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110 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compendium of knowledge - Essential Reading
A book to read and re-read for many, many years... an amazingly concise and complete resourse for the yoga practitioner - this is an excellent textbook featuring over 400 practices.
The description of each practice are presented in a methodical and specific manner - each technique comes with set-by-step directions on the practice; breathing awareness during the...
Published on August 27, 2000

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, pages falling out after 2 weeks
This is a fantastic book, despite the physical quality. As a yoga student and teacher, I find it easy to use and a must-have reference. Unfortunately the paper quality isn't the best - it's old school yellow pages and the text and illustrations are faded in lots of areas although it's a brand new book. The book is also so thick that to read a section towards the back,...
Published 12 months ago by Divine Play


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110 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compendium of knowledge - Essential Reading, August 27, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha/2008 Fourth Revised Edition (Paperback)
A book to read and re-read for many, many years... an amazingly concise and complete resourse for the yoga practitioner - this is an excellent textbook featuring over 400 practices.
The description of each practice are presented in a methodical and specific manner - each technique comes with set-by-step directions on the practice; breathing awareness during the practice; benefits; contra-indications; variations and so on.
The illustrations are line drawn rather than photographs: This is an advantage, as it stops the reader from over-identifying with the photo; & becoming too dispirited by comparisons to glossy photos.
If there is a drawback to the book, it's that it can be a little overwhelming - there's a lot of information here! Fortunately it's well ordered, and well presented.
Another point is that it doesn't try to replace role of a competent teacher : it's a textbook of practices rather than a specific course of instruction.
But this doesn't detract from the book at all - merely indicates the level that the book is aimed at.
If you're looking for a distillation of authentic yoga knowledge, this really is a book to have by your side.
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79 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best no-nonsense yoga textbook, November 7, 2005
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This review is from: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha/2008 Fourth Revised Edition (Paperback)
There are innumerable books on yoga to be found; some emphasising the practical aspects with postures (asana), complete with colour photos - and some impossibly esoteric, meant for the select few with mystical leanings. This book combines a comprehensive overview of asana; while at the same time giving clear explanations of the deeper aspects of yoga, including breathing (pranayama), body attitudes (mudra), energy locks (bandha), energy centres (cakra), and yogic cleansing (hatha yoga).

The roots of yoga are in the ancient vedic and tantric texts; many of which have remained inaccessible to western readers until the last century. Much of the teachings were kept secret; firstly, because they had been banned by a Hindu priesthood that felt threatened by anarchic schools of self-liberation; and secondly, for fear that the powerful techniques could be misused by misguided opportunists.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati was one of the renegades who shocked the yogic establishment by not only translating the texts and teaching the techniques to western students; but then went on to publish an entire series of books, clarifying and promoting yoga in an unprecedented way.

Satyananda's other significant move was to bring yoga into the domain of medical science, and explain esoteric techniques in terms of western anatomy and physiology. He started the Bihar Yoga Bharati, which offers undergraduate and postgraduate studies in subjects like Yoga Psychology and Applied Yoga Science; and initiated the Yoga Research Foundation which studies the medical effects of yoga.

Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha (APMB) is a required text for any serious yoga aspirant. It not only clears away the mysticism around yoga left behind by the early Theosophists, and revived by the New-Ageists; but gives a sound theoretical foundation enabling one to understand the underlying purpose and efficient practice of yoga techniques.

The clarity of the illustrations and the wealth of information will ensure many years of delving into this classic reference work.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Asana pranayama, July 12, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha/2008 Fourth Revised Edition (Paperback)
Excellent book which explains to some degree the "inner posture" with each asana discussed. Unlike most books, you can actually perform the asana from the instructions in this book alone.
Stops short of explaining the effect of the various asanas on the Doshas (in Ayurveda) but does list the benefits of the poses.
A must have book for any student of hatha yoga
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will be a classic for generations to come., October 5, 2008
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This review is from: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha/2008 Fourth Revised Edition (Paperback)
This book is truly a timeless classic. I have been practicing yoga for almost six years, 1 to 4 times a day. I have many good books and DVDs on yoga. However, this book is THE most comprehensive.

I had joined a yoga studio for several months when I first began in January of 2003. The teacher taught the yoga using blocks, chair, belt and the wall. It was a good start and I attended for 4 months, two to three times a week. Whatever I learned I practiced at home, sometimes twice or more a day. Even after I discontinued class, I kept up my practice several times a day. I derived tremendous benefits from the practice. I was healed of several serious ailments, known and unknown.

I had been using the standard yoga books, such as "Light on Yoga" by BKS Iyengar, "30 Essential Yoga Poses" by Lasater, and many many others. Not to mention many DVDs by various people of repute. I found that despite my dedicated and persistent efforts I was not making headway in my ability to acquire the more advanced asanas. It seemed that there were groups of muscles in my body that would not open no matter how earnestly I applied myself.

Then I came across this book. Specifically the first three chapters. The asanas in the frist three chapters constitute the Pawanmuktasana series. I have practiced them for a week, twice a day. My body and mind seemed to have ascended into another realm. These seemingly simple asanas have a PROFOUND effect on one's being. I am at a complete loss to describe their wonderful and deep benefits. Practice of this series has done more for me in the last week than all the numerous benefits I derived through my practice over the last nearly 6 years.

I am at a total loss to explain why the Pawanmuktasana series has not been written of in other books of yoga! It is a VERY POWERFUL series to bring about a total change in the physiology and mental patterns of a person. If I had known about this series sooner I would have become a very advanced practitioner by now.

However, nothing is lost due to the delay! I only hope that people who find themselves stuck in their practice and unable to make gains, would read this review and start to practice the Pawanmuktasana series! I cannot sufficiently applaud its power and benefits.

Also to be noted is the fact that this classic text is put out by the Bihar School of Yoga founded by a great Sage -- Swami Satyananda Saraswati. This school is perhaps the only school in the world that grants degrees in yoga -- bachelors, masters and PhDs. They are in the forefront of the research being conducted in the healing of diseases through the various yogic practices. The body of knowledge that has accumulated since its founding in 1964 has found its way into the contents of this book as well. It is not a book just put together in an amateurish manner. It is LOADED and AUTHENTIC!

If one practices the seemingly simple Pawanmuktasana series alone for a fortnight, he or she will become a brand new person! One will be astonished by the transformative powers of this seemingly simple series of asanas. Since it is the tendancy of the mind to associate power with complexity, it is only natural to think of this seemingly simple series to be ineffective. You will be TRULY surprised!

The discovery of the Pawanmuktasana series is the greatest discovery of my entire yoga practice over the last six years! Such is its power!

They have the capacity to open up the body and allow the flow of energy through it like few other asana practices. Once these have been practiced for a long time, I believe the other asanas should come naturally. I cannot say for certain, since I have only practiced the Pawanmuktasana series for a week. However, by extrapolating along the gains I have made in this short duration the foregoing claim is likely to be true.

I think most people who practice yoga, do want to make progress at every stage. No one will be content to just stay at the same level year after year. If that is the case with you, then I strongly advise you to purchase this book and practice the three chapters on Pawanmuktasana in earnest.

I would also like to recommend a DVD, if I may, for the practice of Pawanmuktasana series. This DVD is "Yog Science Part 1 & 2 Pranayam & Yog Asan" by Swami Ramdev ji. It is available through Amazon and other dealers through Amazon's site. After practicing this series through the book or the DVD, I assure you your practice will improve by leaps and bounds.

My search for "THE" book and DVD on yoga has finally come to an end :-)
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect? Just about., January 24, 2007
This review is from: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha/2008 Fourth Revised Edition (Paperback)
I wrote a review of Light on Yoga, and talked about how if you could have only one text on hatha . . . Now, having seen this work, I must honestly revise that opinion. Both this and the much better-known Light are first-rate books on hatha (physical) yoga. This book, however, is quite user-friendly and much more informative about the effects of each asana. It contains information about the chakras most directly affected by the asanas, and--importantly--it discusses the counterposes that are most effective for each asana described. This last point is vital if you want to work toward structuring a practice without a class.

This book does not contain nearly as many poses as Light. And the poses are illustrated by drawings, not photos. But the drawings are wonderfully clear.

Like the title says, the book gives comprehensive insight into asana, pranayama, mudras and bandhas. It leads the reader through a complete course and progression from beginner to advanced. Advanced practitioners, though, can jump in anywhere and benefit from the book's insights, which are profound.

For anyone serious about learning yoga or deepening one's practice, this is an essential text. A wonderful complement to Light, and a stand-alone compendium that is sure to reward the reader, regardless of experience.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind Blowing book, June 23, 2005
This review is from: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha/2008 Fourth Revised Edition (Paperback)
I rate the book highly on almost all counts, especially:

- comprehensiveness (some books ignore cleansing techniques, mudras, bandhs, spiritual areas, and some even ignore pranayama - this book covers all these areas as comprehensively as a book should)

- detail - would help if this is text is the constant companion of a yoga practitioner - the latter can read, re-read, and re-read many sections of the book and learn new things every time and integrate them into the practice

- spiritual orientation - correctly followed the book would help practitioners gain deep spiritual awareness (explains chakra focus during asanas)

- progression - the book begins with very basic practices and progresses to complex practices

Thoroughly recommended - however, a book cannot replace the guru
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, January 4, 2007
By 
Sung Nee (Central, Hong Kong) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha/2008 Fourth Revised Edition (Paperback)
Don't let the title fool you, this is an excellent book on what is understood in the West to be Yoga.

The gem is really in the Beginner's Group. It is deceptively easy and yet the benefits are vast. If you have never done Yoga before, then the Beginner's Group is for you. You can't injure yourself doing it, and I suggest that (for beginners) you do ONLY the Beginner's Group for a whole year, and then move on to other parts.

I have read many Yoga books, and this book is now my menu of Yoga poses.

It is important to read the text very carefully and, if you are a beginner, to follow it exactly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not glamorous, but glorious!, December 8, 2011
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This review is from: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha/2008 Fourth Revised Edition (Paperback)
This is the third asana practice based book I've reviewed, the others being Iyengar's classic Light on Yoga (LoY) and Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann. This yoga manual (the back cover refers to it as a "reference text") from the Bihar School of Yoga is heavy on substance and light on frills.

What I mean is clear as soon as you open the book. Instead of photos of lithe yogins and yoginis (think Schiffmann) or intimidating poses of Iyengaresque perfection, what you get is simple black and white drawings with lots of descriptive text. Readers searching for a soft and cuddly yoga text might be put off by this, but they would be cheating themselves if they then closed the book. For what is contained in these pages is quite possibly the most complete and authoritative "cookbook" for yoga practice I've ever seen.

Those who've read my review of LoY may well be surprised by this statement. Indeed, there are ways in which LoY is definitely superior-most notably in its extensive five-year plus asana program, as well as therapeutic programs to treat specific ailments. But there are also ways-important ways-that Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha (henceforth APMB) has the edge.

First is the organization of the asanas. In Iyengar's text asanas proceed generally from less advanced to more advanced, but there are no internal divisions among the asanas. For example, if you want to find just the forward bending asanas, you can't do it via the table of contents. Instead, you'll have to sift through the text, looking at the pictures or, if you know the specific asanas you're looking for, go to the index. If you're just going by Iyengar's routine as outlined in the back of the text, this is okay, but if you're wanting to use the book in a more free-style fashion, then this is less than ideal.

APMB, by contrast, is intelligently arranged for someone who wants to take charge of their yoga routine. A peek at the table of contents immediately shows what I mean. The major division is by experience level-beginner's group, intermediate group, and advanced group-but then within each of these groups the asanas are arranged according to their specific characteristics. So for example, under the intermediate group you have asanas that employ padmasana, or forward bending practices, or spinal twisting, etc. The beginner's group is especially well suited for complete neophytes, and it would be advice well heeded to not begin the intermediate practices until you're thoroughly comfortable them. They include warm-ups (the pawanmuktasana series), relaxation postures, standing postures, vajrasana-based postures and others, including surya and chandra namaskara.

I think also the descrptions for each asana are in general better than in LoY. A typical posture has the following: a black and white hand drawn picture, a detailed description of how to enter and exit the pose, then, each with bold headings (to easily pick them out), details on breathing, duration (how long to hold, how many times to do), awareness (where to concentrate), sequence (in relation to other postures), contraindications and benefits. What more could you possibly ask for?

And this is just for asanas. Fully 160 pages are devoted to detailed discussions of a progressive pranayma course, mudras (and how to integrate them into practice), and bandhas. As an added bonus, you even get a section on shatkarma-practices on physical and mental "cleansing". By comparison, Iyengar devotes a measley 37 pages to these subjects, but has nothing on mudras or shatkarma.

I guess the only serious complaint I have about the book is that it lacks the sort of pre-programmed courses that are so helpful in LoY. This is sort of made up for in the sections on "sequence"; however, it seems the writers at the Bihar School of Yoga are still practicing an approach to asana that seems to have gone out of style in the last twenty years or so. This is the notion that every pose should be followed by its "counter-pose." (Please someone correct me on this if I have gotten it wrong!) Erich Schiffmann suggests a quite different approach (pp. 349-50), which I've adopted: e.g. emphasis on standing postures one day, then forward bends, then backbends, then the cycle repeats. Every day should have twists and inversions, and you're never too old for sun salutations. APMB is perfect if you adopt this mode of practice, because the organization of the text is tailored to suit. Yet another point in this fine work's column!

The only other suggestion for improvement I would make is that the section on yogic "subtle" physiology probably should have been moved up toward the front of the book, before the asanas, as part of the general course on yoga terminology. As it stands now, someone reading into the text will see references to visuddhi chakra etc and possibly not know what this means because the terms are not introduced until the end. This is a small complaint though, and I think it would be hard for anyone to go wrong with this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll never need another yoga book, August 23, 2010
By 
This review is from: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha/2008 Fourth Revised Edition (Paperback)
This book is SO fantastic, I've been practicing yoga for about 17 years. I have had many yoga books and videos. I'm not into class room yoga because I always feel rushed in and out of poses. I was always looking for a new yoga book that would actually have some nicely thought out Asana sequences. This is it! I bought this book about a year and a half ago, it is my bible.
Clear instructions about breathing during movements, where to focus your attention. Finding flexibility and peace of mind through subtle poses. I would recommend this book to anyone at any level of yoga practice.
have fun!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A World Of Life Changing Info. For Me!, September 22, 2009
By 
Nik "Nik C." (Brooklyn, N.Y. USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha/2008 Fourth Revised Edition (Paperback)
I was happy to come across this book and even happier when I saw the magnificent reviews for it. I have never come across a Yoga book that had a universal appeal and a great love for the work. I decided to purchase myself a copy and join in on the wonders of this book. I am not dissapointed at all. I am extremely happy about the content shared here in this one book.

In my years of Yogic study I have found info. on energy work, pranic exercises here, there and everywhere. Still, I lacked the knowledge to full grasp what this program is all about. I have mounds of dvd's and books, and paperwork on pranic/energy healing. Still, I could not feel satisfied. So much was missing.

This book has a world of life changing information in it for everyone who practices Yoga. It is very well written and explained, very well formatted (has a very easy to follow system) and includes all of the benefits of getting your many layers healthy. All of the vital information we need to restore ourselves to balance can be found here. A great curriculum.

While reading the book, I realized that my search, on how to attain peace within all levels of my self, had finally ended. I did several of the pawanmuktasana exercises and really felt an opening of the energies of my lower body.

This book is so simple. Yet, it bestows on the practioner, peace, vitality, renewal of self and self strength. Only once have I did this and I feel safe within myself already. Thanks to Swami Satyananda Saraswati, his knowledge and his following teachers.

I am sure that this book will remain with me for a very long time, making it part of my practice to better health. I do not think anyone will have any negative feelings or experiences with this book. It is not to take over your spiritual or religious beliefs but to be used in tandem with it to enhance your bond with the higher energies/source (God; Buddha; etc.) that moves us all.

I highly recommend this to those who are on this path, but hesitate to purchase it. We can only enhance our life experience.

Take Care and May we all find our way...
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Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha/2008 Fourth Revised Edition
Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha/2008 Fourth Revised Edition by Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Paperback - August 1, 2008)
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