Join Master Yoga teacher Erich Schiffmann for his popular weekly class held in Santa Monica, California. These multi-level classes begin with an opening discussion on yoga philosophy and its relevance to everyday life, followed by an asana practice that encourages an intimate connection to the breath, receptivity to inner guidance, and permission to explore and discover your own yoga.
This live recording features yoga instructor Erich Schiffmann during one of his weekly classes held in March 2009. It is a two-part audio, with Part 1 featuring a discussion and Part 2 offering an asana practice. The discussion stems from a question asked by one of Schiffmann’s students on how to maintain a yogic mindset when dealing with difficult or disruptive people. Schiffmann emphasizes the importance of regaining clarity (i.e., through activities such as meditation) rather than focusing on solving the problem; he goes on to talk about connecting with a “big mind” wisdom and being a healing presence. Towards the end of the discussion, Schiffmann fields a question from another class member who expresses some impatience about having to devote precious time that she’s designated for her physical well-being to “a long conversation”; Schiffmann deftly responds.The practice portion of the class begins with meditation. In this 8-minute segment, Schiffmann provides the class with guiding statements such as “feel what it’s like to be you” and “as though you were reporting the news, silently say the word ‘love’ to yourself.” He brings the class out of the meditation with a simple cross-legged seated forward bend, held for a minute or two on both sides. Coming to a standing position, Schiffmann leads his students through some warm-up moves such as circling the arms, shaking out the arms and legs, and performing fluid movements in a standing forward bend. The first flow series follows: starting on hands and knees, it includes child’s pose, cat/cow, and Schiffmann’s unique “heavy-handed dog pose.” Schiffmann’s second flow is based on the reclined leg series. In addition to working with reclined leg variations, this series includes reclined lunge, happy babies pose, and reclined straddle. Coming to a seated position, the final posture here is wide-legged seated forward bend. At this point, Schiffmann suggests that class participants can add on one or two pose if they like, but he notes that they do not have time for the usual free form. Instead, he instructs his students to prepare for meditation pose (or lying if preferred), allowing the last seven minutes for this final rest. At just 60 minutes, this gentle, flowing practice would be a lovely way to end a hectic, fast-paced day. Some prior yoga experience is mandatory in order to follow Schiffmann’s cueing, but otherwise, this class is appropriate for all levels.