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The Heart of Asana: A Comprehensive Manual of Classical Yoga Postures

Kausthub Desikachar (Author)

Yoga and its holistic philosophy of practice are now embraced by millions of practitioners around the world. Yoga adopts a mind-centered approach towards maintaining health, promoting healing and facilitating a path towards spiritual transformation. This mindfulness is the common thread that links all the tools of Yoga, including the practice of Asana-s or physical postures. Only when such a mindful approach is integrated into practice, will the full potency of Yoga and its tools be activated, facilitating significant, positive transformation in the practitioner.

Yogis-s developed a simple and effective strategy to bring about this holistic and mindful approach to Asana practice. By creating a thoughtful sequence of steps toward each intended posture and coordinating each step with the natural cycle of breath, the body, breath and mind are integrated into the practice. This classical principle of Asana practice, Vinyasa-krama, has been utilized since the early days of Yoga; however, its enormous value was reintroduced to the modern world by the legendary Yogacarya T Krishnamacharya.

Although Asana-s are the most popular form of Yoga practice, when performed in a manner that is not mindful,they may not only be futile, but can also cause damage to the practitioner. Unfortunately, many of the subtle principles of Asana practice have not been communicated effectively, therefore a great deal of its value is lost. However, when practiced diligently, Asana-s bring forth many positive benefits in all the dimensions of the human system. For this reason, a thorough understanding of these subtle principles is an absolute necessity for every serious practitioner of Yoga.

The Heart of Asana: A Comprehensive Manual of Classical Yoga Postures, aims to lift the shroud of mystery that has surrounded modern Asana practice and principles. It presents detailed information on many of the traditional postures that are still in common practice. Each page is dedicated to an in-depth examination of an Äsana and includes:

-Asana name in traditional Devanagari script

-Asana name in Roman Transliteration form

-Meaning of the Asana name from its constituent parts

-Clear illustration of the posture with additional notes highlighting areas of detail

-Classification types of the Asana

-The static and/or dynamic nature of the Asana

-The role of Bandha-s in the Asana

-Classical source texts that list or describe the Asana

-Illustrations of the common variations of the Asana

-The classical Vinyasa-krama-s (steps in and out) of the Asana

The book also includes useful appendices, presenting a brief description of all the classical source texts and a list of Indian mythological personalities after whom some of the Asana-s were named.

The Heart of Asana is a multi-lingual book featuring 234 Asana-s and 575 Vinyasa-krama-s, with detailed information presented in English, Spanish, French and German. It is meticulously researched, beautifully illustrated and presented in a simple, easy to use layout.

Regardless of the tradition of practice, this text will be an invaluable resource for students and practitioners of Yoga at all levels of practice.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Heart of Asana: A Comprehensive Manual of Classical Yoga Postures
Format Hardcover
Date published: 23.03.2012
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Media Garuda
Language: English
isbn 9788192071640
length 560p., Illustrations; Index; Appendix; Bibliography; 30cm.