Namaste, gentle readers. Unless you are new to Under a Red Roof, you know quite well of my fondness for yoga. It truly has changed my life. I know for many of you this might sound a bit precious, but it’s no exaggeration. Everything is better with yoga, everything. Even with a cat on my back. How cute is my guruji, Paris? Normally, she prefers to give her sage advice during savasana, but who am I to argue?
Anyhoo, I’ve got some more recommendations for videos and the like, even expanding my repertoire to include, holy crapper-doodle, works by people other than Shiva Rea! I know, even I didn’t think it was possible. This dog can learn new tricks, go with the flow, rhyme and steal…
However, since I do have such a longstanding relationship with Shiva and remain ever loyal, I’ll start with her. A.M. Energy is a really dynamic and invigorating video, and a departure from what I consider typical Shiva style. It contains four separate practices (about 20 minutes each) that can be linked via the matrix or done individually. Each ranges in difficulty and in style, from lots of not super yoga feeling floor work that builds strength through repetition, flowing movement, and some extremely challenging standing postures. I have much to learn and do here and continue to be dazzled by Shiva’s ability and grace.
Shiva’s Yoga Wave (thanks for this one, Mom!) is an audio only collection, though there is a booklet with photos, so I would definitely only recommend it to those practicing for a while. It contains a Solar and Lunar CD, and with the help of an i-pod or similar device can be mixed up in a myriad of fashions. Each CD has progressively more difficult waves of similar postures, building upon each other and kicking your behind. The solar wave CD is like doing seventy-five minutes of sun salutations, which is great for heating you up and developing your legs. The first time is a killer! The lunar wave is mostly spent on the floor opening hips, back bending, and twisting. This one is in a pretty regular rotation for the hubster, as it’s really great to counter the repetitive movements of bike riding.
Now for something completely different. Completely! My massage therapist, who has a beautiful and strong body, is as big of a devotee to Kundalini, Ravi Singh and Ana Brett as I am to Shiva Rea. After hearing her raves, I decided to give it a try. It is a real departure from the yoga I am used to practicing. I think, and this is by no means a slight, because I really like it, it is like yoga that was created by a child. Let’s grind our hips around while sitting on the floor, and then we’ll flap our arms, sit like frogs, dance, lie on our bellies and bounce, walk like we’re marching in a parade, and pant like dogs. Oh, and one more thing, it’s gonna be fun! And it is. I can’t help but smile during and well after. It must be all that good Kundalini energy! For those who already find yoga a bit out there, this will probably be too woo-woo for you. That being said, both of the videos are fun and challenging, especially all the arm flapping Gurmukh does. Seriously, I could not do it all, and I’m in pretty good shape. Sat nam!