It’s crucial that I be able to do yoga at the drop of a hat. Literally. Yoga takes time, and when I find myself with unexpected minutes, I usually seize the opportunity to indulge in a bit of deep core strengthening and stretching. It soothes my weary ears from all that screaming. If I have only 10 minutes, and I am really tired, I select the 10-minute Yoga Nidra from Drops of Nectar to be transported to a deep state of relaxation and rejuvenation; I feel as if I’ve slept for 8 hours.
To allow this, I carry yoga with me on my cell phone. The MP3 files of my favorite routines are loaded on my phone. (Here’s how to to sync your MP3 files to a non-ipod mp3 player with itunes.) The voice of a trained instructor keeps me focused on my breath, on the next pose; rather than the laundry that needs switching.
Surprisingly, a yoga CD can sometimes take you deeper into yoga than any yoga DVD. DVDs require you to watch; difficult to do while doing yoga. A CD requires you to listen and move. A good instructor can use good metaphors to talk you through the poses so carefully and accurately, that you won’t need to try to strain your neck just to see the TV; everything you need to know is right there, in your ears, whether your eyes are closed or not. These CDs or Yoga MP-3 files truly are the ultimate in a portable yoga studio, allowing you to do yoga anywhere, anytime, directly from your Iphone, your I-pod, MP-3 player or CD. Also, these CDs are a bit less expensive than DVDs.
Here’s a list of my favorites.
Jai Uttal’s music accompaniment on this 2-CD set is the perfect backdrop that allow you to shut out the world and get serious about yoga. Shiva Rea, is an accomplished yoga instructor, with a calm voice, and has a natural talent for saying the precise word that enables you to get into the pose properly. You will be surprised at how deeply you will enter into a yoga practice with a simple CD; this CD contains asanas designed to open your heart, and increase the amount of air flow to your lungs. The music is the perfect companion to Shiva’s soothing instructions that take you deep into a yoga practice that you adjust based on your level, your time constraints. Each routine can be tailored every time, and eds with poetic mediation’s by Hafiz and draws upon the wisdom of the Upanishads. Throughout the poses, Shiva intersperses her instruction with wisdom — “make sure your hips are even throughout this pose. Even hips are a metaphor for equanimous mind.” The common feature you will find with all of the CDs listed here is that each one grows with your practice. No pose is closed, as Shiva always opens the door to a deeper practice from where you are today.
True to its name, Yoga Sanctuary is a versatile, portable yoga studio that allows you to choose from either a Solar or Lunar practice, guided by the yoga master, Shiva Rae. Within each practice, you can further customize your solar and lunar routines to match your time constraints and level of practice. The solar practice is fast, aerobic and strength building, including asanas for balance, strengthening the core, and backbends. The lunar CD is slower, giving you the space to open your neck and shoulders, hips and spine, and prepare you for sleep. Actually, it melts your tensions away so that you can sleep. In an ideal world, I would ultimately do a solar practice each morning, followed by a lunar practice each evening. If only there were enough hours!
This is truly a luscious yoga treat of relaxation and rejuvenation. This CD is designed for those days when sun or moon salutations stir up too much energy, and you are looking for a soothing, slower yoga practice — but you still don’t want to get short-changed out of the benefits of your daily yoga practice. In Bryan’s words from the case: “I wanted people to see how utterly potent this kind of practice can be even without focusing on strength, endurance or even acquiring much heat. I also wanted people to experience the benefits of holding poses a little longer, giving these massive areas (hamstrings, groin, hips, shoulders, etc.) more time to release deeper.”
The Yogi’s Companion
While the pose on the cover may look intimidating, Lauren Peterson has created a yoga system here that takes listeners through a yoga journey whether you are beginner or advanced, with a large foldout poster of 175 photos of this yoga’s flow sequences. In addition, this CD allow you to customize the session to meet the amount of time you can dedicate to yoga for the day, as well as “what you feel like doing” today. This DVD was selected as an Editor s Choice by Yoga Journal.
Yoga Nidra Meditation CD: Extreme Relaxation of Conscious Deep Sleep Our first yoga pose is Yoga Nidra. Yet, we do this pose from the moment we are born, without knowing what it is. However, it is this pose that generates the most healing. Yoga Nidra means simply, Yogic Sleep. Here, you leave your waking mind, go past the dreaming state, and consciously even the stillness of the Deep Sleep State — yet remain awake. Here, you balance the energies and greater depths of mediation. This empty state is the place were stress is transformed, and healing begins.
Every yoga pose is a journey to one place — Shavasana. It is here that is yoga’s final pose. When achieved, shavasana releases a natural flow of “nectar” down the spine, and then permeates the entire body with relaxation. Drops of Nectar allows you to achieve this rejuvenating state at home, following the Shiva Rae’s guidance. This sublime two-CD program is a yoga CD that you do primarily on your back; but does include some stretching asanas, but primarily you will be guided through the progressive relaxation of 36 areas of the body, the five koshas (layers) of the body, a special meditation for healing areas of pain and blockage, and the secret ball society for releasing tension in specific areas of the body. There are also specific shavasana practices, including Lunar Shavasana, which prepares the body for deep and restful sleep, and Awakening the Lotus” chakra-based meditation.