This text guides the reader through all aspects of yoga. The classic yoga exercises are simply explained and clearly illustrated with full colour step-by-step photographs, taking the reader through each step and pattern of movement and breathing in logical order.
Part 1 History: origins of yoga; great teachers; objectives; classic schools. Part 2 Benefits: benefits of yoga; internal peace; healing process; mental and physical approach; commitment. Part 3 Anatomy and posture: yoga and the body; chakras; nadis; the body's natural design; correct sitting; the body and mind; pelvic flexibility – sitting on the heels, cross-legged sitting. Part 4 Breathing: importance of breathing; learning to breathe; breathing for energy and relaxation – changing your breathing rate, instant energy. Part 5 Preparation: planning a yoga programme – ensuring a balanced approach – balancing the body, tree; preparing for yoga practice – mountain, working on flexibility; all-over stretches -sitting stretches, standing stretches; stretching head, neck and shoulders – shoulder-shrugging, exercising the neck; stretching arms, trunk and legs – arm stretch, hip wiggle, flexible feet; relaxation – corpse. Part 6 The positions: beginning… ; stretching the spine – posterior stretch, cobra; performing the spinal twist – simple spinal twist, half twist; bending the spine – standing backward bend, touching your toes; sideways movement -sideways bend, triangle; cat and dog; bridge and boat; learning effective muscle control – fish, locust; maintaining balance -bow, pose of tranquility; inversion – plow, choking pose; shoulder stands – half-candle, full candle; sun worship; the mudras -aswini mudra, yoga mudra; the bandhas – uddiyana bandha, yonimudra and nadabanda. Part 7 Breathing techniques: special breathing techniques – shining head, bellows breath, lung-clearing exercise; alternate nostril breathing – closing the nostrils, alternate nostril breath; making sounds – black bee, "ujjaii"; breath retention – restraining the breath. Part 8 Meditation: the way to meditation; mind control – exercising the mind; visualization -practising visualization, overcoming insomnia; meditation -posture for meditation, lotus and half-lotus; the goal of meditation – aids to concentration. Part 9 Philosophy of yoga: how we treat ourselves; dealing with other people; karma yoga; the spiritual journey. Part 10 Yoga in daily life: everyday awareness; facing problems; controlling the senses – overcoming the heat, overcoming the cold; yoga and communication; you are what you eat; you are what you think – releasing suppressed anger. Part 11 Yoga for special needs: special needs; working with disabilities and injuries – stretching when lying down, exercising on wheels; yoga for pregnancy – gentle twist, pelvic floor exercises; yoga for children – being a lion; yoga for the elderly – cat and dog, working on the back. Part 12 Yoga and healing: healing – banishing the blues; managing illness – relaxing into sleep, managing headaches and migraines; yoga as preventive medicine; the stress factor – first aid for stress, relaxation stretch, restoring calm; flexible body and mind – the mental component of exercise; peace through reflection.