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Yoga Mala [Paperback]

S Jois
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 1 2002
The seminal treatise and guide to Ashtanga yoga by the master of this increasingly popular discipline

There is a yoga boom in America, and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois is at the heart of it. One of the great yoga figures of our time, Jois brought Ashtanga yoga to the West a quarter of a century ago and has been the driving force behind its worldwide dissemination. Based on flowing, energetic movement, Ashtanga and the many forms of vinyasa yoga that grow directly out of it--have become the most widespread and influential styles of practice in the United States today.

Mala means "garland" in Sanskrit, and Yoga Mala--a "garland of yoga practice"--is Jois's distillation of Ashtanga. He first outlines the ethical principles and philosophy underlying the discipline and explains its important terms and concepts. Next he guides the reader through Ashtanga's versions of the Sun Salutation and its subsequent sequence of forty-two asanas, or poses, precisely describing how to execute each position and what benefits each provides.
Brought into English by Eddie Stern, a student of Jois's for twelve years and director of the Patanjali Yoga Shala in New York City, Yoga Mala will be an indispensable handbook for students and teachers of yoga for years to come.

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Review

"A treasure . . . Jois's discourses, at once authoritative and devout, [describe] the philosophy of yoga and the spiritual implications of its practice . . . For those who walk the Ashtanga path, this is the real thing."
-Yoga Journal

About the Author

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, a master of Ashtanga Yoga and a professor of Sanskrit, studied for twenty-five years with T. Krishnamacharya. He passed away in 2009 at the age of ninety-three.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE PRACTICE OF YOGA IS NOT NEW TO THE PEOPLE OF INDIA. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Valuable classic Nov. 24 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well, Yoga Mala is not a fun read. One has to keep in mind that it is a classic text, based on a system of knowledge that is quite different from what contemporary science makes available to us. The nutrition information is quite amusing, with advise to avoid vegetables and eat sugar, milk, wheat and ghee... The description of the Asanas also is demanding read as Jois, after an initial description, refers to numbered vinyasas in the sun salutations rather than to a full description of the movements involved in each. It is understandable as the full description would rapidly become cumbersome but, for the reader, it is quite the mental gymnastic. The reader also gets instructed in how sexual activity is permitted only when one is partly congested... and only from the male perspective. However, there are many positive aspects to this text. For one, Jois emphasise that yoga is for everyone with a clear inclusion of women. He also insists on the importance of learning under the guidance of a qualified teacher. After doing yoga for a while, I cannot agree enough with this as poorly supervised practice seems like the perfect recipe for injury. Overall, I recommend the text for people interested in developing a culture in yoga rather than just using it for fitness. Keeping the text in its context will help with its outdated aspects.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful June 18 2013
By Nicole
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For any sincere student of yoga and especially those looking to expand their horizons, I recommend this book. Sri Jois teachings on the practice and philosophy of Ashtanga Yoga will relax your mind and open your heart to the Mysore style self practice method. A powerful practice that will bring you strength, flexibility, and inner peace.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yoga Mala Jan. 14 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent source of information clearly explaining the basics of ashtanga roots to deepening the practice . Reads like a novel!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading Sept. 26 2002
Format:Paperback
This is one of the essential yoga texts. No serious yoga student can be without it. It was originally published privately in a short run a few years back and sold thousands of copies with no advertising. The new edition has a helpful new forward by the translator that gives more in-depth info on how Jois came to study yoga inthe 1920's. Beautifully designed, flawlessly translated, and amazing historical photographs. With all the silly yoga books out there, we should be grateful that Jois and some others still maintain high standards.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lays the ground work for a strong Ashtanga practice Jan. 4 2005
By James E. White - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I found this book to be an excellent source on both the philosophy of Ashtanga yoga as well as a great how to of moving from one asana to the next in the Primary Series. Do not buy this book if you are trying to learn the Primary Series from a book. Although the level of detail in this book is great, Ashtanga is better learn watching/learning from a live person, or if you are really pressed for money and/or do not have an Ashtanga teacher near you get a good video (David Swenson, Richard Freeman, John Scott, and others have excellent tapes out). With that said, this book is a wonderful reference tool and offers exact breath counts. In Ashtanga, every movement is associated with a breath, this book provides information on how to get in and out of every posture in the primary series following the breath (i.e. how many inhalations and exhalations should be accomplished moving between postures). This book also offers great detail as it relates to living the yoga you practice. While I may not agree with Jois' entire philosophy, it is a great deal of knowledge to be gained from this book. This book is a must read if you are an Ashtanga practioner or teacher. This book will help you deepen your practice both physically and spiritually. I would also suggest this book for anyone curious about the philosophy of Ashtanga yoga.
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading Sept. 26 2002
By Daniel McGuire - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is one of the essential yoga texts. No serious yoga student can be without it. It was originally published privately in a short run a few years back and sold thousands of copies with no advertising. The new edition has a helpful new forward by the translator that gives more in-depth info on how Jois came to study yoga inthe 1920's. Beautifully designed, flawlessly translated, and amazing historical photographs. With all the silly yoga books out there, we should be grateful that Jois and some others still maintain high standards.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars yoga mala Sept. 30 2007
By Nicole Ann Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a must for ashtanga practitioners, having been written by the guru of this form of yoga, Sri K Pattabhi Jois. The forward by Eddie Stern provides an interesting background of the life of Pattabhi Jois and how he came to teach western students.
The opening chapter describes what is meant by 'ashtanga' (eight limbs) of yoga, with valuable information regarding yogic philosophy, lifestyle and dietary concerns, quoting from the ancient texts.
Following is a detailed description of the vinyasa/asana practice.
Ashtanga is a challenging and methodical practice of yoga, with emphasis on correct method; from the first sun salutation to the final resting position, there is exact placement of the gaze, the timing of the breath, and sequence of movement.
Those with an interest in yoga generally, or who practice a different form, may also find this book of value, since yoga is yoga and the ultimate "goal" is the same. It is my feeling, however, that without an existing practice and enthusiasm for this method, the book may seem a little dry in the last section.

I have had a copy with me for years, it is an invaluable reference.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Necessary for anyone practicing Ashtanga yoga April 9 2006
By E. Kaufman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a must for any Ashtanga practicioner. The beginning of the book describes the philosophy. The rest shows pictures of Jois and grandson Sharath in the poses as well as detailed explainations.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Jan. 21 2006
By get bendy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Yoga Mala is written by a living legend with many years of practice and teaching experience. I would recommend this book only to those already familiar with Ashtanga, as parts of it will make no sense unless you are. Indispensable knowledge is interspersed with lovely throwbacks to earlier days in India, eg. the part where it is suggested a nice flat floor smeared with cow dung is essential to any good practice space. Gotta love it!
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