Customer Reviews

133
4.6 out of 5 stars
Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$15.60 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Okay, this is the best book out there for yoga teachers and teacher trainers, but what makes it truly amazing is that it's a great book for all of us-for students as well as teachers. Although I've been doing yoga for 12 or 13 years, I'm not interested in teaching yoga, but this book is filled with background information and insights to help deepen my practice. One of the things I like most about it is how the author has approached every topic like a scholar, asking probing questions, giving detailed references, and encouraging the reader to think rather than just accept what some guru out there says is the truth. Yet the book is also filled with spirit, giving me a real feeling for doing yoga at a deeper level. Anyone who is serious about going deeper with his or her yoga practice will definitely want to buy this book. And last but not least, it's a beautiful book!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This masterfully crafted and beautifully designed book is the most comprehensive text written on yoga wince B.K.S. Iyengar's Light on Yoga was published in 1966. It's also practical and resourceful, for beginning and experienced teachers. But unlike Iyengar, the Indian master, Mark Stephens writes as an American yogi steeped in Western culture yet completely absorbed in the wisdom of the East. This is also a work of scholarship, a rarity in a world of yoga long on bold assertions and short on evidence, careful reasoning, and even simple references. This books contains hundreds of insights into teaching and doing yoga. The author presents a well-balanced perspective on scores of topics, then encurages the reader to thnk on his or her own. This is a truly outstanding book on yoga that will become part of every yogi's library.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
With the increasing number of training programs for yoga teachers and the proliferation of yoga studios, many people, and especially yoga students, are demanding higher standards from their yoga teachers. There have been many debates as to whether or not it is advisable to have the yoga profession, and particularly the training of teachers, regulated. In 2007, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in the previous three years, around 13,000 Americans suffered yoga-related injuries as reported by doctors' offices and emergency rooms. Many injuries are the result of teaching practices from incompetent teachers. Many teachers have not received proper training or do not have any certification; it is estimated that among the 70,000 yoga teachers in the United States, only three quarters have any sort of certification. Furthermore, while there are strict training programs that demand a minimum of 200 hours of training, others provide a diploma after a few days of exposure, or just by e-mail.

In the middle of such a situation, the arrival of Mark Stephens' book is more than a blessing. The author has trained more than 700 yoga teachers and is the Director of the Teacher Training Program at Santa Cruz Yoga (CA). He has studied various yoga styles (Iyengar, Ashtanga Vinyasa, yoga therapy, and Vinyasa Flow) and is well versed in yoga history and philosophy. The book includes various practical tables for easy consultation, numerous photographs, a rich bibliography, a very helpful list of yoga teaching resources (yoga websites, yoga associations, and institutes and research centers), a comprehensive list of yoga poses, and a summary of the yoga sequences followed by six major yoga schools.

The first four chapters present the roots of modern yoga and the physiological and mental components of yoga practices. Other chapters deal with teaching yoga poses, breathing techniques and meditation. Three excellent chapters (5, 6 and 10) give useful guidelines and tips for yoga teaching, such as options in conducting a class, the teacher's language and voice, the relationship between teacher and student (including how to deal with feelings of attraction), the use of props and music, how to organize the sequencing of a class, and many other critical subjects. In these chapters, Stephens shares with the readers the lessons he learned as a seasoned teacher. He properly illustrates his instructions with the philosophical foundations of yoga, based mainly on Patanjali's almost two-thousand year old Yoga Sutras.

Inspired by the idea that in yoga, like in travelling, what is important is the journey, not the destination, Stephens affirms, "Yoga is not a practice of attainment; it is an unending process of self-discovery and self-transformation," and teachers are just facilitators and guides. Through the entire book, he is guided by the idea that the role of the yoga teacher is to assist in the discovery of the inner teacher that all of us have inside ourselves; this is indeed the Socratic approach to teach. He also insists on the beneficial powers of adaptation and innovation in teaching yoga to better respond to the needs of every student. The last chapter is dedicated to the yoga profession; here, Stephens mentions some difficult topics such as regulations, teachers' fees, liability insurance, teacher's training and certification, how to start teaching as an apprentice, and other interesting subjects. Although he does not provide his personal views on many of these points, he raises them and alerts us to give proper consideration to them.

This is an excellent book, full of wisdom and information for anyone interested in yoga practice or in teaching. Nevertheless, the book could be improved by taking care of some caveats. It is desirable that in a revised edition the index would incorporate all the authors, as well as the yoga poses mentioned in the text. The name of the poses should appear with both the Sanskrit and English names.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a good book if you are looking for a general orientation. Nothing will teach you how to teach yoga but an experienced teacher, time, and effort. That said- if you are new to learning about yoga or starting your 200 hour CYT, this book will provide structure and some insight.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a perfect book for people who are new to yoga and are trying to understand and follow their teacher's directions. Every pose is perfectly described, (There's even a detailed section on body structure and movement). I love the foreword by Mariel Hemingway... it's fun to read about her respect and admiration for the author (Mark Stephens). She writes, "He is a teacher's teacher." Beautiful book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Admitedly, one may say that as a student of Mark Stephens, this is a biased review. I won't argue with the fact that as a student of yoga, Mark Stephens in an excellent teacher who has very popular yoga classes here in Santa Cruz, CA. He is a very friendly, approachable teacher who treats all of his students (which are many) with equal attention and equanimity. His teaching style is easy to grasp and grow upon. My own yoga practice has improved markedly in my classes at Mark's studio.
Despite all this, I own many yoga books and videos and have enough of them to understand the differences between those that are well-done, and those that aren't. This book is definitely one of the former.
Although titled Teaching Yoga, this book has obviously been written for not just the teacher, but the student (which I am), too. As a student, I'm very interested in the teaching process, what the teacher is trying to convey to an aspiring student of yoga.
Mark's book is a holistic production. Unlike many books, Teaching Yoga encompasses the whole gambit of what we in the West interpet as "Yoga". Roots, traditions, lore, history, styles, philosophies, the physical practice, what to look out for, etc. is found in this obvious labor of love.
The chapter on sequencing ideas in itself is a gem and can easily be rendered into a book itself. For those who want a home-based practice without carbon-copying what was learned in class (I believe that the truely rich realm of yoga is that of self-exploration, the ability to translate a yoga practice to that of "being" yoga.), the underlying philosophy of sequencing gives ones a template to begin with.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a great resource of yoga teachers and students. The book covers a good deal of information thoroughly. I really appreciate the authors efforts to provide unbiased book about yoga the history, philosophy, energies, etc. You can check out the table of contents for a list of subjects this book encompasses. As a Christian who practices yoga I really appreciate that this book does such a good job of remaining objective and not trying to "convert" the reader's to "yoga as a religion." I am currently enrolled in a Yoga Alliance certified 200 hour teachers training out of 11 required books so far I like this one best.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I LOVE this book. I was a beginning yoga teacher when I bought this book, and I was taught yoga in my certification, but not taught very well to plan my own classes. That is where this book EXCELLS! I really couldn't ask for anything better to reference as a yoga teacher (and that includes all of the books I had to buy for my certification). I only wish that they made a book like this for other Group Exercise Classes, teaching you how to plan out a Scuplting class or Step class.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
When I saw the size of the book (manual), I took a gulp and set it aside. Then one night I decided to give it a try and couldn't put it down. Written so well - very down to earth and enjoyable. I highly recommend it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
A really well structured guide to teaching hatha yoga and pranayama, some basic meditations, and detailed instructions on teaching yoga asanas. As a meditation instructor who began his own hatha yoga training with BKS Iyengar and several of his students, I find this a useful contemporary contribution to the field. While one could quibble with some details of the book's historical and philosophical sections, at least there is an overview of yoga philosophy, ethics, etc., which many similar books are lacking. The book's greatest strengths are its in-depth exploration of hatha yoga instruction, detailed notes on the asanas, and organization of classes, which are the author's areas of expertise. Highly recommended for hatha yoga instructors and advanced students.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes
Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes by Mark Stephens (Paperback - September 18, 2012)
$16.36

Yoga Anatomy-2nd Edition
Yoga Anatomy-2nd Edition by Leslie Kaminoff (Paperback - October 28, 2011)
$13.19

Yoga Adjustments: Philosophy, Principles, and Techniques
Yoga Adjustments: Philosophy, Principles, and Techniques by Mark Stephens (Paperback - June 3, 2014)
$19.50
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.