Yoga books and further reading(14 Posts)
I have only been attending yoga classes for a couple of months but I really love it. However, the teachers all assume a certain level of knowledge, like shouting the Indian word for the pose, so I have to look what other people are doing to see what pose it is.
I'd like to do some reading about yoga, the poses, the chakras
and what's with all the oming? but I don't know where to start. If anybody has any recommendations for books or online resources they'd like to share I'd really appreciate it.
Not a very good yoga teacher if they are just shouting words without modelling the pose
It's great that you are enjoying the class (but I do wonder if your teacher's approach is helpful?). My all time favourite yoga book is 'how yoga works'. I read it roughly annually. It won't tell you about poses or omming but what yoga is off the mat. We don't use proper names often as we take an intuitive approach in the class I go to. Doyogawithme.com is a lovely website for home practice. I am finding it difficult to imagine your class but that maybe because mine is so different!
You learn the Indian names mainly by hearing them repeatedly. It all sounds a bit strange at first but they soon become 2nd nature. I haven't been to a yoga class in many years but I still know all the Sanskrit names.
The Shivinanda book is a great yoga classic and great place to start. It covers all the basics really well including chakras, breathing, along with details of the postures:
If you are more into ashtanga there are loads of books. I had this one and she writes very nicely about the process, postures, theory etc. Looks out of print but lots of cheap 2nd hand ones:
And remember the yoga adage, "Just do the yoga" (or something like that - reading is great, but your yoga practice is what matters)
oooh thanks for link to www.Doyogawithme.com stillearnin
I really need some inspiration to start a home practice again (Classes are virtually impossible for me to get to)
My favourite is Erich Schiffman's Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness - he gives you the Sanskrit and English names, and explains the benefits of each pose. He has a lovely gentle approach.
It is good to back to the sources yourself rather than relying on other's interpretations, and would strongly recommend reading at least Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. There is a fabulous though hefty tome called The Yoga Tradition by Georg Feuerstein that covers everything you could ever want to know and includes the relevant abstracts from the Rig Veda, Upanishads, Gita etc.
My teacher does use Sanskrit a lot but also explains what the words mean and breaks them down to their components parts - i think a good teacher would realise if someone was struggling to understand and would try to meet the need of their students.
Thank you so much for your suggestions, I'm going to hit up Amazon later.
My teachers don't just shout the Sanskrit, they sometimes model the pose or use the english word, but i just don't understand why we do any of the moves, or oms, or ajayi breathing. This is what I wanted the books for. Thank again.
That really doesn't sound great. What sort of yoga are you doing?
A really good book is "The Spiritual Teachings of Yoga" by Jo Manuel. She runs the Special Yoga Centre in London and the book is a great introduction to yoga.
If your teacher insists on only using the Sanskrit names for the asanas (poses), I would either have a word with them and let them know that you don't know them all yet or find another teacher.
Another vote for Erich Schiffman here, very easy read, flowing book and details how to progress in and through the poses
It's 'core yoga flow' which claims to be a mix of all different yoga styles, it's very physical. I had an introductory month pass to the studio so I tried a few different teachers, and the beginners class I tried was really bad. We had to om 5 times and then the instructor just did the moves in front of us for an hour, no explanations, no coming around to adjust our stance or tips on how to make the poses easier or harder.
The classes I do now I really enjoy, I feel so strong and chilled out after, but I feel I'm not getting the most out of them because I don't have that underpinning of basic knowledge. In my feedback review to the studio i suggested they run a workshop of yoga basics so hopefully they'll take my comments on board.
mimi I'll have a look at that book. jiminey if you like the class that's great and hopefully a class to compliment that will be helpful too. It's good to do different classes too. We do a lot of chanting and rolling around. It is probably more structured than I think but it doesn't feel that way! Our teacher says things like 'what would happen if you put your hands here or how would it feel to turn your toes in here' I love it too.
If it is the mind-body/ spiritual understanding you are looking for then there is nothing like just getting on with the yoga and letting it unfold. Spending time with like minded people can be enlightening too.
I teach the teachers.
Try The Heart Of Yoga. By TKV Desikachar
It is one of our course books.
A little about the history of yoga. A little about vinyasa (sequencing)
In other words, preparation, asana and counter poses.
There is a section on pranayama, and samyama ( Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana, which are the more medative elements)
There is a section on Sanskrit, and pronunciation. You will find a fair bit yoga Therapy too. As well as the more esoteric chakras and Maya.
There is also a wonderful translation of the sutra at the back.
My favourite book for yoga students.
"If it is the mind-body/ spiritual understanding you are looking for then there is nothing like just getting on with the yoga and letting it unfold."
^ This. I love to read but there is only so much other people can tell you about what it is to listen to your self and find peace in the quiet.
Join the discussion
Please login first.