Friday, 9 December 2016

YogaGlo 15 day Free trial - Exploring Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor's Internal form of the practice'

Richard Freeman on YogaGlo

Following on from my previous post and  my review of Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor's new book 'The Art of Vinyasa Awakening the Body and Mind through the practice of Ashtanga Yoga', I felt the need to revisit some of Richard's Led classes, to work through some of the '...visceral visualizations that describe internal form of the practice' , outlined in the book, in the context of actual practice.

My Book Review
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2016/12/book-review-richard-freeman-and-mary.html

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Here's an example of one of the visualisations, the shortest.

"Cave of Sacrum
Awareness of the cave of the sacrum is another way of beginning to feel the pelvic  floor, Mūlabandha, and the lower under-belly version of Uḍḍīyāna Bandha.  The sacrum, to which the coccyx is attached, is set in the sacroiliac (SI) joints in the back of the pelvic basin. Together, the sacrum and coccyx form a contour that resembles a deep cave—almost a separate chamber—below the overall abdominal cavity.  The bladder, rectum, and uterus or prostate are housed in this area of the pelvis.
To feel and articulate the pelvic  floor, we need to develop a sense of emptiness or spaciousness, a suction sensation in this cave, as if we had spooned its contents back and up toward the lower lumbar vertebrae.  is feeling depends on having some feeling of tone in the pelvic  floor muscles attached to the coccyx—as if we were holding the coccyx in place to provide stability so we could scoop the spoon of the mind back and up along the front surface of the coccyx and sacrum to “clean out the cave.” Cultivating this cavelike feeling under the belly helps to fully integrate the internal form of nearly all poses and the movements between them.

Energetically the cave of the sacrum is the origin, the womb, and meditating there allows you to relax into the great irreducible mystery beyond thought. Be aware that clean and healthy bowels, as well as some of the less popular and strange kriya (practices) in hatha yoga, facilitate this ability to sense the cave of the sacrum. Most of these esoteric practices, like the ability to suck water up the anus, are actually rooted in train- ing the same muscles of the pelvic  oor that establish a sense of the cave of the sacrum. Overzealous practitioners are sometimes tempted to take the kriyas—like anything extreme or strange—too far, practicing the exercises to excess or believing they are the answer to everything when in fact they are simply another type of perspective or tool among many for connecting to the subtle layers of awareness in the body." The Art of Vinyasa Awakening the Body and Mind through the practice of Ashtanga Yoga'


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I have Richard's early DVDs of course and some transcripts but was reminded that Richard and Mary have been presenting classes over the last few years on YogaGlo.

YogaGlo also have a fifteen day free trial, I've subscribed and am currently working my way through Richard and Mary's videos.

Richard currently has 59 class videos, while Mary has 63 ( bit of a  slacker Richard, clearly).

The classes range from 10 to 90 minutes, some focus on one element of practice others a full led practice with a particular focus ( although of course there is crossover, many elements/visualisations coming of in the same video).

So far I'm enjoying the classes, surprised how much I'd actually internalised on Richard's five-day intensive in London a few years ago. It's good to be reminded of why I practice in a particular way and to brush up on some elements that I've allowed to slip or that went over my head altogether.

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Unfortunately I can't apply to Richard and Mary's teaching intensive in Boulder this year or probably next for that matter so these videos and the book are some consolation at least.

Details of the intensive here, open for application now I believe
http://www.richardfreemanyoga.com/teacher-intensives

http://www.richardfreemanyoga.com/

Below are fifteen video suggestions for a 15-day free trial, one for each of the 13 visceral visualisations that Richard and Mary outline in the book as well as two extras, one from Richard on Pranayama, the other from Mary on meditation. In the appendix below there are some other options that seem to focus on these areas should you wish to continue with your subscription past the free trial.

Note: Many Ashtanga practitioners might get frustrated by the idea of a led class that isn't the full series. Treat these perhaps as a workshop, a rest day practice or extra class or two at the weekend, perhaps one of the shorter classes as a second practice focussing on a particular area of practice.

For me I find I'm enjoying a day on, a day off, practicing along with one of the 90 minute videos one day then on the following day try to remember and reenforce the teaching from the previous days class in my regular practice.

UPDATE I forgot to mention, the subscription costs $18 a month, you can supposedly cancel whenever you wish.

I put these together for my own use but thought why not share it on the blog with anyone else who's interested. I'll probably change things around a little as I work through the list as well as add some others that illustrate these ideas more effectively.

First impression of YogaGlow? It seems to work, very easy to subscribe and I hear to cancel your subscription should you wish to. As with any online subscription trial, Netflix, Amazon prime etc. It's a good idea to set up an alert on your diary to let you know a day before the trial runs out so you can have a think whether you actually wish to stick with it and have payments start coming out of your credit card.

My only complaint so far is with the optional Ipad app. This is supposed to allow you to download up to 10 videos at a time for offline viewing (although I believe they magically stop working should you cancel your subscription). For some reason the download is dreadfully slow and often cancels itself half way through. I thought it might be just me but a google search suggests I'm not alone.

Update: It is possible to reduce the quality of the download to a 'compact' setting, this helps and because it's on the ipad the video still looks pretty good. As I write this update I'm downloading Richard's 90mins. Headstand and Shoulderstand class....., it's just completed it's download, taking around eight minutes. Time for practice

Streaming however seems fine thus far.

The videos below are mostly of Richard, at some point I'll no doubt focus on Mary's videos as they relate to ideas that come up in the book.

Mary Taylor's 90 minute YogaGlo classes

I'm off now to practice with Backbending on the Wave of Internal Breath - 90mins which seems to be along the lines of the class Richard presented to the Ashtanga yoga Confluence a few years ago that I tried to follow along with and transcribe. The YogaGlo version has much better sound quality and viewing angle.


 

My  fifteen suggestions



Richard includes thirteen '...visceral visualizations that describe internal form of the practice'.  Some I remember from the five day intensive I took with Richard in London a few years back and have stayed a part of my practice ever since, others are new to me. As well as reading them here some pop up in Richard's led videos and apps in the context of practice. See also this post, my part transcription of Richard's backbending workshop at the Ashtanga yoga confluence a few years back to see how these concepts apply to practice http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2012/03/richard-freeman-ayc-backbending.html

Mūlabandha

1. Backbending on the Wave of Internal Breath - 90mins
Use this practice to gain clarity as you learn to support the extension of your spine. These movements are required for full, deep and safe backbends. Begin by heating your body with sun salutations before systematically working through various stages of backbending, exploring the function of mula bandha, the optimal rotations of your femurs and the movements of your shoulder blades. Give yourself the delightful experience of a full, properly aligned backbend.

Releasing the Palate

2. Up and Down the Middle Spine - 60mins

Deepen your practice by first connecting to the subtle layers of alignment and form that unify and illuminate the postures. Focus on awakening and tuning your pelvic floor as you gradually move up through your body to finally awaken your throat and palate. Find detailed instruction moving from baddha konasana and upavistha konasana all the way up to your head and neck with ubhaya padangusthasana and setu bandhasana.



Psoas Line

3. Radiant Extension - 90mins
This Mary Taylor and Richard Freeman tutorial practice will help you learn to articulate the hands and the feet while connecting the legs and the arms into the lower Psoas muscle. When the structural patterns of the arms and legs come to life, they radiate out from and simultaneously root strongly back into the central axis of the body. Includes detailed breath instruction, surya namaskars, standing poses, seated poses, back-bends and cool-down. Prop Suggested: a blanket or block.

Cave of Sacrum

4. The Four Angels - 30mins
The four angels represent the four corners of the pelvic floor; the coccyx in back, the pubic bone in front and the two sitting bones on the sides. Waking up these angels and getting them to work together is the key to structural alignment and to moving the internal breath back and up into the central channel.

Kidney Wings

5. Secret of Kidney Love - 90mins
A step by step exploration of the coccyx, kidney wing, cobra hood pattern which grounds and releases mental and physical patterns. This pattern is the key to mulabandha and one of the great secrets of Hatha and Tantric yogas. Slowly move through a modified Ashtanga sequence with deconstructed sun salutations, padangustasana, trikonasana, parivrita trikonasana, janu sirsasana, marichasana A & C, half lotus, navasana, fish and more.


Psoas Buttons

6. Breathing Through Your Psoas Line - 60mins
With simple yet powerful asanas we explore the art of mulabandha by learning to keep the psoas muscle relaxed and long through out the entire inhale. This involves some amazing full body movements that involve the arms, legs and beyond.

Gaṇeśa Belly

7. Ganesha's Belly - 30 mins
An exploration of the lower abdomen and the pelvic floor in the gradual discovery of good breathing and alignment.

Cobra Hood

8. Elegant Neck - 45mins
In so many postures there is either subtle or extreme backbending through your neck. In this methodically paced class, breakdown upward facing dog before moving into camel and ubhaya padangusthasana. Extending your lower neck, even in backbends, is a skill that takes many years to learn correctly. Once you learn that skill, discover that there are so many delightful moments in a vinyasa sequence where you dissolve into the present moment and wake up!

Skin Flow

9. Continuous Alignment - 90mins
Here there is an emphasis on continuous alignment, on the thread of intelligent, aligned, integrated movement - that links postures together. Often form is taught for a 'static' classical pose rather than in the linking together of complimentary breath and structural patterns that compose the movement between those 'beautiful' poses.


Holding the Tail of a Serpent


10. Tail First Head Last - 60 mins
Feed your practice, find mula bandha, and practice proper breathing and good alignment. Spend time in various down dog variations, padangusthasana, trikonasana and fish pose. Work with practiced principles of form and movement so that these fluid transitions are second nature. In many vinyasa movements, alignment is maintained by continuous sequential rolling of your spine in and out of the postures. Experience this in transitions between poses and within poses themselves.


Feet Reflecting Pelvic Floor

11. 108 Triangles - 60mins
After defining the four corners of the pelvic floor, work them in their various connections to reveal the "esoteric triangles." When the deeply asymmetrical Trikonasana is done this way, it solves structural problems and awakens the reflexes from palate to perineum upon which the Vinyasa practice is based


Palate-Perineum Reflex

12. Shoulderstand and Headstand Family - 90mins
Using special training postures and alternatives, you will construct a delightful way of making these difficult and subtle postures feel wonderful and contemplative. The emphasis will be on internal channels revealed through palate and perineum. Go upside down without sacrificing safety or comfort. Props Suggested: A blanket for shoulderstand and wall space for headstand.


Plumb Line 

13. Up and Down the Middle Spine - 60mins
Deepen your practice by first connecting to the subtle layers of alignment and form that unify and illuminate the postures. Focus on awakening and tuning your pelvic floor as you gradually move up through your body to finally awaken your throat and palate. Find detailed instruction moving from baddha konasana and upavistha konasana all the way up to your head and neck with ubhaya padangusthasana and setu bandhasana.


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14. Principles & Patterns of Pranayama - 15mins

After finding a correct sitting posture, we will explore core principles and patterns of this basic pranayama. Prop Needed: A blanket to sit on. Prop Suggested: A chair to sit on.



15. Establish Your Internal Landscape - 10mins (Mary Taylor)

Take part in a short meditation practice that includes guided cues that help establish a sense of the internal landscape of the body. This will support the unfolding of a silent sitting practice for the last few minutes of your practice. Props Suggested: A blanket or two.



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APPENDIX




including some alternatives to the above.


Mūlabandha


Holding the Pot of Nectar - 15 mins 
The "pot of the belly" is a great internal source of energy, strength and intelligence. It is one source of nectar that spreads through your body in a deliberate and contemplative practice that leads to mula bandha. Gradually develop subtle awareness in your pelvic floor, lower back, psoas muscle, palate and along the central channel of your body, so that one day mula bandha appears.



Tail First Head Last - 60 mins
Feed your practice, find mula bandha, and practice proper breathing and good alignment. Spend time in various down dog variations, padangusthasana, trikonasana and fish pose. Work with practiced principles of form and movement so that these fluid transitions are second nature. In many vinyasa movements, alignment is maintained by continuous sequential rolling of your spine in and out of the postures. Experience this in transitions between poses and within poses themselves.


Backbending on the Wave of Internal Breath - 90mins
Use this practice to gain clarity as you learn to support the extension of your spine. These movements are required for full, deep and safe backbends. Begin by heating your body with sun salutations before systematically working through various stages of backbending, exploring the function of mula bandha, the optimal rotations of your femurs and the movements of your shoulder blades. Give yourself the delightful experience of a full, properly aligned backbend.



Releasing the Palate

Root of Palate - 15mins
Releasing the root of the palate is the key to alignment, Mula Bandha and many other contemplative techniques. Here are the basics and how to feel this gateway to the Central Channel.


Up and Down the Middle Spine - 60mins
Deepen your practice by first connecting to the subtle layers of alignment and form that unify and illuminate the postures. Focus on awakening and tuning your pelvic floor as you gradually move up through your body to finally awaken your throat and palate. Find detailed instruction moving from baddha konasana and upavistha konasana all the way up to your head and neck with ubhaya padangusthasana and setu bandhasana.




Psoas Line

Breathing Through Your Psoas Line - 60mins
With simple yet powerful asanas we explore the art of mulabandha by learning to keep the psoas muscle relaxed and long through out the entire inhale. This involves some amazing full body movements that involve the arms, legs and beyond.


Touching Infinity - 90mins
Extend through your Psoas line. Through modifications of sun salutations and standing postures like trikonasana and revolved trikonasana, discover long lines through your whole body. This subtle movement creates a feeling of stretch to infinity and beyond.



Radiant Extension - 90mins

This Mary Taylor and Richard Freeman tutorial practice will help you learn to articulate the hands and the feet while connecting the legs and the arms into the lower Psoas muscle. When the structural patterns of the arms and legs come to life, they radiate out from and simultaneously root strongly back into the central axis of the body. Includes detailed breath instruction, surya namaskars, standing poses, seated poses, back-bends and cool-down. Prop Suggested: a blanket or block.







Cave of Sacrum





The Four Angels - 30mins

The four angels represent the four corners of the pelvic floor; the coccyx in back, the pubic bone in front and the two sitting bones on the sides. Waking up these angels and getting them to work together is the key to structural alignment and to moving the internal breath back and up into the central channel.







Kidney Wings

Secret of Kidney Love - 90mins
A step by step exploration of the coccyx, kidney wing, cobra hood pattern which grounds and releases mental and physical patterns. This pattern is the key to mulabandha and one of the great secrets of Hatha and Tantric yogas. Slowly move through a modified Ashtanga sequence with deconstructed sun salutations, padangustasana, trikonasana, parivrita trikonasana, janu sirsasana, marichasana A & C, half lotus, navasana, fish and more.

Crossing the Midline for Kidney Power - 90mins
In this class you will uncover a remarkable way of grounding which protects your joints and builds strength and stability. Fine and precise alignment details will be explored through standing postures into advanced, seated hip-opening and twisting postures that incorporate this oblique pattern across the body. Complete your practice with a few side body openers before resting in savasana.


Psoas Buttons


Breathing Through Your Psoas Line - 60mins
With simple yet powerful asanas we explore the art of mulabandha by learning to keep the psoas muscle relaxed and long through out the entire inhale. This involves some amazing full body movements that involve the arms, legs and beyond.


Radiant Extension - 90mins

This Mary Taylor and Richard Freeman tutorial practice will help you learn to articulate the hands and the feet while connecting the legs and the arms into the lower Psoas muscle. When the structural patterns of the arms and legs come to life, they radiate out from and simultaneously root strongly back into the central axis of the body. Includes detailed breath instruction, surya namaskars, standing poses, seated poses, back-bends and cool-down. Prop Suggested: a blanket or block.



Gaeśa Belly


Discover the Pelvic Floor 30mins
Discover the pelvic floor and dialectical conversations there. Props Needed: Two blocks and a blanket.


Ganesha's Belly - 30 mins
An exploration of the lower abdomen and the pelvic floor in the gradual discovery of good breathing and alignment.





Cobra Hood





Drinking the Moonlight - 20mins
Take a tutorial style class introducing proper alignment in two contrasting forms of cow pose (gomukhasana), revealing intelligence from your pelvic floor through the root of your palate. Tap into the limitless supply of nectar or compassion that rests at the root of your palate. Learn to extend through your neck while keeping your heart buoyant and sunny. Walk away feeling more open in your hips and shoulders. Props Suggested: A strap.



Elegant Neck - 45mins

In so many postures there is either subtle or extreme backbending through your neck. In this methodically paced class, breakdown upward facing dog before moving into camel and ubhaya padangusthasana. Extending your lower neck, even in backbends, is a skill that takes many years to learn correctly. Once you learn that skill, discover that there are so many delightful moments in a vinyasa sequence where you dissolve into the present moment and wake up!



Tail First Head Last - 60mins
Deepen your practice by first connecting to the subtle layers of alignment and form that unify and illuminate the postures. Focus on awakening and tuning your pelvic floor as you gradually move up through your body to finally awaken your throat and palate. Find detailed instruction moving from baddha konasana and upavistha konasana all the way up to your head and neck with ubhaya padangusthasana and setu bandhasana.


Secret of Kidney Love - 90mins

A step by step exploration of the coccyx, kidney wing, cobra hood pattern which grounds and releases mental and physical patterns. This pattern is the key to mulabandha and one of the great secrets of Hatha and Tantric yogas. Slowly move through a modified Ashtanga sequence with deconstructed sun salutations, padangustasana, trikonasana, parivrita trikonasana, janu sirsasana, marichasana A & C, half lotus, navasana, fish and more.





Skin Flow


Continuous Alignment - 90mins
Here there is an emphasis on continuous alignment, on the thread of intelligent, aligned, integrated movement - that links postures together. Often form is taught for a 'static' classical pose rather than in the linking together of complimentary breath and structural patterns that compose the movement between those 'beautiful' poses.








Holding the Tail of a Serpent



Coiling Around the Sun - 10mins
A specially modified sun salutation to help discover the apana pattern and then to strengthen it. Within your sun salutations, hold bakasana for five breaths, down dog for five breaths and repeat the pattern. The idea is to keep the prana (heart) open, when there is full expression of the apana (serpent tail). This allows full grounding and compression free flexion.


Tail First Head Last - 60 mins
Feed your practice, find mula bandha, and practice proper breathing and good alignment. Spend time in various down dog variations, padangusthasana, trikonasana and fish pose. Work with practiced principles of form and movement so that these fluid transitions are second nature. In many vinyasa movements, alignment is maintained by continuous sequential rolling of your spine in and out of the postures. Experience this in transitions between poses and within poses themselves.






Feet Reflecting Pelvic Floor



108 Triangles - 60mins
After defining the four corners of the pelvic floor, work them in their various connections to reveal the "esoteric triangles." When the deeply asymmetrical Trikonasana is done this way, it solves structural problems and awakens the reflexes from palate to perineum upon which the Vinyasa practice is based.

Deconstructing Sun Salutations - 90mins
A step by step deconstruction of the forms used in Sun Salutations. This allows one to adapt the postures and movements to avoid discomfort and to reap the full benefit of this rhythmic practice. Prop Suggested: A blanket.



Palate-Perineum Reflex


108 Triangles - 60mins
After defining the four corners of the pelvic floor, work them in their various connections to reveal the "esoteric triangles." When the deeply asymmetrical Trikonasana is done this way, it solves structural problems and awakens the reflexes from palate to perineum upon which the Vinyasa practice is based.

Shoulderstand and Headstand Family - 90mins
Using special training postures and alternatives, you will construct a delightful way of making these difficult and subtle postures feel wonderful and contemplative. The emphasis will be on internal channels revealed through palate and perineum. Go upside down without sacrificing safety or comfort. Props Suggested: A blanket for shoulderstand and wall space for headstand.




Plumb Line 





Churning The Fire 10mins

Variations on jathara parivartana, a twist which can work your oblique abdominal muscles to deepen and balance twisting. It often frees lumbar movement, diaphragm movement and sacroilliac movement while building strength in your core muscles. A great class to add as part of a larger full body sequence.

Up and Down the Middle Spine - 60mins
Deepen your practice by first connecting to the subtle layers of alignment and form that unify and illuminate the postures. Focus on awakening and tuning your pelvic floor as you gradually move up through your body to finally awaken your throat and palate. Find detailed instruction moving from baddha konasana and upavistha konasana all the way up to your head and neck with ubhaya padangusthasana and setu bandhasana.



*

Come back in 15 days perhaps for a follow up on the trial.

 I'll also see about putting some of Richard's videos in a different order reflecting the Ashtanga series.

Something like this (work in progress ).


Deconstructing Sun Salutations - 90mins
A step by step deconstruction of the forms used in Sun Salutations. This allows one to adapt the postures and movements to avoid discomfort and to reap the full benefit of this rhythmic practice. Prop Suggested: A blanket.


108 Triangles - 60mins

After defining the four corners of the pelvic floor, work them in their various connections to reveal the "esoteric triangles." When the deeply asymmetrical Trikonasana is done this way, it solves structural problems and awakens the reflexes from palate to perineum upon which the Vinyasa practice is based.

Squaring Your Hips - 15mins
Many twists and forward bends involve a subtle turning of your pelvis back and forth to find the optimal angle of rotation. This skill can make a huge difference in the quality of some of your yoga postures. Activate mula bandha in the process. Learn to square your hips in twisting triangle, upavista konasana, janu sirsasana and marichayasana C.

Splitting the Mountain - 30mins
A tutorial class that explores methods for deepening baddha and upavistha konasanas. You will experiment with the spiraling patterns around the hip joints to awaken the pelvic floor. As a practitioner or student of yoga, learn to safely support your knees and hips as you forward fold and circulate your hips open. Props Needed: Three blankets and two blocks. Prop Suggested: A strap.

Up and Down the Middle Spine - 60min
Deepen your practice by first connecting to the subtle layers of alignment and form that unify and illuminate the postures. Focus on awakening and tuning your pelvic floor as you gradually move up through your body to finally awaken your throat and palate. Find detailed instruction moving from baddha konasana and upavistha konasana all the way up to your head and neck with ubhaya padangusthasana and setu bandhasana.

Flow and Counter Flow - 90
Learn the internal patterns which open the central core of your body, and go deep. Use breath queues and a steady pace to move through surya A and B, standing forward folds and supine and seated poses (Find detailed instruction moving from baddha konasana and upavistha konasana all the way up to your head and neck with ubhaya padangusthasana and setu bandhasana). As your breath flows, rolls and curls like waves, yoga postures relate to each other. Feel how this brings a remarkable sense of relief and clarity in your mind and body. 


Shoulderstand and Headstand Family - 90mins

Using special training postures and alternatives, you will construct a delightful way of making these difficult and subtle postures feel wonderful and contemplative. The emphasis will be on internal channels revealed through palate and perineum. Go upside down without sacrificing safety or comfort. Props Suggested: A blanket for shoulderstand and wall space for headstand.

Sitting Around Preparing for Padmasana - 15mins
A group of movements that can be done most anytime in order to prepare for full lotus. Various ways of folding your knees, rocking your legs and tilting your pelvis to create the opening for an extremely pleasant full lotus.

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A Reminder

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included.

"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta
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