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Available for Pre-Order on Amazon – To be Released in May – The Power of Ashtanga Yoga: Developing a Practice That Will Bring You Strength, Flexibility, and Inner Peace
Natural Awakenings Miami, May 2013

The Power of Ashtanga Yoga: Developing a Practice That Will Bring You Strength, Flexibility, and Inner Peace

$21.95

Ashtanga Yoga is a popular and athletic type of yoga developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, one of the great modern gurus. In this book, Kino MacGregor, one of Jois’s disciples, explains Ashtanga’s history and tradition; the essential connection of breath, posture, and gaze that is the core of the practice; how Ashtanga philosophy manifests in dietary and lifestyle choices; and how Ashtanga is fundamentally a path of spiritual transformation and development. MacGregor draws from her own personal experiences to illuminate this fascinating practice. She also describes and demonstrates the entire Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series in 125 halftones, which includes standing, seated, backbending, opening, and closing postures.

This book is appropriate for those who are new to Ashtanga Yoga and want a solid, engaging introduction to the practice, and for more experienced practitioners who will be inspired by MacGregor and interested in her expertise and her holistic view of the practice.

Category: .

Product Description

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Shambhala (May 7, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611800056
ISBN-13: 978-1611800050
Shipping Weight: 13 ounces

 

Click below to preorder:

The Power of Ashtanga Yoga: Developing a Practice That Will Bring You Strength, Flexibility, and Inner Peace–Includes the complete Primary Series [Paperback]

 

Media professionals should contact publicity@shambhala.com with review copy requests.

 

Contact: Steven M Pomije
Marketing Communications Manager
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
ph: (617) 424-0030 ext. 232
e: spomije@shambhala.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

As America’s Interest in Yoga Grows, So Does Interest in New and More Refined and
Focused Practice Techniques New book by the founder of the Miami Life Center and a rising
star in the yoga world, Kino MacGregor, reveals her unique experience and the lessons she
learned from the legendary yoga master Krishna Pattabhi Jois

BOSTON, MA (Shambhala Publications) May 1, 2013—Kino MacGregor’s yoga experience is
uncommon, and so are her techniques: she is one of only a few people in the United
States to receive certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga from its founder, the late Sri K.
Pattabhi Jois, who is widely-acknowledged to be the greatest Ashtanga master of our age,
and the author of Yoga Mala. MacGregor had been practicing Ashtanga Yoga for less
than a year when she put herself on a boat to Mysore, India to meet the teacher of her
dreams. “I was this American girl with very little knowledge of Eastern iconography, and
suddenly there I was in the Hindu version of Lord of the Rings.”

Now, over a decade later, MacGregor is a an internationally-known Ashtanga yoga
instructor in her own right—named one of yoga’s rising luminaries by Yoga Journal—
with over 5 million viewers on her popular YouTube channel. She shares her experience
and expertise in a new book, The Power of Ashtanga Yoga: Developing a Practice That
Will Bring You Strength, Flexibility, and Inner Peace (June 2013), published this
summer by Shambhala Publications.

Ashtanga Yoga is a graceful, athletic type of yoga that has become extremely popular in
recent years. MacGregor gives a comprehensive view of the practice and shows how
Ashtanga is fundamentally a path of spiritual transformation and personal development—
not just an exercise routine, but a body awareness technique that helps you experience
deeper levels of peace, increased energy, better health, and greater happiness. Her clear,
step-by-step instruction of the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series—included in the book—is
a wonderful initiation for those who are new to the practice, and it will motivate
experienced practitioners toward perfection of the form. Throughout, MacGregor shares
her own personal yoga journey and her devotion to yoga as a path of self-realization in a
way that will inspire all practitioners.

The author urges that with regular daily practice, you will see your body transform, feel
more energetic, and actually be happier and more compassionate. Says MacGregor, “If
your body is crying out for health and healing, and your heart yearning for a more peaceful life, yoga is an accessible and life-changing practice. Yoga is not a quick fix, but
all the benefits that you experience will be lasting and true.”

KINO MACGREGOR is the author of Sacred Fire (Harmony Books), and the founder of
Miami Yoga magazine. In 2006, she and her husband, Tim Feldmann, founded the Miami
Life Center, where they teach daily classes, workshops, and intensives. She has an
international following as a teacher, and regularly appears at seminars and yoga
conferences worldwide. Her popular YouTube channel reaches more than 5 million
viewers. Featured in Yoga Journal as one of the top twenty-one “rising luminaries of
yoga,” she has also appeared in Yoga Mind Body Spirit, Yoga + Joyful Living, Travel &
Leisure magazine, and on CBS’s Today. She lives in Miami, Florida.

Visit the author online at kinoyoga.com, or find out more at Facebook:
www.facebook.com/pages/Kino-Yoga/183551204272

Learn more about Ashtanga Yoga from Kina MacGregor on YouTube:
www.youtube.com/kinoyoga

Availability: FL, nationwide via arrangement, and via telephone
To request a review copy of The Power of Ashtanga Yoga, or to arrange an
interview, please contact: publicity@shambhala.com.

The Power of Ashtanga Yoga | Health & Fitness/Yoga | ISBN: 978‐1‐61180‐005‐0
US $21.95 CAN $25.95 | Trade Paperback | On Sale Date: June 4, 2013 | 240 pp
Shambhala Publications, Inc., | Boston & London | Distributed by Random House

###

About Shambhala Publications, Inc.:
For more than four decades, Shambhala Publications has been independently publishing books
for enlightened living. Each of our books, whatever its subject, is an expression of our belief
that there’s a positive and forward-looking approach to every aspect of our lives. Our imprints
include Snow Lion, Trumpeter, Weatherhill, and Roost Books. Visit us at Shambhala.com.

Reviews

  1. :

    Via elephantjournal.com
    on Mar 12, 2013
    Book Review: The Power of Ashtanga Yoga by Kino
    MacGregor. ~ Amanda Perez
    Source: chapters.indigo.ca via Ashley on Pinterest
    Head to any bookstore, whether brick and mortar or online and you will find a
    wide variety of yoga books—all will have different titles and claim to have the
    secrets to yoga and ground breaking practices that will literally change your life.

    Knowing this, I am always just a little hesitant to take on another yoga book. Most of the time
    you can take a variety of books on yoga set them side by side and you will notice that they all
    say essentially the same thing. I was pleasantly surprised that The Power of Ashtanga Yoga by
    Kino MacGregor is not one of those books.

    The foundation of the book is the same as you will get in any yoga manual. Part I is a collection
    of information about the history of yoga in general, the history of Ashtanga yoga as well as a
    description of how it differs from other forms of yoga (Ashtanga for instance is broken into six
    groups of poses that must be studied in order). It also has a wonderful section on our
    relationships to food and how yoga can help us to realize these relationships and come to terms
    with them.

    Part II of the book is the instructional part of the book. This part of the book is very detailed (you
    can easily compare it to the instructions given by Iyengar in The Light on Yoga). It also contains many wonderful photographs that show exactly what is described in the descriptions of the
    asanas.

    The best section of Part II is the section on Bandhas. I have read many yoga books that try to
    explain how to achieve a Bandha but usually the language becomes poetic and if you have not
    been introduced to the bandhas in a class the reader will more than likely finish the section
    having no idea how to achieve the bandha. MacGregor, however, lays out the bandha
    instructions clearly and concisely and it is for this conversation alone that I believe this book is a
    great addition to any yoga book collection.

    The Power of Ashtanga Yoga also contains a wonderful collection of Appendices that outline the
    Sun Salutations and a Glossary that is impressively comprehensive.

    As a resource, the book is fantastic and would be a great addition to any library no matter what
    type of yoga you practice. Perhaps the most unique thing about this book though is the voice. It
    is not often that you can pick up an instruction manual and feel as if you are connecting with the
    person; from the introduction to the glossary, MacGregor lays it out there for you and inserts her
    own experiences so you feel as if your time spent with the book is like time spent in the company
    of a knowledgeable yoga instructor.

    I recommend this book to anyone interested in yoga; no matter what type of yoga you practice
    the advice and knowledge between the covers is universal and accessible. I personally cannot
    wait for the publication of this book in May of this year…it will be on my shelf right next to
    another classic: The Light on Yoga.

    My book rating: 4 of 5 stars

    NOTE: I was given this book by the publisher to read and review. In no way does that affect my
    opinion of the book or the content of this review.
    Amanda Perez earned her RYT200 yoga certification and Level I Reiki healer
    certification in 2012 from Reflex Arts in Sarasota, FL. She currently works as a photographer. In
    addition to photography Amanda spends a large portion of her time reviewing books for various
    publishers and publications. She resides in Florida with her husband and their eleven year old
    border collie. Amanda has been blogging at Amanda’s Weekly Zen since 2004.

  2. :

    Via huffingtonpoast.com on May 20, 2013
    Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-penny/yoga-book_b_3296318.html

    The Power of a Yoga Book

    Yoga is a personal journey. Everyone has a different journey, and there are plenty of ways to choose from. There’s a plethora of books, magazines, DVDs, and information all over the Web. Any major city has dozens of studios to choose from. With so much out there, it’s very difficult to decide how to start. I’ve sampled a lot of yoga over the last couple years. To be perfectly frank, there are very few differences in the teaching you’ll get from each studio. I realize many yogis would debate me on that point, which highlights one of the biggest problems I’ve noticed in the yoga community: a disconnect between experienced yogis and people off the street. This is what drew me to Kino MacGregor.

    Kino is one of the most advanced Ashtanga yogis in the world. She’s created a large library of yoga videos, both online and on DVD. She writes for various publications (including The Huffington Post), and has now released her second book: The Power of Ashtanga Yoga. While her first book is a great autobiography for those interested in learning about the yoga journey, it’s her new book that accomplishes something fantastic.

    An Alternative to Traditional Yoga Classes

    Many yoga teachers seem to be afraid of imparting all of their knowledge. They hold back because they view their books, videos, etc. simply as marketing tools to get you into their classes. It’s just merchandise, and you’re just a consumer. This train of thought leads to these yogis holding back important information. Kino does the opposite, proving both her teaching ability and business savvy by explaining everything in as much detail as possible. Between her books and videos, she easily imparts more than 200 hours’ worth of yogic wisdom for anyone willing to put in the effort. Instead of only giving you a sample in hopes that you’ll come to her and give her your money like many other teachers, she gives every ounce of information she can fit into each situation she’s teaching.

    Because of her deep well of knowledge, The Power of Ashtanga Yoga works on its own as a teacher. In it, Kino manages to incorporate everything you ever wanted to know from a yogi. She seamlessly incorporates personal experiences, useful gems of wisdom, and detailed technical knowledge of the practice. Rather than bombarding you with an overload of technical information or droning on and on about generic information as most yoga books tend to do, Kino stops quite often to relate the information on a personal level. She manages this quite well because she doesn’t hold back. Sometimes it feels like she knows the objections you have to a concept before even you do.

    The Heroic Journey

    The book starts off with Kino introducing herself and her personal journey into yoga. In doing this, she steps down from the imaginary pedestal students tend to put their yoga teachers on. She’s not some superhero performing feats you could never achieve. She’s just a person who invites you to walk alongside her on the journey while pointing out different paths. It makes the rest of the book easier to get through by turning a lecture into a conversation.

    The Power of Ashtanga Yoga isn’t just about Kino, though. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The book gets into the nitty gritty of yoga theory. Kino summarizes the most important information you’ll find in books used for most teacher trainings, such as the Yoga Sutras and Light on Yoga. She outlines the eight limbs, the history, the benefits, the breathing and focus techniques, and the optimal diet of yoga. This information is vital information to understand during your yoga practice. It’s not just bending. That being said, from there, the book goes into the bending…

    The Ashtanga Primary Series

    Not only is there an illustrated overview of the poses from the Ashtanga Primary Series featuring Kino in her trademark sports bra and shorts, there’s also a technical breakdown of each individual pose. Most yoga books I’ve read simply show a pose and a couple alternatives. Kino does much more. She breaks down in detail every movement that’s required to get into the pose. There are pictures to help you along. She lists the benefits of each pose. She explains what you should look out for and how to avoid injury or overexertion.

    After guiding you through a full Primary Series from front to back, Kino continues imparting her yoga wisdom by explaining some yoga anatomy and providing more detail on some of the more advanced yoga techniques. This is information you’ll find quite valuable as you progress through your practice. She ends the book with various “cheat sheets” containing the traditional Ashtanga opening and closing chants, breath counts, picture guides, and a glossary of yoga terms.

    The Final Word

    All in all, The Power of Ashtanga Yoga advances Kino’s goal of bringing yoga to the masses. It’s a great entry point for anyone considering a yoga practice. It’s also a necessary edition to any advanced yogi’s library. Kino gets a lot of blowback from yoga purists who disagree her methods, but her book goes a long way in silencing these critics. The Power of Ashtanga Yoga is as close as you can get to having a world class yoga teacher with you wherever you go.

  3. :

    Tuesday, 4 June 2013
    Via http://grimmly2007.blogspot.fr/2013/06/book-review-kinos-new-book-power-of.html?m=1
    Book Review : Kino’s new book The Power of Ashtanga Yoga

    ——————-
    “I highly recommend The Power of Ashtanga Yoga. Not only is it chock-full of practical advice and tips for the beginner and for those with injuries or obstacles, it also treats asana practice as a fine contemplative art by its emphasis on smooth, focused movement in and out of the postures in sync with the breath. Its presentation of the subtle and deeper aspects of yoga is clear and accessible, making this book useful for all types of practitioners.”—Richard Freeman, author of The Mirror of Yoga

    “The Quiet Strength of a Woman’s Body
    Contemporary dogma of what is possible for men and women contribute to what yoga practitioners believe is possible for male and female bodies. If you are a woman, you may wonder whether you are the wrong shape, size, weight, gender to be able to catapult your hips through the air and resign yourself to being just flexible. But this type of thinking undermines a true sense of the power for either gender.
    In yoga there is an unfair assumption that all men effortlessly perform gravity-defying lifts and all women snake their way into positions a contortionist would envy. While the mind-set of teachers and students often perpetuates some traditional gender roles, reality tells a different story. There are men who are hyper mobile and unable to lift their butts off the ground, and there are women who are stiff as a board but can balance unwaveringly”. Kino Macgregor -The Power of Ashtanga yoga p172

    ———————-

    So Kino’s new book is finally out, this very day I believe. In fact I noticed this morning that she’s posted a video on her Youtube channel (link below) where you can get a free copy of the book just by entering a comment, the comments then going into a draw.

    http://youtu.be/GrY6BXe1oQc

    Good place to mention too perhaps that my own copy of the book is a free review copy sent to me by the publishers Shambhala. That wouldn’t stop me from being critical of the book but so far I’m struggling to think of anything bad to say about it.

    Shambhala are of course an excellent publishing house, worth taking a look at their site especially this page about the history of the company and it’s approach to publishing (not saying this just because they sent me a free book but I loved this page, interesting stuff).

    http://www.shambhala.com/about-shambhala
    So lets get started.

    I remember there was a bit of fuss about the cover art to Kino’s book when we first caught a glimpse of it last year (lets get it out of the way before somebody raises it again).

    You can play yourselves….what’s wrong with this Asana?

    She’s looking up, the gaze appears to be broomadhya drishti…but hang on, she’s holding her heels not her toes, can’t be Ubbaya padagusthasana. Well, if she’s holding her heels surely it must be Urdhva Mukkha padangusthasana….. but then wouldn’t the gaze be nasagrai drishti…?

    And so it goes, Kino does seem to attract criticism

    Mystery solved

    There’s the cover art Figure 7.46 below, what I like to call hidden asana and this is a nice feature of the book in that Kino focuses not just on the asana itself but stages of it’s entry and exit.

    When the book arrived I showed it to a colleague at work who asked “Is this the one every makes a fuss about for wearing shorts?” In Black and White it’s hard to see what all the fuss was about.

    I like the b and w, this isn’t a glossy picture book but a serious treatment of the nature, attainment and purpose of asana in the Ashtanga practice of the Krishnamachaya/Jois lineage. It has a very strong focus on the spiritual dimension of the practice, of the energetics of practice, of the breath and the bandhas (and how to actually engage and employ them).

    I’m happy with my first impressions as posted on fb over the weekend.

    “Kino’s new book- review copy. Take a moment and think what you were expecting and hoping Kino’s book would be like…….yep, it’s EXACTLY llike that. Every posture crammed full of the tips, hints and encouragement we’ve come to expect from her DVDs and YouTube videos. Plus some surprises. Home Ashtangi’s will love it, but teachers too for an endless supply of ideas to help their students. Kino at her best. Had planned on being a stern and objective critic but she had me with hello ( her intro chapters anyway). Great job Kino, thank you for sharing all you’ve learned in those hundreds of workshops. Main review to come on my blog probably Tuesday assuming I can put my Mac back together”.

    Must be something about the book I can be critical of…

    Kino does refer to her teacher Sri K Pattabhi Jois throughout as Jois, that’s irritating right… although it’s something I tend to do on this blog also. I do the same with Krishnamacharya, Ramaswami, Iyengar, Heidegger…. for some reason not Macgregor.

    “When I arrived in mysore, far from my own culture, I had no idea what to expect. A student of 2001 academe, I was skeptical of the idea of a guru. The nearly thirty-hour journey took me across two continents, through three airports, and down old dirt roads where cows wandered freely. A taxi finally dropped me off at the Ashtanga Yoga Nilayam in an old neighbourhood of lakshmipuram. I walked up the steps to the back-alley entrance and found Sri K. Pattabhi Jois teaching a group of twelve sweaty yogis; many more were waiting their turn. He turned, looked me in the eyes, and asked if I was there to practice. Before doubt surfaced, my heart opened, I fell to my knees, saying, “Yes, I’m here to practice. Thank you Guruji”. I knew I had met my teacher- not only because I had seen him in a dream but because his very presence opened my heart, eased my pain, and brought me peace. From that day forward, I called him Guruji, an honorific title that students use to indicate acceptance of their teacher as their spiritual guru. For the remainder of this book, I will refer to him as Jois for the sake of clarity, but in my heart, he will always be Guruji”. p. xvi

    OK. we’ll give her that, but how about the Index, I love index’s why do so many books not bother to include one these days.

    I’m scraping the barrel to think of things to complain about here but really, what’s not to like, they’ve done a good job.
    ————

    No surprise to anyone who’s followed Kino’s work perhaps but yes there is a section on jumping back and through including the lotus jump back from padmasana should you choose to explore it. This is found in a chapter on Strength : The Yoga of true power where Kino looks more closely at the bandhas.

    The strength chapter also includes a section on The Quiet Strength of a Woman’s body, here’s a taste of it.

    And it’s true, I never thought that I’d be flexible enough for, I don’t know… Kapo with heels say or Marichi H, Yoga Dandasana, the side splits Sama konasana, all of which I’ve managed to explore over time.

    I’ve mentioned Intermediate and Advanced postures there to make the point and I did wonder if Kino would be bringing out a book on Intermediate and Advanced series in the future but in a sense she doesn’t have to. She goes into such detail in this book on the Primary series that if you manage to develop the breath and bandha focus, activate the networks of movements, bring together all the different elements that bring about comfort and steadiness in an asana then this will carry over into any other asana, whatever the series, the principles are the same.

    OK, perhaps some more on backbending, she touches on them in this book, they do have their own section with an introduction but it’s only really Urdhva danhurasana and dropping back and paschimottanasana as a counter. The backbend sequence from second series and the leg behind head postures would be nice for a Kino treatment. Shame this book doesn’t go into both Primary and Intermediate series the same as David Swenson’s book but then with Kino’s attention to detail that would mean another 150 pages.

    ————

    Kino is an enabler.

    This book is all about what is possible and, more practically, how it’s possible as well as the possibilities this practice opens up.

    “While the Spiritual benefits of yoga are central to this ancient path, the physical aspect is what draws most students. It is certainly true practicing yoga leads to better health, less stress and a happier more peaceful mind. But while it may be tempting to think of yoga as merely another exercise routine, it’s real healing benefits come from it’s integrated approach to working with the body and mind” p3

    In the ‘Strength’ chapter at the end of the book Kino focuses on the bandhas in detail but in a very down to earth practical way. When I first started Ashtanga I remember coming up against, “…engage the bandhas and jump back”.

    “…engage the bandhas”, that’s great but HOW do I engage the bandhas, well Kino goes into graphic detail…

    She tells you to..

    Squeeze…

    and exactly where to squeeze..

    to feel….
    to draw….
    to increase….
    to activate…
    to contract…
    to lift…

    “…Over time you will be able to activate this whole network of movements in one fluid contraction”. p175

    This is how I’ve come to see this practice myself, each asana, each vinyasa, entails a number of elements and we need to employ all of them effectively. Thing is we all pick up or more naturally employ one or more those elements at different stages of our practice, we all end up with a different missing piece or pieces. Kino lays out all the pieces, it might be nothing more than a lean forward at just the right time that makes the difference for you in a particular asana or a reminder to keep the pelvis level to help with your balance or the drawing up of the bandhas in an already, naturally stable posture that actually activates and (en)lightens it.

    This enabling feeds through the whole book, every posture has a wealth of tips and hints for engaging X, facilitating Y and achieving Z. It’s very much a hands-on book, the focus is on helping you not just to get into an asana but to achieve greater comfort and steadiness (in life as well as in practice). As such I find myself asking ‘Who isn’t this book for?’ It’s perfect for the beginner whether starting at in a shala with a teacher or at home with a book and a dvd (she mentions the home practitioner. But it’s also for somebody who has practiced for a number of years and wants to not just tidy up the alignment of a posture but to achieve greater facility at every stage of the practice. Many of the instructions or rather suggestions that Kino includes I’ve come across before, most no doubt from her own Youtube channel and all it’s tutorials but never so many in one place and in and for every posture. As such this is also strikes me as an excellent resource for the teacher.

    But then it would be, Kino has been conducting hundreds of workshops all over the world over the last, what, seven years or so. The workshop environment strikes me as very different from adjusting in a Mysore room. I’m sure Kino could produce a book on silent Mysore adjustments but this book is a dialogue with the student. She’s listened to her own body in her own practice of course but also to all those workshopee’s she has worked with over the years and and then of course also to her own students in Miami with whom she’s worked no doubt for a number of years, watching and assisting as their practice flourishes.

    Amazon.com gives a good preview of the first part of the book. Here’s the contents page.

    In each of those chapters we find several sub sections,

    My yoga Journey
    The heart of Ashtanga
    Practical guidelines for yoga practice
    Getting started in your practice
    Listening to the wisdom of your body
    The ancient origins of Yoga poses
    The origins of Ashtanga Yoga
    Ashtanga Spiritual practice
    Ashtanga Physical practice
    Finding your teacher
    The heroic Healing journey of Yoga
    How yoga poses really work
    Drishti; single pointed gaze
    Gazing with the lamp of knowledge
    The Magic of the breath
    Relax and breath into it
    Ujjayi: The breath of life
    Granthis
    The ritual of Vinyasa
    The Ashtanga yoga diet
    The hidden power of food
    Ahimsa; The Yogic Diet of Nonviolence
    Ayurvedix Guidelines
    Cleansing and Purification
    Practice yoga. heal the planetThe spiritual Journey of Asana: Yoga beyond bending
    Stretching your mind
    Walking the spiritual path
    Life lessons on the yoga superhighway
    Revela your true self
    Complete healing
    Strength: The yoga of true power
    The quiet strength of a woman’s body
    Bandhas
    Mula bandha
    Udiyana bandha
    Foundation
    Direction in strength
    How to jump back
    How to jump through
    How to jump back from lotus position
    Chakrasana
    Opening mantra
    Closing mantra
    Sanskrit vinyasa count

    for example here’s

    Kino on the breath…

    “If you focus solely on attaining the asanas when you practice, you will most likely sacrifice the breath for the form, but the ends do not justify the means in Yoga. In fact, the means themselves are the ends. Yoga is about the journey and the process and if there is no space to allow a deep inhalation and exhalation to be your guide, there may never be space for you to be calm in your life” p27

    Kino on ujjayi

    “Each breath has four distinct components; the inhalations, the space between the inhalation and exhalation, the exhalation and the space between the exhalation and inhalation. It is important to give a gentle pause between the breaths so you float effortlessly for a moment between each inhalation and exhalation. When you advance to more in-depth breath work that includes holding or retaining the breath the space between breaths will be crucial.” p28

    Kino on Method

    “The Ashtanga yoga practice recommends that you practice six days a week. traditionally, this practice was meant to be done in the Mysore style” in which you follow your own breath and movement rather than the guidence of a teacher leading a class through the same movements….Memorising the postures allows you to focus internally, which is the real goal of yoga. When you do not know what you are doing next your attention will always be on your teacher rather than within yourself. Once you memorise the sequence of postures that your teacher determines is right for you, the entire practice moves to a deeper, subconscious level” p12

    …and on a six day practice

    “Taking a six-day- a-week practice is often hard for for new students, so I usually recommend that they begin with three days. Once they establish that level of regularity, they can add one day every six months until they reach the full six days a week. To make the transition from a fitness orientated approach to yoga to a devotional one, you need to practice consistently and regularly. A daily spiritual ritual in which you take time to connect internally to a deep sense of yourself requires dedication. The six day requirement is meant to develop the kind of mental, spiritual and devotional determination needed to progress along the internal path of yoga” p12

    ——————

    The Amazon preview looks mostly at the first couple of chapters but lets take a look at how the asana are treated in Part 2 of the book to show what I’ve been talking about.

    I’ve chosen these two mainly because they scan nicely on two pages, some of the others spill over into a third or fourth page. Also in my comments somebody mentioned they were struggling with Utthita Hasta Paddangusthasana (don’t we all).

    Notice that in the sequence beginning with Utthita Hasta Paddangusthasanashe’s addressing, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced practitioners, we all do primary even if only on Friday’s. Marichiyasana D is a good example of this, Kino includes beginner modifications, a standard intermediate expression and the advanced version of the pose with both sit bones down.

    But perhaps this is too much, too overwhelming for the beginner. In Kino’s defines the levels of proficiency are well indicated.

    And Baddha Konasana because it’s a favourite of mine and also because Kino mentions…

    “My teacher would recommend that students who felt very tight in their hips hold this pose for up to fifty breaths”.

    I tend to stay in Baddha Konasana for ten, fifteen long slow breaths but have never stayed for more than twenty-five, something to explore tomorrow perhaps.

    I should also mention that the asana sections each have an introduction outlining the characteristics of the group of postures. So there’s a Surynamaskara section, Standing section, seated, backbends and finishing.

    There’s also an appendix outlining the vinyasa count for every posture, nice and handy having it in a separate section. Petri found a way to include it on the same page, Gregor too but I think I prefer it all in one place.

    and there’s a practice cheat sheet.

    Still can’t decide about this. Make the pictures smaller and you can have the whole sequence on a two page spread for ease of reference for beginners.

    Also a nice, quite extensive, glossary too with a strong focus on how Pattabhi Jois would introduce these terms

    I’m till struggling to find something to frown at with the book but mostly I found myself saying “Yes” again and again as I would find Kino presenting approaches to aspects of the practice that I’ve come to settle on in my own path. This book is very much part of and of the tradition and yet not in anyway dogmatic, that’s a neat trick. There is a lot going on in the book, it’s smart but approachable. Kino seems to have a knack for presenting the practice in a way that draws you in but without dumbing it down.

    I’ll be coming back again and again to the asana descriptions of course (sure there’ll be more posts to come on it), can’t flick through it without wanting to jump on the mat to try something, and as soon as I finish my practice I want to grab the book to check how she approaches a particular asana or vinyasa.

    On my next day off I want to work through it posture by posture while on the mat, perhaps a post to come on that.

    But I’ll also be coming back to it for the ideas around the physical elements of practice, many of them will strike you as obvious as if they are things we’ve known all along but never verbalised , but timely reminders all the same and nicely put.

    “If you approach your practice from the perspective of attaining the perfect asana, sooner or later you will fail. even the strongest and most flexible person will get injured or grow older one day. Eventually a new generation of stronger, more flexible students come through. When all this happens, it is not time to quit or punish yourself. Moments of perceived failure are often when the most yoga happens. Sometimes we have to gain the perfect yoga body and the perfect yoga poses just to ‘lose” it to injury or age; thus, we see that the whole point of the journey has nothing to do with asana after all. Yoga asks you to tap into a place within yourself that has faith in results that are not immediately evident. ” p52

    (I did know that didn’t I?)

  4. :

    I love this book. I am now reading it through for the third time, more slow and in depht, by reflecting, incorporating in my own practice. This book not only gives me the neccessary background for safe practice, but also hands on suggestions for improvement from someone who has already walked the path and managed to come so very far. Thank you Kino Mc Gregor for the book and for very enlightening and inspirational ashtanga two week course together with Tim Feldman at Miami Life Center, July 2013.

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