The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The Philosophy and Practice of Yin Yoga Paperback – January 10, 2012
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Bernie Clark’s The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga is one of the best yoga resources now available.”
&mdash Paul Grilley, author of Yin Yoga: Outline of a Quiet Practice
Yin Yoga is a practice much needed in today's difficult, divisive times. It offers us a way to leave behind our ideas of how we should be, and return to our true selves, where all lasting healing takes place. Bernie Clark has written a wonderfully detailed account of the history, philosophy, and practice of Yin Yoga. I recommend it not only for those interested in Yin Yoga, but for all yoga practitioners.
&mdash Biff Mithoefer, author of The Yin Yoga Kit
- ASIN : 1935952501
- Publisher : Wild Strawberry Productions; Revised edition (January 10, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 296 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781935952503
- ISBN-13 : 978-1935952503
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.75 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #188,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The book is very good, but somewhat chaotic. I suspect this may be a reflection of the author's own style, but it challenges the reader to engage as an equal partner in the learning process. That is probably ultimately a good thing, but the learning curve can be a little steep initially. If you are looking to just pick up the book and try out a new routine, you will definitely run in to trouble.
That said, the book is well laid out and begins with an exploration of the principles and benefits of yin yoga. The tone is very accessible, and you almost feel as if the author is in the room leading a class. The middle portion covers the various poses, most of which will be familiar from conventional yoga, and then there are a number of suggested flows, all of which are very good. There are a lot of nuances and variations to the poses, and the nature of the practice is very different. There can be quite a bit of discomfort involved in holding poses for so long, both physical and emotional, but I have ultimately found this to be very positive. Yin yoga has quickly become central to my own practice and is really deepening my relationship to my body and to yoga generally. It continues to be very healing. If you already have an established asana practice, I can not recommend this book enough.
Clark's book is well-organized with good explanations of the philosophy and practice of yin yoga and how it has been influenced by Indian Yoga and Chinese Medicine. The Chinese Daoist view is interwoven throughout the book so that the reader will have a much greater understanding of yin/yang, chi, the organ systems and meridians. Moreover, Clark has integrated the Indian yoga and Western science perspectives to show how the three views complement each other to support the healing nature of yin yoga.
Of course, I recommend this book for those interested specifically in yin yoga, but consider this book if you teach or practice restore yoga. This is definitely a worthwhile purchase.
I have been practicing various forms of yoga for several years, mostly what is described as "yang yoga" in the book, namely Hatha and Kundalini. As I age and notice my pelvis and legs still could use a lot of work in terms of opening the joints and increasing flexibility, I found this book and realized it was the perfect antidote to the more active poses that tend to be held for less times in order to create a set that contains many poses. A 1 hour Yin Yoga set may only have 5-6 poses depending on how long you stay in them.
What really sets this book apart, however, is the thoroughness and directness with which the author presents the material, which is surprisingly engaging and entertaining. The introductory chapter is very fascinating and informative, the next two chapters provide very specific and instructive information about the actual practice including many asanas, with clear pictures and a thorough mini-lesson on how to perform each asana, providing suggested variations and counter-poses (poses that balance the body after a long time in a particular position). When reading the second chapter, I really felt I had a clear idea of how to perform this type of yoga thanks to Clark's presentation of the material and his very insistent focus on not pushing yourself and his advice on the appropriate intention and focus to bring to this practice.
Chapter 4 provides suggested flows with varying levels of expertise and time-frames, while chapter 5 is just a short exploration of a few common special conditions that require a modified form of practice. The final three chapters are equally as fascinating, informative and engaging as the first two chapters, providing information on the physical benefits, which includes a very thorough presentation on physiology and anatomy as it pertains to the practice. The second to last chapter on the energetic benefits is very interesting, as it presents a succinct exploration of the energetic systems of the body from the yogic, Daoist and Western medical perspectives, which is very interesting to read about in this context. It was a unique pleasure to see this information presented in one place back to back, giving one the opportunity to explore the similarities and differences of these systems of science and philosophy about the body and how it functions energetically. The last chapter is very short, speaking to the "heart and mind" aspects of the practice, which is really more like a summary and final advice and reflections section.
Overall, this book was a joy to read and provides one with a great deal of information and instruction. While it is always recommended that a yoga practitioner attend classes and seek guidance from experienced teachers, for anyone who is already familiar with yoga and has some measure of practice beneath their belts, this book is an indispensable introduction that provides ample information that would allow one to begin an at-home practice of this beautiful form of yoga without risk of injury or complication, provided one follows the author's very specific advice. Highly recommended, especially to people aged 30 or older who have stiffness in the pelvic joints and legs.
Top reviews from other countries
Holding positions for up to 3-4 mins helps to slowly unwind and melt into.
An interesting read for anyone who wants to know more about the Yin practise.