“Slow, quiet…it asks you to select exactly in your practice what your body needs for today.” Excerpt from the introduction of the release. Here’s my thoughts of the release. Remember: these are purely my thoughts and do not reflect Les Mills International.
Track 1. Tai Chi – Stay High
It starts right away, moving into hips and shoulders. Easing the breath in. I like the lifting of the heart space as we pull our hands back. I have to admit that if you don’t find that exact “in between” of effortlessness and strength, your shoulders will get tired.
Track 2. Sun salutations – Help me lose my Mind
Simple, but if you allow yourself to experience the movement instead of thinking of this as Surya Namaskar C variation, it’s beautiful. Feel it with the music as you do it. Lift your heart as you clasp your hands behind you.
Track 3. Standing Strength – Free/XO
Talk about strength! Super strong track with lots of warrior variations! We start off in lunges to joyous warriors to unsupported warriors demanding more core and leg strength. Then we open hips and shoulders even more with humble warrior at the end with extended side angle to complete this track.
Track 4. Balance – Stay with me – Sam Smith
Nice short track. This one is also about experiencing the postures to what your body has to offer today.
Track 5. Hips – Mirrors Justin Timberlake
This is amazing!!! This is one of the longest hip tracks in BodyFlow. From low lunges to adjusting the lunge to get more in the hip flexor. Then holding more seated hip openers and ending with swan!
Track 6. Core – Abdominals – Like you can – Sam Smith
Ouch! For a short two and a half minute track, it’s effective! I honestly love the burn and the simplicity of learning the choreography! Thank you Jackie and Diana!
Track 7. Core – Back – Mine
Let me start off by saying that the sequencing or prelude prior to this track is so on target. Our hips are open. Our shoulders are strong and chest is open. Our core is on. All elements needed for a good wheel pose.
It starts with reverse tabletop. I love reverse tabletop because it’s so good for strengthening the upper back! Then we hold camel to where our bodies want to go. More tricep and core work next and we land supine for bridge. The option is to go into full backbend or wheel pose. It feels magnificent when everything is open and ready to go!
Track 8. Twists – Not over you
After we are exhilarated in our back track, we venture to twists release the spine. Still get some warmth here, especially in our lunge twist.
Track 9. Forward Folds –
Who else loves “A case of loving you?” By James Blake? This one is a keeper, I just melt into the seated side bends and the fold in straddle. I like 9a but let’s just go to 9b and press repeat twice.
Thanks again the the Les Mills team for their work in putting these releases together. This one is like a slow crescendo and reaches it’s peak and there is a sweet lullaby at the end. Get lost inside the experience. The magic. The magic it brings outside of yourself. There’s a feeling of potential without so much expectation. It feels good. Period.
What do you think of the new release? If you haven’t tried it, here’s a trailer:
Here is my yoga playlist, created for my love of Vancouver, BC. The song inspired around it is called “Vancouver City.” There are different flavors in song choices, just like the diversity of the city.
Waterfront – Jamie Woon
Our Time – Tyler Hilton acoustic
Heal – Tom Odell
Raindrops – Cillo
Vancouver City – InnerLife Project
Lebanese Blonde – Thievery corporation
Adi Shakti – Mantra Girl
Family – InnerLife Project
Gobinday – Mantra Girl
By Your Side – Sade
Try – Bugge Wesseltoft & Sidsel Endreson
Falling Slowly – Glen Handsard and Marketa Irglova
The Southern Sea – Garth Stevenson
Touched – Joe Bongiorno
Never judge a book by it’s cover! At first glance, the cover of the album shows a model doing a headstand (sirsasana A). I sat there and asked myself “How will this pose fit in to the flow with many who have never been in a headstand?” Yikes! Relief was ahead when I reviewed the choreography. Disclaimer: This is purely my review, my thoughts on the release.
Track 1. Tai Chi
Song: Dark Horse by Katy Perry Feat. Juicy J.
At first, it’s hard to learn the bird’s tail movement. As the sequence repeats, people start to understand the movement and enjoy it. I would recommend that as we twist, not to go so far in the beginning. It’s a beginning track, so have people ease into it and work within their own range of movement.
Track 2. Sun Salutations
Song: Take Care by Drake feat. Rihanna
This song has great beats! This sequence has warmth and simplicity in it, which is welcomed. We start off in wider than normal stance and get deep into the hips. The side bends in the middle are delicious and bonus is another sun salutation with an option to jump to the hands.
Track 3. Standing Strength
Song: Ordinary Love by Peaceful Gate
We move back and forth from reverse warrior to reverse triangle pose. Seamlessly, we end up into triangle pose into extended side angle with an option to bind. Great sequence to the music, I would just add more chest stretch in the beginning before going into the bind.
Track 4. Balance
Song: Strange Birds by Birdy
Great track, love the way this flows. It’s so different from the past releases. We move from a lunge to standing splits to warrior 3. I like the transition from eagle pose to another well-thought sequence of lunge to balancing half moon.
Track 5. Hips
Song: Hold on, We’re going home by Drake feat Majid Jordan
This one is a winner!!! I love the length of this track and how we get to come back to the low lunge twice before heading to swan pose. People melt into swan pose and you can see them relax into it. The song is sweet and smooth, perfect to mellow out in this juicy hip track.
Track 6. Abs/Core
Song: Happy by C2C Feat. Derek Martin
I just wanna dance when I hear this upbeat song! This track is one that people will remember. I love the butterfly feet claps, and so do my students. Halfway through the track they are moaning. Then, round two — they can’t help to repeat because the song is so catchy. I totally feel this one each time I teach it, and by the moans I hear from my students — they do too!
Trackk 7. Back/Core
Song: Counting Starts by One Republic
We start off in bridge pose — a great way to stretch the belly after that hard ab track prior. Then we have to stabilize the hips as we walk the feet. I love the transition to side plank and more core work. I said it here. The transitions are seamless in this track. It makes sense and it will make you stronger!
Track 8. Twists
Song: You by Nathaniel
Simple and sweet. I can’t say more about this. I always look forward to this track.
Track 9. Forward Folds
Song: Falling Slowly/How Long will I love you by Glen Hansard & Markela Irglova/Ellie Goulding
Hold back the tears. Or smile. This track brings so many emotions. I have to say this one is going to the top of my favorite list. We stand up to repeat the Tai Chi movement and there’s a part where the song crescendos and we have nothing left but to let go and come to a wide leg forward fold. That’s where tears sometimes well up in my eyes. I’m totally in love with the first part of the track. As we head into How Long Will I love you track — I feel it’s better just to forget one of the pose so we can have more time to lay in the supine hamstring stretch.
Overall, this a solid release. I’m looking forward to seeing what songs and moves they chose for the next release. What are your thoughts if you’ve tried it? If you haven’t tried a BodyFlow class check out the Les Mills website for a complete listing of class offerings at gym near you.