PRANA GROOVE (CD)
BY STEVIN MCNAMARA
White Swan Records
In the hustle and bustle of the popular world, it is
important we take moments to transform outer day
to day stress to a more centered inner calm. Beyond
exotic environments, pleasing colors, and tranquil
smiles, music is a key ingredient in the medicinal
process of linking body, mind, and beyond. Feeling these good ‘vibes’ deeply
infuses our psyche, and Prana Groove is founded on this notion. In fact, the
songs on this 60-minute album are not labeled “tracks” but are appropriately
renamed as “movements.”
Steven McNamara lets his rhythmic groove flow with primordial energy. Just
as our breath moves prana, his fingers are an extension of this dance. This al-
bum is essentially three “movements” blended together with melodic elements
based on Rag Malkauns – a raga to be played late at night based on a penta-
tonic scale. The tempo is 108 beats per minute, chosen for its sacred value.
Classical guitar strung with Ayurvedic beats from tabla, djembe, frame drum
and the like, resonate hypnotically.
Stevin McNamara, Nic Dacelo, and Aram Ram combine artistic essentials
from meditative traditions as Latin rhythm, Indian Ragas, and Sufi Dervish
ecstatic dance. A groove can strike you at any time and, prepared or not, you
must go where it takes you. If you happen upon Prana Groove, it will take you
Reviewed by Michael Blahut who is currently a student at the Shiatsu Massage School of California, a Annie Carpenter
Smart Flow trainee, and a friendly face behind the desk at Exhale Center for Sacred Movement.
Known as “a teacher’s teacher,” Annie Carpenter provides a practice which exemplifies her reputation for
precision in Yoga for Total Back Care. The DVD is, in
essence, a textbook practice for discovering both strength
and flexibility in the muscles that support and influence the
spine. Back Care epitomizes Carpenter’s style, which encourages mindful control in asana as a path to self-knowledge and health.
The practice is broken into two 45-minute sections: the first for heath in the low
back, and the second focusing on the neck, shoulder girdle, and thoracic region.
In order to honor the natural curves in the spine, Carpenter’s instructions feature
actions that guide the viewer toward total stability in each pose. Students with injury should not confuse the practice as rehabilitation; prevention and maintenance
are the overarching focus.
In addition to the practice sequences, the DVD also includes interviews with Carpenter and the student-models, which provide a sense of connectivity to a medium
that can feel impersonal. Overall, this offering contains wisdom and care that
honors the practice of Yoga as a pathway toward back health.
Reviewed by Beth Dian Prandini, M.A. an LA-based Yoga Teacher: www.bethdian.com
YOGA FOR TOTAL BACK CARE (DVD)
BY ANNIE CARPENTER