I travel, stay in hotels, so can't join a local group. Book would be a
good place to start?
I can recommend "To Know Your Self", by Sri Swami Satchidananda. You can
order a copy for $9.95 plus shipping by calling 1-800-262-1008. Other
good books are listed at our web site - if interested email me for
Hari Barker, Manager
Integral Yoga Publications
Is there one location you call "home"? One place you return to on a regular
or frequent basis? Find a teacher there, and go as often as you can.
A book can be a good supplement, a way to remind yourself of the practice
you learn from your teacher. But a teacher is important.
Each individual (you may have noticed ;-D) is unique, and different from
everyone else. Your yoga practice will be most rewarding if you find a
teacher who understands how to help you modify your practice for your
own constitution and current needs.
For example, your current needs: What postures will help you recover
more quickly from jet lag? Or if you drive, from hours of sitting in a car
with your right leg extended on the gas pedal? Your constitutional type:
What type of bones and muscles do you have? Are you thin, and tend to have
trouble gaining weight? Are you a more sturdy body type, and find it hard
to lose weight? Are you athletic, and like to run, play sports, etc? Or is it
hard for you to get yourself moving, you would rather read a book?
If your teacher understands these characteristics (some knowledge of
Ayurveda is helpful) s/he will be able to help you enjoy your practice
more, and help you progress.
If your teacher is part of a network of teachers, s/he will be able to
recommend teachers in other areas who teach the same style of yoga, so you
can find somewhat consistent instruction wherever you may be traveling.
The Yoga Journal and Yoga International both publish national Teacher
Directories-- a good place to start looking.
In Article<32a6bc0...@news.clara.net>, <mark...@claranet.com> write:
> From: mark...@claranet.com
> Newsgroups: alt.yoga
> Subject: New To Yoga
> Date: Thu, 05 Dec 1996 12:12:40 GMT
> Lines: 4
> Message-ID: <32a6bc0...@news.clara.net>
> NNTP-Posting-Host: du-25.clara.net
> X-Newsreader: Forte Free Agent 1.1/16.230
> Any suggestions for good, basic intro books.
> I travel, stay in hotels, so can't join a local group. Book would be a
> good place to start?
My two cents:
A classic is Swami Vishnudevananda's (disciple of Swami Sivananda)
"The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga", dealing with philosophy,
asans and meditation.
Another good one is B.K.S.Iyengar's Light on Yoga.
> Well, a teacher is important, but for a sincere person, book can be a
> very good start.
Dear Avi: I agree, a book can be a way to start, and starting may be better
than not starting. Without a teacher, or at least a practice partner, to
provide accurate feedback on the poses, a person's habitual movement
patterns can perpetuate themselves in the poses, accenting rather than
relieving distortions of the flow of prana. This can play out on many levels,
from aggravating a tendency to back pain or other joint pain, to
exacerbating tendencies to anger, depression, lethargy, etc. I applaud you
if you have been practicing for 12 years without feedback and have not run
into problems. You must be a living example of the qualities you say are
> You have to be, though, sensitivle, receptive and thus aware to your
> special needs. Let time and careful practice do their job.
I have been teaching yoga for about 10 years, and have seen hundreds of
students in my classes. Most are *not* aware of their special needs, in fact
even deny them (e.g., "I can hold this pose longer, it doesn't hurt that much
yet") -- are not even aware of *where* their bodies are, let along what
they need. Example: In the classical Mountain Pose (Tadasana), the feet are
to be together, pointing straight ahead. A person whose habit is to stand and
walk splay-footed may *think* eir feet are straight ahead, when they are
actually pointed only slightly less out. Is the position of the feet
important? *my* practice has taught me yes, even the position of the
little toe is important.
> Try to look for a book by Swami Venkatesenanada. The name is Yoga, i
I'm not familiar with this book, but I encourage Marksmill to look for it--
and while ey is at it, to also look at a number of other books. There are
many styles of teaching yoga asana, and each of us, it seems, resonates with
some style(s) more than others. Don't fall in with one tradition too
quickly, without some understanding of the effects of the particular
> Be happy both of you, may all beings be happy!
And you also, Avi and Marksmill --- Practice joyfully!
>I'm not familiar with this book, but I encourage Marksmill to look for it--
>and while ey is at it, to also look at a number of other books.
I don't know it either, but I also recommend a book: Patanjali's Yoga
Sutras. I can think of none better for a westerner, since the yogis of
Patanjali's time (around 400 A.D.) were very much like the modern western
culture building on science and critical thinking. Of course there are many
differences, but I find the style of Patanjali akin to that of Euclid, the
primary pattern for western science. A very fine translation with comments
can be found in Swami Vivekananda's book "Raja Yoga"
I think books may be a way to go for yoga in the future. Not the only way,
though, since the practice of asanas then would suffer. It would be a sad
occasion if all that hard-gotten knowledge was lost. On the other hand,
asanas need not always be difficult or very complicated, several can be
learned with the help of a friend, just like you say. And there are so many
new, unfamiliar forms of yoga these days that it certainly can do no harm
to gather as much knowledge as possible *before* deciding on one of the