on October 6, 2000
As a beginning yoga student, I've consulted several books to support my practice and this is one of the best I've found. This book is slightly oversized and printed on thick, glossy paper so it feels really nice to use. The photos, drawings and text are clear and concise and the photos show modifications for different abilities. The book features two asana sequences and chapters on pranayama, relaxation and meditation. The chapter that sets this book apart has sections on problem areas such as hips, hamstrings, abdomen and back. The chapter shows you which poses in the asana sequences help in these areas and then shows additional poses. This is the only book I would recommend to the yoga beginner.
on November 10, 2006
This is the book that got me onto a yoga mat, and is still one of my favorite yoga manuals. In fact, I'm reordering it because it's getting so tatty being on the floor all the time, and I'm buying a copy for my daughter in college. What is particularly nice is the way the book is broken out into 3 distinct parts - the 1st is a programmed series of moves for beginners - a GREAT way to start. The 2nd is the program you move into as your joints become more flexible. The 3rd section has yoga moves for different areas of your body that you want to work on. The hip exercises help keep me pain free! I HIGHLY recommend this book!
2013 update: I now have a whole library of yoga books and this is one of my top two books.
on March 6, 2011
If you are looking for a basic book on gentle, non-intimidating yoga, this could be a good fit. Published by The Himalayan Institute, it won the 2001 Independent Publisher Outstanding Book of the Year award.
In clear, simple, easy-to-understand language, it introduces the reader to major aspects of yoga in a scientific way. Black-and-white photographs illustrate the detailed instructions. Each position is accompanied by a brief description of associated benefits. However, no contraindications are given. In our teaching experience, we think that even for simple positions certain cautionary tips are important and worth including (such as for osteoporosis, high blood pressure, replaced hips) as the readers who gravitate toward gentle yoga tend to have these issues. This is our only criticism.
The section on pranayama is written well and there are benefits as well as cautions given in this section. A brief section on meditation gives the reader the basic knowledge on how to begin relaxing.
Two sequences are built around the teachings of the well-known and respected institute. The first develops flexibility, strength, and balance. Anyone looking for truly gentle yoga will find the asanas very helpful. The second sequence is termed "deepening and strengthening." It builds on the first one and is a little more challenging. However, if you like styles such as Bikram, Ashtanga, Power Yoga, Mysore Yoga, Anusara, etc. these sequences will not be challenging enough.
Understanding what you are doing and why is important to a practice and this book helps the reader understand with drawings of the anatomy of the body. A philosophical understanding enriches a yoga practice and the writers reveal a deep knowledge that can only come from living the philosophy on a daily basis.
on March 1, 2007
This is an excellent and thorough introduction to yoga including the philosophical foundation and context for a meaningful practice. It has a great progressive program and provides a complete and comprehensive rationale for following it. It is well-organized, contains a lot of material, is very readable and very accessible to anyone. It is also printed on very quality paper, has excellent illustrations and is quite a bargain at this price. Highly recommeneded by this reviewer and I see a lot of yoga books!
on June 3, 2014
I have not yet read this from cover to cover, but, love the step by step instructions and clear photos of all the poses. Includes Asana sequences and poses arranged by type of posture serves as a quick reference for specific body areas. I went directly to the section on Lower Back as I have issues with mine from previous injuries. The text suggests 11 different poses/sequences found in other places in the book along with several others. This was purchased for a class and will serve as a reference I will turn to repeatedly.
on May 16, 2007
This Hatha Yoga manual is authentic, clear, thorough, precise and well illustrated. For each posture, there is at least one illustrative photo. All the postures are scientifically sequenced. As a Yoga student of the same tradition, I recommend this book to all Yoga students and teachers without reservation.