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Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health
by B.K.S. Iyengar
2001

This is one of the most detailed books on Asana on the market, and it will enrich the practice of any Yoga enthusiast, beginner or experienced. Of course, you probably figured that out already, since it was written by the master — B.K.S. Iyengar.

In two short chapters, Iyengar gives an overview of Yoga and its philosophy. Then he gets to the meat of the book — the four hefty Asana chapters. Most of the classic postures are shown in crisp, beautiful color photographs. The thoroughness of the explanations are the most impressive aspect of the book, as are the 360 degree photographic views of the poses. This approach is typical of Iyengar Yoga at its best. Use Yoga: The Path to Holistic Healing along with your practice and you will gain an extremely intimate knowledge of the Asanas.

Another Iyengar specialty is the use of props, and there is a whole chapter, "Yoga for Stress," devoted to modifications with the use of various props — bolsters, tables, chairs, blankets and blocks. Props make the postures accessible for anyone, and often gives them a restorative quality. The photographs, details and explanations in this chapter are unique, and worth the price of the book alone. And while not everyone will want to invest in all the props illustrated, many times a household item can be used as a replacement.

There is also a chapter devoted to therapeutic Asana series - another Iyengar specialty. It covers a broad range of ailments, from respiratory and digestive problems to skin health, to easing muscle and joint pain. Each series has photographs and an index to the page that explains how to do the Asana. There is also a 20-week Yoga course, designed by Iyengar which, unfortunately, has the index but no photographs.

Whether or not you have Iyengar's Light on Yoga (and if you don't have that book, you should), you will find this book invaluable. Even more advanced Yoga students will appreciate its richness of detail. Those who are still young in the their Yoga practice will find that Yoga: The Path to Holistic Healing not only teaches but inspires. This book is more than recommended — it is a must-have.

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