Awakened Earth /CD
BY MIRABAI CEIBA
Spirit Voyage Records
When it comes to super easy listening
from the Kundalini world of devotional
music, it doesn’t get much easier than
Awakened Earth. Violins, flute, and harp
give this newest release from Mirabai Ceiba a strong classical vibe, yet the album
stays grounded in the present with a light
bed of loops and electronica.
Mirabai Ceiba is a duo consisting of gui-tarist/singer Markus Sieber and singer/
harpist/keyboardist Angelika Baumbach.
Markus is East German and Angelika
grew up in a small village near Mexico
City. Yet their voices blend naturally, as
if they were meant to sing together and
have done so for many lifetimes. Track
five, “Guru Ramdas Rakho Sarnaee,”
is filled with lush strings, flute solos and
Angelika and Markus taking turns repeating “Guru Ram Das” – a chant to
the fourth Sikh Guru. Angelika's voice is
so comfortable and familiar it brings up
sense memories from hours on the mat in
The name Mirabai Ceiba embodies the
influences of both India and Native Latin
America. Mirabai was a Hindu mystical
singer and Ceiba is a sacred tree of Latin
America which grows very tall. You'll
notice the Latin influences most on the
rootsy guitar and percussion of “Sat Siri
The convergence of these two worlds
brings a unique vibration to this album.
Just like the joining of their voices, the
whole of this album is greater than the
sum of its parts.
Reviewed by Daniel Overberger a Los Angeles-based
Yoga teacher, the author of Leaving Stress Behind, and
founder of alt-kirtan group, Dharma Gypsys.
Stretch In Time /DVD
BY ELYSE BRIGGS
Reel Ideas Production
With age comes great wisdom and experience, but as we know, the stability of
spirit can, at times, be accompanied by
immobility in the body and a false belief
that movement and exercise should be left
to the young. Stretch in Time, a new Yoga
DVD created by Elyse Briggs, addresses
a population that may have neglected or
mistreated their bodies with age, and who
now seek stress reduction and movement
in order to "stretch in time."
The DVD is broken into three selections.
The first 25-minute section contains an
introduction and detailed instruction of
each pose. Between each pose is a drop in
text titled, "Why should you do this and
how will it help you," which highlights
the energetic and anatomical benefits of
The second menu item – “Good to Know”
– contains interviews with Dr. Beth S.
Marcus MD and Jeffrey M. Ring PhD explaining how these stretches can benefit
the central nervous system, improve balance and alleviate depression.
The final selection is the full routine of the
five poses for an effective and time-maxi-mizing practice.
Briggs’s spirit and ease as a teacher radiate. Her voice sings out mottos such
as “It’s never too late, you’re never too
old” as she guides her students step-by
step through taking care of their muscles
and joints. This inspirational program is
a wonderful reintroduction to caring for
our bodies, reminding us that, "If you
don't use it, you lose it.”
Reviewed by Beth Dian Prandini, an LA-based Yoga teacher.
Easy Yoga Stretches For Home,
Office & Travel /DVD
BY AUDREY WALZER
Easy Yoga Stretches
Easy Yoga Stretches with Audrey Walzer is
the perfect DVD for those who desperately
need the physical benefits of Yoga, but
may feel overwhelmed by the philosophy
or athleticism of many Yoga practices.
The 240-minute DVD is broken up into
three types of practice sequences: those
for home, office, and travel. Each section
is divided into both a step-by-step instruction of the sequence and a guided practice
set to music for a fluid experience.
Waltzer’s offers a practical and therapeutic approach. The postures selected
encourage lengthening and stretching to
relieve muscle tension and pain that may
result from poor posture, or everyday
work and activity. Her cues gracefully
highlight the anatomical effects of each
pose and the practical benefits that will
last off of the mat and into the routine of
Included in the DVD is a bonus selection
called "Learn Yoga Breathing" in which
techniques such as ujaii and diaphragmatic breathing are taught in a simple and
easy to understand manner. Walzer clearly explains how to connect breath with
movement, and how proper breath benefits the entire body, especially in maintaining health in the lower back.
Walzer’s offering can be summed up in
her own words when she tells the viewer
that "Slow intentional breathing is probably the most important thing I can share."
Easy Yoga Stretches guides real-life students in a way that helps them to understand and experience the powerful impact
Yoga can have on everyday life.