ESSENTIAL YOGA: An Illustrated Guide to Over 100 Yoga Poses and Meditations

Olivia H. Miller, Author, Nicole Kaufman, Illustrator , illus. by Nicole Kaufman. Chronicle $18.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8118-4115-3

One of the simplest yet most comprehensive yoga books to be published in recent memory, Miller's work could become a classic. Using elegant, gentle prose and graceful line drawings to illustrate poses, the book serves as an excellent introduction for those unfamiliar with or just getting used to breathing in downward facing dog position. Miller, who has been practicing yoga for over 25 years and writes for Yoga Journal and other publications, takes a three-pronged approach to teaching yoga, focusing on the equally important components of breathing, poses and meditation. She doesn't spend much time on the history and origins of yoga, and quickly moves to technique. Focusing on hatha yoga, Miller teaches readers breathing exercises and how to warm up, and then proceeds to standing, seated, prone, supine and inverted poses. Subsequent chapters share suggested meditations and suggested flow series. The latter section lays out routines practitioners can follow (among them, the popular sun salutation and camel vinyasa), as well as series of poses that Miller devised herself that target specific conditions (including ones for anxiety and tension relief, cold prevention and improving circulation) and sports (e.g., running, swimming, tennis and rowing). By giving variations for each pose, Miller makes her book appropriate for all levels, although the positive and upbeat tone will especially comfort beginners struggling with the challenging pigeon or full shoulder-stand positions. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/02/2004
Release date: 02/01/2004
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4521-2567-1
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