By Ramananda Das (Richard Brookens) - Enlightened Practice Magazine Column, June/July '04
Shiva Rea's Yoga Sanctuary and Drops of Nectar Yoga CDs on the 'Sounds True' label are beautifully produced double CD sets with informative booklets. Both CDs would be a great addition to most peoples Yoga practices. Shiva Rea's soft, spiritual approach offers something to relative newcomers and old hands. Shiva Rea background if grounded in her practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, bodywork and dance. In Yoga Sanctuary, (A Guided Hatha Yoga Practice for Home and on the Road), the soft, relaxed voice of Shiva Rea takes us through both a Solar and a Lunar series of poses. Drops of Nectar, (Yoga Relaxation for Rejuvenation and Healing) focuses on a Moon Salutation, and relaxation and release techniques. This CD also has some beautiful background music by Ben Leinbach (keyboards, tamboura, acoustic guitar), featuring Jai Uttal (dotar, sarod, vocals) and Manose (bamboo flute).
Disc One of Yoga Sanctuary is an invigorating set of asanas titled "Solar Practice". It begins with Sun Salutations, moves on to a Dancing Warrior series (variations in Warrior Pose), Standing Poses, a flow series with Standing Poses, Balancing Poses, an Abdominal Support & Cultivation series, and Back Bends. Following this you are instructed to use the forward bends or hip openers sections and the deep relaxation from Disc Two.
Disc Two of Yoga Sanctuary is titled "Lunar Practice" and is a more relaxed set. Beginning with a Full Body Warm Up (Spinal Flexions & Rolls, Hip twists and shoulder Releases) moving into Forward Bends & Twists, Hip Openers, & Twists, and then Inversions (Shoulder Stand and Plow), leading to relaxation in Shavasana.
One could easily use "Solar Practice" (Disc One) as an invigorating set of postures good for the AM and "Lunar Practice" as a relaxing set in the evening, or do both sets together for the benefits of both. The booklet included with Yoga Sanctuary folds out to an easy to see chart showing one series on each side.
Disc One of Drops of Nectar begins with an Invocation using Child's Pose, and then, moves on to the Moon Salutations (Chandra Namaskar). Companion to the better-known Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar) this series of poses creates a calming effect. Following this first half hour of the CD Shiva leads us through Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana), a So Hum Meditation, and relaxation. Disc Two of Drops of Nectar begins with a short relaxation and then moves on to self-massage with a tennis ball (this is great stuff to know, believe me), and two Shavasanas for relaxation.
Ramananda Das (Richard Brookens) is certified in Sivananda and Kundalini Yoga. He currently teaches Yoga at Barry University in Miami Shores, Spa Atlantis in Pompano, and Yoga Connection in Plantation. He also plays woodwinds (saxophones, flutes, and clarinets) and hand percussion (tablas, clay pot, et al), and regularly performs professionally in the local area. He has also performed throughout the United States, the Carribbean, and in Panang, Malaysia, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Europe. He has released two CDs of original World Fusion Music, and three meditation/relaxation CDs on his Yellow Bell label. Contact him, listen to free samples from his CDs, and view pictures of some of his performances and World instruments at www.yellowbellmusic.com.
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