Beginner Basics in Flow

Fiji McAlpine
Instructor Fiji McAlpine
Average: 4.7 (279 votes)
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In this class, Fiji takes you through a slow, deliberate flow practice that emphasizes the fundamentals in proper alignment. It is an intelligently guided vinyasa class that will renew your sense of connection to precise body positioning, while building the energy of a fun, vigorous power flow yoga class.

Equipment: None
Style: Vinyasa/Power Yoga


rw2264 5 years ago

This video is great for getting an actual workout in at home with nothing but a mat. I have practiced yoga on and off for about 8 years and I'm currently trying to get back into the swing of it. I consider myself very alignment-focused but this video definitely taught me a few things in very clear, plain english. The instructions are easy to follow and the pace is manageable for someone who works out regularly but is not necessarily in the best yoga-shape. I made it through the whole video and broke a major sweat along the way.

CampHillGal 5 years ago

The beginning of the class really helped me concentrate on my alignment. You are very clear in your instructions so I don't have to look up at the screen. This video will help me in my Vinyasa flow classes. I still can't do the crow pose, but have confidence I will in the future. Thanks for this class.

Leah MacNeill 6 years ago

I've been practicing yoga everyday for about 2 months. Starting REALLY slowly. This is my first at home attempt at a flow class. Although I didn't make it all the way through it (about 50 mins then i did my own savasana) it really helped me to recognize my breath moving through and taught me some basic things I didn't know about so I can continue to practice effectively. Thank you so much! I know I have more work today and my arms are KILLING me today it is a great tool to have to continue working on. I will incorporate this into my weekly practice until i have the strength to complete it with confidence.
My main problem I struggle with is my competitiveness ... i need to leave that at the door and this class really reinforced that. Darn chatarangas and planks are killing me but I'm so determined to eventually master this important aspect of flow.

terryjw 6 years ago

As a beginner who has practised Hatha for 5 months, I found this session to be challenging yet inspiring and invigorating. The only issue I had was keeping up with the pace and speed of the instructor, which led to lack of good form, full breaths and some confusion. After trying to keep up with a particular section of quick flow of poses into one another, I gave up around 40 minutes into the video feeling frustrated and defeated.

To other beginners with average fitness levels, I would suggest a milder session and more practise until you are ready for this one.

Jenny Axelsson 6 years ago

Great class! Great to take time to hone in on the correct form. To do it correct is way harder. Great workout also.

Eff 6 years ago

I am looking for guidance about where to begin correcting my transition from updog to downward dog. I feel strain in my lower back when lifting each of my feet to move into chatarunga.
Is it that my legs are not fully engaged? That my shoulders are not in line with my wrists? That my core is not strong enough to support the lower back?
I wonder if this is not a common concern for those following this class regularly.
Does someone here with more experience have suggestions for where I should begin to focus in order to diagnose my issue with the transition?

elenakatrine 5 years ago

I just realised that you wrote this a year ago so I'm sure you've fixed it, but just in case you haven't, it's about having your core engaged as much as you can, tucking your tailbone under so that you're not dangling into and crushing up your lower back and then leading with you hips. Imagine that someone has passed a strap around the front of your pelvis and is pulling you back and up. That should help!

Fiji McAlpine 6 years ago

Thank you for asking a very important question! The answer is most likely a combination of things that you already suspect. The flipping of the feet is done to ensure the core engages so the lower lumbar spine is not compromised in this transition that happens frequently in a flow class. Your core is most likely not strong enough to do the transition in this way, yet. To help your body develop the strength gradually without causing injury I would suggest the following things to try.

1. Don't dip so low in chatarunga on your way back, keep your shoulder higher than your elbows at all times. This protects the rotator cuff also.

2. Leg engagement and core engagement are key here and should be a focus.

3. You can put your knees down and move from chatarunga to table then downdog.

Try these out and focus on activating the core in all aspects of your practice to build strength there over time.


Eff 6 years ago

Fiji's class sets the beginner up to build a strong and healthy practise, so that they won't have to correct it later, once poor habit has set in.
I would advise first-time watchers who have no (or little) yoga background to take ALL of the modifications Fiji suggests, and to listen closely to her guidance.
This approach to the class will allow the student to build a proper FOUNDATION to perform all of the asanas and their transitions with strength and to do so safely.
Without modification, this class truly requires more strength than the beginner has.
The reason it is a beginner video is because it explains every pose and transition as if the student watching has no working understanding of them, and because it demonstrates what the beginner will be working up to; what a vinyasa flow really is.
This is important for the beginner to learn, since many classes available at studios today are taught by instructors with no more than 200 hours of training, and no real understanding of yoga anatomy. Learning the muscles at work and the proper alignment for each asana and transition of the vinyasa flow MEANS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INJURY AND STRENGTH-BUILDING. This is the ESSENTIAL value of Fiji's Beginner class.
Stay encouraged, listen, and learn with this masterful demonstration of the vinyasa and introduction to its practise.

akrista 6 years ago

I'm a beginner, but as a dancer for 14 years and a frequent tennis player I have some base strength. Even so, this video challenged me just enough. I definitely felt the muscles getting stronger but it wasn't too intense, I know when to stop and rest. I made it through the video and can feel myself getting stronger! Excellent class that I plan to revisit often to continue building strength and flow. Thank you!