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PRASARA. Instructional Series 'A' Flows

1 rating: 1.0
A movie directed by Nikolay Travkin

This revolutionary new movement incorporates both traditional yoga postures and Vinyasa (meaning 'to place in a special way' and refers to consciously synchronizing breath with movement and structure.) Coach Sonnon presents a phenomenal key to body, … see full wiki

Tags: Movie
Cast: Scott Sonnon
Director: Nikolay Travkin
1 review about PRASARA. Instructional Series 'A' Flows

Good breakdown of an excellent series of moving Yoga patterns

  • Feb 23, 2008
If you've never done Yoga before, this would probably not be the place to start. Sonnon does a very good job breaking down the physical poses and movements and explaining them without a lot of confusing jargon. But this is not basic Yoga by any means. I think a beginner would get frustrated with Sonnon's beautiful but very challenging "flows." They aren't extremes of flexibility or strength by any means, but to do them right, even with detailed instructions, you do have to really go inside yourself and patiently learn how your body works. If you were to start with a program like this, I think the temptation would be very strong to make it a very physical exercise and lose track of the delicate body feedback and breath discipline that is central to the practice. I suspect it would be easy to do a caricature of Prasara yoga that missed the beauty of it.

Sonnon builds wonderfully on the basic Yoga concepts to create something new and unique, constantly flowing but continually controlled movement patterns that take your body to its movement limits while letting your mind go into its own free flowing zone. This is one of the most appealing forms of Yoga practice I've come across because it is very adaptable to athletic training, it works well to keep my body feeling supple and strong, and yet it still helps me to focus my mind powerfully once I begin to get the hang of the movements and the transitions. I like this approach a lot better than trying to hold poses for long periods. Sonnon emphasizes making the transitions smooth between asanas, without losing the important elements of each pose and coordination with breathing. This makes Prasara seem to me a lot more palatable and quickly appreciable to people like me who come to Yoga initially from a physical and athletic rather than primarily spiritual direction.

The only problem I found with the instructional approach here is that while it breaks down the chains movement by movement very well, it does not offer much in the way of "partial" movements where the movements are difficult. One of the compromises that Sonnon makes by emphasizing the transitions is that of course as a result he de-emphasizes the individual poses, and some of the poses are relatively advanced. For example, there is a movement you sit, grasp a heel from behind you, bring the leg in front of you, and then fold it across you and stand up. He explains the parts, but I found that I had to get very creative to find ways to "train for" each piece of the movement before I could put that one simple movement together. It took a lot of flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination to do the simple movement that Scott demonstrates as a simple chain of movements. I found that I had to take each piece and work on partial versions of it first before trying even the most basic form that he demonstrates. I've noticed that a lot of beginner Yoga materials use all sorts of props and variations of poses to help learn and train for the more advanced ones. Scott leaves that sort of remedial assistance as an exercise for the viewer.

That being the only thing I had a problem with, I have to highly recommend this Prasara instructional series for anyone who is either already comfortable with Yoga practice or willing to work diligently at it and perhaps add remedial work from other forms of Yoga. Particularly for those who want a new exercise experience that blends particularly well with athletic and dance training, teaches you confidence in movement, balance, and body control, while keeping you supple, feeling great, and focusing your mind. Yoga is a wonderful discipline for both restorative purposes and developmental purposes, and Prasara is one of the most ingenious and adaptable formats for practicing Yoga available in my opinion. If you get tired of pumping iron and jogging and want something a little more sophisticated to engage your mind and spirit along with your body, this is a great option.

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