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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Yoga Mala Paperback – October 15, 2002

60 customer reviews

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Paperback, October 15, 2002
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Editorial Reviews


"A treasure . . . Jois's discourses, at once authoritative and devout, [describe] the philosophy of yoga and the spiritual implications of its practice . . . For those who walk the Ashtanga path, this is the real thing."
-Yoga Journal

About the Author

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, a master of Ashtanga Yoga and a professor of Sanskrit, studied for twenty-five years with T. Krishnamacharya. He passed away in 2009 at the age of ninety-three.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: North Point Press; Second Edition edition (October 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865476624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865476622
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,231,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be an excellent source on both the philosophy of Ashtanga yoga as well as a great how to of moving from one asana to the next in the Primary Series. Do not buy this book if you are trying to learn the Primary Series from a book. Although the level of detail in this book is great, Ashtanga is better learn watching/learning from a live person, or if you are really pressed for money and/or do not have an Ashtanga teacher near you get a good video (David Swenson, Richard Freeman, John Scott, and others have excellent tapes out). With that said, this book is a wonderful reference tool and offers exact breath counts. In Ashtanga, every movement is associated with a breath, this book provides information on how to get in and out of every posture in the primary series following the breath (i.e. how many inhalations and exhalations should be accomplished moving between postures). This book also offers great detail as it relates to living the yoga you practice. While I may not agree with Jois' entire philosophy, it is a great deal of knowledge to be gained from this book. This book is a must read if you are an Ashtanga practioner or teacher. This book will help you deepen your practice both physically and spiritually. I would also suggest this book for anyone curious about the philosophy of Ashtanga yoga.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Daniel McGuire on September 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is one of the essential yoga texts. No serious yoga student can be without it. It was originally published privately in a short run a few years back and sold thousands of copies with no advertising. The new edition has a helpful new forward by the translator that gives more in-depth info on how Jois came to study yoga inthe 1920's. Beautifully designed, flawlessly translated, and amazing historical photographs. With all the silly yoga books out there, we should be grateful that Jois and some others still maintain high standards.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Ann Wilson on September 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a must for ashtanga practitioners, having been written by the guru of this form of yoga, Sri K Pattabhi Jois. The forward by Eddie Stern provides an interesting background of the life of Pattabhi Jois and how he came to teach western students.
The opening chapter describes what is meant by 'ashtanga' (eight limbs) of yoga, with valuable information regarding yogic philosophy, lifestyle and dietary concerns, quoting from the ancient texts.
Following is a detailed description of the vinyasa/asana practice.
Ashtanga is a challenging and methodical practice of yoga, with emphasis on correct method; from the first sun salutation to the final resting position, there is exact placement of the gaze, the timing of the breath, and sequence of movement.
Those with an interest in yoga generally, or who practice a different form, may also find this book of value, since yoga is yoga and the ultimate "goal" is the same. It is my feeling, however, that without an existing practice and enthusiasm for this method, the book may seem a little dry in the last section.

I have had a copy with me for years, it is an invaluable reference.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dancing Shakti on April 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I liked the most of the book is that the benefits of each pose are explained. For example: it says of Utthita Hasta Padangushtasana "it loosens the hip joints, destroys defects of the testicles and male organs of generation, and purifies and strengthens the vertebral column, waist, hips and lower abdomen. It also eliminates constipation." Further along it says "Matsyasana and Uttana Padasana counterpose the five asanas that precede them and remove the shoulder and waist pain that result from their practice. They also purify the esophagus and anus, as well as the liver and the spleen, and furnish the waist and neck with increasing strength."
This is a small book but with lots of useful information on the primary series. It explains how to practice, what to eat, how to behave (the eight limbs)...
Each pose of the series is described, there aren't extraordinary tips or insights on how to go deeper into the pose or with great alignment (if you are looking for that you may want to check the books by Gregor Maehle Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy), but there is a succint entry -with a picture of the asana- where the breath count is explained, as well as the number of vinyasas of each asana ("Doing puraka, stand, as in Prasarita Padottanasana, stretch arms out to the sides at chest level and straighten them, as in Trikonasana, and hold position; this is the first vinyasa. Then, doing rechaka, place the hands on the waist; this is the second vinyasa..."). And each entry ends with a paragraph of the benefits of each pose, what maladies they alleviate and what part of the body they act upon. There are poses for the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, legs...
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By get bendy on January 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Yoga Mala is written by a living legend with many years of practice and teaching experience. I would recommend this book only to those already familiar with Ashtanga, as parts of it will make no sense unless you are. Indispensable knowledge is interspersed with lovely throwbacks to earlier days in India, eg. the part where it is suggested a nice flat floor smeared with cow dung is essential to any good practice space. Gotta love it!
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