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Publisher Description

A richly illustrated, detailed guide to 72 fundamental asanas. Each pose is broken down into anatomical terms that describe optimal alignment for each of the body’s main joints.

Included with each pose:

-English and Sanskrit Name with breakdown of translation
-Sthira / Stability: What we hold firm in the pose
-Sukha / Ease and Release: What we try to let go of or relax in the pose
-Ahimsa / Avoiding Harm: Potential risks in the pose
-Tapas / Challenges: Common opportunities for the challenging growth in the pose
-Pre-Alignment Pose and Common Stable Parts: The pose before the pose, including identification of the things that will not move or change when going into the pose.
-Coming Into the Pose: What moves and how- in order to get from the Pre-Alignment Pose to the pose itself
-Anchor and Pull to Lengthen Spine: Almost all poses have opportunity to lengthen the spine. This describes the work to hold one end of the spine still and the work to lengthen the rest of the spine away from it.
-Counter Instructions: Pairs of instructions or efforts that keep each other from going too far.
-Moving Out of the Pose: How to come out of the pose with integrity while maintaining practice.
-Base Position: The body parts that are on the floor and how they are placed
-A joint-by-joint breakdown of optimal alignment in the pose, including: Ankles and Feet, Knees, Hips, Spine, Shoulder Area, Elbows, Forearms, Wrists, Hands
-Variations and Props Used
-Drishti: Where to look

The language in the book is precise and technical, which allows for clear understanding, and which allows the teacher to then translate the information into teaching in their own voice, rather than by imitating the words of another teacher.

About the Author:

By teaching precise asana technique, fluency in biomechanics, and the practical application of the Yoga Sutras, James presents asana as a way to make a happier life.

James started teaching in Washington, DC in 1996, where he was American University’s first Adjunct Professor of Yoga and the private teacher to the family of Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore while he was Vice President of the United States.

In 2001 he started teaching at YogaWorks’ original Montana Avenue studio, where he helped develop YogaWorks’ teacher training curriculum, which he then introduced in foreign markets. He was YogaWorks’ Director of Yoga Content until December 2012 and is the founder of American Yoga School.

"A miracle worker … a welcome antidote to the Brentwood mom-style classes that seem to dominate Los Angeles.” -W Magazine

"A master of Ashtanga yoga ... a guru for now." -Rolling Stone

"The best yoga teacher in the world."" -Flea, The Red Hot Chili Peppers

March 19
American Yoga School
James Brown

Customer Reviews

Mina the Filipina ,

Life changing

James Brown's Asana Guide is the most detailed and easy to use book of its kind. It describes over 70 poses and the essential components for moving through the pose, which muscle groups to engage, props, etc. This guide has been one of the most powerful reference tools I own and use daily.

Sarah Sophie ,

Excellent guide for yoga teachers and students alike!

James Brown has created one of the more comprehensive and user-friendly asana guides out there. James offers not only the alignment and technical details of the postures, but more subtle things like where to look and directions of energy. This is great for teachers, but also for students looking to deepen their practice.

Anita Stevens ,


Asana Guide for Yoga Teachers 2015, authored by James Brown, is an amazing tool for instructors. Each pose is disected in a thorough, easy-to-understand style, with helpful visuals as well. A wonderful publication to have at the ready to assist teachers and students alike!

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