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The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice Paperback – Mar 1 1999
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“Read this book from cover to cover and you will begin to understand what yoga is all about.” (The Sunday Times)
“Those who are interested in understanding what yoga is about, those who are looking for a larger context and focus for their hatha practice, those who look to the Yoga Su-tra for guidance, and all those who have loved and benefited from Krishnamacharya and/or Desikachar, directly or indirectly, will want this book.” (Yoga International)
“An invaluable source of information regarding the theory and practice of yoga. A must for students and teachers alike.” (Indra Devi, author of Yoga for You)
“Desikachar speaks from the heart with tenderness as well as an engineer's careful attention to details and individuality.” (LA Yoga, January 2011)
"I can think of no better book to recommend to a friend beginning to be excited by yoga but bewildered by the plethora of different schools and their sometimes-conflicting teachings. In addition, I would be hard-pressed to think of a book I would recommend more highly to any yoga student seeking to deepen a yoga practice . . . The great gift of The Heart of Yoga lies not simply in the depth of Desikachar's learning, but in the compassion, gentleness, practicality, and down-to-earth spirit that permeate the book." (Yoga Journal)
" . . . a milestone in the transmission of yoga from the ancient masters to the modern world." (Bodhi Tree Book Review, Winter 1999 / Spring 2000)
From the Back Cover
YOGA "I can think of no better book to recommend to a friend beginning to be excited by yoga but bewildered by the plethora of different schools and their sometimes‑conflicting teachings. In addition, I would be hard‑pressed to think of a book I would recommend more highly to any yoga student seeking to deepen a yoga practice . . . The great gift of The Heart of Yoga lies not simply in the depth of Desikachar's learning, but in the compassion, gentleness, practicality, and down‑to‑earth spirit that permeate the book." --Yoga Journal "Read this book from cover to cover and you will begin to understand what yoga is all about." --The Sunday Times "Those who are interested in understanding what yoga is about, those who are looking for a larger context and focus for their hatha practice, those who look to the Yoga Su-tra for guidance, and all those who have loved and benefited from Krishnamacharya and/or Desikachar, directly or indirectly, will want this book." --Yoga International "An invaluable source of information regarding the theory and practice of yoga. A must for students and teachers alike." --Indra Devi, author of Yoga for You Śrī 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 have become well known around the world through the work of B. K. S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, and Indra Devi, who all studied with Krishnamacharya in their early years. Krishnamacharya's son T. K. V. Desikachar lived and studied with his father all his life and now teaches the full spectrum of Krishnamacharya's yoga. Desikachar has based his method on Krishnamacharya's fundamental teaching, which maintains that practices must be continually adapted to the individual's changing needs to achieve the maximum therapeutic value. In The Heart of Yoga Desikachar offers a distillation of his father's system as well as his own practical approach, which he describes as "a program for the spine at every level--physical, mental, and spiritual." This is the first yoga text to outline a step‑by‑step sequence for developing a complete practice according to the age‑old principles of yoga. Desikachar discusses all the elements of yoga--poses and counterposes, conscious breathing, meditation, and philosophy--and shows how the yoga student may develop a practice tailored to his or her current state of health, age, occupation, and lifestyle. Krishnamacharya placed the highest value on Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, which is included here in its entirety, with a translation and commentary by Desikachar. Added to this second edition of The Heart of Yoga is the Yogān͂jalisāram--thirty‑two poems composed by Krishnamacharya that capture the essence of his teachings and further make The Heart of Yoga a milestone in the transmission of yoga from the ancient masters to the modern world. A structural engineer by training, T. K. V. Desikachar lived and studied with his father until Krishnamacharya's death in 1989. He has devoted his life to yoga instruction for people of all backgrounds and all levels of ability, and currently teaches at the school founded in his father's memory in Madras, as well as in Europe, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
He sees yoga as being approachable from unlimited directions. Some people will prefer pranayama (breathing) or mediation over asanas (postures) and he believes that yoga can be as unique as the yogi. In the end, all the paths of yoga lead to awareness, so it doesn't matter how you begin.
As for being non-judegmental, if you smoke, for example, he would never condemn or judge you. If that is what arises truly from within you, then so it is. He would add, i'm sure, that yoga would likely make it less necessary to smoke, but that preoccupation is not his. He is razor focused on helping the reader clarify his or her own place in the universe through yoga.
This book will likely help anyone take their yoga practice to a higher level.
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.
If you have reached the point in your yoga practice where asanas alone have not provided yoga's promise of self-completeness, then get this book, find a quiet corner and indulge yourself. You will not be disappointed.
Yoga is more then just poses to get skinny. Yoga is a way to make you happier, healthy, and strong.
If you start yoga in a class at a gym you will not learn as much as you could if read his book. Most yoga in the US is the non threatining version. An ex-aerobics instructor who took 20 hours of yoga teaching classes is not fit to teach the real yoga.
This book is not trying to change your religion. Hindus are not expected to do yoga. Any god of your choice (or no god) will do.
Yoga is a philosophy not a religion. This book gives you the why and the how. Holding poses is not yoga. You need this book to know why you do things in yoga. If you read this, your practice of yoga will be better and you will get 100 times more out of it.
Buy the book before you buy any other yoga book.
Most recent customer reviews
La philosophie de Krishnamacharya nous est présentée dans un langage simple, mais réfléchi. Cette lecture est essentielle pour tout pratiquant.Published 10 months ago by Jacques Lachance
This book deepened my understanding of yoga. Being new to yoga the author writes about complex concepts but breaks them down so they can be more easily understood he also provides... Read morePublished on Aug. 5 2013 by Bailey
This book is a classic. For the experienced and beginner yogi. It ties everything together. Have been loving and using this book for years. Read morePublished on July 1 2013 by G. Virdi
It is a good read that explains some major yoga aspects. Will be good for new teachers or interested students. I enjoyed it a lot.Published on April 16 2013 by Olya