MP3 for a practice drumbeat, MP3 for a led Ashtanga primary series practice
(As featured in Saraswati’s Scoop, the news section of YogaRose.net)
I wrote two blog posts when David Robson released his new Learn to Float DVD. In one of them, I wrote about how:
…there’s a steady drumbeat provided by percussionist Mathew Stephens that marks one beat per second, with each inhale lasting four beats and each exhale lasting four breaths.
David makes a point to say that the drumbeat is just a prop — when you practice on your own, your breath may be a slower or faster. He says, ‘What matters is that you’re feeling what it’s like to breathe evenly, and to pace the movements evenly with the breath.’
This is where this video truly excels, in my opinion — in distilling the essence of the practice and setting a steady pace that can deepen the meditative level of these movements that are strung together. Not only do the beats play the role of a metronome for the practice — they prevent you from cheating in poses you don’t like. I know my tendency is to take longer breaths in poses I like, such as tiriang mukhaikapada paschimottanasana (three-limbed forward bend), and shorter breaths in postures I have aversions to, such as utthita hasta padangusthasana (extended hand-to-big-toe).
If you want to read the post, you can find them here and here. I’m happy to see that in addition to the DVD and the streaming video options, you can download an MP3 of just that percussion, set to one drumbeat per second for a total of 80 minutes. The MP3 costs $4.99 in Canadian dollars. The last time I checked, the U.S. and Canadian dollars weren’t too far apart.
For $9.99, you can download an MP3 with that drumbeat along with verbal cues for a led Ashtanga primary series practice. Here’s the description:
David Robson leads you through Ashtanga Yoga’s Primary Series to the steady beat of a drum. The class is led according to the traditional Sanskrit count, as taught by R Sharath Jois in Mysore, India. The vinyasa count is set to the hypnotic beat of a drum, which supports and deepens the focus on breathing through the practice. The recording is organized into chapters, allowing you to practice just the standing poses, half or full Primary Series. The teaching in this recording is intended for those who have some experience and familiarity with Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.
I don’t know how other practitioners feel about practicing to a drumbeat, but I can’t wait to try these new offerings. When you connect with the rhythm of this practice, the meditative potential is immense. You can find both at the Learn to Float website.
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