The beginning is the best place to start, or return to, when practicing yoga. Master yoga teacher, Erich Schiffmann, guides you in this practice designed for beginners and anyone who desires a gentle, well-rounded class. Seated opening poses, sun salutes, standing poses, lotus preparation, backbends, forward folds and twists lead up to a deep relaxation. Produced and edited by Erich, this video provides a safe introduction or valuable refresher in the art of moving into the stillness of yoga.
During the introduction to this practice, instructor Erich Schiffmann explains that the entire video was created by him - not only the instructing, but also the filming, editing, etc. Therefore, as with all the videos in Erich's Backyard series, there is no camera person. Erich suggests that the camera angles might be a bit off at times, but this is hardly noticeable as you move through the practice. Although you won't find the amazing production values of Erich's classic Yoga Mind & Body here, this video is still very nicely produced, definitely more than adequate.The total time of this practice is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. However, the video is very well-chaptered into ten segments which could easily be mixed and matched to create your own shorter, customized practice. Below is a brief overview of the postures included in each section:1. Introduction, 7.5 minutes. From a seated position, Erich leads you through forward bends, side bends, and twists.2. Mountain series, 7 minutes. Similar to the first segment except in a standing position; ends with a forward bend and squat.3. Cat/Dog series, 3.5 minutes.4. Half Salutes, 9.5 minutes. Erich performs half sun salutes and then flows into a series of standing postures, including triangle and wide-legged forward bend with a twist.5. Reclining lotus preps, 13.5. From both a reclined and a seated position, Erich leads you through a series of wonderful hip openers such as thread the needle and rock the baby; my favorite segment!6. Shoulder stretches, 14.5 minutes. Another great segment; Erich presents a great series of shoulder openers while seated in hero's pose (these include, but are more comprehensive than, the shoulder exercises which appear in his book).7. Locust series, 4 minutes. A shorter series of gentle backbends.8. Half Dog, 3.5 minutes. Shoulder stretch (also performed in Yoga Mind & Body).9. Bridge, 6.5 minutes. Includes several bridge variations plus a reclining twist.10. Savasana, 5 minutes. The credits start rolling about 1.5 minutes into this segment, but the music continues, so you can easily continue your relaxation until the chimes sound.This video gets rave reviews from beginning and more advanced yoga practitioners alike; it's easy to see the wide appeal of Erich's relaxed, laid back instruction and his gentle encouragement. He provides excellent voiceover and soothing cues reminding you to relax into the postures. Finally, he is accompanied by a tranquil musical score and his cat, Fig, who vies with the camera for Erich's attention (and loses). Definitely a valuable addition to your yoga media library.