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Yoga for dummies
Feuerstein, Georg.
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Publication Information:
Foster City, CA : IDG Books Worldwide, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxvi, 372 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
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RA781.7 .F48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RA781.7 .F48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RA781.7 .F48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RA781.7 .F48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RA781.7 .F48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RA781.7 .F48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Yoga is not a fad. It has been around in the United States for over a hundred years and has a history of approximately five millennia. It is clearly here to stay. Yoga has brought health and peace of mind to millions of people. It can do the same for you.

The benefits of Yoga are many. When adopted as a lifestyle, Yoga extends over the entire day. Find out how this can be done and why Yoga is so often loved by people who are

Interested in becoming more fit and flexible Looking for stress relief Seeking to live a more peaceful and joyful life

Yoga For Dummies guides you slowly, step by step, into the treasure house of Yoga. And it is a fabulous treasure house! You will find out how to unlock your body's extraordinary potential and enlist your mind to do so, and in the process strengthen your mind as well. This book covers the following topics and more:

Five basic approaches to Yoga Selecting a Yoga class Practicing Yoga safely The mechanics of Yogic breathing Classic foundational postures Exercises to target problem areas Putting together your personal routine Yoga for special situations

The focus on this book is on Hatha (pronounced haht-ha ) Yoga, which is that branch of Yoga that works primarily with the body through postures, breathing exercises, and other similar techniques. When necessary, the book provides helpful photos or illustrations to help you better understand the exercises or postures.

One author (Georg Feuerstein) is internationally recognized as a leading expert on the Yoga tradition and has authored many seminal works on it. The other author (Larry Payne) has a thriving practice as a Yoga teacher in Los Angeles, where he teaches and responds to his clients' specific health challenges. In this book, their combined 55 years of experience have merged to create a reliable and user-friendly introductory book that can also serve you as a beginner's reference work on an ongoing basis.

Author Notes

Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., is the founder-director of the Yoga Research Center in Northern California and editor of Yoga World newsletter.
Larry Payne, Ph.D., is chairman of the Intrnational Association of Yoga Therapists, founder of the Yoga program at the J. Paul Getty Museum, co-founder of the Yoga curriculum at UCLA Medical School, and director of the Samata Yoga Center in Los Angeles since 1981.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xxvii
Introductionp. 1
About This Bookp. 1
Conventions Used in This Bookp. 3
What You're Not to Readp. 3
Foolish Assumptionsp. 3
How This Book Is Organizedp. 4
Icons Used in This Bookp. 6
Where to Go from Herep. 8
Part I Off to a Good Start with Yogap. 9
Chapter 1 Yoga 101: What You Need to Knowp. 11
Understanding the True Character of Yogap. 12
Finding meaning: The word Yogap. 13
Finding yourself: Are you a yogi (or yogini)?p. 14
Considering Your Options: The Eight Main Branches of Yogap. 14
Bhakti Yoga: The Yoga of devotionp. 15
Guru Yoga: The Yoga of dedication to a masterp. 15
Hatha Yoga: The Yoga of Physical disciplinep. 16
Jnana Yoga: The Yoga of Wisdomp. 16
Karma Yoga: The Yoga of self-transcending actionp. 17
Mantra Yoga: The Yoga of potent soundp. 17
Raja Yoga: The Royal Yogap. 17
Tantra Yoga: The Yoga of continuityp. 18
Uncovering Where You Fit In: The Three Primary Qualitiesp. 19
Finding Your Niche: Five Basic Approaches to Yogap. 20
Yoga as fitness trainingp. 20
Yoga as a sportp. 20
Yoga as therapyp. 21
Yoga as a lifestylep. 21
Yoga as a spiritual disciplinep. 21
What all approaches to Yoga have in commonp. 22
Getting the Scoop on the Prominent Styles of Hatha Yogap. 22
Empowering Yourself with Yogap. 25
Maintaining health and happinessp. 25
Finding out what being healthy really meansp. 25
Healing rather than curingp. 25
Taking an active role in your own healthp. 26
Following your blissp. 26
Realizing Your Human Potential with Yogap. 27
Balancing Your Life with Yogap. 28
Chapter 2 Ready, Set, Yoga!p. 29
"Class Is in Session"p. 30
Which way do I go?p. 31
Public or private?p. 33
What to wear, what to wear?p. 34
What do I pack in my Yoga suitcase?p. 34
Paying the price: How much should Yoga cost?p. 35
How long will a Yoga class be?p. 35
Going co-edp. 36
What makes a good teacher?p. 36
Putting safety firstp. 36
Paging Miss Mannersp. 37
Skipping Classp. 38
Being a Committed Yogi or Yoginip. 39
Making Time for Yogap. 40
Eating before Yoga Practicep. 40
Keeping a Yoga Diaryp. 40
Part II Getting in Shape for Yogap. 41
Chapter 3 Prep Before Pepp. 43
Cultivating the Right Attitudep. 43
Pretzels are not us!p. 44
Practice at your own pacep. 45
Send the scorekeeper homep. 45
No pain, no gain--NOT!p. 46
Picture yourself in the posturep. 46
Enjoying a Safe and Sound Yoga Practicep. 46
Making sense of the perfect posture mythp. 46
Listening to your bodyp. 47
Moving slowly but surelyp. 48
Practicing function over form with Forgiving Limbsp. 49
Approaching exercise with open eyesp. 50
Chapter 4 Relaxed Like a Noodle: The Fine Art of Letting Go of Stressp. 51
The Nature of Stressp. 51
Correcting wrong attitudesp. 52
Changing poor habitsp. 53
Releasing bodily tensionp. 55
Relaxation Techniques That Workp. 55
Tips for a successful relaxation practicep. 55
Deep relaxation: The corpse posturep. 56
Afternoon delightp. 57
Magic trianglesp. 59
Relaxation before sleepp. 60
Yogic Sleep (Yoga Nidra)p. 61
Chapter 5 Breath and Movement Simplifiedp. 63
Breathe Your Way to Good Healthp. 63
Taking high-quality breathsp. 64
Relaxing with a couple of deep breathsp. 65
Practicing safe yogic breathingp. 66
Reaping the benefits of yogic breathingp. 67
Breathing through the nosep. 67
The Mechanics of Yogic Breathingp. 69
The diaphragm and your emotionsp. 70
Appreciating the complete yogic breathp. 70
Starting out with focus breathing for beginnersp. 73
Taking a pausep. 74
Partners in Yoga: Breath and Postural Movementp. 74
Breathing in four directionsp. 75
Understanding the roles of movement and holding in Yoga posturesp. 75
The Yoga Miraclep. 76
Sounding Off: Yogic Breathingp. 79
Practicing Breath Control the Traditional Wayp. 80
Alternate nostril breathingp. 81
The cooling breathp. 83
Shitkari--inhaling through the mouthp. 84
Kapala-bhati--frontal brain cleansingp. 84
Part III Postures for Health Maintenance and Restorationp. 87
Chapter 6 What to Do When--The Importance of Sequencingp. 89
Framing Your Practice with Awarenessp. 90
Where'd you come from?p. 90
Where are you off to?p. 90
Give me a little practice time, will ya?p. 91
Get Ready for Exercise with Warm-Upsp. 92
Reclining posturesp. 95
Standing posturesp. 100
Sitting posturesp. 105
Get Set to Select Your Main Posturesp. 108
Go Back to the Start with Compensation Exercisesp. 109
Compensation posturesp. 111
Rest and Relaxationp. 113
Knowing when to rest and when to resumep. 114
Rest posturesp. 115
Chapter 7 Sitting Made Easyp. 119
Understanding the Philosophy of Posturesp. 120
Trying Out Sitting Posturesp. 121
Chair-sitting posturep. 122
The easy posture--sukhasanap. 123
The thunderbolt posture--vajrasanap. 124
The auspicious posture--svastikasanap. 125
The perfect posture--siddhasanap. 126
Chapter 8 Standing Tallp. 129
Identifying That Two-Legged Creaturep. 129
Standing Tallp. 130
Exercising Your Optionsp. 131
Mountain posture (tadasana)--building block for other stancesp. 132
Standing forward bend--uttanasanap. 133
Half standing forward bend--ardha uttanasanap. 135
Asymmetrical forward bend--parshva uttanasanap. 136
Triangle posture--utthita trikonasanap. 137
Reverse triangle posture--parivritta trikonasanap. 138
Warrior posture--vira bhadrasanap. 140
Standing spread leg forward bend--prasarita pada uttanasanap. 141
Half chair posture--ardha utkatasanap. 141
Downward facing dog posture--adhomukha shvanasanap. 142
Chapter 9 Steady as a Tree: Mastering Balancep. 145
Getting to the Roots of the Posturep. 145
Balancing Postures for Graceful Strengthp. 146
Warrior at the wall (vira bhadrasana III variation)p. 147
Balancing catp. 148
The tree--vrikshasanap. 149
The karate kidp. 150
Standing heel-to-buttockp. 151
Scorpionp. 152
Chapter 10 Absolutely Absp. 155
Taking Care of the Abdomen: Your Busy "Corporation"p. 156
Exercising Those Absp. 157
Exploring push-downsp. 157
Trying yogi sit-upsp. 158
Strengthening with yogi sit-backsp. 159
Working with extended leg slide-upsp. 159
Arching with the suck 'em up posturep. 160
Exhaling "soundly"p. 161
Chapter 11 Looking at the World Upside Downp. 163
Turning Attention to the Inversion Posturesp. 164
Legs up on a chairp. 165
Legs up against the wallp. 166
The dying bugp. 167
Standing spread leg forward bend at the wallp. 168
A trio of shoulder stands--from easiest to toughestp. 169
Chapter 12 Easy 'Round the Bendsp. 173
Gaining a Strong Backbone (And Some Insight)p. 173
Bending Over Backwardsp. 175
Cobra 1p. 176
Cobra 2--bhujangasanap. 177
Cobra 3p. 178
Locust 1--shalabhasanap. 179
Locust 2p. 180
Locust 3--Superman posturep. 182
Bending from Side to Sidep. 183
Seated side bendp. 183
All-fours side bendp. 184
Folded side bendp. 185
Bending Forwardp. 186
Seated forward bend--pashcimottanasanap. 186
Head-to-knee posture--janushirshasanap. 188
Volcano--mahamudrap. 188
Spread-leg forward bend--upavishta konasanap. 190
Chapter 13 Twist But Don't Shoutp. 193
Putting a Positive Spin on Twistingp. 194
Starting Out with Simple Twists for Gnarly Spinesp. 194
Easy chair twistp. 194
Easy sitting twistp. 195
The sage twistp. 197
Bent leg supine twistp. 198
The Swiss Army Knifep. 199
Extended legs supine twist--jathara parivrittip. 200
Chapter 14 Dynamic Posture: The Sun Salutationp. 201
Shedding Light on the Benefits of Sun Salutingp. 202
Exercising Your Yogic Solar Powerp. 202
Traveling through the 7-step kneeling salutationp. 203
Embarking on the 12-step sun salutationp. 204
Chapter 15 Recommended Routinesp. 207
Starting at the Very Beginningp. 208
Beginner 1, Part Ip. 208
Beginner 1, Part IIp. 216
Beginner 2, Part Ip. 219
Beginner 2, Part IIp. 223
Reaching Beyond the Beginningp. 227
Part IV Creative Yogap. 229
Chapter 16 Designing Your Own Yoga Programp. 231
Cooking Up a Creative Course of Exercise with the Classic Formulap. 232
Enjoying a Postural Feast: The 30- to 60-Minute General Conditioning Routinep. 233
Attunementp. 234
Warm-upp. 235
Standing posturesp. 237
Balancing postures (optional)p. 238
Restp. 239
Abdominalsp. 239
Compensation and preparationp. 240
Inversion (optional)p. 240
Compensation for inversions and preparation for back bendsp. 242
Back bendsp. 242
Compensation for back bendsp. 243
Preparation for forward bendsp. 244
Forward bendsp. 245
Compensation for forward bendsp. 245
Preparation for twistsp. 246
Twistsp. 246
Compensation for twistsp. 247
Relaxationp. 247
Making the Most of Little: A 15-Minute Routinep. 248
General conditioningp. 248
Preparation for meditation and Yoga breathingp. 249
Satisfying an Appetite for a Quick Pick-Me-Up: A 5-Minute Routinep. 249
Chapter 17 "Prop Art" -- The Why and How of Simple Propsp. 251
Deciphering the Pros and Cons of Propsp. 252
Exploring the advantages of propsp. 252
Looking at drawbacks to propsp. 252
Going Prop Hunting at Homep. 253
Working with a wallp. 253
Using a blanket for more than beddingp. 253
Choosing a chair for comfortp. 254
Stretching with a strapp. 254
Searching Out Props You May Want to Purchasep. 255
Building better postures with the help of blocksp. 255
Bolstering support with pillowsp. 256
Facing the many applications of eye bagsp. 256
Turning to inversion propsp. 257
Relaxing with harmony screensp. 259
Avoiding Snake Oil Salesmenp. 259
Part V Yoga as a Lifestylep. 261
Chapter 18 Yoga throughout the Dayp. 263
Living Your Day the Yoga Wayp. 264
Turning your face toward a Yoga morningp. 264
Practicing Yoga throughout the dayp. 267
Incorporating Yoga into nighttime routinesp. 268
Sleeping peacefully with lucid dreamingp. 268
Aiming toward awareness through lucid wakingp. 269
Approaching mindfulness in deep sleepp. 270
Seeking Your Higher Self by Discovering the True Youp. 270
Observing yourselfp. 270
Understanding yourselfp. 271
Practicing self-disciplinep. 271
Transcending yourselfp. 272
Making Inroads into the Eightfold Pathp. 272
Vowing to do no harmp. 273
Telling the truth all the timep. 274
Stealing means more than material theftp. 275
Observing chastity in thought and deedp. 275
Acquiring more by living with lessp. 276
Adding other moral practicesp. 277
Exercising Yogic Self-Disciplinep. 277
Purifying mind and bodyp. 278
Calming the quest through contentmentp. 278
Focusing with austerityp. 278
Partnering research with self-studyp. 279
Relating to a higher principlep. 280
Chapter 19 Sex and Yoga Make Good Bedfellowsp. 281
Sharing Energy: A Bundle of You and the Universep. 282
Binding your energy through habit patternsp. 282
Telling the truth about sexual energyp. 283
Cultivating Healthy Sexual Attitudesp. 283
Experiencing happiness beyond sexual pleasurep. 284
Generating subtle energyp. 285
Appreciating Sexual Expression--the Yoga Wayp. 285
Emphasizing Vitality with Sexual-Specific Exercisesp. 287
Ashvini mudrap. 287
Mula bandhap. 287
Chapter 20 Meditation and the Higher Reaches of Yogap. 289
Playing Concentrationp. 290
Unleashing your essencep. 291
Putting your body into itp. 292
Practicing Meditationp. 293
Cakras: Your wheels of fortunep. 293
Following a few guidelines for successful meditationp. 294
Maintaining right bodily posturep. 297
Overcoming obstacles to meditationp. 298
Adding sounds to meditationp. 301
Breathing mindfullyp. 302
Walking meditationp. 303
Sharing love through meditationp. 304
Sparking wellness with a little "light" exercisep. 304
Working toward Ecstasyp. 306
Reaching toward Enlightenmentp. 306
Chapter 21 Yoga for Special Situationsp. 309
Befriend Your Back with Yogap. 310
Five-step plan for a healthy backp. 310
Yoga back classp. 311
Partnering Yoga and Pregnancyp. 324
Enjoying Yoga support as you and the baby grow onp. 325
Exercising caution during pregnancyp. 326
Finding the right posture for pregnancyp. 327
Practicing Yoga during laborp. 328
Continuing yogic exercise after pregnancy (postpartum)p. 328
Cycling Yoga into Your View of Menstruation and PMSp. 329
Practicing Yoga through Midlife and Beyondp. 329
Working through menopausep. 329
Aging gracefully from the male perspectivep. 330
Bones of steelp. 330
Keeping the pounds at bayp. 331
Introducing Children to Yogap. 331
Part VI The Part of Tensp. 333
Chapter 22 Ten Tips for a Great Yoga Practicep. 335
Understand Yogap. 335
Be Clear about Your Goals and Needsp. 336
Commit Yourself to Growthp. 336
Stay for the Long Haulp. 336
Develop Good Habits from the Beginningp. 337
Vary Your Routine to Avoid Boredomp. 337
Make Awareness and Breath Your Alliesp. 337
Do Your Best and Don't Worry about the Restp. 338
Allow Your Body to Speak Upp. 338
Share Yogap. 338
Chapter 23 Ten Great Places in the U.S.A. to Discover Yogap. 339
Kripalup. 340
Anandap. 340
Himalayan International Institutep. 340
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centerp. 340
Satchidananda Ashramp. 341
B. K. S. lyengar Yoga Institute of San Franciscop. 341
American Yoga Associationp. 341
The Pierce Programp. 342
Yoga Worksp. 342
Unity Woods Yoga Centerp. 342
Chapter 24 Ten Good Reasons to Practice Yogap. 343
Yoga Helps You Maintain, Recover, or Improve Your Healthp. 343
Yoga Makes You Fit and Energeticp. 344
Yoga Balances Your Mindp. 344
Yoga Is a Powerful Aid for Personal Growthp. 344
Yoga Is Truly Comprehensive and Integrativep. 345
Yoga Helps You Harmonize Your Social Relationshipsp. 345
Yoga Enhances Your Awarenessp. 345
Yoga Can Be Combined with Other Disciplinesp. 346
Yoga Is Easy and Convenientp. 346
Yoga Is Liberatingp. 346
Appendix Additional Yoga Resourcesp. 347
Discovering Yoga Organizationsp. 347
Yoga therapy and psychospiritual healingp. 347
Teacher training and academic programsp. 348
Corporate Yogap. 348
Yoga research organizationsp. 348
Other Significant Organizations in the United States and Canadap. 349
Major overseas organizationsp. 350
Europep. 350
Latin Americap. 350
Australia and New Zealandp. 350
Indiap. 350
Tapping into Yoga Propsp. 351
Checking Out Top-notch Web Sitesp. 351
Lingering at the Yoga Libraryp. 352
Reference worksp. 352
General introductions (with a traditional orientation)p. 352
Hatha Yoga (beginners and advanced)p. 352
Raja Yoga (classical Yoga)p. 353
Jnana Yogap. 353
Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yogap. 353
Tantra and Kundalini Yogap. 353
Meditation, mantras, and prayerp. 353
Somatics and Somatic Yogap. 354
Yoga therapyp. 354
Yoga and wellnessp. 354
Diet and healthp. 354
Ayurveda and herbsp. 354
Sexuality and spiritualityp. 354
Inspirational Yoga literaturep. 355
Sanskrit classics on Yogap. 355
General Yoga topicsp. 355
Peeking into Periodicalsp. 356
Hearing All the Latest on Audio- and Videotapesp. 357
Audiotapesp. 357
Videotapesp. 357
Hatha Yoga and meditationp. 357
Spiritual teachersp. 358
Indexp. 359
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