Having done Kundalini Yoga for 3 years, I decided to venture into the vinyasa styles of Ashtanga, feeling a little more open and ready. For this reason, I would not recommend this to an absolute beginner, (especially if you cannot touch your toes!), but if you have done some Hatha or Kundalini for a few months, this is an excellent follow on.
We start with a mantra in Mountain pose and go into Sun Salutations A (basic salutes, chaturanga, up and down dogs) and B (which includes chair pose on the salute and Warrior 1 between dogs!). These are quite tough in terms of aerobic capability and upper body strength, but Nicki does recommend modification of chaturanga until adequate arm strength is achieved and resting in child pose towards the end of session B. Therefore don't listen if any reviewers whinge on about it being too advanced, because modifications and encouragement to rest until ready are given, and indeed should be taken!
Nicki then does some standing poses such as triangle, which are really great at releasing the hamstrings and hips (stiff areas for many Westerners!).
The instruction given is very clear and professionally delivered. Although Nicki's voice is somewhat robotic, you cannot criticise her direction nor her passion for ashtanga practice!!! There are also leaflets in the DVD that show the sun salute in pictures to aid instruction.
There is a brief interview with Nicki where she tells us how she got started and shows her class and family (complete with vegetable oil powered car - what a trouper!) and also a short demonstration of advanced practice which gives our yogini a chance to show off but inspires my wobbly Warrior 1 and fingertips on floor instead of palms of what one could achieve should one desire.
First class. Will be exploring this branch of yoga alongside Kundalini for full on body, mind and spirit!