now some specifics:
- Music: Nice yoga music - inspirational - no vocals.
- Production - similar to the VHS. It is a live class being filmed. I can't say I watched it all that much while doing the class. The sound is great.
- The DVD has a funny outtakes section and a short explanation of the pose.
I am doing this on memory so I might be off:
- Hanging rag doll
- Sun Salutations A (3 or 4)
- Sun Salutations B (3 interspersed with side plank poses increasing in difficulty each time)
- a very tough warrior series
- easier back bend series
- a balancing series
- another tough warrior series (all have lots of crescent lunges to prepare for the split)
- back bend series
- a pigeon / hip opener series
- hanumanasa series
- finishing poses - forward bends, backward plank, boat series, twists (no inversions)
- relaxation (very short!)
The only con to this practice is the almost non-existent relaxation but I have other relaxation CDs (Shiva Rea's Drops of Nectar has them varying from 6 minutes to an hour if needed for practices like this).
All I can say is my hips were tingling after this practice. Many of the poses were unique too and again his cueing really enhanced the practice.
I highly recommend this practice and am looking forward to more monthly poses. This was a fresh look for those of us who practice yoga at home since most practices that are sold are usually more general overall practices and don't focus on one pose like this. My hats are off to the Sonic Yoga people for this creativity.