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Beryl Bender Birch: Power Yoga - the Practice
(Beverley Woods Prods.)
2002

What is it?
A 75-minute Yoga session, most of which is the Primary series of Astanga Yoga.
Who is it for?
Those who already have an established Astanga (or serious Power Yoga) practice, and who want a good session to follow at home. This is not a tape for beginners, and even intermediates will probably want to also follow Bender Birch's book, Power Yoga, along with the video or DVD.
What to expect:
Students who practice Power Yoga the way it was originally intended - as Yoga Chikitsa, based on the principles of Astanga Yoga - are usually frustrated and disappointed by the "Power Yoga" videos they find on the market. Most videos claiming to be "Power Yoga" are mainly energetic passes through Sun Salutations and various vinyasas, and put together without a lot of forethought. So leave it to Beryl Bender Birch who, with Bryan Kest, coined the phrase "power yoga" to create an at-home practice that closely mimics what you'd find at one of her classes. In fact, Power Yoga - the Practice seems to be a filmed version of one of her own classes, and many of the practitioners in it are probably her advanced students. Nevertheless, several levels of each pose are illustrated - each student has his or her own limitations - and one of the male students is in his 60s (and, except for somewhat tight shoulders and hamstrings, he's amazingly flexible for any age!). The best part of this video is that it isn't any old class - after all, the teacher is Bender Birch herself. She leads her students - and you - through the Primary Series in the way that only a master teacher can do. She frequently reminds everyone about the locks, Mulbandha and Uddiyan Bandha, which are crucial in a proper Astanga practice, and her instruction is both firm and warm.

This session is definitely not a beginners' practice. Bender Birch refers to the poses by their Sanskrit names, so you need to be used to hearing them - and doing them. One of the more frustrating aspects of this session is watching Bender Birch expertly adjust the students - you wish she'd walk out of the television screen and adjust you, too. Power Yoga - the Practice is best if you are already practicing Astanga Yoga regularly at a studio with your own teacher. On those days when you can't make it to the studio, or you can't afford the class, you can put this session on and have an excellent guide. It's also a good idea to have Bender Birch's first book, Power Yoga, as a reference - she actually recommends this as she introduces the session. This video - or DVD - is a well-done supplement to an established practice.

To Order Power Yoga - the Practice on DVD

To Order Power Yoga - the Practice on Video

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