Introduction to Universal Yoga by Andrey Lappa
This is not a DVD for someone who is looking for "results" from yoga. Nor is it for someone who has knee or shoulder and/or elbow problems. He does some very unusual contortions with the shoulder and elbow joints and even instructs to hyper-extend the knee at one point
The pratice is very unusual. There are rests in full prostation, lots of arm balances, variatiosn of shoulder and headstand (think ES Backyard Inversions). Lots of unusual mudras, and unusual pranayama section at the end. He does things like rolls into somersaults from crow pose. This is a very advanced practice (1:52 minutes). The poses are held *not* very long - not as long as Ana but longer then some quick practices that we've all seen out there.
There is a lot of strange prostration poses contorting the shoulder and elbow and causing *intense* stretches in the upper body. There were also lots of pauses to rest and reflect - but not for long. The sequencing is very unusual (how many times can I say *unusual*?).
His language when teaching is also unusual - I had trouble following sometimes but only once or twice.
I think I'm going to do this a few more times and I think I will keep it - it has so much I have never seen before in yoga.
One really good thing - he gives variations if you can't do the full pose. He even was able to get me up for a few seconds in some arm balances I've never been able to do before, just by giving me a different approach to the pose.
It was somehwat reminiscent of the Ashtanga 2nd series but they give you no variations. If you can't do it, you can't do it. I can only get about 1/2 way through that practice. The poses do move fast but the vinyasa sequences are *strange*.
Shiva Rea has some of the sequence in her workshop and on the Yoga Matrix DVD but he will take the pose one step further to the next advanced variation. For instance, he does something similar to the half split sequence but he goes into full split with some more variations.
There are also some lectures on the DVD. Here are some highlights:
- He believes asanasas focus too much on legs so he created a lot of
new arm poses (and they are done in the practice - remember I said
"unusual" a lot in my review?)
- He believes that asanas should be linked with some kind of vinyasa flow, not necessarily surynamaskar but other flowing poses which again is done in the practice.
- He has some great lectures on the yamas and also on desires
I haven't finished it yet but he seems a very dedicated yoga practioner and could have a lot of influence on the path yoga takes in the future if he becomes more widely known.
I suspect some of you wouldn't like this DVD but others interested in seeing another side of yoga, might be interested. His website is www.yoga.com.ua