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Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness Paperback – December 1, 1996

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Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness + The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice + The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; 1st edition (December 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671534807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671534806
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book for any yoga teacher or student.
David Trimboli
I think this is going to be a great book to assist me on journey to making Yoga a part of my daily life.
Pam Guess
I am just beginning Yoga and this book explains all that I want to know in a way I can understand.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

281 of 281 people found the following review helpful By louienapoli on February 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
One of the best books on hatha yoga ever. There's nothing difficult to understand or apply. But the material will probably change the way you practice. It certainly did for me. I've been practicing yoga, on and off, for about ten years. I've taken classes with terrific teachers and even an agonizing series of 6 a.m. seminars with K. Pattabhi Jois. Yoga never got beyond the physical for me until I read Schiffman's book. Sometimes I wondered what the real difference was between a good hatha yogi and a contortionist. That question has been answered. Schiffman teaches the internals of yoga. His focus is on mobilizing the body's intrinsic energy--qi or prana--in each posture. The postures act as energy templates, he explains, but it's necessary to understand the lines of flow and circulation. He makes this very easy to understand and apply. And when you do, the external technique improves and you become precise without thinking about every distracting detail. Also, Schiffman's approach is beautiful. He teaches you to sense your limits and learn when you want to stay well within them, and when you want to push them. This is a method of gentle, "occasional healthy pain, tremendous gain." Schiffman is schooled in the Iyengar and Desikachar approaches. Precision is important to him. But he's taken it a quantum step farther. With Iyengar's Light on Yoga and Donna Farhi's Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit, Schiffman's book completes a trinity of the three most impressive, helpful books on hatha yoga I've seen, regardless of which style you practice or your level of skill.
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207 of 209 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Henriquez Lyon VINE VOICE on March 4, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is excellent for a number of reasons. The detailed descriptions of how to do the postures are wonderful. There are excellent hints for progressing through difficult postures, including some really helpful exercises for helping you get your hip joints in shape to do the lotus pose. Erich really understands how the different poses affect the physical body and the energy field, and imparts this knowledge clearly and eloquently.

There is a whole section on breathing with the postures which I've not seen done so well in any other book. Also, he explains his concept of "lines of energy" which really bring the postures alive. A line of energy is a directional path of force that moves through your body during a pose. For instance, when you are doing the Mountain (basic standing) pose, you allow two lines of energy to develop: one which starts at the navel and runs down through your legs and feet, anchoring you down into the earth; the other lifting you from the navel upwards through the crown of your head. Understanding these lines helps the practitioner to experience each pose as a way of reorienting one's energy, rather than just a set of muscle stretches.

Perhaps Erich's greatest contribution to the yoga literature is his way of explaining how asana practice goes with meditation practice. Before, I was never sure how asanas fit in with the rest of yoga practice. Now I understand a lot better. I found Erich's spiritual writings very unpretentious and inspiring. The meditation exercises are wonderful both for beginners as well as people who've been meditating for a while.

This is a wonderful book from a teacher who knows his subject well and who seems to have a truly open heart. I would love to take a class from him someday.
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104 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Andy Todes on May 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you buy only one yoga book, this is the one. By a mile. Practically glutted with commonsense advice, especially from the mental point of view, here at last is a book that can take you a long long way in the privacy of your own home. Particularly useful is the exquisitely detailed information on the poses. Information that may at first seem like overkill, but isn't. Instead what you have is a comprehensive system for progressing slowly, naturally, and correctly. I love the author's comments on "feeling your edges" and "lines of energy" which really open your eyes right up. Superb photos. And an outstanding description of ujjayi breathing -- a difficult concept to describe but done beautifully here. A brilliant book which took 10 years to write. Good things obviously take time. My only advice is when it comes to meditation, take a look at Lorin Roche's, "Meditation Made Easy." Or Roche and Maurine's, "Meditation Secrets for Women." With these three books in your possession, you'll be cooking.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By B. silly on April 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
The spirit and practice of Erich Schiffmann is well transmitted in this distillation of Erich's classes turned into a book. His engaging personal style and deeply-held convictions about using yoga as a primary channel for self-knowledge and enlightenment make his book a great introduction to starting or expanding your yoga practice.
This book opens a lot of doors. Erich's unique personal history with Krishnamurti and B.K.S. Iyengar contribute well to the common sense and precision of his theme of "Moving Into Stillness" and as a 6'4", 200+ lbs. XXL-sized teacher, Erich shows that yoga is not the exclusive province of the small and lithe.
If your just looking for a book or video to show you the basic postures, there are plenty of sources that can fill the bill. If, however, you are looking for the why and how of yoga as deep resource for transformation, Erich's user-friendly guide is an invaluable vade-mecum to the journey.
To get a taste of Erich's "voice", start with Chapter 11,"Listening for Guidance- The Aerial Perspective"pp.329-331.
Let Erich help you join your mind to the Infinite Mind, which, after all, is the true goal of yoga.
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