Whether you are brand new to yoga or have been practicing a while, but need advice and guidance on poses to improve technique, a good yoga book can be helpful to advancing your practice. At Christmas, I included yoga books on my list for my husband. He got me a pretty good one entitled: Ashtanga Yoga for Women: Invigorating Mind, Body and Spirit with Power Yoga.
This book focuses on Ashtanga Yoga. It’s a great resource for anyone beginning an Ashtanga practice and interested in detailed information about the sequences in the primary series of Ashtanga yoga. The authors, Sally Griffyn and Michaela Clarke, begin their book with a brief history of yoga and origins of Ashtanga practice, as well as information about the vigorous practice of the vinyasa flow series.
The next section of the book is dedicated to the primary series. There is detailed information on the sun salutations, standing postures, warrior sequence, sitting poses, finishing sequence and breathing sequence that make up the primary series. The authors include detailed instructions for each pose and flow sequence along with color photographs to assist in learning proper form in the postures.
This section of the book is valuable for anyone practicing yoga, even if not interested in the vigorous practice of Ashtanga. If you are looking for a book that has detailed instructions for moving into and out of poses, you may find this book helpful for improving your technique and advancing your practice. Griffyn and Clarke offer step by step instructions for both movement and breath in each asana.
The third section in this book is dedicated to Ashtanga and the Cycles of Life. In this chapter, the authors discuss yoga in various stages and times of a woman’s life, including menstruation, fertility and pregnancy. There is a section on yoga for children and information on the health benefits of yoga. There is some discussion about the spiritual side of yoga, but this is sparse and easily overlooked, if you are not interested in the topic.
The appendices of the book are devoted to preventing injuries and the Yoga of Food, which discusses the link between diet and yoga in promoting overall health and wellness. Overall, this is a very informative book on the subject of Ashtanga yoga that has information that could also benefit practitioners of other forms of yoga.