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Freeing the Breath: Health, Relaxation & Clarity Through Better Breathing Audio CD – Import, 28 July 2010
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About the Author
- Publisher : Sounds True Inc (28 July 2010)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1591797853
- ISBN-13 : 978-1591797852
- Item Weight : 91 g
- Dimensions : 12.7 x 1.4 x 14.61 cm
- Country of Origin : USA
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,841,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from other countries
In his two-CD program, "Freeing the Breath," Leslie Kaminoff teaches the listener some of these Yogic breathing exercises. Session One is about 79 minutes long and it's divided into 12 sections. After a short introduction, Kaminoff devotes sections 2 through 4 to explaining yoga concepts such as prana and apana, to defining the process of breathing and to describing the role that the diaphragm plays in proper breathing. Sections 5 through 12 are guided practices in which the listener learns to pay attention to the act of breathing and becomes aware of how different parts of the body (the abdomen, rib cage, the spine) relate, move and feel when breathing is done properly. Each of the breathing techniques taught in these sections also brings its own therapeutic benefits. For example, the shoulder girdle drop helps release tension in the neck and shoulder areas. The shining skull exercise, or kapalabhati, cleanses the body from carbon dioxide. The 3-part breath shows us where knots and tensions are along the breath pathway.
Session Two is about 64 minutes long. This CD is divided into 5 sections that varied from 6 minutes to 20 minutes in length. In Session Two, Kaminoff guides the listener through exercises that can be done while sitting, standing or lying down. The listener can choose to do them in any order or follow Kaminoff's suggested sequence. The practices in this Session are a combination of the exercises already learned in Session One. Seated exercises can be done on the floor or sitting on a chair. Lying exercises should be done on a firm but comfortable surface. The last section of this CD is devoted to tips on how proper breathing can relieve stress at work and help in a weight loss program.
Kaminoff makes yogic breathing concepts understandable through the use of imagery and visualizations. His voice is very calm and relaxing (I confess I dozed off while doing the lying down exercises). His cuing could be a bit better though because, for example, by the time he asks to hold the breath, I was already exhaling. The other thing I wish for this program is that it would come with a little booklet or insert containing all the yoga terms (I like to know the correct spelling) and drawings or photos showing the correct posture for the exercises. Some listeners may not know what the warrior pose looks like. Overall, I found this 2-CD program educational and interesting. As somebody who practices yoga occasionally, I though this CD to be a complement to my exercise DVD collection as it concentrates on yogic breathing, something that is taught in a passing way on most yoga exercise DVDs.
Here's what I thought worthwhile:
1. Personally, I thought the author had a positive, crisp, and clearly enunciated voice tone, without a perpetually upbeat (but often artificial) "rah-rah-rah" style, or a cloyingly unnatural droning voice I've often encountered on such audios. I've fallen asleep in many lectures but not for these CD's! Other reviewers felt he was boring, but I felt his matter-of-fact style maintained my interest -- if you like this type of presentation, "Freeing" may be the one for you. Otherwise, consider something else -- no problem. It may be good for Amazon to offer segments of such CD's for you to preview, as they do with books.
2. I found his descriptions and definitions accurate without being overdetailed or overdeveloped. He made his point, he illustrated it well -- and then he moved on. Good.
3. His analogies were clear and interesting; for instance, he compares breathing to the processes found in an individual cell, which was far easier to understand than the very complicated and unfamiliar yogic system of pranas and the like.
4. The presentation seemed to "flow" well, with excellent transitions and connections with other lecture segments. I never felt the "huh?" sensation, in other words.
5. Breathing exercises formed much of the CD. They seemed excellent, and allowed me to attend to my body as it interacted with the breath, with interest and connection. I paused the CD now and then to extend the exercises.
6. He concludes with suggestions for using breath analysis in daily life (including knowing your "baseline" breathing in yoga or meditation, and observing the changes as you come under daily stress or happiness).
On the other hand, the CD has no written outlines, references, etc. -- not even how to access his website. I had to stop the CD and write down info at several points. This lack is why I gave it just four stars. A website with some diagrams, summaries, etc. would be valuable, and you may be interested in two websites associated with the author, which you can find by keying in his name to your search engine (they couldn't transfer to this review). You can find the author's DVD and book on Amazon. The author discusses anatomy frequently, and since anatomy is an important health subject, consider a reference book (such as F. Netter, Parker and Winston, the Anatomy Coloring Book, or the book on Yoga Anatomy).
I honestly believe we could resolve many of the chronic health problems that are brought on by stress-related circumstances if more people practiced better breathing. This is where Leslie helps out enormously! You can sense the tremendous wisdom this man has as you hear him speak so passionately about this subject. The only regret I have about this 2-CD set is that it didn't include more of a class-like set of breathing exercises as a practical example of what he teaches. But that's not to say you won't get a lot out of FREEING THE BREATH. It has made my yoga classes 100 times more effective than they were before and I'm giving this to my yoga instructor as a gift!