Spinal Strengthening

Bryan Kest
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Yoga
- Audio Workout

I got this CD b/c I wanted some audio CDs that I could do anywhere, using my laptop or MP3 player. Also, I'd like to make my lower back a little stronger, which is why I bought this CD as opposed to Bryan's other live class CD.

I only did this CD once, last night, but it CD far exceeded my expectations. I was worried that this would be a little more spinal relaxation (like twists) than spinal strengthening. Instead, there are many, many poses, that seem to get at a whole bunch of aspects of back strength and flexibility, while addressing other "categories" of yoga poses (inversions, forward bends, etc.).

It's a two CD set, divided into 8 chapters, as follows:
-Spinal balancing (start out at table--opposite leg straight off floor, and opposite arm straight, off floor)
-Side arm balances (many variations)
-Seated poses (forward bends, boat)
-Prone poses ("superman" or "swimming" like poses, and bow)
-Camel and lateral poses (again, whole lots of variations)
-Standing poses/advanced series (standing splits--I skipped this)
-Extra hips & legs (openers & twists)
-Finishing poses (plow, shoulder stand, neck stretches, savasana)

There is a total of 132 poses (!) although that includes the vinyasas between some of the poses, and the modifications. It comes with a pretty little book that shows Bryan demonstrating the poses and someone else demonstrating the modifications. As a cute touch, many of the pictures show one or two doggies sitting near or on the mat watching the action! (Extra cute b/c my doggie also likes to sit on or near the mat.)

I like this CD b/c, I really felt like it did what it was supposed to--work on back strength. There were also many infrequently-used poses included, and many modifications described. Also, while there are vinyasas between some series, there are no sun salutations.

Even though it says the CD is for all levels, I'm a little wary of recommending this for a true beginner, or for someone who hasn't taken a lot of live classes, since there are a lot of opportunities to do something harmful (bow, camel, hero's pose, shoulderstand, etc.). There's no music in the background, like there is in Yoga Sanctuary.

Overall, I think it's a great CD.

Instructor Comments:
I liked Bryan's voice, and the way he encourages you to take a break if you need to, or warns when a pose was going to be held a long time.

Bryan uses some, I think, sexual imagery. Stuff like "use your left nipple like a headlight and shine it onto the sky" or "this is the crotch candy pose--because it is so sweet to stretch your loins." Not to mention liberal use of the highly technical phrases "ass" and "butt cheek." I thought it was funny. But if find all of that a little nasty-well, this may not be the CD for you.