- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: YogaVidya.com; unknown edition (November 15, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0971646619
- ISBN-13: 978-0971646612
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hatha Yoga Pradipika unknown Edition
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From the Publisher
From the Introduction
Over the last half millennium, one book has established itself as the classic work on Hatha Yoga--the book you are holding in your hands. An Indian yogi named Svatmarama wrote the Hatha Yoga Pradipika in the fifteenth century C.E. Drawing on his own experience and older works now lost, he wrote this book for the student of Yoga. He wrote this book for you.
Table of Contents
About the Author
Now living in Woodstock, New York, Brian Dana Akers began practicing Yoga at age twelve, learning Sanskrit at seventeen, and working in publishing at twenty-three.
"A new, crisp, no-nonsense translation of this great classic on the practice of Hatha Yoga."
--Christophe Mouze, Online Yoga Magazine
"This lively and lucid translation includes the original Sanskrit. It is a must-have for any serious student or teacher."
"Beautifully printed and translated. Wonderful pictures, too."
--Dominik Wujastyk, Indology
"There is a certain magic at work here--it is as if an Indian yogi named Svatmarama has projected himself through time, expressing himself through Akers."
--Michael Perkins, Woodstock Times
"Written over five hundred years ago by Svatmarama, an Indian yogi, the text is considered by many a seminal work on the practice of, and theory behind, Hatha Yoga."
--Chris Meehan, Kalamazoo Gazette
"Accurate and accompanied by clear pictures, this translation of an informative Sanskrit text is a very useful addition to the growing literature on Yoga in Western languages."
--Ashok Aklujkar, University of British Columbia
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Eight Sample Verses
Yoga succeeds by these six: enthusiasm, openness, courage, knowledge of the truth, determination, and solitude.
Success is achieved neither by wearing the right clothes nor by talking about it. Practice alone brings success. This is the truth, without a doubt.
When the breath is unsteady, the mind is unsteady. When the breath is steady, the mind is steady, and the yogi becomes steady. Therefore one should restrain the breath.
As salt and water become one when mixed, so the unity of self and mind is called samadhi.
He who binds the breath, binds the mind. He who binds the mind, binds the breath.
Center the self in space and space in the self. Make everything space, then don't think of anything.
Empty within, empty without, empty like a pot in space. Full within, full without, full like a pot in the ocean.
Don't think of external things and don't think of internal things. Abandon all thoughts, then don't think of anything.
About the Author
Brian Dana Akers began practicing Hatha Yoga at age twelve, learning Sanskrit at seventeen, and working in publishing at twenty-three.
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I second another reviewer's comment that the writer's translation style is "straightforward, clear and elegant".
I will add, in this review, a comment about where this book fits into the overall study of yoga. This book is one of the basic reference texts. Not the only one, but its value is that it is short, and contains JUST the translation of the basic text by the same name (Hatha Yoga Pradipika) that was originally published in the fifteenth century, in Sanskrit.
I think it would be difficult for anyone to just take this book and start learning yoga from scratch. One could do that, but most people will probably want to work with an instructor, and/or use videos which can be downloaded from the internet. Anyone starting yoga would also be well advised to try several different instructors, if that is possible, and practice with the style that seems to resonate best.
I only started doing serious reading about yoga after I began to learn and practice Ashtanga Yoga, which -- unfortunately, I think -- wasn't until about three years into my own practice. Now, I consider this book to be a basic and indispensible reference source. Many other books might refer to its translations, but for what it is -- a simple and unadorned translation of the actual original text -- it is very useful. Kind of like having a "pocket" dictionary to walk around with when you are in a foreign country, compared to having a big, fat, huge comprehensive dictionary to use when you are at home with all of your other books when you are going into more detailed studies.
1) Asana, the physical practice of yoga postures, which are accompanied by helpful photos of an accomplished practitioner;
2) Pranayama, or energy control facilitated mainly by the breath;
3) Mudras or energy seals; and
4) Samadhi, the non-dualistic state of super-consciousness achieved through dedicated practice and meditation.
As such, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika concentrates and expands on three of the eight limbs of classical Raja Yoga (Ashtanga) described in the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali. The verses assume that the reader has a working knowledge of Yoga philosophy, practice, and terminology and Brian Akers acknowledges that the translation reflects an "esoteric work that is purposely oblique at times...."; one that will require some work from the reader. To me this adds a measure of mystique to the book that may entice the reader to further study. It would be nice if there were photos or diagrams to accompany the verses in Chapter Two - Pranayama and Chapter Three - Mudras to support and help to explain the narrative, but even still, I would recommend the book to any serious yoga student who seeks a fuller understanding of traditional Hatha Yoga.