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Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual Spiral-bound


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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Ashtanga Yoga Productions; 2nd edition (August 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891252089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891252082
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 3.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The Most User-Friendly Yoga Book Ever Produced"

About the Author

David Swenson began the practice of yoga in 1969 at the age of 13. He found Ashtanga in 1973 through David Williams. In 1974 K. Pattabhi Jois made his first trip to the US and David began studies directly with him at that time. He then traveled to Mysore, India in 1977 and learned the entire system in it's original form. David is recognized today as one of the foremost authorities of Ashtanga Yoga.

More About the Author

David Swenson began the practice of yoga in 1969 at the age of 13. He found Ashtanga in 1973 through David Williams. In 1974 K. Pattabhi Jois made his first trip to the US and David began studies directly with him at that time. He then traveled to Mysore, India in 1977 and learned the entire system in it's original form. David is recognized today as one of the foremost authorities of Ashtanga Yoga.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
6
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See all 165 customer reviews
I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in yoga and particularly Ashtanga yoga.
"mtolentino"
Once you've attended class you can use this book to practice at home by just following the sequence.
Jackal
Also, the descriptions of the poses are very clear and there are pictures with modifications.
rierie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

163 of 166 people found the following review helpful By "mtolentino" on March 10, 2000
Format: Spiral-bound
This book is an extremely user-friendly book for beginner and advanced persons doing Ashtanga yoga. I am a beginner and found this an invaluable tool in my personal practice. It has choices of practices; full practice of Primary and Second Series or the short forms of 15min., 30 min. and 45 min. practices, for those of us on the go. Unlike Power Yoga by Beryl Berder, I found this book clear and precise, with wonderful anecdotes from the author. Other books on Ashtanga yoga are often confusing, not clear about asanas and many other aspects of the practice. I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in yoga and particularly Ashtanga yoga.
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112 of 118 people found the following review helpful By adam david on December 3, 2002
Format: Spiral-bound
Worth the cover price alone for the photo of Doug Swenson practicing along the mountain ridges of Lake Tahoe on page 242. Were his life insurance provider aware of this shot, I guarantee his policy would be dropped immediately.
The other pages prove to be possibly the only book you really need on the physical exercise of yoga. While David Life and Sharon Gannen's excellent Jivamukti Yoga emphasizes the origins and much of the spiritual aspects for today's practitioner in clear, modern language (The Yoga Sutras are, after all, pretty dense stuff), Swenson's focus is the asanas, and the primary and intermediate series of the ashtanga yoga system.
The asanas are presented in clear, concise detail, along with photos.
The book does not intimidate by bogging the reader down in overly long details in either words or pictures. When explaining the translation of an asana's sanskrit name, instead of getting "This very interesting posture has an equally interesting history to its' names origin. In 436 BC, the first king of scotland travelled to india, etc. etc.", Swenson simply writes "Pada=Foot" (But if it is gorgeous, unbelievably crisp photos of asana practice you're looking for, the book to get is Linda Sparrowe's Yoga).
One does not need to practice ashtanga for this book to prove useful and inspirational: virtually every asana is displayed, so even if you prefer a vinyasa practice, you can always pick up some new - or remind yourself of many - poses within.
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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Alan Little on May 11, 2000
Format: Spiral-bound
This is an excellent reference manual for continuing practice - as far as I am aware it is the only book with comprehensive documentation of the first two astanga yoga series, with explanations and modifications for both. A book isn't a substitute for lessons but it can be useful.
I agree with several of the other reviews here that Beryl Bender Birch's "Power Yoga" might still be a better buy for beginners as it has more detailed basic explanations. But readers should be aware - and aren't told anywhere in the book - that "Power Yoga" doesn't present the full astanga series. There are a few omissions for first series, and a lot from second series, whereas David Swenson's book is comprehensive.
If you get the chance to go to one of David's workshops, do. If you've bought and studied this book you may not pick up much new technical information, but you'll get to experience somebody who is a really funny guy and a great storyteller as well as an exemplary yoga practitioner.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 21, 1999
Format: Spiral-bound
While David could use a good copy editor (there are a lot of typos and grammatical errors) this is the most user-friendly yoga book I've seen. The layout and copy content make it a very useful practice companion. I think it is best suited for someone with previous yoga experience. I would still recommend Beryl Bender Birch's Power Yoga to a beginner. She discusses various pose modifications at length; a beginner might find that more useful than the quick easy layout and helpful reminders found in David's book. Since David's book is great for a continuing practice, the two books really go well together.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2001
Format: Spiral-bound
I have looked at a lot of books on yoga, and also own both of Beryl Bender Birch's books, but David Swenson's book and tapes are the absolute best for someone who wants to get started with Ashtanga. Highly recommend the "Short Forms" video for those not already familiar with Ashtanga; it is extremely user-friendly and unpretentious. This is supposed to be about the book, though, which is excellent; it includes photos of most modifications that are discussed, is easy to follow, and is the only book that includes ALL of the postures in primary and secondary series. The only criticism I have is that the Birch books are better about letting the reader know which postures should be avoided without help of a teacher. Hopefully, as Ashtanga grows in popularity, there will be more qualified teachers throughout the country. Now, though, many of us do not have the option of regular instruction, and this book is the next best thing.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Edie on May 1, 2003
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I bought this book to help me develop my home practice after about a year of taking instructor led classes. Therefore I was familiar with many of the Ashtanga poses. The book includes detailed description of each pose including alternatives for less advanced students, breath instructions for each movement, and drishti. The instructions include all poses for primary series, secondary series, and finishing poses. Then what I found extremely valuable is a couple of pages that list the sequences pictorially, i.e. Primary series flow, Secondary series flow. Plus David Swenson constructed a few shorter series for either less advanced students or for a shorter practice. Swenson also talks about the other elements of physical yoga (bandas, breath control, vinyasa), as well as the notion that the physical practice comes within a greater context. I don't know if it would be difficult to learn these poses from scratch without any formal instruction. But if you are really looking for a "cheat sheet" or manual to refine your Astanga practice, this is a wonderful book.
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