Virayoga, www.virayoga.com; 2 discs, 90 min.; $30.
This two-cd package from New York City-based teacher Elena Brower is quite a find.
Disc One has seven sections: a nice opening sequence of breath work and warm-up postures, Sun
Salutation A, a short balancing-posture interlude, Sun Salutation B (which tosses a couple of standing
postures into the usual mix), two long standing pose "flows" (one for the right side and one for the
left) that include backbends and a short seated strengthening and arm balance practice.
Disc Two has sections for Headstand, seated forward bends, Shoulderstand, Plow and stomach
strengtheners, and Corpse.
I listen to or watch 50 or 60 tapes each year, and occasionally one comes along that I really like,
mostly because I find myself in blissful harmony with the teacher's approach and instruction. This CD
Brower, who was certified as a vinyasa teacher at Cyndi Lee's Om Yoga Center and is now working toward
certification in John Friend's Anusara Yoga, has a wonderful voice, and her instructions are clear
and intelligent, with lots of engaging images. She has the self-confidence to stop talking every now
and then and allow long stretches of beautiful silence during which we can, as she encourages us to
do, "enjoy the sound" of our breath.
Brower recently said the CD was aimed at "those who need their vigorous practice." That is certainly
true; suffice it to say she has provided a session for experienced students looking for a challenging
but extremely rewarding 90 minutes of asana.