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4.7 out of 5 stars
Asana, Pranayama, Mudra and Bandha
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186 of 186 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2004
Published by the Bihar School of Yoga in India, this book aspires to be a university-level academic and practical studfy book, acknowledging both Western and Indian health traditions. It is very comprehensive with easy-to-understand step-by-step instructions as to how to perform the exercises, along with clear illustrations. It covers Asana – the stretching exercises (which many people confuse as the be-all and end-all of yoga) – basice, intermediate and advanced, Pranayama – the breathing exercises, Bandha – holding exercises to control the flow of “prana” energy in the body, Mudra – gestures and positions to promote the flow of psychic energise in the body, Shatkarma – methods of physical cleansing of the body (some rather grim) so as to better perform the exercises, and an introduction to Yogic physiological theory – chakras, prana and the like.
I like this book because it does not reinforce the Western body-mind separation inherent in our habitual distinction between Yoga (more correctly Asana) and Meditation, but treats both as part and parcel of the pursuit of holistic health and spirituality. However the book is versatile enough for one to pick and choose exercises as one likes. There is also a very handy therapeutic index at the back which advises which exercises are most appropriate to which ailments.
This is the only book that I refer to on an almost daily basis. I have to admit that I haven’t got an adonis body or achieved oneness with Godhead yet, nor have I even attempted any of the intermediate or advanved asanas, but these things can take time – and I’m feeling better all the time.
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163 of 165 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2001
It is difficult to find a book which really stands apart from other books on Yoga, and this book really does. Swami Satyananda's covers all aspects of Hatha Yoga in a very detailed way. Each and every asana is explained in step by step easy to follow manner. Nothing is missed out. It has a beginner, intermediate and advanced sections to suit all and also to progress slowly and steadily which is the real key in Yoga practice. There are seperate sections on Pranayama, Bandha, Mudra and Shatkarma making it a comprehensive treatise. It has an appeal for both a beginner and advanced student of yoga. Benefits and contraindications of all asanas are given. Those looking for a hatha yoga book with spiritual insight will also find very informative. On the whole this is the best book on Hatha Yoga I have read and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
The Bihar School have made a wonderful reputation for themselves by teaching yoga, and publishing books on yoga, using carefully researched and tested information of the highest quality.

I use the book all the time - I teach yoga, to people wanting to lose weight, relax, to excited kids and people who are sick, pregnant, or have some physical problem, and I find the advice and suggestions (from the therapeutic index at the back) incredibly useful.

I use the segmented structure to manage my classes - teaching the first series to all beginners, and selecting asanas (yoga postures) from the other sections as my students need - depending on the advice from the index. I depend on this book to check any doubt when it comes to a yoga pose or a student's special needs - the illustrations and descriptions of the poses, references to prana/energy movements and focus points, and carefully listed contra-indications have never let me down.

And I think if you are practising at home without a teacher this could be the bible of yoga you need - with the clear line drawings, you are more likely to get the pose right without a teacher, than with other more lavishly illustrated photo-guides where its not always clear how to get into the position. I've learned quite most of my more advanced asanas or postures from this book.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2004
As BWY teacher, this was one of the main course books we referred to during training and is therefore something of a bible. It is very easy to follow and gives both the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga techniques which are easy to follow.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2011
This book covers almost everything you will ever need to know about Satyananda style yoga. It starts by intoducing very simple preparatory exercises and progresses through to very advanced asanas with good line drawings throughout. It also covers breathing. cleansing and spiritual practices in depth. I have been dipping in and out of yoga for 20 years and can honestly say this is the best yoga book I have ever owned!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2011
When doing my Yoga Teacher Training course with the BWY, this book was one of the books on the recommended books list...and for very good reason.

If you teach yoga, this is one of those must have resources for yoga teachers.

Other great yoga teacher resources include...

Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit [DVD], which inludes 1001 Yoga Lesson Planning Tips, Tools & Templates For Yoga Teachers.

Yoga Teacher Business Kit [DVD], which inludes 201 Business Tips, Tools & Templates For Yoga Teachers.

Quick Yoga Sites [DVD], which shows yoga teachers how to set up a great looking website with zero technical skills.

Yoga Studio Business Plan Kit [DVD]which inludes 201 tips, tools and templates to help you build and grow a successful yoga studio.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2013
I could only recommend this book. I'm a Asana/Meditation teacher myself and I use this book ALL THE TIME. It's got everything in it. Where to put you spiritual and physical awareness, the mantras, the steps, the benefits, the contra indications... A MUST HAVE.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2014
This book is very comprehensive, step by step guide for beginners to intermediate. I would highly recommend this book to any yoga student to be used at home and as reference guide to further your knowledge and practice yoga. I am so glad I purchased this book, I have bought it for friends and recommended..and I use it daily as a guide and practice the exercises home.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Asana, Pranayama, Mudra and Bandha

If you are just starting out or looking to deepen your practice then you can't go wrong with this book. More of a manual really. I have found it invaluable. It is easy to use and to follow. The drawings are very easy to understand.It is also useful to know what asana you should avoid if you have health problems. Time after time I find what I am searching for in this book.I have been practicing yoga for many years and this book grows with me. I got my copy when I noticed that many of the teachers had a copy with them in their classes. It is useful to know what the benefits of your practice and which asanas help certain ailments. It never stays on the book shelf for long! I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2013
I have been practising yoga for some years but have only recently become interested in looking beyond the physical poses, so I asked my yoga teacher to recommend something to read. This book explains the history and philisophy of yoga in a clear and concise way and also describes the asanas (poses) with clear illustrations. It is a good book to dip in and out of. Also the main chapters are marked with black ink on the side of the book making it easy to locate them. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to explore beyond the yoga taught in the average fitness class.
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