Whether you are new to the practice of yoga or have been practicing a while and adding new poses, having a reference book of the asanas is valuable for everyone. A good yoga asana book will have information about the poses and photographs for reference. One book to try is Asanas: 608 Yoga Poses by Dharma Mittra.
As the title suggests, the book contains 608 yoga poses making it an excellent resource for beginner, intermediate and advanced level students. There are poses for all of the most popular types of yoga, so it is useful for more than one style.
Each pose has a photograph, the name of the asana in Sanskrit and English and a brief description of the pose. There are also specific sequences in the book are included for Iyengar, Ashtanga and vinyasa yoga.
This book does not have step by step instructions for moving into and out of all 608 yoga poses. However, for some people, the pictures are more helpful than the words. Sometimes you need to see the full expression of the pose to check your own alignment and make adjustments, as needed.
In addition to learning the poses, this book provides inspiration to attempt to reach the next level in your practice. As you look through the book, you will be inspired by the wide range of intermediate and complicated advanced level asanas.
Asanas: 608 Yoga Poses is not an instructional yoga book, nor is it intended to teach you the poses. While there are many books on the market with step by step instructions for the asanas, this is still not a substitute for a good yoga teacher.
The best way to master the asanas and progress in your practice is to learn with a yoga teacher. The books and DVDs for home practice are great for practicing between classes and practicing at home after you have learned the poses. Starting out with a yoga teacher is always the best.