The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice

The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice

  • ISBN13: 9780892817641
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The first yoga text to outline a step-by-step sequence for developing a complete practice according to viniyoga–yoga adapted to the needs of the individual. 
• A contemporary classic by a world-renowned teacher. 
• This new edition adds thirty-two poems by Krishnamacharya that capture the essence of his teachings. 
Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who lived to be over 100 years old, was one of the greatest yogis of the modern era. Elements of Krishnamacharya’s teaching ha

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  1. Vasudevan Srinivasan "vasya" says:
    304 of 307 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    How to understand yoga?, July 10, 2002
    This review is from: The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice (Paperback)

    No introduction is needed for the author (son of famous yogacharya Sri T Krishnamacharya). I got interested in yoga after reading his series of articles in Indian magazines in late 1980s. First of all, this book is not an explanation of yoga poses (I recommend Light on Yoga for that). I first bought the book thinking its another book about yoga poses. But I was wrong. This book is exactly what the title says – how to develop a personal practice. The emphasise of the book is for the practitioner to observe himself/herself and see how he/she can augment the benefits of the poses. This is an invaluable and a very important step in learning yoga.

    Now, everytime I read it I find it throws more light on understanding yoga. I used to do yogic poses mechanically, but now I have a different perspective. The book really makes you think about an asana and how to improve yourself to benefit from it (the term for this is viniyoga). The emphasis is on gradually learning and enjoying each pose instead of hurrying to accomplish some asana. There are several tips for maximizing the benefits of asanas – for eg counterposes, developing breathing techniques by observing oneself etc. The explanation is lucid, the writing is so simple and effective. Several common questions are answered in Q&A format which is very helpful.

    The second part of the book contains Patanjali’s yoga sutras in Sanskrit and followed by explanations in English. (Yoga sutras are the foundations of yogas in other words – the heart of yoga). The explanations are very simple and easy to understand.

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  2. Patrick D. Goonan "see profile for URL" says:
    98 of 98 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent all around yoga resource, March 16, 2006
    By 
    Patrick D. Goonan “see profile for URL” (Livermore, CA) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice (Paperback)

    I own a lot of books on yoga and this is one of my favorite introductions. What makes it particularly valuable is that it explains how to construct a practice. This allows the reader to intelligently use other resources and link his or her yoga practice to overaching physical, psychological and spiritual principles.

    I also found this volume to be well balanced. It covered a lot of ground and had a broad scope, but it was not overwhelming in any way. It really did a great job of covering the essentials of yoga philosophy, principles of joining breath with movement, connecting poses and varying poses.

    The book also contains a good introduction to pranayama and presents the basics of the bandhas. The material on the mental and moral application of yoga are also well done, but not over done. I also liked that the book included a pronunciation guide for Sanskrit and 60 pages of a translation of parts of the yoga sutras of Patanjali with insightful commentary.

    If you are looking for a book that explains how to do particular asanas, then this isn’t your best choice although it does include a short section on Four General Practice Sequences.

    This book does NOT provide detailed instruction on how to perform particular asanas. For this, you might try 30 Essential Yoga Poses by Judith Lasater, Dancing the Body of Light by Dona Holleman (a must have) or Back Care Basics by Mary Pullig Schatz M.D. (don’t let the title full you, it’s a great general introduction to yoga, especially for people starting later in life).

    The Heart of Yoga will compliment any of the books above, which are not nearly as strong with respect to how to construct a yoga practice on your own.

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  3. Anonymous says:
    88 of 91 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Best translation of the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali., May 1, 1998
    By A Customer

    This is an excellent book. Be advised that this book contains an incredible bonus – the best, and most understandable translation (actually a translation/interpretation) of the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali that I have ever read. After years of searching for a translation that I could actually use in my personal practice, I am very grateful to have found this one. This alone is well worth the price of the book. Highly recommended.

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