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on 23 July 2001
I am currently learning and practising Astanga Yoga. This book is a great aid for practice at home between the taught class that i attend each week. The book gives me the ability to practice at home safely and make sure i am working towards the correct positions. The book is spiral bound so it sits flat on the floor. David Swenson also provides may different alternatives for those of us are new to the practice.
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on 26 November 2002
David Swenson's Practice Manual is my yoga practice bible.The text provides a good introduction to this style and covers all the essential traditions of Ashtanga in a readable way which is accessible for all. The photographs are inspirational, whilst his modifications of the postures are excellent to keep the motivation going along the way! This is a really beautiful book which is the best practical guide I have in my two and a half years of practice.
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on 9 November 2000
The great thing about David Swenson's book is that it is true to the pure form of Astanga Vinyasa Yoga, allowing for certain points of style. Most books go for the "power yoga" option, which is really a sort of spin-off from Astanga Vinyasa, and this can lead to discrepancies and omissions in the forms and series of postures. David is also very tolerant in his approach which I think works well for beginners (up to a point) since this is a very demanding practice and it would be easy to be put off. As long as it is understood that the book is not a substitute for a teacher, this shouldn't be a problem. Alternatives are provided in all situations where a practitioner might have difficulty. As well as the physical practice there is a lot of very informative background information which helps to put the whole practice of Astanga Vinyasa Yoga into context. And of course the spiral binding means the book can lie open which makes it easy to use during practice. An excellent book which I would recommend very highly.
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on 9 June 2002
Buy this book if you want clear pictures, easy to understand text and how to get into and out of the postures, and when to breathe in and out during each asana (posture.) He also shows you modified postures and includes good background information on why we do each posture. The book can lie flat on the ground making it easy to see what to do while practising. He takes you from beginner to intermediate and includes the finishing sequence. This book has travelled everywhere with me!
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on 28 February 2014
I say mind blowing because it is this book that has laid the way for some serious ashtanga yoga practice. I have got so much value from this book, not just from David's wonderful step by step breakdown, but also the ethos of the book and the thumbnails at the back that you can have open so you can just flow through your practice and glance down to see what asana is next. I highly recommend this book - it is very thorough and relatively user friendly. My only criticism is the austere visual style - you see the cover and think, wow this looks likes a dynamic book, but when you open it you see a black and white, quite linear layout. There are pluses to this in the sense that you have a clear 'no fuss' guide, however I feel it is visually a little too dry. Saying that, there is a seriousness about it that is a reflection of the discipline that is required to develop a sustained ashtanga yoga practice. David is a clear and concise teacher and I highly recommend this book for anyone who want a sincere, practical and informative companion on their journey through the primary and intermediate series. The short forms are great as a leading practice to the full series too. This kind of book is such an achievement that my criticisms are purely superficial - the book is fantastic for anyone who really wants to learn and practice ashtanga yoga from an experienced, grounded and inspiring teacher.
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on 28 May 2004
This was my first book on yoga, although I am very sporty. I was looking for a yoga book so I could try Yoga at home. This book is very well layed out - You get a little bit of the history of Ashtanga Yoga, and the philosphy behind it (as a form of relaxed meditation!). The pictures in the book are very clear and most of the postures have varying levels of difficulty, which is always something to work to - OUCH!!..
It greatly benefits from being a hardback and binder ring is great - This lets you flick the page between postures..
As a martial artist, I have found using this book has increased my flexibility..
Altogether, this is an excellent and thorough book on Yoga, whether you've never done it before or you're a teacher of the art... highly recommended...
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on 3 August 2010
Unlees you have been doing yoga for many years, the moves are nigh on impossible
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on 3 February 2013
I ordered this product to learn beginner yoga positions and to help me relax from everyday stress. There are many books available and i wasn't sure which to choose, however many customers rated this product 5 stars which led me to believe this was worth my money (and i will also agree after having read the book).

The content is so simple to follow in relation to the positions given: each position is accompanied with step by step pictures and alternatives to the 'asanas' (postures) if you cannot perform a section. The title of each posture is explained and translated so that the user can understand what he/she is reading. There are very useful comments at the bottom of each page regarding the postures and how to focus on parts of the body (referred to as 'drishti') whilst flowing through each position.

I have seen a dramatic increase in my own flexibility over the period of 3 weeks from simply taking the time to stretch out once a day, and i highly recommend this book to the beginner who wants an introduction to basic shapes and postures in yoga. I am thoroughly enjoying this product!
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on 18 May 2016
This book is amazing. It takes a little while to get your head round some of the words, but you can always reference back and it has translations underneath.
I really enjoyed initially reading through this book before putting some of the techniques and postures into practice, i found that I learnt a lot about the nature of yoga and its benefits as well as the safest way to practice it.
The book offers numerous postures and with each posture it offers different levels of difficulty, meaning that you can build you strength and confidence slowly.
The book offers routines of varying time scales, however this book has helped me to construct my own routines to suit my needs.
I would recommend this book to everyone wanting to learn ashtanga yoga but lacks confidence on where to start.
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on 22 September 2017
I purchased this book fourteen years ago back in 2003 at the beginning of my Ashtanga journey. Since then it has been my faithful companion at every home practice I've done, and I've done loads! After 14 years I have a daily Ashtanga practice and I no longer have it open very often, but it is my go-to book whenever I need to check a posture, drishti, alinement, or anything. When I move on a new posture it gives me all that I need. In my opinion an essential book for every Ashtangi, no other book even comes close to this awesome practical guide. Big clear pictures! Get in!
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