This is the story of how I produced my first Yoga CD and its evolution from a self-recorded demo to the disc set released in major retailers Canada-wide on November 1.
POWER YOGA (2003)
It all started nine years ago in a radio booth in the basement of the RMIT communications building on the corner of Swanston and La Trobe Street in Melbourne. My year aboard studying journalism and video production at RMIT was coming to an end, as was my time teaching yoga in Australia. I decided to record a yoga practice for my Aussie students to remember me by. I specialized in sound recording, so I figured I could self-produce the guided audio practice, Dharma Mittra style.
I started by recording my instructions for one pose, editing the “ummms” and breath clicks, then, for timing, I played it back while practicing the pose next to the sound booth. As you can imagine, this took a while. When the recording was done, a friend helped me with graphics for the booklet and took pictures of me in each posture on St Kilda beach. I got ‘an investment’ of $800 from my then Aussie boyfriend and had 200 copies of the CDs made.
I called it “Power Yoga,” as this title seemed fitting at the time. I was fairly pleased with the end product and my students were thrilled to receive a copies.
CORE STRENGTH POWER YOGA (2005)
I returned to Montreal shortly after the CD was completed with plans to return to Melbourne as soon as I finished my last semester at Concordia University. But life intervened at just the right moment. In the year that I was away, North America went crazy over yoga and there was a strong demand for yoga teachers. I had no intention of making yoga my career, but my classes exploded and I was having so much fun. I decided to re-publish my Aussie yoga CD with new photos and with music.
Turned out, my initial auto-recording wasn’t professional quality (go figure), so I ended up re-recording the whole project with professional sound engineer Alain Paradis. We recorded my verbal instructions as I guided my friend and student Laur Fugère through practice. Laur is a professional singer and music director (formerly with Cirque de Soliel), so she also helped me enunciate and project.
My friend Ali, then a photography student, agreed to shoot all the photos for the new fold-out poster I was creating to go along with the new discs. We shot with film (yes, film, not digital…) on a hill in a graveyard, because we needed an open space with a well kept lawn.
The process was long and tedious, but things were coming together. For music, I contacted Rivertribe, an Australian band I used to watch perform in the Victoria Market in Melbourne. I loved their unique sounds which are both earthy and transcendental. They agreed to let me use their music in my project at rate I could afford.
The graphic design was done volunteer by another (very patient and generous) student of mine. I bartered private teaching for a discounted price on manufacturing. We produced 1000 copies and all of them needed to be hand assembled by my group of friends and family members. A great team effort. Renamed “Core Strength Power Yoga”, my CD launch party was in June 2005 at Lululemon Athletica. To this day, that event marked one of my proudest moments.
Over the years, I sold about 750 copies of this CD, mostly by word of mouth to my students and at a few small shops around town.
VINYASA FLOW: YOGA FOR BACK & CORE STRENGTH (2012)
This past spring, my yoga dvd distributor, eOne Music, asks me if I have anything I could release with them in the fall, as my brand doing well with their retailers. I immediately think my little yoga CD. It needed a bit of a facelift, so this summer, my photographer boyfriend Craig Bannerman retook all the photos in his studio, and the graphics were redone by my designers Karine and Mike. This time, we kept the recording as is, but gave it a new name: “Vinyasa Flow: Yoga for Back & Core Strength.”
I am so happy to share this CD with a new generation of yogis. It’s a beautiful project. Great music. Great practice. It helps motivate the novice student to practice at home, outside or while traveling. And to me, this project embodies who I really am: an artist in constant transformation who appreciates where she’s come from.
PS Get FREE SHIPPING on Vinyasa Flow: Yoga for Back & Core Strength CD set and Yasmin Yoga DVDs from Nov. 15 – Nov. 30!