Category Archives: CD’s and DVD’s

Relaxing the Writer


This lovely work has been sitting on my desk for months, waiting for me to take a look at it. The book and its companion CD were developed by fellow writer and yoga teacher, Amber Polo.

Peppered with inspirational quotes, Relaxing the Writer covers topics often ignored but desperately needed by writers of all genres, including:

  • The ergonomics of writing
  • Stretches, including desk stretches,  hand stretches and eye exercises
  • Aromatherapy
  • Meditation
  • “Apps to relax” on iPhones, iPods, and iPads
  • Twenty other activities that can help a writer stay healthy, balanced and productive, including a chapter on yoga. My favorite was the chapter on laughter and smiles. Who doesn’t need more laughter?

Even better, the book comes with audio guides that help uptight writers relax to the sound of Amber’s soothing voice. Unfortunately, I can’t adequately convey the book’s artistic, easy to read, and compact format. You’ll have to check that out for yourself.  Suffice it to say that the book has tons of useful information in an easy-to-digest package.

My favorite quote from the book is an ancient Chinese proverb:

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”

I highly recommend this book for writers or artists of any type. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  A KILLER RETREAT and MURDER STRIKES A POSE are available at book sellers everywhere! 

          A Killer Retreat

Seven Viniyoga DVD’s to Help You Continue Your Summer Yoga Practice

Larry Payne Yoga DVDsI don’t know how I missed these, since they were created in 2005, but better late than never.  Larry Payne, author of Yoga RX and co-author of Yoga for Dummies has several DVD’s available.  Larry may not call his yoga style Viniyoga, but he studied with Desikachar—the leader of the Viniyoga lineage—and his work definitely utilizes the Viniyoga principles. There are a variety of practices to choose from:

  • Immune Booster and General Conditioning: Level One
  • Immune Booster and General Conditioning: Level Two
  • Weight Management for People with Curves
  • Common Lower Back Problems
  • Common Upper Back & Neck Problems
  • Restorative Health for Women
  • Classic Beginner’s Yoga for Men & Women

Each video offers at least two, sometimes three, separate routines of different lengths. They also contain MP3 audio versions of the practices, so you can listen to them on your ipod or computer.

Although yoga is always best studied with a teacher, summer activities often make it difficult to get to the studio.  I’m happy to be able to offer you the next best thing.  I don’t currently carry these videos at the studio, but you can purchase them on line at Larry’s web site

Let me know what you think of them!


Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and join my author mailing list for updates on MURDER STRIKES A POSE, available early 2014 from Midnight Ink!

Music to Soothe the Stressed-out Yogi

Don’t let the cover art fool you.  This series of CDs is my favorite tool for deep relaxation—whether it be for my dog, my meditation practice, or my students’ Savasana.  For those of you who don’t know, one of my passions (besides yoga) is anything related to dogs, especially if it might help my reactive girl Tasha.  So a few years ago, I flew to Ohio and attended a dog training seminar on tools to help anxious and reactive dogs.

One tool they mentioned was music, specifically the CDs in the photo above. I was skeptical at first, but the trainer used a video to prove her point. It showed a dog literally climbing off the walls, as its exhausted owner tried not to cry.  When the trainer popped the CD in the stereo, the transformation in the animal was nothing short of astounding.  It stopped jumping, barking, and running in circles to lie on the floor and listen.   Proof enough for me.

I had my chance to try it a few days later. My girl was in major freak-out mode over the mailman who, according to Tasha, is an ax-murdering psychopath just waiting for an opportunity to break into her house.  I turned on the music and waited. Tasha stopped barking, walked up to the stereo speaker, lay down and sighed.

Intrigued, I did some research.  I won’t bore you with all of the details, but if you’re interested, you can read about it here. Turns out, canines and humans have something in common. We’re both soothed by music that is:

  • Classical (as opposed to pop or heavy metal)
  • Simple in arrangement
  • Played by a single instrument (in this case piano)
  • Slow in tempo (50 – 60 beats per minute)

I wondered if my yoga students would love it as much as Tasha did, so I snuck it into the studio’s CD collection.  After they got done snickering about the dog on the cover, my students started asking me where they could buy it.  I now carry it at the studio, and it outsells even the yoga mats.

There are several CD’s in this series, so you can experiment to find the one you like best.  My personal favorite is Volume 1.  Not surprisingly, it’s also the volume the researchers found to be the most profoundly relaxing for their canine test subjects.

I hope you try one of these CD’s and you find it as deeply peace-invoking as Tasha and I do.  Let me know what you think!


Tracy Weber

Another New Viniyoga Video!

When I wrote about two new viniyoga videos in my blog a few weeks ago, I thought they were the only new ones out there.  Turns out, I was wrong.  As I researched anatomy books for the next teacher training, I came across a third video that I wanted to share with you.  Breath Centered Yoga is a DVD created by Leslie Kaminoff, a viniyoga master teacher and the author of Yoga Anatomy, the anatomy text we use in Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training program. 

Leslie is a long-time student of Desikachar who lives in New York.  He founded The Breathing Project, an institute dedicated to this style of yoga in New York City, and his knowledge of both breath-centered yoga and anatomy is renowned. Although I’ve never studied with him personally, I know several people who have, and they have described him and his teaching approach as grounded, accessible, and filled with humor. I never hesitate to recommend his work to my students. 

His DVD offers four practices that vary in length from 18  to 29 minutes.  The 29 minute practice is meant to be a stand-alone practice.  The three shorter practices can be practiced individually or combined to make a single practice that is a little over an hour in length.  The DVD also includes several bonus audio tracks with descriptions of adaptations for everything from plus sized bodies to “real men.”  😉

True to the viniyoga methodology, the practices on this DVD involve dynamic movement in addition to stay.  The video’s  practitioners don’t move in concert, but at their own pace, and they each practice using their own adaptations. The video is described as offering “gentle, therapeutic yoga routines that are accessible for all levels.”

I haven’t actually seen this video yet, and I don’t yet carry it in the studio. However is it readily available on and other online retailers. I hope to add it to my retail offerings later this spring or summer. I am excited to find another video I can recommend to my clients by a very reputable viniyoga master!

In the mean time, if any of you buy and review it, please tell me what you think!



Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle!

New Viniyoga Videos for Anxiety and Depression

Like many viniyoga teachers, I’m not a huge fan of yoga videos, as the video format doesn’t allow for the customization and adaptation to the individual that is such a hallmark of this rich lineage.  Still, as much as I’d like everyone to experience yoga first hand at Whole Life Yoga or work with me privately, I know that for many students, videos provide a much more convenient and accessible connection to a consistent yoga practice.  Who knows…maybe someday I’ll even create a video of my own!  😉

Until then, two new viniyoga videos have recently been released by my teacher, Gary Kraftsow, on topics that are personally important to me:  Yoga for Anxiety and Yoga for Depression. I’ve suffered from both conditions off and on throughout my life, and yoga has been an incredible powerful tool in helping me manage my symptoms. I may have come to yoga to overcome back pain, but by far the first and most important thing to heal was my heart.

Gary’s new products introduce the viniyoga therapy approach to anxiety and depression.  They are a bit different than typical videos, in that he provides cognitive learning in addition to yoga practice.  Each video contains approximately an hour of lecture on yoga therapy and its applications for anxiety and depression, along with two practices: one that is a bit over thirty minutes and one that is closer to an hour.  Even more unusual, the practices aren’t just asana, or movement.  They contain multiple facets of the rich and dynamic viniyoga lineage:  Asana (movement), Pranayama (breath work), Meditation, and Chanting.

I sell both of these at the studio, along with a few other viniyoga videos.  But they can also be purchased at and via other on line sellers.  Of course, I’d much rather see your bright shining faces at the studio, but these videos may provide a nice addition to your collection and to your practice.  Let me know what you think!


Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle!

Viniyoga Books and Videos to Motivate your August Practice!

August is the month yoga teachers nationwide wonder where all the students have gone. With long days, warm weather, and summer vacations beckoning, it may be hard to motivate yourself to go to the studio for your regular yoga practice.

But not every practice has to be at a studio! I firmly believe there’s no substitute for an instructor who can personally give feedback on form, design a sequence for your goals, and teach you the basics of a safe and effective yoga practice. But what’s a yogi to do when she just can’t get herself to the studio?

I often work privately with students to develop a written practice they can do at home that is specifically catered to their needs. But that’s a subject for a future blog. 😉

The next best thing is a well conceived and safe book or video. While there are thousands of yoga books and videos out there, until recently there were no videos I felt comfortable recommending. Viniyoga relies so heavily on adapting to the person before us, that we have resisted creating videos that, by their very nature, are ”one size fits all.”

But recently some Viniyoga teachers have taken the challenge, and I’m happy to say that the resources below are quite good. All but the book are available at Whole Life Yoga, in addition to many online retailers.

Yoga for Your Life

This book was written by Martin and Margaret Pierce, with whom I studied prenatal yoga. It has always been my “go to” resource for people who want to practice at home, but don’t know which postures to do or the order in which to do them. With gorgeous photos and a series of practices that build over time, you just can’t beat it for finding or re-invigorating a yoga practice. The last half of the book has practices for different activities, including a yummy pajama-clad practice for bedtime. Unfortunately, Yoga for Your Life is out of print, but there are currently copies available at many online booksellers.

The YogaAway Video Series

This video series was developed by a friend of mine, Bija Bennet, with input from our teacher, Gary Kraftsow. The videos were originally designed for the Hyatt hotels as in-suite video practices for Hyatt guests. There are currently four videos available, with practices focusing on everything from working out to falling asleep. All four have gotten great reviews from my students.

The Viniyoga Therapy Series

These videos were developed by my teacher, Gary Kraftsow. They are a little different than the yoga videos you normally find. Each contains almost 3 hours of material, including several practices, lectures on back pain, and individual tutorials for specific postures. He currently has one for lower back issues and another for upper backs. Two more videos are in the works: one for anxiety and one for depression. I’ll let you know when they are available.

Although there’s no substitute for seeing your bright shining faces at the studio, I hope you will use these resources to continue your practice even when you can’t make it to Whole Life Yoga. And I look forward to seeing you back this fall!


Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle!