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The Tree of Yoga (Shambhala Classics) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Shambhala Classics
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala (March 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781570629013
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570629013
  • ASIN: 1570629013
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 3.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Valuable insights into the therapeutic nature of yoga. . . . Those already familiar with Iyengar's work will find subtlety and depth here that will increase with each rereading."— Yoga Journal



"The well known Iyengar, a yoga teacher for fifty years and family man with six children, offers valuable teachings that are consistently lucid, inspiring, and instructive."— East West

From the Inside Flap

One of the world's foremost teachers of yoga offers his thoughts on many practical and philosophical subjects, ranging from the place of yoga in daily life to insights from Patanjali's "Yoga Sutras". --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

B.K.S. Iyengar was born in India in 1918 and has been teaching yoga since of the age of 17. He has been one of the world's leading teachers of yoga for over 70 years and is internationally recognized as a leading authority of hatha yoga. His own style of teaching, "Iyengar Yoga", is followed by certified teachers across the world. Iyengar was the first person to teach yoga to large groups of students; he lays great emphasis on precision and alignment, a style that is faithfully followed by his students. He is also the only person to teach the highest aspects of yoga - Atma Darshan - through asanas. Through his work, Iyengar has established the relevance of yoga to the treatment and cure of many illnesses, and has received a Doctorate from the United Nations Charter for Peace. At the age of 90, Iyengar still practices and teaches yoga, and also travels the world teaching and lecturing.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The book is very simple and very easy to understand.
Albert Wang
Mr. Iyengar is an inspiration to those of us who don't intend to give up family, career and laptops to live on mountain tops.
paula@globalthink.com
I highly recommend it to anyone interested in broadening their yoga horizons.
lori a renner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 84 people found the following review helpful By paula@globalthink.com on September 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
Mr. Iyengar brings the practice and understanding of yoga into everday people terms. He weaves the intricacies of yoga into a picture beginning with the tree and connecting the tree's parts to all the different parts of yoga. It is filled with simplicity and humanness. His knowledge and experience of 80 plus years is weaved together to create a complete understanding of the history of yoga to how to practice it with more wisdom. Mr. Iyengar is an inspiration to those of us who don't intend to give up family, career and laptops to live on mountain tops. He assures us that living as a married man and as a father has not diminished his practice but has enhanced it. A must for beginner and advanced students and teachers for your bookshelf.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
B. K. S. Iyengar achieved an international reputation with the publication of his classic Light on Yoga in 1966, which today stands as the definitive work on hatha yoga, a work made distinctive not only by the 602 photographs of Iyengar himself demonstrating the various poses, but by the detailed manner in which they are explained. He was then 38-years-old. Since then he has written several other books on yoga and lectured widely while continuing his teaching practice. He is today recognized as one the greatest of all yoga teachers.

In this book, editor Daniel Rivers-Moore has taken it upon himself to construct a narrative by Iyengar, gleaned from lectures given by the master in Europe and India during the nineteen-eighties. Rivers-Moore has done an admirable job of bringing the voice of Iyengar to the many readers who have not had the opportunity to hear him speak. The continuity of expression is maintained throughout, and the book reads as though Iyengar wrote it himself.

One sees that Iyengar is speaking to teachers of yoga as well as students. The extended metaphor of yoga as a tree is an apt one since when our practice is strong we are like a tree, solid and unshaken by the vicissitudes of life. But it is only a metaphor, one of many used by Iyengar in his teaching practice. His metaphor is not related to what is one of the most profound metaphorical images in yoga, that of the tree upside down with its branches in the earth and its roots exposed to the sun. It is said that this is the way we will see the world after becoming firmly established in yoga. Much of what we once believed (as children and young adults), we will now disbelieve and embrace the very opposite.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By "cattykitt99" on September 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
While being an avid yoga practicioner, the first time I got to know anything about B.K.S. Iyengar was when I picked up this book. Since then, I have done much more reading by him. Tree of Yoga was wonderful in explaining some basic principles of yoga, and the concepts behind it. The book didn't go into explaining or documenting the various asanas (for that read Light on Yoga), but instead spoke of the history of yoga, the concepts, types, what it was about, etc.
I read this book within a night, and have reread it many times since then. It's simple and inspiring, and will forever be a part of my collection.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for the new and the familiar to yoga. This compilation of lectures is a more philosophical look at his yoga, unlike the more technical books Light on Yoga and Light on Pranayama. Although these last two are indispensible, in this book, Iyengar's love of yoga shines through his words. He develops the analogy of the eight limbs of yoga as a tree skillfully and beautifully. Really excellent!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mary Beth Early on January 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
After more than 30 years of yoga practice and classes from expert teachers, I continue to look for the lessons that will take me beyond where I am today. I have read this book so many times and always find new lessons in it. The first time, I probably read it through in a couple of hours. Now, I keep it on top of a stack of frequently consulted works. Most mornings, here in Brooklyn (NY) in a winter that seems an object lesson in global warming, I turn to The Tree of Yoga in the first hour after wakening. This practice reminds me to consider the important lessons I might forget: my stage in life, the stages that came before, how short life is, what is happening today, the tendency of memory to distract the mind, the power of attention, the value of self-study, etc. And tomorrow, a new lesson, a new understanding, with the next passage read carefully in the pale light of a winter morning. This is a book that keeps on giving.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PL on April 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Doing yoga is not just for the sake of doing the asanas, but a way of getting deeper in perfectioning the movement through being in a process of discovery your innerself soul and body. Who reads The Tree of Yoga will be able to understand better what I am trying to share with you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Craig Shoemake on April 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I find I enjoy and benefit from anything Iyengar writes, I was actually more impressed by this book than I had expected to be. I did not go into it with any particular expectations--perhaps that helped--except the very positive reviews on Amazon. It is not an asana book, and Iyengar not being a scholar (he does not even have a high school degree he says on page 28, and was a "dumb student"), it is not a "learned" tome of any sort. This book is, rather, a subtle, gentle, at times revealing, and quite elegantly written series of reflections on the practice and teaching of yoga. Mr. Iyengar may not have been much of a student (what does this say about schools, I wonder?), but this book is clearly the product of an intelligent, discerning, and dedicated life.

It is divided into five parts: (1) "Yoga and Life," with essays describing generally the traditional Hindu view of the life process and how yoga fits in with that; (2) "The Tree and Its Parts," where the eight limbs defined in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras are described; (3) "Yoga and Health," which is pretty self-explanatory; (4) "The Self and Its Journey," examining the higher practices of pranayama and meditation leading to samadhi; and (5) "Yoga In the World," which has only two essays, the first about yoga as an art form, the second about the requirements and responsibilities of yoga teachers.

Although Iyengar does quote a bit of Sanskrit here and there, I would not say any of the essays are particularly "technical," though this is certainly not to say they are at all superficial. Quite the opposite--this book could not have been written by someone who was anything less than a master of his field, with long years of experience and reflection.
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