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B.K.S Iyengar Yoga the Path to Holistic Health Hardcover – January 10, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Yoga is now as mainstream as Madonna, as indispensable to fitness culture as the StairMaster. In Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health, 82-year-old Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Yoga; The Tree of Yoga), one of the world's leading yoga teachers, makes it even more accessible, offering detailed instructions for postures of all levels of difficulty, illustrated by color photos and accompanied by helpful explanations of their health benefits. The basic Adhomukha Svanasana (Sanskrit for "downward-facing dog posture") stimulates the nervous system, while the more daunting Salamba Sirsasana (headstand) promotes clarity of thought and improves your memory. Other postures, according to Iyengar, boost the respiratory and immune systems, tone muscles and, most important, relieve stress. Not only a how-to, Iyengar's book also includes a concise explanation of yoga's spiritual dimension. (Mar.)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

One of Iyengar's (The Illustrated Light on Yoga) goals is to connect the practice of yoga's asanas ("postures") with its spiritual side. The opening section of the book deals with the spiritual side of yoga and its importance in bringing the body into balance with itself and the environment. However, the simplistic discussion lacks the depth of Donna Farhi's Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit (LJ 4/15/00). The strength of Iyengar's book is its photographs and texts, which illustrate and explain how to perform yoga postures correctly and safely. The author shows the postures being performed with props that help beginners slowly develop the necessary flexibility and strength. The book also contains a section on yoga therapy, illustrating different series of postures aimed at alleviating and preventing certain physical ailments and stress. The last section is a 20-week course that slowly fosters and develops muscle tone, flexibility, and inner peace. Since the postures are listed using transliterations of their Hindi names, the most difficult aspect of this course is stopping to look up each posture. This text, which is aimed mainly at beginners, can be adapted to fit the needs of most intermediate and advanced yoga practitioners. Recommended for public libraries and health sciences libraries that support alternative medicine courses. Debra Mitts Smith, Jamaica Plain, MA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd; 2001 edition (January 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405322357
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405322355
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 1.3 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have long been expecting a book from Mr. Iyengar that addresses the changes in his yoga since the publication the now classic Light on Yoga. This book clearly speaks to three major factors that Iyengar yoga is now famous for, but which are not covered in depth in Light on Yoga: the use of props and so called "restorative" poses, the therapeutic use of yoga asanas, and precise attention to anatomical detail in the poses.
To accomplish this, the book is divided into three sections: the Introductions, Yoga for You, and Yoga for Stress. The introductions are somewhat superficial with oddly anomalous photos, perhaps useful only to those who know nothing about yoga. The introduction to Light on Yoga, while dense, is much more rewarding.
Yoga for You gives detailed anatomical instruction in around 27 of the most basic and important asanas. This section has more pictures and more instructional information per asana than any other book I've seen. I was initially put of by seemingly trite little offset "advise from the Guru" sections but they eventually won me over, simply because Mr. Iyengar's advice is really, really good.
However, this section omits so many asanas that are also important, that it becomes difficult to give it a full endorsement as anything but a supplement to other Iyengar books. In attition, it is geared towards beginners, so intermediate and advancesed students might wish to look elswhere for further instruction. Yoga: the Iyengar Way by Silva and Mira Mehta, for instance, has slightly less detail, but covers more like 100 asanas with more some intermediate instruction(even this work, however, cuts corners).
Yoga for Stress is the most thorough work on the use of props in existence.
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Format: Hardcover
Many people come to yoga from the perspective of health improvement. I am one of them. The path to yoga is often difficult in this case. You don't feel well, and those who instruct you are usually not yoga teachers. You get just a little dab to help you relax before meditating or as a supplement to an improved diet. Without knowing more, you do not know if you want to take on a lot of yoga. Yoga, The Path to Holistic Health is perfect for such health seekers. You will learn what asanas (poses or postures) can be used for what ailments, and the illustrations will help you use these asanas without an instructor.
I wish I had seen this book before having surgery recently. I did not know that there were asanas for improving my condition, and I might have avoided a procedure that has caused me much discomfort and inconvenience.
This book is a beginner's work, aimed at those who know almost nothing about yoga. As such, it is perfect for those who want to try some yoga to see what the health benefits might be. In my case, my brief exposure to yoga during meditation training led me to be interested in doing more. I found, though, that some asanas seemed to be hurting me. I was doing something wrong, but had no way to correct myself. Now, with this volume, I can see how to self-correct my practice. I also found asanas for what I want to accomplish that are easier on my middle-aged physique.
The illustrations give you the asana from 360 degrees, which is very helpful. He uses a range of models, so you will see both women and men performing the asanas. You are also told how to do them as a beginner. Each asana contains a caution section about who and when you should avoid this position. Mr.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is of immeasurable value to both novices and masters of yoga. B.K.S. Iyengar is a master with great heart and caring for his students, which shows in his text and also the photos of him helping students with their postures.
This book is extremely accessible and is full of good, clear color photos of the postures, many of which are shown in a series of photos representing views from all angles.
In addition, the book is broken into clearly tabbed sections for easy reference. Sections include recommended series of postures for specific ailments and conditions, and conclude with a thoroughly illustrated 20-week yoga course.
Iyengar yoga often uses props to help students get deeper into postures, and there is a very good illustrated section here on how to use these simple props - something that's been missing from any other yoga book I've ever seen.
The book also contains a list of the postures by their Sanskrit names and their English names in translation and some basic anatomical information as well.
By far this is the best and most useful book on yoga I have ever seen, and I've seen more than a few.
This is Mr. Iyengar's first book in many years and well worth the wait.
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Format: Hardcover
Let's take a little journey. I'll do all the work and you can do all the listening. After we search our brains out on the web for the ultimate hatha yoga teacher, we will come to this man. It is inevitable. It seems that there are Iyengar Yoga Institutes all over the world. Start searching or just listen to me. And now he has written a book which requires no teacher. You will be introduced to a 20-week yoga program. I've done the five rites and some Power Yoga, but it really comes down to a firm commitment. And I know I will never be able to do better than this in health care.
In order to help you decide whether to buy the book, I will need to give you some facts.
Yes. The book does cost .... It also has 1,900 color photographs. And it is so heavy that I am using it as a bookend for my other books. True! It's worth the .... Believe me.
Iyengar believes in the Yoga Sutras by Pantanjali. This is Hindu Yoga. The book goes into some detail about this.
His Holiness the Dali Lama states in "The World of Tibetan Buddhism" that this is a "Brahma" Vehicle. This is a path that will lead you into the realm of form (astral rebirth) and the formless realm (causal rebirth). But that is it. There is no "wisdom-realizing" emptiness as in Tibetan Buddhism. Afterwards, you will return to one of the hells since you burned up all your good karma. Whether these hells are real or a projection of one's own mind is a mute point since one will experience them regardless. So be responsible for the philosophy if you decide to go further into yoga.
You do not need to use props. They are highly desirable. But not essential. Addresses of where you can buy these cushions, blocks, and so forth are listed in the back of the book on page 416.
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