Review of "Yoga Sanctuary"

By Shiva Rea
Sounds True, 1998
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Dec 13th 2005
Yoga Sanctuary

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 seeing them.

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 demonstrates. 

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. 



·        Sounds True

·        Shiva Rea website



© 2005 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.


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.


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