From the author of the best-selling Yoga Deck comes Essential Yoga—the only hatha yoga book to offer this many poses (over 100), this many illustrations (over 180), and this many suggested sequences (over 50). Practical and interactive, it focuses on the poses themselves, providing clear, concise instructions and detailed illustrations for each, all in a lay-flat format that's easy to refer to during yoga practice. It also includes six classic moving meditations (such as Sun Salutation and Camel Vinyasa), 10 beginner-to-advanced sessions, and 48 mini-sequences designed to build strength for specific activities or alleviate health problems. Essential Yoga combines physical poses (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayamas), and meditations (dhyanas) into a simple and complete reference guide for yoga practitioners of all levels. Along the way, author Olivia Miller provides guidance on proper technique and alignment; modifications for beginners or those with knee, neck, or back pain; suggestions for preventing injury; and ways to keep a regular practice interesting and active. For beginners as muchas experts looking for one complete book that has it all, Essential Yoga is it.
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.