29 May, 2013

Go see Alice

Today was Vinyasa with Alice Harper at Live Love Flow.

Alice is a fantastic teacher, and if you haven't taken her class, get on over to LLF and check it out.

I have always noted that she does interesting, long, challenging flows. Today, I managed to remember the longest and most complicated of them in its entirety. The class started with about 5 Sun A, and then we went into Mandala Sun B sequences, linking the forward and backward facing with Star Pose. We did two rounds of that Sun B Mandala, and then added some Knee-To-Nose into the Mandala for two more rounds. Next was the mother of all flows, which I am listing here for your perusal:

Downward Dog
Extend Right Leg
Right Knee to Nose - Hold
Right Knee to Right Elbow - Hold
Right Knee to Left Elbow - Hold
Extend Right Leg
Step Through to Warrior I - Hold
Open to Warrior II - Hold
Reverse Warrior
Side Angle Pose - Hold
Warrior II
Star Pose
Pivot to Warrior II toward back of room
Reverse Warrior
Half Moon Pose - Hold
Standing Splits - Hold
Step to Crescent Lunge - Hold
Launch into Airplane - Hold
Circle Sweep
Chair Pose
Raise onto Toes and lower slowly into deepest squat
Sit into Boat Pose - Hold
Cross the legs and roll over feet
High Plank
Repeat above on Left Side

After doing the entire series on both sides, repeat the entire thing again, but without the long holds, adding the following modifications:

On the initial "Knee-to-XXX" include an extend leg between each step (nose, extend, left elbow, extend, right elbow, extend)
When you get to Side Angle, 3x alternate between Reverse Warrior & Side Angle
When you get to Airplane, 3x alternate between Airplane and leg extended in front with arms up
When you get to Boat Pose - 8x Bicycle Crunches in Boat Pose

There was one final flow that basically went as follows:

Warrior I
Humble Warrior
Warrior I
Warrior II
Standing Straddle Forward Fold
Lizard Pose
Add Quadricep Stretch
Repeat on other side

Then we hit the floor and it was mellow from there. The biggest challenge in her classes is the knowing that these long flows will be repeated on another side, and then often repeated again on both sides. There's something psychological about long flows. It's like climbing a mountain, as opposed to running laps around a track. My intention today was to try to have fun and to find ease. And even with that best of intentions, there's a wall that I sort of hit where it became more challenging. But I think I did manage to keep a certain lightness throughout the class. I never felt physically weighed down.

Good stuff.

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