Rodney Yee, named the "stud-muffin guru" by Time
magazine, is one of the most sought-after yoga instructors in the world, packing classrooms in Hawaii and California and selling millions of copies of his 17 videos. Yoga: The Poetry of the Body
is his first book, and is as much a compendium of practical instruction on the most common poses as it is a dialogue on Yee's philosophy of yoga.
Yee decided to write The Poetry of the Body to give in-depth information that's impossible to include in his videos, and this is where the strength of the book lies. He delves into exquisite detail about the proper posture, breath work, and positioning for the 45 most common yoga asanas, devoting several step-by-step photos to each one. (However, sometimes the book goes overboard on the detail--there are more than 400 pictures, and the photo meant to illustrate where the groin is located is hardly necessary!) Yee includes eight yoga practices--the "playful practice," "relaxation practice," and those based on "grounding," "falling," "breath," "resistance," and "movement"--each a series of a dozen or so poses designed to help the reader "self-study" and discover the ways in which the mind and the body interact.
Although the poses in these "practices" are nothing out of the ordinary, Yee's incredibly muscular and supple physique may intimidate rather than inspire novice practitioners, and his sincere but frequently corny instructions on how to fully embrace the poses may well be a turn-off ("Surrender the seed of your body into the earth, water it, and let it blossom"). Diehard fans will also be disappointed that much of the book is devoted to the opinions and contemplative creative writing of his coauthor, Nina Zolotow, one of Yee's students. --Erica Jorgensen
About the Author
Rodney Yee is the Co-Director of the Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, CA, where he teaches public classes and a 1 1/2 year teaching training program. He is featured in two top-selling lines of yoga instructional videos: the Yoga Journal Practice series videos and the Gaiam yoga videos. He lives with his family in Piedmont, California.
Nina Zolotow is a writer as well as a yogi. She has 20 years of experience as an instructional writer but also writes intense, playful micro fiction. She studies yoga with Rodney Yee and other teachers in the San Francisco Bay area.