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Svadhyaya

Svadhyaya means searching out the written and oral transmission from those who have achieved what you are looking for – these books offer such opportunity.

Ashtanga Yoga Book List

Clicking on any book title (or book image) below will take you to Amazon.com where you will find more information about that book:

Yoga  Mala
Yoga Mala
by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Yoga Mala—a “garland of yoga”—is Jois’s authoritative guide to Ashtanga. In it, he outlines the ethical principles and philosophy underlying the discipline, explains important terms and concepts, and guides the reader through Ashtanga’s Sun Salutations and the subsequent primary sequence of forty-two asanas, or poses, precisely describing how to execute each position and what benefits each provides. It is a foundational work on yoga by a true master.  Ashtanga Yoga Institute’s website

The Practice  Manual
Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual
by David Swenson

This book is an extremely user-friendly book for beginner and advanced persons doing Ashtanga yoga. It contains the entire Primary and Intermediate series of Ashtanga Yoga with three options for every asana. It is spiral bound to easily remain open while practicing. It contains over 650 photos with clear instructions and commentary. It has choices of practices; full practice of Primary and Second Series or the short forms of 15 min., 30 min., and 45 min. practices for those on the go. It is a great book for all levels of practitioners to enjoy and teachers will find it to be an invaluable tool for teaching their students.   David Swenson’s website

Ashtanga  Yoga
Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy
by Gregor Maehle

Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy is the first book of its kind, presenting a comprehensive guide to all eight limbs of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Join author Gregor Maehle, a seasoned yogi and compassionate teacher, as he guides you through the history and lineage of yoga; the fundamentals of breath, bandhas (energy locks within the body), drishti (the focal point of the gaze), and vinyasa (sequential movement); a detailed breakdown of the asanas of the Ashtanga Primary Series, following the traditional vinyasa count; a lively and authentic rendering of the complete Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, yoga’s ancient sacred text; and a glossary of yoga terminology.

In the asana section, Maehle describes each posture with clear, meticulous instructions, photographs, anatomical illustrations, and practical tips. Information on the mythological background and yogic context of specific postures brings further insight to the practice. In the philosophy section, Maehle illuminates the Yoga Sutra using the major ancient commentaries as well as his own insights.

This volume makes the entire path of Ashtanga Yoga accessible to modern practitioners. Both practical guide and spiritual treatise, Ashtanga Yoga is an excellent introduction to the eight limbs of yoga and an invaluable resource for any yoga teacher or practitioner.  Gregor Maehle’s website

Intermediate Series
Ashtanga Yoga: The Intermediate Series
by Gregor Maehle

In this much-anticipated follow-up to his first book, Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy, Gregor Maehle offers a detailed and multifaceted guide to Ashtanga Yoga’s Intermediate Series. An expert yogi and teacher, Maehle will guide you to your next level with an unprecedented depth of anatomical explanation and unparalleled attention to the practice’s philosophical and mythological heritage. You will learn:

* The background and applications of each of the three forms of yoga: Karma, Bhakti, and Jnana
* How to use Indian myth and cosmology to deepen your practice
* The importance of the Sanskrit language to the yogic tradition
* The mythology behind the names of the Intermediate Series postures
* The functions and limitations of body parts integral to the Intermediate Series, including the spine, the sacroiliac joint, the shoulder joint, and the hip joint
* How to reap the full benefits of practicing the Intermediate Series

Maehle meticulously explores all twenty-seven postures of the Intermediate Series through photos, anatomical line drawings, and practical, informative sidebars. He also discusses the philosophical and spiritual background of Ashtanga Yoga and places the practice within the context of Indian cultural history. With passionate erudition, Maehle will prepare you to reap physical, spiritual, and mental fulfillment from your evolving practice.  Gregor Maehle’s website

As It Is
Astanga Yoga As It
by Matthew Sweeney

Astanga Yoga As It Is by Matthew Sweeney is much in demand, since it is the only resource that fully details the primary, intermediate and advanced A & B series of Astanga Yoga. In the text portion of the book the type is small and the information dense. In Matthew’s clear, precise and matter of fact style he covers important aspects of pranayama, the role of warming up, details on core postures and traditional and novel ways to approach the practice. There are nearly 2000 photographs in the posture sequences of traditional Astanga Vinyasa Yoga on durable heavy weight stock for years of reference and enjoyment. It is sized to fit at the head of your mat in a coiled binding so the pages open flat for easy visibility and reference. Matthew’s description follows: Astanga Yoga As It Is – A comprehensive guide to the first four sequences of Ashtanga Yoga: Primary, Intermediate, Advanced A and Advanced B as taught by Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois. The book details relevant techniques on breathing, asana, bandha and drishti. It offers insight into the practical application of Yoga philosophy with information on the chakra, granthi, nadi and the Yoga sutras of Patanjali. The photographic section includes the asana for each sequence plus all of the variations for the movements and breaths between each posture. This is a one of a kind map to the traditional vinyasa method. Astanga Yoga As It Is provides an exploration of both the physical and mental aspects of the practice. It aims to shed light on some core yoga concepts and relevant self development principles. However, this book is not a “how to do it” manual. It does cover the main points of the tradition including many of the unspoken conditions that dominate the Mysore method. As It Is aims to promote a questioning attitude to the practice, to examine and integrate its many qualities. As the physical practice evolves there should be a natural and healthy interest in the mental and emotional processes that go with it.  Matt Sweeney’s website

A modern day Yogi’s commentary on the synergy of Ashtanga Yoga, Ayurveda and Tantra
by Anthony “Prem” Carlisi
This book is a spiritual memoir on the life and explorations of Anthony “Prem” Carlisi, as well as a source of practical, applicable information about the practices of Ashtanga Yoga, Ayurveda and Tantra.
The synergy of these three sciences are what Prem believes to be the key to living a healthy, rooted and ecstatic life!
The book is written in a down to earth way so that anyone can pick it up and enjoy it! He writes with an openess about the ups and downs of his experiences along the yogic path.
Prem shares his wisdom, in a light, funny and simple manner, making these esoteric topics approachable for yogi’s and householders. It is a candid inner look, spoken from the heart of a devoted, 30 year yoga practitioner. Anthony ‘Prem’ Carlisi website.

Yoga  Sutras
Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
by BKS Iyengar

For each of the 196 aphorisms, Iyengar gives first the Sanskrit, then the Sanskrit in transliteration. Then he breaks down the expression into its individual words and gives an English translation of each word. Indeed he often gives several possible English equivalents for each Sanskrit word. Then he gives his English translation of the aphorism. In this way the reader can judge the fidelity of Iyengar’s expression. Better yet, the reader can have reference to another translation and compare the results, and in doing so, come to a fuller appreciation of Patanjali’s sometimes enigmatic words. Finally there are Iyengar’s commentaries on each of the aphorisms, some of which cover several pages. Occasionally Iyengar gives tables for further clarification; indeed there are 18 tables and diagrams spread throughout the text. The sutras and commentary are framed with an Introduction, an Epilogue and four Appendices. There is a Glossary and an Index.  BKS Iyengar’s website

Meditations  from the Mat
Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga
by Rolf Gates

This is a wonderful book of instructive and encouraging daily meditations centered on the practice of yoga. Gates synthesizes his experiences as a yoga student and teacher, former army ranger, and recovering alcoholic, and explores the practice of yoga in a fresh, relevant manner perfect for American readers. Each day’s reflection begins with a thought-provoking quote and then explores one intriguing aspect of yoga philosophy. Gates weaves stories of his own remarkable healing and growth with the yoga sutras of Patanjali, and provides illuminating and moving explanations of how yoga teachings apply to real-life situations. With the help of accomplished writer Kenison, Gates succeeds in taking readers beyond the mat, and showing them how yoga works as a tool for transformation. Candid and engaging, Gates will inspire both readers currently practicing yoga and those who are thinking about it.  Rolf Gate’s website

Breath: The Yogic Prime
by Gabriel Azoulay

This small book is filled with Osho jokes, ancient Koans, and stories from the mat that have been told to Gabriel Azoulay, or how his students have responded to his mesmerizing ability to weave stories and philosophy into his classes. Gabriel shares his perspective from years of practice and study into how to weave the philosophy of practice into the daily expression of joy in your life. It is all about the breath. Gabriel Azoulay website.

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. sunya / Jul 31 2012 4:39 pm

    why no Richard freeman

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