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The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. März 1999

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  • Taschenbuch: 272 Seiten
  • Verlag: Inner Traditions; Auflage: Revised. (1. März 1999)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 089281764X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892817641
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20,3 x 2 x 25,4 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 4.315 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen



"Those who are interested in understanding what yoga is about, those who are looking for a larger context and focus for their hatha practice, those who look to the Yoga Su-tra for guidance, and all those who have loved and benefited from Krishnamacharya and/or Desikachar, directly or indirectly, will want this book."

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

A structural engineer by training, T. K. V. Desikachar lived and studied with his father until Krishnamacharya's death in 1989. He has devoted his life to yoga instruction for people of all backgrounds and all levels of ability and currently teaches at the school founded in his father's memory in Madras, as well as in Europe, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

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16 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 30. Juni 2004
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I was most surprised, having practised yoga for a number of years, to find some simple explanations in this book about the fundamentals of yoga which no one had told me about before. This is not a full colour, big picture, asana compendium, but rather a guide to developing your own yoga practice tailored to your own needs and abilities. It has breathed new life into my yoga practice and I can't stop recommending it to my friends :-)
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von JennyB am 17. März 2013
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
It is a book for those in search of yoga as a way of living, explaining the core thinking of yoga in a profound way but still easy to follow. Asanas, Pranayama, and other elements are given importance in a balanced manner.

I like that the book encourages you to adapt the practice to meet your own needs and not that you meet the "style"'s requirements. Very well written, very inspiring!
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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von MartinW am 14. November 2012
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The Heart of Yoga ist ein absolutes MUSS für jeden, der sich mit Yoga Praxis privat oder beruflich beschäftigt. Hervorragend die Einblicke in die Geschichte, die Grundlagen und praktischen Anweisungen!
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 136 Rezensionen
383 von 387 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
How to understand yoga? 11. Juli 2002
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
No introduction is needed for the author (son of famous yogacharya Sri T Krishnamacharya). I got interested in yoga after reading his series of articles in Indian magazines in late 1980s. First of all, this book is not an explanation of yoga poses (I recommend Light on Yoga for that). I first bought the book thinking its another book about yoga poses. But I was wrong. This book is exactly what the title says - how to develop a personal practice. The emphasise of the book is for the practitioner to observe himself/herself and see how he/she can augment the benefits of the poses. This is an invaluable and a very important step in learning yoga.
Now, everytime I read it I find it throws more light on understanding yoga. I used to do yogic poses mechanically, but now I have a different perspective. The book really makes you think about an asana and how to improve yourself to benefit from it (the term for this is viniyoga). The emphasis is on gradually learning and enjoying each pose instead of hurrying to accomplish some asana. There are several tips for maximizing the benefits of asanas - for eg counterposes, developing breathing techniques by observing oneself etc. The explanation is lucid, the writing is so simple and effective. Several common questions are answered in Q&A format which is very helpful.
The second part of the book contains Patanjali's yoga sutras in Sanskrit and followed by explanations in English. (Yoga sutras are the foundations of yogas in other words - the heart of yoga). The explanations are very simple and easy to understand.
131 von 131 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Excellent all around yoga resource 16. März 2006
Von Patrick D. Goonan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I own a lot of books on yoga and this is one of my favorite introductions. What makes it particularly valuable is that it explains how to construct a practice. This allows the reader to intelligently use other resources and link his or her yoga practice to overaching physical, psychological and spiritual principles.

I also found this volume to be well balanced. It covered a lot of ground and had a broad scope, but it was not overwhelming in any way. It really did a great job of covering the essentials of yoga philosophy, principles of joining breath with movement, connecting poses and varying poses.

The book also contains a good introduction to pranayama and presents the basics of the bandhas. The material on the mental and moral application of yoga are also well done, but not over done. I also liked that the book included a pronunciation guide for Sanskrit and 60 pages of a translation of parts of the yoga sutras of Patanjali with insightful commentary.

If you are looking for a book that explains how to do particular asanas, then this isn't your best choice although it does include a short section on Four General Practice Sequences.

This book does NOT provide detailed instruction on how to perform particular asanas. For this, you might try 30 Essential Yoga Poses by Judith Lasater, Dancing the Body of Light by Dona Holleman (a must have) or Back Care Basics by Mary Pullig Schatz M.D. (don't let the title full you, it's a great general introduction to yoga, especially for people starting later in life).

The Heart of Yoga will compliment any of the books above, which are not nearly as strong with respect to how to construct a yoga practice on your own.
51 von 53 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Required reading for understanding yoga 9. März 2005
Von Glutton for books - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I am dismayed that so many members think of yoga as part of a new age mentality that is the antithesis of religion or an alternative to any faith. "The Heart of Yoga" by Desikachar does much to dispel this myth. Yoga is not a religion, although for the vast part of its existence has been practiced by people who have adhered to Hinduism. Yoga is a comprehensive approach to mental and physical health, which may fall under the rubric of alternative health systems, but as it has existed for millennia, there is nothing "new" about its age.

Desikachar's book discusses the history of yoga and its practicality for today. A copy of Patanjali's "Yoga Sutra" is included in the appendix of the book. The Yoga Sutra is a collection of inspirational maxims for how to approach life. In some of their writing they acknowledge one's connection to a divine entity, or a concept greater than our selves, but it never defines this entity or commands any sort of conceptualization for what many would refer to as God.

Yoga is more than just a series of poses, which have gained popularity as an exercise fad. It is a philosophy that commands the respect of life and recommends dietary practices to purges the body of yama, which we could be referred to as toxins; the accumulation of which make a person prone to disease and mental anxiety. Poses also have therapeutic benefits in that they release hormones and antibodies in addition to toxins, by compressing, stretching, and releasing various glands and muscles of the body. Desikachar writes about the history of experienced yoga teachers, who did not design one series of yoga poses for every one, but looked at the needs of particular individuals and assigned poses based on their needs; such as did the person have trouble sleeping, digesting food, or a physical ailment that needed to be addressed. He offers suggestions for poses that can help address common maladies, as well as a series of poses that address the mot popular affliction that people from the modern world suffer.

The book also spends much time on teaching the reader on how the physical practice can be spiritual; that one's approach or aversion to a particular pose may reflect a person's approach to challenges in life. One finishes the book learning how to make meditation out of movement; a practice which increase perception of ourselves and our environment.
43 von 44 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Distills ancient yoga teachings to insightful fundamentals 24. Juni 2003
Von M. Lilly - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This book, for me, has been wonderful. The author's tone of voice is fully inclusive, non-judgemental, and open. It invites all people to come to know the eternal meanings through study of self through yoga. He emphasizes that the most effective way to know what is the right action for yourself, in any situation, is to follow the paths of yoga to learn more about yourself and your inherent motivations.
He sees yoga as being approachable from unlimited directions. Some people will prefer pranayama (breathing) or mediation over asanas (postures) and he believes that yoga can be as unique as the yogi. In the end, all the paths of yoga lead to awareness, so it doesn't matter how you begin.
As for being non-judegmental, if you smoke, for example, he would never condemn or judge you. If that is what arises truly from within you, then so it is. He would add, i'm sure, that yoga would likely make it less necessary to smoke, but that preoccupation is not his. He is razor focused on helping the reader clarify his or her own place in the universe through yoga.
This book will likely help anyone take their yoga practice to a higher level.
55 von 59 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
good for therapeutic asana practice, not good for the "heart" of Yoga Sutras 1. März 2011
Von Mahasri Yoga - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
The name, T. K. V. Desikachar, is significant in the world of hatha yoga in the West. The famed teacher Krishnamacharya is his father, and B. K. S. Iyengar is his uncle.

The book begins with an "interview" with Desikachar. The questions are about Krishnamacharya's philosophy and method of teaching yoga. It is revealing to read how his (and Desikachar's) approach to teaching and hatha style is quite different from that of his two famous students, Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois. Readers who have no emotional connection to Krishnamacharya, or just want to know asanas, may have little interest in this background. However for yoga teachers, it is quite informative on asana teaching styles, goals for asana practice, and interpretation of yoga.

The most useful and satisfying parts of the book are the following chapters that are about developing a personal practice: Foundations of Yoga Practice, The Principles of Asana Practice, The Careful Construction of a Yoga Practice, and Asana Variations. Here you do learn how to understand an asana and the importance of developing a personal asana practice. Many out-of-the-box asana adaptations indicate deep understanding about body movements. The approach in this book is gentle and therapeutic. It is not about challenging asana practice. The therapeutic aspect, a welcome change, is usually lacking in yoga practitioners and most mainstream yoga books. Four general practice sequences at the end of the book are a good start. The reader senses right away that this is the author's comfort zone and area of expertise.

Then come the chapters on what is the "heart of yoga," Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. The author considers the sutras to be the most important text on yoga. Given that, the brief commentary after each sutra is so simplified that it lacks depth. For us, there is more confusion regarding the relationship between hatha and raja yoga than clarity. The writing did not convey the same level of comfort or expertise as the asana chapters.

In conclusion, The Heart of Yoga, is an excellent resource for developing a personal practice with appropriate modifications. However, for the heart of yoga described by Patanjali, we recommend two other books. For a simple, conversational commentary, Raja Yoga: Conquering the Internal Nature by Swami Vivekananda is a good choice. It is easy to read. For a serious reader looking for an in-depth and more academic commentary, we recommend Four Chapters on Freedom: Commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Swami Satyananda Saraswati.
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