Full Backcover Description
Yoga Body: Power Yoga With Stacy McCarthy
Instructor: Stacy McCarthy (Instructor Profile)
Runtime: 60 min.
Street Date: 1/4/2009
Certified instructor description:
This unscripted Ashtanga yoga practice gives yoga enthusiasts the energy of attending a live class. Stacy McCarthy’s precise instruction will challenge experienced yogis to strengthen and deeply stretch their bodies. Practitioners who are familiar with a vinyasa flow practice will excel in this vigorous practice.
2009 DVD release; Optional towel
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Yogis will enjoy practicing with a large group of students in a beautiful tropical setting. The large group facilitates showing various modifications for different ability and flexibility levels. This fast-moving practice focuses on strong Sun Salutations in the warm up, including Surya Namaskar B with Chair Pose. The teacher, Stacy McCarthy, includes the Sanskrit names of poses so dedicated yogis can foster a greater knowledge of yoga and its roots. She does a great job of encouraging deep uijayi or “Darth Vadar” breathing throughout the practice, especially during the challenging full versions of several standing poses. The Revolved Side Angle Pose is a wonderful inclusion to help build balance and strength, and open the shoulders and the hips. A stimulating sequence of balance postures includes a slow progression to Hand-to-Big-Toe pose with some options for modifications. A challenging flow with the popular arm balance, Crow, as its centerpiece, includes options for Levels 1, 2, and 3.
The frequent reminders to keep a strong center and pull the belly in, as well as the in-depth core work section in the Seated Postures section, will help you build strength in the ever-important core area. Those unaccustomed to an Ashtanga practice can still find strength, flexibility, and power with this practice. Many will enjoy practicing seated postures in the middle of a Sun Salutation to help build arm and core strength and keep practitioners focused and “in the moment.” Some seated poses include classical binds and twists that some might find difficult but are incredibly rewarding. These are a rare treat as not many DVDs include the classical versions of these poses.
Practitioners with a proficient knowledge of Sun Salutations will greatly benefit from this practice. The repetition of Sun Salutations, even through the Seated Posture sequence, helps develop strength in the core, deepens flexibility, and cultivates presence of mind.
Stacy’s encouragement to focus on both strengthening and surrendering drives home the very essence of yoga. Tips on how to use the breath to strengthen and surrender help practitioners both to feel more powerful and to let go. Some traditional finishing poses such as full backbend, Shoulderstand and Plow will help release the chest and low back, while rejuvenating the legs and the whole body. The teacher’s encouragement to give the brain a rest during final relaxation underscores what the entire practice is designed to do.
This practice is challenging even for this experienced yogi. The flow helped focus my mind and forced me to be in the present moment. The inclusion of specific core work and the emphasis throughout on the core makes this practice particularly strengthening for the abdomen and back. Forward bending and back bending in Sun Salutations helped open my chest and relieve back pain. I appreciated the reminder to pause in a pose and hold for 5 slow, even breaths. This made me slow down even during this fast-paced flow practice, and connect with my breath.
Warm Up: 9 minutes
Standing Postures: 20 minutes
Seated Postures: 22 minutes
Finishing Postures: 10 minutes
Total - Yoga: 60 minutes