Radiant Heart Yoga


By Elizabeth Jackson Winter  |  

Radiant Heart Yoga, with Shiva Rea.
Acacia; acaciacatalog.com

In her newest DVD, Prana Flow and Yoga Trance Dance innovator Shiva Rea leads a transformative, heart-centered sequence that promises to generate love and compassion, deep relaxation, and inner peace in the body and mind. The practice begins with heart-opening techniques, including mudras (hand gestures), <a href="/health/ayurveda“>Ayurvedic massage, and breath-initiated, dancelike exercises typical of Rea’s style. The movements are accompanied by chants for prema (love), karuna (compassion) and sukha (limitless joy). From here, Rea segues into flowing Sun Salutations focused on moving with the breath; rooting in the pelvis; opening the front, back, and side body for invigorating backbends; and creating heat around the heart.

The DVD’s postures are basic: Marjaryasana (Cat Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Ardha Virabhadrasana II (Half Warrior Pose II), and Dhanurasana (Bow Pose). Rea also includes supine poses linked to one another with flowing arm circles, stretching, and chanting, shown atop sand dunes at sunrise and sunset. The demonstration is impressive to say the least.

The Sun Salutations end with deep relaxation; however, some may wish to continue with the DVD’s moving meditation that involves rhythmic expansion, contraction, and twisting of the chest designed to help purify the heart. Either way, Rea has created a transformative sequence that will be inspiring to all who give it a go.