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Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit: A Return to Wholeness Paperback – May 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews Review

As the physical practice of yoga has become popular in the West, many of the spiritual aspects have been lost. There is much more to yoga than reducing stress, increasing flexibility, looking great, and remaining youthful. Yoga is an ancient, integrated system designed to educate and unite body, mind, and spirit and teach the practitioner how to be present both on and off the mat.

In Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit: A Return to Wholeness, Donna Farhi, Yoga Journal columnist, author of The Breathing Book, and internationally recognized yoga teacher, shows yoga students of all levels and traditions how to use yoga as spiritual practice and a vehicle to connect body and mind.

Most of Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit is devoted to the asanas (yoga postures) and the practices of breathing and meditation. More than 240 photographs and line drawings show how to do the various poses and exercises. Postures are accompanied by benefits and effects, cautions, tips, and prenatal suggestions. Numerous inquiries are spread through the text to help the reader explore the body-mind-spirit connection. Farhi also explains what yoga is, summarizes the living principles (wise characteristics and codes for living soulfully), discusses the seven moving principles of yoga, and explores the body's organ systems. If you are ready to take your yoga practice to the next level, Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit is an excellent guide to help you connect with everything yoga has to offer. --Ellen Albertson

From Library Journal

At first glance, this book's photos and illustrations, which are just as important as the text in an exercise book, seem dated and bland. But a reading of the text and a closer examination of the illustrations reveal that what makes this yoga text different and worthwhile is the author's commitment to tying yoga's spiritual aspects to its physical components. Farhi (The Breathing Book) discusses the "Ten Living Principles," or the yamas ("wise characteristics") and the niyamas ("codes for living soulfully"), and also considers the importance of the asanas ("postures") in grounding spirituality in the body. However, Farhi does far more than provide descriptions and illustrations of postures. At the beginning of each new section, she has readers move through one or two core poses. She then asks them to focus on the way they feel physically while performing the pose. Using these core poses, she moves on to postures of greater complexity while allowing for different levels of ability. One possible problem for beginners is her use of posture names to describe poses that involve movement from one posture to the next (e.g., the sun salutation or the downward dog). Recommended for public libraries as well as academic libraries where yoga is a part of the curriculum, this may also be a worthwhile purchase for hospital or health sciences libraries.
-Debra Mitts, Glenview P.L., IL
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1st edition (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805059709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805059700
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Donna Farhi has practiced Yoga for twenty-eight years and has taught internationally for over two decades. One of America's most respected and loved Yoga teachers, she travels throughout the world leading retreats and training others to teach. Farhi has been an Asana columnist for both Yoga Journal and Yoga International and is the author of the contemporary classics The Breathing Book and Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit. Born in America, she now resides in New Zealand.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

193 of 195 people found the following review helpful By Charles J. Spenella on May 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm a forty-seven year old man who has been practicing yoga for less than a year. In that time I have read quite a few books on the subject. I was surprised to find so many opinions, theories, teachers, schools, and styles. Yet they all seemed to fall short of giving really clear and understandable explanations of the mechanics of body movement. When I read "Yoga, Mind, Body &Spirit" I quickly recognized it to be, by far, the most logical and reasonable approach to yoga study that I had found. Exercises, refered to as Inquiries, help you to learn for yourself the principles that underlie the practice of yoga. This allows you to begin to fashion a practice tailored to your unique body and its current condition. If I had to choose one book to try and explain the techniqes and essence of yoga, this would be the one.
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117 of 117 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the yoga book I've been waiting for. I am an active middle age athlete/busy professional who has found that yoga makes me feel good and so I've purchased many books and videos in my efforts to learn more on my own.
For me, Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit pulls together the disciplines (moving principles, anatomy, yamas/niyamas, mediatation) one needs to understand to realize the true benefits of yoga practice. The communication of these areas through the written word, photographs and illustrations (incredible helpful), and organization and layout makes every page a gem. Most of all the spirit of Donna Farhi's own "digging" into the subject area and learning comes through in a generous sharing and caring for the reader's own efforts to yield the fruits of yoga practice. Her crystal clear communication, examples, and her unique way of presenting principles have already enabled me to refocus my own practice into a more enjoyable and transforming experience - without all the stress and struggle I generally brought to my practice.
Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit is a wonderful, enjoyable "workbook" and tool for learning more about your own true nature through yoga. And it is one of the most beautifully produced book I own. It's a great experience.
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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a child I practices yoga for years, since then I grew up and became totally plugged and lazy to exercise. My job and life didn't allow for any kind of exercise. As my energy decreased I remembered my childohood. I bought this book and it changed my life. It is by far the best yoga book I have read. It gives full descritions for all levels of proficency, describing in detailed poses breaths and props that may be needed for each move. It also shows illustrations of what to do and what not to do. I liked the anatomy digrams that further explain what positions your body should be in. I also liked thefocus on getting to know your body, and yoga being a 'dance' rather than exercise.
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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By CPTScott on December 24, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been doing yoga for about 5 years and this book along with Eric Schiffman's have been revelatory.
Donna Farhi helps make your yoga practice more personal (in terms of how to make your practice more internal rather than external), and more spiritual. She's not afraid to talk about the deeper issues of yoga.
This is a complete book of Yoga in the sense that it's not just a book about how to get your body into the proper "shapes". While the asana instruction is very easy to follow and precise, it teaches you how to make the asana's come to life through "the Seven moving principles".
These are things that I've not seen before in any other book.
These are :
1. Breathe. Let the breath move you.
2. Yield. Yield to the earth.
3. Radiate. Move from the inside out.
4. Center. Maintain the integrity of the spine.
5. Support. Whatever touches the ground becomes the foundation of support for each asana.
6. Align. Alignment is the clear sequential flow of force through the body.
7. Engage. Engage the whole body.
These principles are real eye openers and can bring the asanas alive.
She also give ideas on sequencing principle and much much more.
It is by far the best book on Yoga I have seen and I've read quite a few!
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer Dr. Beth #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Since I first began practicing yoga several years ago, I've read a ton of different books on the subject, and so far, this is one of my favorites. Author and yogi Donna Farhi takes some of the best elements from other works and combines them into an extremely readable, practical format. For example, she begins by reviewing the eight-limbed path of yoga and then focusing on a discussion of the "ten living principles" - basically, these are moral and spiritual guidelines from yogic philosophy. She then moves on to the asana limb, or the practice of yoga postures, and introduces seven "moving principles" (breathe, yield, radiate, center, support, align, engage) to assist the reader in gaining a greater body awareness within the poses. Farhi also reviews anatomical information in a way that is much more simple and more accessible than in The Anatomy of Yoga (although this is also a wonderful book).

The second half of the book centers around the yoga asanas themselves. Farhi groups the poses into chapters on standing postures, sitting postures, back bends, arm balances and upside-down poses, and restorative postures and breathing practices. Each chapter begins with incredibly useful information on properly aligning the body, including many wisdoms which I had never seen before. The descriptions of the individual asanas are also enormously helpful; many include variations for those unable to attain the full posture. I particularly liked the suggestions included under the "Having Trouble?" section, as these anticipated common complaints in many of the poses; those who are pregnant will also appreciate the prenatal guidelines given for every pose.
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