Yoga Sanctuary is a
collection of 2 audio CDs. They consist
of instructions for yoga practices, given by Shiva Rea. The first disc is a Solar Practice, so it is
energetic and demanding. The second
disc is a Lunar Practice, so it is softer and slower. The instructions recommend starting with Disc One and then
finishing off with Disc Two, using a combination of tracks from both. On the back of the case are three suggests
shorter practices using different tracks from the two CDs. The Solar Practice starts with Sun
Salutations and goes on to warrior poses, triangles, forward folds, balancing
poses, abdominal work, and backbends. The
Lunar Practice has a number of exercises to work on the spine, hips, shoulders
and neck, then moves to forward bends and twists, hip openers and twists,
shoulder stands, and ends with a meditation and deep relaxation. The CDs come in a plastic case -- it is a
little fragile and my copy arrived broken.
It comes with a foldout poster illustrating the poses, which is
essential since it can be difficult to know what the instructions mean without
One might expect that an audio CD
for yoga would be hard to follow, and I would not recommend it for complete
novices. However, it works just as well
as a DVD for many purposes. Using a DVD
as a guide is often not very useful in doing yoga because when doing the poses
you can't see the screen anyway, or looking up to the screen may put you off
balance. Having a CD is easier then a
DVD because you only have to have a CD player available, and these are
generally much more mobile than a DVD player and TV. Often it is not very convenient to create a yoga practice space
in one's living room where the DVD player is, for example. Furthermore, it is generally much easier to
skip from one track to the next on a CD than it is on a DVD, and CDs are ready
to play as soon as you put them in the player, while it can take a minute or
two to get to the main menu on a DVD.
So a yoga CD can work very well.
These hatha yoga practices are much
easier than those on Shiva Rea's DVDs (where her pace is fast and many postures
are very demanding). Here the postures
are generally as hard as you want to make them. Rea does not give much direction for what to do as variations for
those who are less flexible, so you should have enough experience to know your
limits and how much to push yourself, as well as what sorts of positions can
serve as alternatives for the extreme positions that she sometimes
The background music is composed by
Lisbeth Scott and it is pleasing: it is rather "new age" in feel, but
it is quite restful.
I found this CD package a very
helpful resource that pushes you to go through a yoga practice and guides you
well. I would only recommend using it
in combination with yoga classes or a good yoga book or DVD.
Shiva Rea website
© 2005 Christian Perring. All
Christian Perring, Ph.D., is
Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor
of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on
philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.