This review focuses on the Lunar disc. I’ve not yet attempted the Solar disk** because of the focus on arm balances, but will tackle it on a strong day with modifications. As a general note, this CD set experienced birthing pains, with the Lunar disc contained a flaw. To their credit, Sounds True and Shiva & Co. demonstrated excellent customer service in replacing all Lunar discs with the corrected version in a timely manner. I am still mildly annoyed that the solar disk is blue, and the lunar disc is orange, but that’s my problem to overcome.
The set comes with a booklet explaining Shiva’s intentions to bring the ocean to our practice, and the importance of fluidity to our lives and bodies. There are brief, adequate printed instructions and photos of her demonstrating asana in the sand, at times with the surf running over her. Music for Lunar is hypnotic with watery tones – tinkling, raindrops, ocean surf; for Solar it is a bit stronger, with light background chants at times, perhaps to help you “lighten” in the pose, and some unobtrusive percussion in the tough parts. Shiva’s instruction is clearly in the foreground throughout.
Disc 2 – Lunar Wave Progressions. Observant yogis will experience a true ocean wave – forward flowing (lunging, pigeon), ebbing (half splits, child’s pose), and cresting (Anahatanasana, up dog or cobra).
Breakdown, 60 minutes total:
1 – Prana Wave warmup, arms sweeping up and down with the breath, progressing to spinal wave, to mat on all fours for cat’s breath. Ohms chanted on exhale.
2 – Lunar Wave I, hip opening – pulsing lunges, Ardha Hanumanasa (half splits), Anahatanasana, Sphinx or Cobra with neck flow, pigeon wave; repeat opposite.
3 – Lunar Wave II/Wave 1 - hip opening and twisting – from half split wave flow forward into lunge, to pigeon, gracefully transitioning to seated twist then back to pigeon same side, Anahatanasana and its twisting version, cobra wave at top of the sequence; repeat opposite.
3 – Lunar Wave II/Wave 2 – Repeat half splits/lunge/pigeon wave with Ardha Danurasana (kneeling half bow) and full Dhanurasana (bow) culminating the wave.
4 – Forward Bend Wave I – Pigeon counterpose which is actually the final stretch into fully extended pigeon to “marinate.”
5 – Forward Bend Wave II – featuring pulsing into forward bending Baddhakonasana then Upavista Konasana, wide angle pose.
6 – Option to practice Nadi Sodhana as music gives way to ocean surf.
7 – Intro to Shavasana, crashing ocean waves.
8 – Shavasana Wave, option to remain in relaxation while meditating to a kirtan-styled, simple and repetitive song about the ocean waves. It is unusual and I suspect some might find it hokey; I enjoyed it but issue an earworm warning!
**Notes on Solar (untried) – Arm balance flow disc starts out with a Yoga Mala Wave (Sun Salutations) and progresses to waves featuring Crow, Galavasana, Vismamitrasana (the side angle pose where you pick up the lunging foot with the top hand!) and backbends such as camel and wheel. It looks like a vigorous practice for athletic yogis. Shiva speaks stronger than in the the hypnotic Lunar coaching.
The instruction on both discs is measured and accurate, delivered with a calm voice. Those who have found Shiva to be a little “out there” recently might wish to consider this offering, which somehow manages to be grounded and meditative at the same time. Cues such as “pour yourself over your right leg,” “draw your heart towards the earth,” and “back leg a bow with arrow extending through your heart” seemed appropriate and not overly flowery. Helpful reminders as to breath patterns, alignment, and pointers for modifications are given frequently.
June 23, 2008