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Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika Paperback – January 3, 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 367 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The definitive guide to the philosophy and practice of Yoga--the ancient healing discipline for body and mind--by its greatest living teacher. Light on Yoga provides complete descriptions and illustrations of all the positions and breathing exercises. Features a foreword by Yehudi Menuhin. Illustrations throughout.

About the Author

B. K. S. Iyengar, for whom hundreds of Iyengar Institutes all over the world are named, headed his own institute in India until his death in 2014.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken; Revised edition (1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805210318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805210316
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (367 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Whether you are looking for a physical improvement or a mental one, Light on Yoga will give you what you need. Each asana is accompanied by at least one (usually more) photographs to illustrate the proper technique, a synopsis on the effects, and details instructions that anyone can follow. Breathing, focus, position of each limb and which muscles to focus on are all covered thoroughly. When applicable, there are even variations that can be applied, depending on the student's comfort and skill level, so that no one need skip an important technique just because he or she is starting out and has no outside help.
Iyengar then further assists the beginning student with a list of which poses to start with and add each week, for a comprehensive schedule that will keep you improving for years. Also included is a list of common ailments and asanas that can relieve these ailments.
Anyone interested in strength, flexibility, balance, and inner peace should have at least this one book.
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Format: Paperback
This is the definitive text on hatha yoga. This is the book you want if you are serious about beginning your yoga practice. This is also a text of reference for professional teachers used throughout the world. It is no exaggeration to say that all yoga instructors in the United States know this book, and most of them own a copy and refer to it regularly.

Iyengar's text is characterized by a thoroughness of content, a detailed, precise, step-by-step "how to" for instruction in asana and pranayama. There are 602 photos of Iyengar himself demonstrating the poses with extraordinary flexibility and precision. I have an early, hardcover edition with the photos collected together at the back of the book. The newer editions have the photos spaced appropriately throughout the text.

The 34-page Introduction entitled, "What is Yoga?" is a concise overview of the nature, aim and extent of yoga as gleaned from the ancient texts, in particular Pantajali's Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and Swatmarama's Hatha Yoga Pradipika (from which Iyengar gets his Sanskrit title, Yoga Dipika). These are the three great texts of yoga and Iyengar knows them well. This Introduction rewards patient study, and is the kind of pithy text that needs to be returned to again and again, and yet it is written in an accessible, inspired, and inspirational style.

Iyengar emphasizes precision and careful technique and a whole body mindfulness as prerequisites to success in hatha yoga. From my experience this mindfulness is absolutely essential for two main reasons. One, you will surely strain or pull a muscle, usually several little ones, if your mind goes astray or if you practice with your attention elsewhere. Count on it.
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Format: Paperback
Both the complete novice and the seasoned yogi will benefit from this book. Mr. Iyengar not only provides simple step by step written instructions, but also enough photographs to completely undertake the study of Yoga on an auto-tutorial basis. As long as diligent, intelligent, careful reading and imitation are observed, the serious student will benefit from the this book tremendously. However, one should pay heed to Mr. Iyengar's advice of ultimately studying with a competent instructor.
In your search for books on Yoga, this reviewer urges you NOT to be persuaded by marketable and fashionable products. The dedicated student will learn all the basic lessons of Yoga by carefully reading Light on Yoga, and through the negotiation of all 200+ poses without the aid of special props and without concern for the seemingly gargantuan task. Two important requisites for a beneficial study of Yoga are explicitly stated several times throughout the book: determination and perseverance in all aspects of life lead to success.
In its structure and content, Yehudi Menuhin's foreword exemplifies the duality of simplicity and profundity that Yoga can offer. The beauty of this book resides in its minimalistic conciseness. In this respect it is a hidden treasure as well as a faithful embodiment of the ultimate goals of yogic practice: mental, physical and spiritual development. It is also an ancient radicalism aimed at the heart of our modern quick-fixes and 30 minute workouts.
In case some of the other readers missed Mr. Iyengar's instructions with respect to the duration of each of the poses, please note the following.
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3 Comments 203 of 212 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I own the original version of Light on Yoga, which I highly recommend. but I decided to buy Light on Yoga for a friend as a Christmas gift, and I saw the description of this new version. The description claims that the original had been improved in various ways such as the dimensions and organization. I decided to get this updated version and buy myself a copy as well to replace my battered old book. I ordered the books from the seller Nataraj Books. When the books came I was irritated to find that I had been mislead. There were none of the promised improvements, and the quality of the photograph reproductions was horrible. They looked like bad photocopies, all dark and grainy. The photos in the original are crisp and clear. So I sent them both back and ordered the original version for my friend. I don't know why the description here on amazon makes all these claims about improvement, the books I got were definitely worse in every way, including the price. It is very misleading. I would not recommend Nataraj Books at all. I believe they sell low quality books printed in India. The only good thing about it was that they refunded me without any hassle. I recommend the original version highly, but not this shoddy reprint.
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