The Principles and Practice of Ujjayi Pranayama with Richard Miller

Anahata Recordings, P.O. Box 1673, Sebastopol, CA 95473; (415) 456-3909; 3 audiotapes, 1 hr. each; $24.95

In this three-tape set, Miller, a yoga teacher living in Northern California and a student of both T.K.V. Desikachar and the late Jean Klein, offers a short introductory talk on yoga and Pranayama, four 30-minute breathing lessons on Ujjayi pranayama and its variations of Anuloma, Viloma, and Pratiloma, and a meditation based on the teaching of the centuries-old Kashmiri Shaivite text, the Vijnana-Bhairava (“Wisdom of Bhairava [Shiva]”). Miller’s opening talk on the meaning and intent of yoga and pranayama, based on his long study of non-dual Vedanta and Kashmiri Shaivism, is clear, concise, and enormously inspiring. The lessons and meditation too are expertly conducted, with just the right mix of down-to-earth advice and spiritual insight. I should note, for the benefit of students unfamiliar with the Desikachar system, that Miller’s techniques for Viloma and Pratiloma may be different from what you’ve learned in your own training. The half-hour lessons require a strong sitting position and intense body- and self-awareness. I highly recommend these lessons to all experienced students looking to deepen their understanding of both the practical and theoretical dimensions of pranayama.

Contributing Editor Richard Rosen is deputy director of the Yoga Research and Education Center in Sebastopol, California, and teaches public classes in Berkeley and Oakland, CA.