Audio Books
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
"Are You There Alone?""Who Could That Be at This Hour?"3 Willows4th of July99 DaysA Beautiful MindA Change in AltitudeA Corner Of The UniverseA Frog ThingA Great and Terrible BeautyA People's History of ChristianityA Question of BloodA Slight Trick of the MindA Step Toward FallingA Thousand Miles from NowhereA Tragic Kind of WonderfulA Voyage Long and StrangeA Wedding in December Abraham LincolnAcross the River and Into the TreesAfter DarkAgainst EmpathyAgainst Medical AdviceAll the Bright PlacesAll the Way HomeAll Unquiet ThingsAlphavilleAlways Too Much And Never EnoughAmerica AmericaAmong the DepartedAn EducationAn Object of BeautyAnatomy of a MisfitAre You There, Vodka? It's Me, ChelseaBad BoyBad RatsBarbara the Slut and Other PeopleBeach RoadBeat the ReaperBeauty QueensBed of RosesBefore I DieBefore I FallBefore the FrostBig BrotherBiteBlack Elk SpeaksBlameBleed for MeBlonde FaithBlood, Salt, WaterBody SurfingBog ChildBoneMan's DaughtersBoomsdayBorder CrossingBorn Standing UpBoys Are DogsBoys Will Put You on a Pedestal (So They Can Look Up Your Skirt)Brava, ValentineBreak Through PainBreathingBridge of SighsBrief Interviews with Hideous MenBrutalBy BloodC StreetCalm Beneath the WavesCanadaCellCemetery DanceChange Your Brain, Change Your LifeCheeverCinnamon KissCleopatraClose Your EyesCompulsionCross CountryCyborgasmDakotaDancing at the Shame PromDarkest FearDavid Sedaris Live at Carnegie HallDead EvenDear Zoe,Death Without TenureDeceptionDefending JacobDefine NormalDeliriumDevil in the DetailsDiscovering Pig MagicDisturbing GroundDivergentDivine JusticeDivisaderoDoing ItDown the Rabbit HoleDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitDress Your Family in Corduroy and DenimDriftlessEven Dogs in the WildEvery Exquisite ThingEvery Little Thing in the WorldEye ContactFaith, Hope, and Ivy JuneFaking NormalFalling ManFamily FirstFans of the Impossible LifeFear of the DarkFellsideField of BloodFile Under: 13 Suspicious IncidentsFiregirlForest of the PygmiesFortunate SonFraudFreak the MightyFree RefillsFull Steam Ahead!Furiously HappyGenerosityGenomeGetting a Good Night's SleepGetting the Love You Want Audio CompanionGiftedGirl in TranslationGod Is DeadGod Is Not OneGods and BeastsGoing BovineGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGraysonHappy FamilyHappy Mutant Baby PillsHarmlessHe's Just Not That Into YouHealthy AgingHeartbeatHeftHigh HeatHolidays on IceHot MilkHotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetHotel WorldHotels of North AmericaHow a Gunman Says GoodbyeHow Full Is Your Bucket?How Successful People ThinkHow to Build a HouseHow to See Yourself As You Really AreHow to Set a Fire and WhyHunger Makes Me a Modern GirlHurt Go HappyHypnography for MenHypnography for WomenI Am Not Joey PigzaI Can See YouI Drink for a ReasonI Feel Bad About My NeckI'd Know You AnywhereIdiot AmericaIf a Tree Falls at Lunch PeriodIf I StayIf You StayImagine Me GoneIn ZanesvilleInfinite JestInheritanceInnocentInside the O'BriensInvincibleInvisibleIt Takes OneJennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, ElizabethJust LifeKiss of Broken GlassKissing Ted Callahan (And Other Guys)Leaping BeautyLies My Girlfriend Told MeLife After LifeLife InterruptedLife of PiLife StrategiesLisey's StoryLitLittle Black LiesLittle ScarletLive For Your Listening PleasureLiving Your DreamLong Shadow of Small GhostsLooking for BobowiczLost in the ForestLove Is a Mix TapeLove Times ThreeLove, AubreyLowboyMadappleMade For YouMagical ThinkingMagnificenceMaliceMan in the WoodsMeditation in a New York MinuteMeetings with a Remarkable ManMiddlesexMind MappingMindfulness for BeginnersMirrorMaskMischlingMissing PresumedMolly Moon's Incredible Book of HypnotismMommies Who DrinkMunich AirportMy AbandonmentMy Life Among the Serial KillersMy Name Is RedMy One Hundred AdventuresMy Sister's KeeperName All the AnimalsNelson Mandela's Favorite African FolktalesNemesisNever Let Me GoNight FilmNina: AdolescenceNinety DaysNone of the AboveNurtureShockObjects of My AffectionOlive's OceanOn Chesil BeachOne Flew Over The Cuckoo's NestOutliersPaint It BlackPanicParadise LodgeParanoiaPeace Is Every BreathPeople Who Eat DarknessPharmakonPictures of Hollis WoodsPictures of YouPilgrim at Tinker CreekPlaying with FirePlease Stop Laughing at UsPositivityPresumed InnocentPretty Girl-13Prisoner of Night and FogPuddlejumpersPunkzillaRacing the DevilReady for AnythingRebuttalRequiemRescueRevolutionary RoadRoomRun for Your LifeSay You're SorryScatSchool of FearSeason to TasteSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSee How SmallSeeds of HopeSex and SpiritSide Effects May VarySilencedSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaSix Impossible ThingsSkelligSleeping BeautySnowSo Brave, Young and HandsomeSolitaireSomeday This Pain Will Be Useful to YouSourlandSquirrel Seeks ChipmunkStill MissingStory of a GirlStress ReliefSupreme CourtshipSurviving OpheliaSwimming to ElbaSworn to SilenceSymptoms of Being HumanTeaseTeaseTell the Truth, Shame the DevilTen Minutes to RelaxTestimonyThat Old Cape MagicThe Abortionist's DaughterThe AccidentalThe Accidental BillionairesThe AdultsThe Almost MoonThe Anatomy of HopeThe Art of ChoosingThe Art of Exceptional LivingThe Artist of DisappearanceThe Average American MarriageThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe Beat Goes OnThe Best AwfulThe Big LoveThe Boat RockerThe Book of JoeThe Book of LiesThe Book of the DeadThe Boy Who DaredThe Boyfriend ListThe Brass VerdictThe Breakout PrincipleThe Burden of ProofThe Case for GodThe Case of the Case of Mistaken IdentityThe Cemetery BoysThe Chosen OneThe ClosersThe Consciousness PlagueThe Conspiracy ClubThe Cuckoo's CallingThe Day I Ate Whatever I WantedThe Dead Fathers ClubThe Death of Bunny MunroThe Devotion of Suspect XThe Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-BanksThe Diviner's TaleThe DollmakerThe Dressmaker of Khair KhanaThe Dynamite RoomThe Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round ThingsThe EndThe Erotic EdgeThe Essential KamasutraThe First Fifteen Lives of Harry AugustThe Forgotten GirlsThe Geography of You and MeThe Gift of an Ordinary DayThe Gingerbread GirlThe Girl in 6EThe Girl in the GardenThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's NestThe Girl Who Played with FireThe Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Grief of OthersThe Grim GrottoThe Guise of AnotherThe Guy Not TakenThe Heart of YogaThe Hearts of MenThe Heretic's DaughterThe Ice QueenThe Ice TwinsThe Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe InseparablesThe InterestingsThe Keeper of Lost CausesThe Keeper of Lost ThingsThe Kings of LondonThe Language God TalksThe Language of SecretsThe Language Of YogaThe Last ChildThe Last MileThe Last Time We Say GoodbyeThe Male BrainThe Man from BeijingThe Man in My BasementThe Man Who Couldn't EatThe Map of True PlacesThe Marriage PlotThe Memory Book The Mermaids SingingThe Ministry of Special CasesThe MuralistThe Museum of InnocenceThe Mystery of the Third LucretiaThe Myth of LazinessThe NarrowsThe Necessary Death of Lewis WinterThe New YorkersThe NewleywedsThe NixThe NursesThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Other Side of the StoryThe Outcasts of 19 Schuyler PlaceThe Particular Sadness of Lemon CakeThe PastThe Penultimate PerilThe PostcardThe Pregnant WidowThe Promise of a LieThe PyramidThe Qi Healing KitThe ReaderThe Republican BrainThe Rule of FourThe Rules of SurvivalThe Savage CityThe ScarecrowThe Second GirlThe Secret Life of BeesThe Secret of Lost ThingsThe Secret ScriptureThe Secret SpeechThe Secret Wisdom of the EarthThe ShallowsThe Shock of the FallThe Silent BoyThe SisterThe Sound of Broken GlassThe SpindlersThe Story HourThe Story of Beautiful GirlThe Sudden Arrival of ViolenceThe Survivors ClubThe Sweet Relief of Missing ChildrenThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the PieThe Tail of Emily WindsnapThe Tenth JusticeThe Thing About JellyfishThe Third AngelThe TouristThe Treasure Map of BoysThe Trouble with Goats and SheepThe Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector ChopraThe Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia MossThe UnquietThe Unseen WorldThe View from SaturdayThe WaveThe Weed That Strings the Hangman's BagThe Weight of the NationThe Whole TruthThe WilloughbysThe Witch's BoyThe Wolves of AndoverThe Words We Live ByThe Wrong Side of GoodbyeThe Year of the FloodThe Year That FollowsThe Yin Yoga KitThirteen Reasons WhyThis Beautiful LifeThis Body of DeathThis Book Is Not Good For YouThis Full HouseThis Is HowThose GirlsThose Who Wish Me DeadTony & SusanToo Much HappinessTooth and NailTouchTransformation TriburbiaTrue BelieverTrue CompassTruth & BeautyTwinmakerTwistedTwo Can PlayTwo Little Girls in BlueUnaccustomed EarthUnder the HarrowUnder the InfluenceUnder WildwoodUniversal HarvesterUnlessUnthinkingUp in the AirVery ValentineVisits from The Drowned GirlVoid MoonWaiting for SunriseWalkingWarWatching the DarkWhat the Dog SawWhen We Were AnimalsWhen You Are Engulfed in FlamesWhen You Reach MeWhere She WentWherever You Go, There You AreWhite HotWild AwakeWild ChildWildwoodWill They Ever Trust Us Again?Wolf in White VanWomen's Murder Club Box SetYoga SanctuaryYou Look Different in Real LifeYou Should Have KnownYou Will Know Me

Related Topics
The Heart of YogaReview - The Heart of Yoga
4 CD Set
by Shiva Rea
Sounds True, 2002
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Mar 7th 2006 (Volume 10, Issue 10)

This is a collection of two double audio CDs. Yoga Chant is largely by Shiva Rea, and features two programs. On the first CD is an "Engergizing Sadhana" lasting 67 minutes. This has a fairly standard yoga flow, with sun salutations, standing poses, backbends and relaxation. The flow requires a fair amount of flexibility, and some of the backbends are especially demanding, also requiring a great deal of upper body strength. I rather prefer the flows in Shiva Rea's Yoga Sanctuary audio CD. There is an accompanying booklet, which illustrates some but not all of the poses in the flow; furthermore, some of the sequences of poses in the booklet are different from those on the CD, which can be confusing.

The second CD of the set is titled "Meditative Sadhana." It lasts 63 minutes, and is much slower. The first twenty-five minutes is a fairly simple set of flows followed by fifteen minutes of lunar yoga. These are not illustrated in the booklet, and Rea's instructions are not always very clear. Often, trying to follow it, I wasn't clear which side she was referring to, or quite what position she was describing. When a program is meant to be relaxing, it can be counterproductive to leave the listener unsure if she or he is following the instructions as they are designed. The accompanying background music was also not quite right: some of the mellow funk sound seemed to be more appropriate to some kind of erotic exercise, for example. Other parts of the music reminded me of bad new age/jazz music from the 1980s. On the whole I found Yoga Chant disappointing.

The other part of the package in The Heart of Yoga is the double CD Yoga Trance Dance. The first CD has 8 tracks and lasts 69 minutes. The yoga here is much looser than on most other Shiva Rea DVDs and CDs: one is not asked to follow her lead as she does it, but rather to be more independent. It starts with a meditative track, and then gets the body moving more. The second gets the spine to undulate. I found some of her instructions puzzling: for example, when she says, "contract your back into the self like a baby fern curling into its creative power," my whole flow gets interrupted because I have to stop and work out if that makes any sense at all. I'm still not sure it does. At another point she says "toss the hips back and then shift forward." That leaves it very unclear how far to go forward, and whether you back should be stationary or moving with your hips. There are some photographs in the accompanying CD booklet, but they are not very instructive since they do not show the movement. Of course, one can improvise and do what feels good, but if the CD does not give clear instructions, then it isn't clear what point there is in playing it in the first place.

The CD moves onto the trance dance phase. This may take some people further from their areas of comfort. It is one thing to dance to your favorite songs but it is another to dance along to a yoga CD. You can at least be fairly sure that you'll do some laughing, when Rea says "letting your knees get funky," or when your nearest and dearest catch you doing this. Some people will be more accustomed to rotating their pelvises than others, and while Rea suggests sensual movements, some of us will be lucky to get any fluid movements at all. So when Rea explains that the next stage is "ecstatic dance," I wonder whether I'm the only one who is not in ecstasy when doing this. I picture my colleagues from work doing this, and I suspect that not that many would really find it a great release. Which leaves me wondering who this CD is for, and beginning to suspect it is not for me.

I'm all in favor of a good time, but this combination of yoga and dance strikes me as a little bogus. In the booklet, in the Introduction, there is a quotation from, of all people, Friedrich Nietzsche. "And we considered every day lost on which we have not danced at least once." Now, he may have said that, but I've not read any accounts of Nietzsche's dancing, and the rather formal dancing of the Victorian era seems a long way from the dance nirvana that Rea seems to celebrate. On the CD, in the section on Prana Yoga, Rea quotes a poem by TS Eliot, providing another bizarre cultural reference that does not sit well with a yoga worldview. Of course, both Nietzsche and Eliot might have been much happier men if they had done more sun salutations and hip openers, but it is hard to imagine that they would have sustained their bleak intellectual visions if they had found the peace and self-acceptance that is part of the practice of yoga and meditation. In quoting them, it seems Rea in undermining the assumption that trance dance has any integrity as a yoga practice.

This raises the question, what is the aim of trance dance? What is chanting meant to achieve? There's very little indication here, apart from Rea's occasional suggestive phrases. One can imagine that dancing and chanting help one get less away from one's intellectual self-consciousness and more in tune with one's body and being as a natural entity. However, Rea does not really help her listeners much on this point. So you would be better off just finding a book or CD on meditation and dance yoga that provides a straightforward explanation. Then with that knowledge, you could then find some music that suits you as an accompaniment to meditation, chanting, or dance.

In fact, in my opinion, the best aspect of this Trance Dance CD is not Rea's words but the music by Geoffrey Gordon and Ben Leinbach. The second CD of the package contains 69 minutes of it, and it is quite pleasing, at least for those who are open to the genre. The production quality is high, and the sounds are unusual and distinctive. It is often danceable and yet ethereal. Personally, I find it a little hokey at points, with inclusion of noises of the forest, panting noises, and mystic-sounding song titles, but it is pleasant enough.

So I reluctantly conclude that this is one of the weaker Shiva Rea products available through Sounds True. Yet it might be a popular one: many town centers and malls now have stores selling incense, crystals, and new age paraphernalia. This audio CD package is the kind of product I see at these stores. I occasionally walk in and browse around, but I don't stay long because I can't see anything that I'd actually want. I leave feeling like I've just been in some Disneyworld version of yoga and meditation practices.

 

 

Links:

        Review of Yoga Sanctuary CD

        Sounds True

        Shiva Rea website

 

2006 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.


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7800 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716