Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
An astonishingly in depth book - marvellous & essential.
on 2 June 2009
The other reviewers are quite correct in mentioning Eric's fascinating introduction of how he came to be "into" yoga and his personal journey. Also there is a very good section on the poses, but for me, the chapters on how to actually feel and get the best out of the poses was a revelation. I started yoga in my teens, I am now over 50 and I have never read any of this sort of information before. It is very in depth, and I often find I have to re-read sections not just once but several times to fully understand, take in and appreciate what I am meant to be achieving with the moves. It is absolutely fascinating to really understand what Eric explains about your feelings in the yoga asanas.
A good analogy would be likening a yoga pose to learning to drive a car. You wonder how you will ever learn to watch the road ahead, change gear, move your foot on the brake, clutch and accelerator, check the mirror and actually proceed along the road. Each asana must be approached in this manner, applying an array of breaths, power & energy lines, intensity and so much more, but, one day it clicks, and you are "driving" automatically, the poses become alive. In chapter 6 Eric talks of the correct breathing techniques in the poses "the wind through the instrument", chapter 7 "lines of energy" and chapter 8 "playing the edge". An absolutely in depth collection of information on, what may feel like an overwhelming amount of things to apply when in each pose.......yet this sort of in depth information, I have never come across before in all of my (large) collection of yoga books nor, indeed, fully appreciated. For me it is the missing link, someone has at last explained what I felt all along was missing from my yoga practice.
This is a very special read, and a book to use for many years to come & refer to daily with your yoga practice (my paperback copy is now looking decidedly tatty!). I strongly recommend the DVD too (originally a VHS tape made in 1994) made with Ali MacGraw and Eric Schiffmann (don't let the date of production put you off, it is still as fresh today as if it were made in 2009), it compliments the book, and to visually see the man in action, hear his soft and hypnotic voice, which then reads the book to you, in your mind as you read it, hearing his gentle American accent. See my review of the DVD too, it's a great practice to put on when you just want to follow someone else and for the days you have not got the energy to do "your own thing". Gosh, I wish he had written another book.... but then he did not leave much unsaid in this, his only book, but he could have done another DVD, that would have been great.
2013:...but he has, visit Erich's website, I have had all his new DVD's shipped over here to the UK, Back-bends, Backyard series, Inversions, all brilliant, so laid back you will be laid flat!