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The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga: The Authoritative Presentation-Based on 30 Years of Direct Study Under the Legendary Yoga Teacher Krishnamacha [Paperback]

Srivatsa Ramaswami

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Book Description

June 3 2005
Sri T. Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) was the most influential figure in the last 100 years in the field of yoga. Many of today's best-known yoga teachers-including his brother-in-law B. K. S. Iyengar, his son T. K. V. Desikachar, and Pattabhi Jois, founder of Ashtanga yoga-studied with him and modeled their own yoga styles after his practice and teaching. Yet, despite his renowned status, Krishnamacharya's wisdom has never before been made completely available, just as he taught it. Now, in The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga, Srivatsa Ramaswami-Krishnamacharya's longest-standing student outside his own family-presents his master's teachings of yogasanas in unprecedented detail. Drawing upon his 33 years of direct study, beginning in 1955 and continuing nearly until his teacher's death, Ramaswami presents more than nine hundred poses and variations in logically structured sequences, precisely describing Krishnamacharya's complete Vinyasakrama system. Alongwith every movement of each yoga posture, he covers the proper breathing techniques for each pose-something no other book also derived from Krishnamacharya's teaching does. Nearly 1,000 full-color photographs are featured in this authoritative landmark presentation of the study practiced by the "grandfather of modern yoga."


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The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga: The Authoritative Presentation-Based on 30 Years of Direct Study Under the Legendary Yoga Teacher Krishnamacha + Heart Of Yoga
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (June 3 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569244022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569244029
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 18.3 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 662 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Having studied for more than three decades with renowned yoga master T. Krishnamacharya, and taught for more than two decades, Ramaswami attempts to offer a more complete picture of the practices developed ages ago to heal the body, train the mind and cultivate inner peace. He calls much of Western yoga practice "blatantly aggressive" and altered to appeal to Western tastes, omitting such essential aspects as yoga philosophy, breathing techniques, correct sequencing, chanting and meditation. In his descriptions of more than 900 poses and variations, he guides students on ways to integrate these aspects. While Ramaswami says his book can be used by students of every level (the sequences are rated according to difficulty), some may feel intimidated by the photographs, which show highly advanced yogis in many positions that are rarely taught in the average group class. The author's approach is somewhat didactic, emphasizing the "correct" way to do the poses, without acknowledging differences in body type and structure. The book's format makes it more of a practice manual, and most likely readers without much background will need to read Ramaswami's Yoga for the Three Stages of Life to put the instruction into a larger context.
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"The masterful and unique presentation of the asanas with all their variations makes it clear that he has absorbed the teachings of Krishnamacharya and is ready to pass them on. No one else in America is teaching from the lineage of Krishnamacharya in this way. Srivatsa Ramaswami has exceptional knowledge and skill in the field of yoga and would contribute significantly in this field."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily one of the best books on vinyasa yoga July 22 2005
By Serious Yoga Practioner - Published on Amazon.com
Thousands of Yogis follow different systems of Yoga emanating from the lineage of the great Yogi Sri T Krishnamacharya. Everyone of them will find that this book by Ramaswami offers new dimensions to their practice. In twelve chapters, all the core sequences are clearly described along with the correct breathing techniques and attention to the breath that are essential ingredients of Krishnamacharya's method. Over one thousand color pictures of exquisite yoga vinyasas landscape the book. It is a very welcome and unique contribution to the world of Yoga.
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ramaswami is the missing link July 30 2005
By Sarah L. Mata - Published on Amazon.com
Srivatsa Ramaswami has enacted the life that his guru the legendary T.Krisnamcharya promised to his guru Ramanamohan: that of yoking real life with dedication to the study of yoga and its attendant spiritual cultivation. From his decades of ongoing study with T. Krishnamacharya he has built a highly skilled command of the full spectrum of yogic practices as well as that of the texts that inform them. The Complete Vinyasa Yoga bristles with the intelligence and charm of its author. Here he presents the many movement and breath sequences that he learned throughout the years exactly as he learned them so that the informed teacher or practitioner can select what is the most relevant vinyasa to acheive the desired effect. He presents them now as a testament to his dedication to T. Krisnamacharya. Within a lifetime of learning and teaching yoga he presents the subject of Vinyasa in its context of the full spectrum of yoga including lines of association to the more subtle and internal practise . Adding his own modern, scientific, and mature insight he gives us us precise and usable instructions illuminating the very essence of yogic tools: cultivating and placing attention; stabilized in the body, freed in the breath. The overall picture presents a logical progression from movement to stillness. We see each pose photographed, with clear instructions, never before so clearly explicated in terms of the underlying breath work. While the number of vinyasas may seem dizzying to some and not as Herculean to others, it is the method of calm progression that is most firmly encouraged. Vinyasa krama leads us step by step to the attainment of our most steady vibrancy. It is a practical and spiritual map to a territory few have the capacity to teach so generously.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this Vinyasa reference text is great for all levels of students ! Sept. 25 2005
By Cathy Mah - Published on Amazon.com
Whew! If you are looking for a comprehensive sourcebook on asana- this is it! Looking through the softcover book initially, you can see that Ramaswami covers the basics and then offers the practitioner more advanced variations as well. This book is a unique and an especially valuable sourcebook for teachers and their students because it shows you the base-asana from which others stem- teaching you how to grow the asana from your current capability towards something new and/or different which will offer you a new opening. Instructors wishing to learn how to create their own sequences for themselves or someone else, have here, necessary tools to help them organize and develop their own series- very few books on yoga can offer this. The photos help to visually affirm many of the written explantions, and are just the right size to allow the book to contain lots of valuable information. Ramaswami has been a well-kept secret in India during the broadcasting of his more publicized counterparts so if you respect the Krishnamacharya lineage, you should make Ramaswami's book a part of your knowledge and own it. I couldn't believe the price of this book, considering the wealth of material- and a chanting CD, too! I had to buy 2- one for me, and one for a friend.
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on yoga Sept. 13 2005
By G. Adamiec - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the most useful books on yoga asana I have read in a while. Srivatsa Ramaswami present a multitude of vinyasas, i.e. flowing asana sequences. There are virtually hundreds of variations for students depending on their level. I thin kthe book really tries to make the reader undersatnd that in yoga achievement is not the thing we are looking for.

I woud say that the book is for students who have practiced a little bit, especailly that the problem of sequencing the various vinyasas is tackled.

I would highly recommend the book.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really wonderful book July 22 2005
By Kate Fares - Published on Amazon.com
The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga is as complete as can be. As one of Krishnamacharya's students, Ramaswami offers guidance and a thorough set of vinyasa sequences for yogis at all levels of ability. Deeply therapeutic, his methods are both physically and spiritually engaging. The descriptions of each sequence are elaborate, but clear, flowing and beautiful. What truly adds to the understanding and appreciation of each pose is the precision of the vinyasa yoga pictures--listen to the CD, it's incredibly soothing and helpful!

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