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Richard Freeman: Yoga Primary Series
Richard Freeman Yoga Primary Series
Actor: Richard Freeman
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2004

In his video or DVD program, Richard gives an in-depth study of Ashtangas classic Primary Series of postures. With unusual precision, he demonstrates the continuous, dynamic flow, and the special breathing techniques that ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Richard Freeman
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Classical
Studio: Sounds True
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/04/2004
Release Year: 2004
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
Edition: Import
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

Movie Reviews

Production is fine, Teaching is Spectacular, form enviable
Shiva | Ruidoso, New Mexico | 12/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's clear that Richard Freeman's focus is the quality of the yoga teaching, and not the production or anything having to do with entertainment. This video is not for entertainment, but for engaging in a challenging and real yoga practice. I personally am impressed that they have not including many distracting elements which are normally present (music, chattiness, etc.) Richard focuses on the breathing and will often say "this is mainly a breathing exercise" pointing us to the fact that the breath is at the heart of the yoga practice. He also focuses on holding the mula and uddiyanda bandhas. One fault I see with this is that while he seems to expect us to be holding and using them throughout the practice, he only reminds us to do so a few times. Not being well practiced in this myself, I could use more reminders. Many of the poses are VERY difficult, and if you are well versed in yoga, you will also find many of them familiar. The complete ashtanga practice is about 1 hr 50 min long. For myself I purchased his Introduction to Ashtanga for a shorter option which is 76 min long. Also, this "introduction" has a little more instruction, goes a little slower, and has a few more variations on the poses for those who are just starting out.

In the Primary Series, I am also very impressed with Richard's flow through chatarunga, upward dog, and downward dog, then jumping forward to sit between his hands. This flow is common in ashtanga and other flow forms of yoga based on ashtanga, so that is not new. But his immense control, and precise setting down of his body is amazing. I intend not only to practice along with this video, but also to watch it carefully at other times, when I'm not doing yoga, just to study his form and flow.

Another focus of his is gazing. Very often he gives directions of where your eyes should be focused -- on the thumbs, the tip of the nose, the middle of the forehead, the big toe, etc. I like this. If he was as attentive to giving instructions on the bandas as he is to gazing, then i would be 110% happy.

I have been practicing yoga for about 5 years, but this is the first time I've done formal ashtanga. I have been doing Shiva Rea's CDs for about 2 years, and she is based in ashtanga, I now see. But I have not found myself sweating profusely doing this yoga DVD. While I find many of the poses challenging, and I do sweat, I wouldn't say that this is similar to "power yoga" that has become popular. The poses aren't strung together all that fast. I am usually breathing so hard that I can't keep my "breath together" as he advises, but I have only just started the video two days ago. I think will practice and familiarity it will become easier."
True to form Ashtanga class
Norman P.N. | OR, USA | 06/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've tried a few yoga videos, as well as having done a large number of different yoga classes, including Ashtanga. This is definitely the best video i have come across. It focuses on the Ashtanga series, breathing and focus, and is a good substitute if you can't make the class or want to get more practise in. I specifically like the way the production is filmed so you can clearly see what he is doing, and is quiet but for his guidance, allowing you to focus on the breath rather than being distracted by arbitrary music that sounds like it was dubbed from cheap pornography.

I would say this might be tough to follow if you've not done some Ashtanga classes before, but if you have you will probably really like this!"
Mystical, vigorous, never ending source of wisdom
M. Wisott | Chicago, IL United States | 07/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""This vigorous vinyasa (sequential) practice combines about 60 postures, measured breathing, and other yoga techniques. Freeman is one of the most remarkable teachers I've ever seen, the embodiment of skill-in-action (yogah karmasu kaushalam). Though a demanding series for experienced students, even beginners can benefit by watching Freeman's amazing demonstration." - R. Rosen"
Great Yoga Resource!!!
Teoma | Magic Mountain | 03/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"His videos are amazing in that unlike other Yoga teachers he presents the series in their fully developed forms and so, in a sense, one is infinitely challenged and one's task is set out right from the start. Also he takes the time (the series are about 100 minutes each) to explain all of the nuances of each posture in stride. He presents yoga so that, from the beginning, one is aware that each posture is a constant work-in-progress which can never be mastered. Therefore it is very a journey-oriented practise. I've been practising Yoga for many years now and have had many teachers, and it was Richard's videos which had the most influence in my getting established in Yoga asanas. Other Ashtanga Yoga teachers have their own strengths, but as far as I have seen Richard is unsurpassed in illuminating the subtleties of the postures and in introducing us to the internal aspects of the Yoga techniques. In Richard's videos, every movement has a precise order of unfolding, a specific associated breath, and a corresponding dristi (or focal point). I have followed Richard's Primary Series DVD literally hundreds of times and every time I follow it I still find that I have a lot to learn from it.
In fact I have found that all of Richard's publications including his book "the Yoga Matrix" are great resources for learning a mature, effective, and integrative Yoga practise.
Thanks Richard for this offering ...