Most helpful critical review
91 of 98 people found the following review helpful
Mark Stephens has a fan club - Yoga Works types will like this book more than others
on May 16, 2013
I bought this book because I have an interest in sequencing. I went through my first teacher training at YogaWorks and Mr. Stephen's style is strongly YogaWorks. If you are unfamiliar with that branding, think "Ashtanga-lite." The workout start with sun salutes, but not as a many as a Ashtanga primary series. Once the sun salutes are done, there are standing poses, then sitting, with diversity, YogaWorks style not a set sequence like the Ashtanga series. One thing I value about the YogaWorks style is the concept of sequencing towards a peak pose.
Mr. Stephen's promise to show you how to "Design" a sequence is true. Following the concept of working towards a peak pose, or sequencing towards a theme, this book shows how to do either and more.
I eagerly bought this book in first addition and there are quite a few typos and mistakes. You look at the written description of the pose and it does not match the thumbnail picture. If you are familiar with yoga some of the mistakes are pretty hilarious. If you are new to yoga it would be bewildering.
My major criticism of this book: the sequencing is pretty narrow. If you are in fairly good shape you can use these sequences to get into better shape. But what he gives for a level one beginner class would be impossible for my beginner students to do. I can't believe that my students are atypical. I think a book ought be written for sequencing real beginners, because people beyond beginner status are less likely to need a sequencing guide.
Most yoga books for beginners such as Light on Yoga, or Moving into Stillness, or the Iyengar style books by the Mehta's include A beginner sequence, and all of those sequences are good, effective and beneficial. But they have only one or two sequences and are not written to teach a person how to design their own sequence. From this book I was hoping to get more than one beginner sequence, in fact I didn't really get even one. These sequences are appropriate for advanced beginners and advanced students. You need to be able to do a sun salute, without wrist problems, and squat without hip issues to do this kind of yoga. The picture on the cover should have been a clue to me, let it be for you.