Ever look at a yoga studio schedule and think, “What in the world do these class names mean?” You are not alone. What about the recent addition to the Balanced Yoga schedule, Flow + Form? What is Flow + Form?!? Our own Daniel Snider and Corinne Reczek are here to answer your questions!
What is Flow + Form?
Daniel: Flow implies breath cued with movement. Form is thinking in shapes in relationship to gravity. Take your classic forward fold posture (uttanasana). When you rotate your body 90 degrees clockwise, it becomes paschimottasana. With another 90 degrees clockwise, you are in navasana. The final rotation of the shape brings you into plow. Even though these postures have a very similar shape, they all feel quite different due to the effects of gravity. In form class, we move from easier forms to progressively more difficult forms by sequencing postures and changing the orientation of the body relative to gravity. Form sequencing often has a postural theme, such as backbends, in which the postures lead up to an apex or peak posture. During this process, you will learn how to develop the posture in your own body.
Corinne: Here’s another way of thinking about Flow + Form. Have you ever been in a yoga class and the teacher says, “If headstand (or wheel, or crow, or handstand) is in your practice, take it now,” and you have no clue how to do that pose safely? In Flow + Form, we break down poses that take a little bit more time to learn, practicing them repeatedly to build your asana skill-set. As you become proficient in basic poses, you learn the next variation of a pose. For example, once you learn the correct hand positioning and shoulder rotation for downdog, you have learned that same positioning for handstand. The prize of nailing a pose is that you move on to the next more challenging pose in that series. This allows us to both accept our current state while moving forward when we are ready for the next challenge.
Why do you teach Flow + Form?
Corinne: I am an alignment junkie. Correct alignment not only keeps me safe in my poses, but it gives me insight in how to progress my poses to the next level. But more importantly, alignment-based practice gets me out of my head and into my body, much like a strong breath does for others.Practicing and teaching an alignment class gets me the closest to a quiet mind, and closer to myself. And to me, that is the entire point of yoga. I wish to provide the space to cultivate that deeper sense of self-knowledge in my students.
Daniel: That’s really thoughtful, Corinne! The practice of skillful performance has always attracted me, whether in sporting activities, musical performance, or theatre and film. I naturally had a talent for movement based activities, but I also realized that my intuitive abilities only could take me so far. I needed precise instruction to better understand what I am doing and how to successfully perform postures that I never thought were possible! It is that joy and surprise that I love to share with students.
Is Flow + Form for everyone?
Daniel: A positive open-minded approach to yoga goes a long way. While we think it is helpful if you have had a couple of months experience doing yoga, anyone with the motivation to learn and challenge themselves is great for the class. We also expect that students have a general idea of when to push themselves and when to modify postures to make them easier. Having a good knowledge of your own body really improves your ability to engage in the practice.
Corinne: Totally agree! My teacher, Christina Sell, says peak pose classes like Flow + Form are like riding a bus together as a class. The bus rides a route to some predestined place that the teacher decides, let’s say upward facing bow, or wheel pose. We will work towards that pose, stopping along the way at standing backbends, belly-down backbends, and camel pose to teach proper alignment. Some students get off the bus at these early poses to work on refining alignment. Others progress towards wheel pose and beyond to say, dropbacks. No one bus stop is inherently better than the other, and there are a multitude of stops — you get to decide where to get off because you’re the boss!
Anything else people should know?
Corinne and Daniel: We would like your input! If you would like to work on particular postures, shapes, or motions, we are happy to make that a reality. We really appreciate your involvement in class and would like you to voice your thoughts and aspirations. Our goal is to enrich your yoga practice in a personally impactful way.
Oh yeah, when are Flow + Form Classes?
The current Flow + Form schedule is:
Sunday at 1:30 (Daniel)
Wednesday 6pm (Corinne)
Saturday at 10:30am (Daniel)