The Yogi's Companion with Lauren Peterson
Available from Prabhu Music, www.prabhumusic.com/music/yoga.htm, (877) 466-2583; 90 min.; $21.99.
This packed 90 minutes of instruction is spread over six CD tracks. The first, "Starting Out," includes a modified Sun Salutation, along with some simple standing postures and Cobra. "Stoking the Fire," the longest track at 20 minutes, covers two more versions of Sun Salutation and two "flowing" sequences-the first standing postures, the second both standing and strength postures. More standing postures follow in "Getting Centered," which features balancing positions like Half Moon. The fourth track, aptly named "Challenge Yourself," rolls out the heavy artillery: Forearm Balance, Handstand, and a couple of arm-balance postures you rarely, if ever, find in instructional tapes-Pressure-on-the-Arm Posture and Firefly Pose, which are pictured (along with the 100-some other oses in this program) in the accompanying 22-by-24-inch poster. "On the Floor" includes both Boat poses (full and half), a sitting forward bend, Bridge and Upward Bow, Shoulderstand, and Headstand. The shortest track, "Connecting," is almost an afterthought, finishing with brief comments about Corpse Pose.
Peterson, who teaches yoga at Malibu Fitness in Malibu, California, and frequently models for Yoga Journal, knows her material inside and out and provides detailed instruction, accessible alternative postures for all levels of students (save for Track 4, which is specifically geared to more advanced students), and a keen understanding of alignment and sequencing. The only fault I could find with The Yogi's Companion stems from the background music, which consists of a selection of traditional mantras (like the Gayatri) sung by Deva Premal. Her singing is beautiful, but here, it and the accompaniment compete with Peterson's voice, which is quite expressive but soft-spoken and nearly drowned out by the music's volume. That cavil aside, this is an expertly conducted session.