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Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness Paperback – December 1, 1996
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From the Back Cover
World-renowned yoga master Erich Schiffmann now offers an easy-to-follow, exciting new technique - the first to combine hatha yoga and meditation - to all who are seeking healthful beauty and inner peace. Through simple instruction and essential illustrations, Yoga reveals more than one hundred poses and yoga routines for all levels of ability that will slow or even reverse aging, increase stamina and strength, and slim and tone the body; a complete program of meditation to promote self-realization, decrease stress, and promote creativity and love; yoga's secrets of stillness and movement that will enable you to radiate energy and feel an inner luminescence throughout your body; exercises that will awaken joy, allowing you to feel good about yourself and experience happiness; and techniques for mindful breathing and conscious physical immobility to wonderfully transform your perception of yourself and your world. Discover how to feel balanced, centered, and coordinated, increase flexibility, eliminate pain, and become free of life's negativity through the spirit and practice of Yoga.
About the Author
Erich Schiffmann is an accomplished American Yoga Master widely known for his award-winning video, Yoga Mind & Body, featuring actress Ali MacGraw. He is the author of a bestselling book Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness.
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Since 1996, there has been a deeeep, soooothing voice in my head that tells me "keep it simple". That voice is Erich Schiffmann's from Ali Macgraw's video Yoga Mind & Body. The original tape has been replaced by a DVD and there have been times over the years I've tried to ignore Erich, but still, he resides in head. "Keep it Simple."
The message is his book is clear: find stillness and listen. Ask what do you need. Trust that voice that you hear. Keep it simple.
What made me jump for joy in Yoga: the Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness is that as soon as I opened this book, Erich Schiffmann discusses meditation. Not just half way through the book, not just at the end, not as just a component of the Eight Limbs of Yoga - right from the beginning and all throughout the book. Yes, most modern yoga books mention meditation in a part of the book but they don't weave into the context of the whole. (Can you tell I'm into meditation?)
In the asana section, Erich offers the postures he values as foundational to all practitioners. He has broken them down into steps so we can get into our "feeling tone" and understand the poses in our bodies. He does this so we can develop our intuition in our practice, to find freedom.
He uses language like "snuggle your feet into the floor", "stretch up from your core", "plug your sit bones into the Earth", "be as relaxed as you can be", and "hips are in dog tilt (or cat tilt)". Understandable directions that don't require an anatomy book. This book is about feeling your way into your body and listening to what it tells you back.
By listening and feeling you come into stillness, and it that stillness you can hear God, which in the end is you. Erich is not afraid to talk about God, another thing that I appreciate very much. He is clear about Divinity being in each and everyone of us, and he wants as all to find that.
I'm not sure why that in my seventeen years of practice that I haven't read this book before. Perhaps its because Erich voice was already in my head and I didn't want to change that. Or that I was afraid the man behind the voice wouldn't be the same as in the book and I'd be let down. However, I was not disappointed one tiny bit and his voice is still in my head, maybe stronger.
Thank you Erich Schiffmann for this beautiful book.
I think that this book would be good for all levels of yogis. It would be a great place to start for a beginner (along with classes), but it was also a perfect tool for me to develop a deeper personal practice and a more aware approach to yoga as a whole.
If you want to learn the essence of yoga then read this book.
The book is fascinating; without going into the terminology of Yoga, the author tells you what Yoga is all about; how it affects the mind; why should one do postures; how he came to choose Yoga and stick with it. I had hitherto read a lot of hard-core philosophy of Yoga - the sutras, the translations, etc, but reading Erich's book gives you a simpler translation of the both process and the outcome.
A student of Jiddu Krishnamurthy, the author easily and fluently speaks Yoga; the Who am I excercise in helping one to know oneself is a simple and profound way of getting deeper into our consciousness. If you ever thought why you should do Yoga at all, read the chapter on "Why Yoga?" and ye shall be convinced.
The coverage on postures, while detailed and broken into numerous steps, are a bit long-ish for a quick read; but that is what Yoga is about - no quick lunch anytime.
Another highlight of the book is the various sets of routines one can follow for all levels of students.