Kripalu Yoga Dynamic with Stephen Cope

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Kripalu Yoga Fellowship

Stephen Cope, a senior teacher at the Kripalu Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, demonstrates a sequence of about 30 postures in this video, including a preliminary warm-up, several rounds of Sun Salutation, three standing postures, four "baby" backbends, a sitting twist and hip opener, a half Shoulderstand and Plow, a sitting forward bend, a short "meditation-in-motion" (in which the student is encouraged to "follow the call of the body's knowing" and move spontaneously), and a concluding relaxation. Cope has a confident and reassuring presence and an impressive grasp of the subtleties of the work. He encourages the student to explore various movement possibilities in the postures, honoring self-awareness and self-trust. One reservation: The models are shown rolling up from the floor to an unsupported Shoulderstand (and then touching feet to the floor in Plow), without any cautions about neck problems and other conditions (such as menstruation) that contraindicate inversions.

Contributing editor Richard Rosen teaches yoga in Berkeley and Oakland, CA.