January 16, 2011

Breathe and Asana will Happen.

Yoga is the marriage of prana and apana through bandha and alignment-Richard Freeman

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I wandered into my first class of day two at Yoga Journal’s  Conference at San Francisco, Richard Freeman’s class on back bending and the pelvic floor yesterday morning. Having just completed a day long intensive with Leslie Howard on the female pelvic floor, I was highly intrigued to capture the male perspective on this area.

What I experienced was two hours of rich story telling and adept weaving of imagery, philosophy, pranayama and alignment.

For instance, according to Freeman: My exhalation mimics the great hood of a cobra, like Patanjali, the great sage of yoga, who also is said to have been miraculously incarnated as a snake in his mother’s hand.  My coccyx, a great shining piece of gold and how to feel  the wings of my kidneys.

Indeed, Freeman is full of imagery to suit every palate, a veritable feast, with words like squeezing, juicing and connoisseur.

My favorite quotes of the class:

Yoga is the marriage of prana and apana through bandha.

Pranayama is the internal practice of asana.

The coccyx is the crown prince, the pubis the bride to be and the sacrum is the queen mother. Once the pubis and the coccyx are united in marriage, the queen mother can away to her chambers.

The key to the pelvic floor is in the palate.

We will breathe and backbends will happen, for a moment, then we’ll go back to breathing.


Freeman’s style is very animated and rich with story telling. His approach is unique and attractive, perhaps more so to those who are access their bodies through imagery rather than anatomical knowledge.  He teaches regular classes at his studio in Boulder, for more information visit:   http://www.yogaworkshop.com/

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