To request Mental Health
Services or to access Mental
Health Crisis Services Call:

Wellness and Personal Development
Basic InformationLatest NewsLinksBook Reviews
10 Minute Solution: Butt Lift10 Minute Solution: High Intensity Interval Training101 Ways to Meditate29 Gifts3-In-1 Total Body Fitness with Desi Bartlett30 Minute Ab & Butt Blaster5 Day Fit Yoga5 Mega Miles with Toning Band7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups8 Keys to Body Brain Balance8 Keys to Practicing MindfulnessA Journey Into Yin YogaA Philosophy for the Science of Well-BeingA.M. EnergyAccessible Yoga for Every Body DVDAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAge-Proof Your MindAgeless Mobility: Pain-Free Wellness For LongevityAlmost MeatlessAM/PM YogaAnd BreatheAnswers for AristotleAnywhere, Anytime, Any Body YogaAthlete's Guide to YogaAuthentic HappinessAwakening Self-EsteemBack in Action: Yoga for a Healthy BackBack To Basics: Fitness with Charlotte OrdBalanced AssetsBedroom Body: Booty Burner, Core & Pelvic Floor WorkoutBeginners Meditation & Mindful StretchingBeginners Yoga DVDBeginning YogaBellyFit ElementsBetter Sex Through YogaBeyond the SelfBody By BethennyBody Mindful YogaBorn to Balance - Balance BasicsBOSH!Breath-Centered YogaBreathingBrightening Our Inner SkiesBuddhist Boot CampCalm Body Clear MindCalm EnergyCalm Focus JoyChakra MeditationsChoosing CivilityClassical Pilates Technique DVDComplementary and Alternative Therapies ResearchCore Fusion - Pilates PlusCore Fusion - Pure Abs & ArmsCore Fusion - Thighs & GlutesCore Fusion Body SculptCore Fusion Lean & TonedCore Fusion Power SculptCore Strength PilatesCore Strength Vinyasa Yoga Power Hour with Sadie NardiniCore YogaCreative Core AbsCreative Writing In Health And Social CareDance Off the Inches: Cardio Hip Hop PartyDance the Chakras Yoga WorkoutDeep ListeningDeep Stretch / Yin YogaDetox YogaDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Eating WellDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitEastern Body, Western MindEasy YogaElement: Barre ConditioningElement: Targeted Toning Pilates for BeginnersElement: Yoga for Stress Relief & FlexibilityElements of Yoga, Earth FoundationsElements of Yoga, Fire DynamicElements of Yoga: Air & WaterEmotional Chaos to ClarityEmotions, Stress, and HealthEvamarie Pilipuf's Yoga Express DVDEvery Day Yoga for Every Body DVDEveryday GreensEveryday Workout for the Everyday WomanEveryday Yoga for Stress Release Everything VeganExercise-Based Interventions for Mental IllnessExhale Core Fusion 30 Day SculptFamily ForagingFamily YogaFast Food for the SoulFat and FuriousFear and Other Uninvited GuestsFit Family Fun CircuitFit in 5 DVDFlat Abs PilatesFlow and YinFlow YogaFluid Power Vinyasa Flow YogaFood You Can ForageForgiveness is Really StrangeFully PresentGaiam Pilates Slide and Sculpt Kit with DVDGaiam Pilates Total Toning KitGaiam Yoga For Weight Loss KitGet Ripped & ChiseledGet RIPPED! 1000 #3Get RIPPED! and Jacked - The Boomer WorkoutGood MedicineGoodbye, ThingsHandbook of MindfulnessHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHealing Through Movement: Pilates Head to ToeHealthy AgingHealthy Sexy Beautiful Kundalini YogaHemalayaa's Yoga for Young Bodies DVDHemalayaa: Bollywood BootyHot Body Cool Mind - Level 1Hot Body Cool Mind: Waking Energy How to Be a PatientHow to Be a StoicHow to Cook Everything VegetarianHow Would Buddha Act?I Contain MultitudesI'd Rather LaughIn Defense of FoodInsight Yoga Earth: Balancing Yin EnergyInsight Yoga Heaven: Balancing YangInsight Yoga with Sarah PowersIntegrated YogaIntegrative MedicineInternational Perspectives on Reminiscence, Life Review and Life Story WorkIntroduction to Ashtanga Yoga DVDIntroduction to Qi YogaIntroduction to Yoga DVDIt's Up to YouJanis Saffell Beverly Hills YogaKids Teach Yoga - Flying EagleKidYogi - Yoga for ChildrenKnowing the Nature of FearKripalu YogaKripalu Yoga Dynamic DVDKripalu Yoga Gentle DVDKundalini Yoga : DVDKundalini Yoga for Beginners & BeyondKUNDALINI YOGA for Your Week - MONDAYKUNDALINI YOGA for Your Week - TUESDAY - CoreKundalini Yoga Meditation for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Complex Psychiatric DisordersKundalini Yoga on the BallKundalini Yoga Solar Power All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress DVDKundalini Yoga Transformer All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga: Green Energy of the HeartLife MakeoversLifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues--Level 1LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues: Level 2Living BeautifullyLiving Room Yoga DVDLiving Room Yoga: Twist and BendLiving Your Best LifeLiving Your DreamLunar Flow YogaMadhur Jaffrey's World VegetarianMake It Fast, Cook It SlowManage Your Depression Through ExerciseMaui PilatesMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Back PainMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for IBSMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for InsomniaMean GenesMeditation in a New York MinuteMeditations for BeginnersMeditations on Self-Discipline and FailureMind GamesMindful AmericaMindful AngerMindfulnessMindfulness for BeginnersMindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician's Guide to Evidence Base and ApplicationsMisadventures of a Garden State YogiMotivational YogaMozart's Brain and the Fighter PilotNamaste Yoga: Season 3 Part 1NeuroLogicNever Home AloneNew York PilatesNext-Level PilatesNutrition Essentials for Mental HealthOn Being an Introvert or Highly Sensitive PersonPassionate VegetarianPerfect in Ten AbsPerfect in Ten: PilatesPerfect in Ten: StretchPerfect in Ten: YogaPilates AnatomyPilates AnatomyPilates for BeginnersPilates for MenPortraits of ResiliencePositivityPower to the Peaceful YogaPower YogaPower YogaPower YogaPower Yoga for HappinessPower Yoga: Core PowerPower Yoga: Fat BurnerPrenatal FlowPrescriptive StretchingPresence Through Movement: Yin YogaPsychology Moment by MomentPure and Simple YogaPure SculptPure Yoga Pilates with Kerry BestwickQi Gong Fire & Water With Matthew CohenQi Gong Flow for BeginnersQi Gong for Low Back PainQi Gong for Upper Back and Neck PainQi Gong for Weight LossQi Workout AM/PMQiGong for Healthy Joints & BonesQiGong IllustratedQuick Blast MethodReach - Upbeat Toning & Flexibility for a Dancer's BodyRed Lotus YogaResistance Stretching With Dara TorresRestorative Yoga PracticeSara Ivanhoe's Taste DVDSaving NormalSelf-CompassionSeven Challenges To Change Your Life DVDSleep BetterSolar Flow Yoga DVDSoupsSparkSpontaneous HappinessSports Hypnosis in PracticeStep By Step Strength TrainingStep by Step Tai ChiStrength & SpiritStrength, Grace, HealingStress ReliefStrong & SculptedStrong Body, Ageless BodySun SalutationsSuper Natural CookingSuper Seniors: Box, Balance, & Lift SuperhumanSupersurvivorsSurf Yoga SoulSybel's Yoga For Sports & FitnessSybel's Yoga For Sports & Fitness Vol 2Tai Chi for Beginners with Grandmaster William C. C. ChenTaming Your Inner BratTeach Yourself MeditationTeen YogaTeenYogi DVDTen Minutes to RelaxThe Accidental VeganThe Angelica Home KitchenThe Art and Science of MindfulnessThe Athlete's Guide to YogaThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Best Things You Can EatThe Booty Barre -Total New BodyThe Breathing FieldThe Cafe Brenda CookbookThe Complete Book of Raw FoodThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Easy Yoga WorkbookThe Feeling Good HandbookThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The Good LifeThe Happiness of PursuitThe Harvard Medical School Guide to YogaThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Health Psychology HandbookThe Healthy KitchenThe Heart of YogaThe Indian VegetarianThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Kettlebell BoomerThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Soy BookThe Little Yoga BookThe Mood CureThe Mozart EffectThe Myth of Freedom and the Way of MeditationThe Nature FixThe Origins of HappinessThe Perfect ExerciseThe Pilates Workout JournalThe Playful BrainThe Quest for Peace, Love, and a 24'' WaistThe Road to Calm WorkbookThe Self-Compassion Skills WorkbookThe Spa DeckThe Spirit of Buddhist MeditationThe Stoic Art of LivingThe Ultimate BALLET YOGAThe Ultra MindsetThe Way of StretchingThe Weight of the NationThe Well-Tuned BrainThe Will to Live and Other MysteriesThe Wisdom of FrugalityThe Yin Yoga KitThink SmartTotal AstangaTotal Health the Chinese WayTotal PilatesTotal-Body ToningTransform Yourself with Jivamukti YogaTransformative YogaTrudie Styler's Warrior YogaUnderstanding the PelvisV-Core WorkoutVegan ExpressVegan for LifeVegan Recipes from the Middle EastVegetarian Turkish CookingVegetarianoViva Vegan!Walk It Off in 30 DaysWalk to the HITS Radio RemixesWalkingWalking a Literary LabyrinthWatch Me Do YogaWeight Loss Cardio KickWellbeingWhat We Say MattersWhen Things Fall ApartWriting in FlowYin and Yang YogaYin Yoga DVDYogaYogaYogaYoga & Pilates Workouts for DummiesYoga 4 TeensYoga : Beginners Flow for EveryoneYoga AnatomyYoga and PsychologyYoga as MedicineYoga Beauty BodyYoga Bliss HipsYoga Body : Lean & Defined Total Body WorkoutYoga By Teens DVDYoga Emergency DVD: Arms & ShouldersYoga Emergency DVD: BackYoga Emergency DVD: Full Leg StretchYoga Emergency DVD: HipsYoga Flow DVDYoga for AnxietyYoga for AthletesYoga for Back CareYoga for BeginnersYoga for Energy & Stress ReliefYoga for EveryoneYoga for MeditatorsYoga for OsteoporosisYoga for Pain ReliefYoga for Regular GuysYoga for Strength & EnergyYoga for Strength & FlexibilityYoga for the Young at HeartYoga for Your WeekYoga In BedYoga in BedYoga Inside Out: Go DeeperYoga Inside Out: The Healing WayYoga Journal's Yoga for StressYoga Journal: Yoga for Strength and Toning DVDYoga Link: Core IntegrationYoga Link: Hip HelpersYoga Link: Shoulder Shape-UpYoga Nidra for Complete Relaxation and Stress ReliefYoga on DemandYoga Quick FixesYoga SanctuaryYoga SculptYoga ShaktiYoga TherapyYoga TherapyYoga Therapy for Back PainYoga Therapy Prescriptions - 60 Health Restorative SequencesYoga To Go's Yoga Quick Fixes DVDYoga to the Rescue - Feel Good from Head to ToeYoga to the Rescue for Back PainYoga to the Rescue for Neck & ShouldersYoga to the Rescue for Pain-Free Back, Neck & ShouldersYoga Weight Loss for DummiesYoga: Freedom from Back PainYoga: Relief from Neck and Shoulder PainYoga: Spirit of Vinyasa FlowYogabodyYogawomanYou Can Think Yourself ThinYou'll See It When You Believe ItYour Body Breakthru - Your Best Body Circuit DVDYour Brain on FoodYour Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings,Your Miracle BrainZaitounZen Encounters with Loneliness
Related Topics

Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management
Weight Loss

by Shiva Rea
Sounds True, 2002
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Mar 7th 2006

The Heart of Yoga

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.




        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.