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Yin Yoga Paperback – June, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Yoga as practiced in North America is almost exclusively "yang" in nature, meaning that it relies upon postures that aggressively stretch the muscles. Paul Grilley offers his book Yin Yoga: Outline of a Quiet Practice as a counterbalance to this trend. Yin yoga, he says, should only be done when muscles are already relaxed, and postures should be held for long periods at least several minutes. Yin yoga can be used to unwind, and is particularly appropriate for the end of the day. Anyone who thinks that yin yoga sounds wimpy should gaze hard at the 35 photographs in this book, which illustrate some pretty challenging poses. Grilley's technique offers a unique blend of yoga meditation and Taoist principles.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
This book has many sections, including an introduction, some information on chi meridians and chakras, theory and basic anatomy of yin yoga, yin yoga posture instruction with photos, and more! The layout and colors are clean and attractive, and the photos of the poses are clear and helpful. Paul Grilley is very good at explaining where you should feel each pose, and what to expect if you do different variations. Most yoga instruction I've encountered hasn't mentioned that kind of stuff. Make sure you read the theory part before you go to the poses. Some of the most important information is in there--really!
But I have to be honest: This book has a lot of shortcomings, mostly in the format of the book itself. The table of contents doesn't list each pose individually, so if you want a certain pose, you have to flip through the whole pose section to find it. The book gives three or so sequences that you can use as-is or modify, each with a different focus (e.g.: a practice for stretching hip and leg muscles)--that's awesome! But, the poses skip all over the book, so you have to continually flip through to find each one--not awesome! Also, it would be invaluable if this book had a binding that allowed it to lay flat. I think I might add tabs to the book so I can flip to the poses more easily, but I don't know how to make it stay open.
I wouldn't recommend this book to most beginners. There aren't a lot of alignment cues for the individual poses (although, to be fair, that is a bonus in some ways, because different people's bodies need different alignment), so if you don't have any foundation in alignment for yoga, and/or you don't have familiarity with telling apart "good pain" from "bad pain," you could hurt yourself. Grilley does talk about listening to your body and not overdoing it, which is good, but how do you know whether you're overdoing it or not, if this is all new to you? I could be wrong--check it out for yourself!
Aside from those relatively minor issues, I really like this book. It is useful and informative enough to justify rigging it up for use on the mat :) It's already taught me some tricks to get deeper into poses. If this book comes out with a spiral binding and tabs, I'll give it 5 stars and buy copies for my (non-beginner) friends!
While most "Yoga Guide" type books I looked at seemed to make some big assumptions as to my religious alignment or my knowledge of the practice,this book has easy to interpret descriptions of a bunch of positions as well as some fairly "non-hippie-dippy" interpretations of what they can do for you. Several pages of coherent "sample routines" put the positions into a sequence that I could easily put into effect.
Now I can do a little work on flexibility and strength any time I find a shady place in the grass or a space on my own floor. Best of all, I can do it myself.
In Yin Yoga you hold the postures for quite a long time and this has a transforming affect on your body. As opposed to Yang style yoga where you engage all your muscle and stretch for shorter periods of time, Yin Yoga works on your connective tissue and will increase the flow of Chi within your body.
Yin Yoga has changed my life and I live pretty much pain free due to the effects of practicing just about every day. You must get Paul Grilley's DVD entitled Yin Yoga. It is a lovely compliment to his book.
Please check my other Yoga reviews on Amazon.
This book includes a large number of poses (plenty for anyone beginning their yin practice), however, it does not include all yin posees I have seen described in other sources. It hits all of the main ones and then some, though.