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The first yoga text to outline a step-by-step sequence for developing a complete practice according to viniyoga--yoga adapted to the needs of the individual. • A contemporary classic by a world-renowned teacher. • This new edition adds thirty-two poems by Krishnamacharya that capture the essence of his teachings. Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who lived to be over 100 yearThe first yoga text to outline a step-by-step sequence for developing a complete practice according to viniyoga--yoga adapted to the needs of the individual. • A contemporary classic by a world-renowned teacher. • This new edition adds thirty-two poems by Krishnamacharya that capture the essence of his teachings. Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who lived to be over 100 years old, was one of the greatest yogis of the modern era. Elements of Krishnamacharya's teaching have become well known around the world through the work of B. K. S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, and Indra Devi, who all studied with Krishnamacharya. Krishnamacharya's son T. K. V. Desikachar lived and studied with his father all his life and now teaches the full spectrum of Krishnamacharya's yoga. Desikachar has based his method on Krishnamacharya's fundamental concept of viniyoga, which maintains that practices must be continually adapted to the individual's changing needs to achieve the maximum therapeutic value. In The Heart of Yoga Desikachar offers a distillation of his father's system as well as his own practical approach, which he describes as "a program for the spine at every level--physical, mental, and spiritual." This is the first yoga text to outline a step-by-step sequence for developing a complete practice according to the age-old principles of yoga. Desikachar discusses all the elements of yoga--poses and counterposes, conscious breathing, meditation, and philosophy--and shows how the yoga student may develop a practice tailored to his or her current state of health, age, occupation, and lifestyle. This is a revised edition of The Heart of Yoga....

Title : The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice
Author :
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ISBN : 9780892817641
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice Reviews

  • Ines
    2019-04-06 17:39

    When I first began yoga, I loved going to class but found my at-home practice to be uninspiring, so I really only practiced in class. I bought this book to help develop my personal practice. Unfortunately, I was a beginner and found this book to be over my head. I could see it was a good source about yoga, but it seemed so foreign, intimidating, and distant from my everyday life. I imagined it was written by someone who lives in a lovely, peaceful secluded place where they can just meditate and do yoga all day, and that the insights might not be relevant or easily applicable to my daily life in hectic Western society. So, I put this book aside on my shelf and forgot about it.Fast-forward to more than a year later. I became a more serious practitioner and became more aware of how Western yoga is drifting from yoga's original focus, and was interested in going deeper into the true, authentic practice of yoga. I understood the basics of asana, but became interested in moving deeper into understanding prana, improving my meditation practice, and learning about more of the philosophical aspects of yoga. I wanted to actively bring these things into my daily life. With this desire to go deeper, I remembered this book sitting on my shelf. I picked it up and became completely absorbed in it. Now, another year later, I am in yoga teacher training. This book is one of our required texts. Everyone in my class really enjoys it. I've given it as a gift to other people interested in yoga, and they've all loved it.It goes into detail about developing a solid personal practice, although it does present this at a more intermediate level. This book also discusses the goals of yoga beyond just expertise in asana, and it is a great resource for going deeper into your practice. I was wrong about it being so distant from my everyday life- it is actually written in a very approachable way, by someone who understands that its readers will be learning yoga while also facing the challenges of living in today's world. Desikachar's writing is clear and compassionate, and the book has so much to offer. Desikachar certainly understands his audience.I think this book is best suited for intermediate to advanced yoga students. However, I don't think anyone can go wrong by reading this book. Beginners would have a lot to gain from it, as it certainly sets a solid foundation in yoga. In the worst case, even if you do what I did and just put it aside and forget about it for a while, there will come a time where you will be ready for this book and it will be a gem in your hands.

  • Bernie Gourley
    2019-04-13 14:47

    This book’s author, T.K.V. Desikachar, was the son and student of T. Krishnamacharya. If you’re not a well-read and/or Indian yoga practitioner, there’s a good chance the latter name means nothing to you, and yet your practice has likely been influenced profoundly by him. He was the teacher of B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, and Indira Devi. Iyengar, who recently passed away, popularized the use of props (blocks, straps, bolsters, etc.) as a means to achieve proper alignment until one’s flexibility was sufficient to achieve perfect alignment without assistance. Jois developed the vigorous and flowing Ashtanga Vinyasa style of yoga, which is the direct ancestor of Power Yoga—a popular style among fitness buffs in the West. Indira Devi was a Westerner actress who took an Indian name and was among the first teachers to introduce yoga to America and to adapt it to American needs. While Desikachar wrote the book, his father’s presence is seen throughout the book in photos and quotations. After reading the book, it will not come as quite the surprise that T. Krishnamacharya was teacher to several of modern yoga’s most innovative teachers. A central concept of Krishnamacharya’s teaching philosophy was that yoga is a personal path that must be optimized to the individual. That’s what this book tries to do. Its aim is not to teach one yoga for all, but to help individuals tailor yoga to their own needs. The Heart of Yoga is divided into four parts. The first two parts form the core of the book, and make up the bulk of its length. The first introduces yoga at a basic level and then goes on to impart practical lessons on asana (poses), pranayama (breathing exercises), and bandha (locks.) The second part instructs on the philosophical aspect of yoga, and how an individual can bring these concepts into their life. This includes ideas that are traditionally associated with Yogic philosophy as well as those of Samkhya (Yoga and Samkhya are two of the six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy, and are closely related.) Part III of Desikachar’s book is his translation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras with commentary. Some will appreciate that the sutras are written in Sanskrit, a Romanized phonetical Sanskrit, and in English. In addition to this, Desikachar’s commentary not only elaborates on each sutra individually, but offers insight into how they are grouped and what meaning their organization conveys. For those who have read Yoga Sutras, you’ll know that they consist of 196 lines of instruction, each so laconic as to be cryptic. Commentary is essential, particularly if one is reading the translated sutras and doesn’t have the historical, cultural, or linguistic background to distill the meaning from these mega-concise aphorisms. Part IV is called the Yoganjalisaram, which is a poem of 32 stanzas each consisting of three to six lines. “Poem” might be a misleading description. Each Sloka (i.e. like a stanza) is a lesson in yoga. It touches on diet, physical technique, philosophy, and religion.In addition to what I thought were well-written, concise, and informative chapters, there are a number of ancillary features that are beneficial. There’s an appendix that describes some of the prominent historical texts that are commonly referred to throughout the book. Another appendix provides a series of asana sequences that are consistent with the teachings of Part I of the book. There is a glossary of terms that are used throughout the book. Up front there is an interview with T.K.V. Desikachar that deals mostly with his father’s approach to yoga. In addition to the many photos of Krishnamacharya, simple line drawings are put to good use to convey ideas where necessary. I think what I found so appealing about this book is that the author has a pragmatic, down-to-earth, and open-minded approach to yoga. Some yoga books are way out there in the stratosphere, and their ethereal qualities don’t inspire confidence in me that the author knows of what he/she speaks. Others are doctrinaire about absolutist beliefs and values one “must” hold to be a true yogi or yogini. Desikachar is neither an ideologue nor flighty. He may have benefited from his education as an engineer. His lessons are presented simply and practically, so as to give confidence that he knows of what he speaks. I’d recommend this book for any practitioners of yoga--be they beginner or advanced. It provides food for thought for bringing yoga into one’s life at a physical and psychological/philosophical level, and in a personal way.

  • Monica
    2019-04-18 11:25

    After reading so many books on yoga, this is probably the best that I have come across! I am extremely happy to have found and read this. I really believe that when you have a need, and articulate it, the right thing would come your way. Just like when it is said that the guru will appear when the student is ready, this book is most suited for me at this point of my practise.I find TKV Deshikachar's approach is similar to many of my own personal beliefs when practising and teaching yoga, so I find a lot of common ground and support in his words. The understanding I gained helps me to deepen my practise and gives me more confidence that I am on the right path.Deshikachar's father is the revered Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya who is also the teacher to BKS Iyengar and Pattabi Jois. He learned from his father the need to be sensitive to the differences of each student and to customise the teachings their needs. This is a book that would be a good companion for anyone. It does not offer a lot of techniques of how to do a posture - there are hundreds of books available for this. Instead, the book focus on having the right understanding of what yoga is, and how you can approach so it can be more fruitful for your personal growth, and not just for physical benefits. This is so similar to my Indian yoga school's approach - that yoga is firstly for spiritual, mental, emotional and psychological development. The physical and health benefits are just by-products of a healthy state of mind and personality.New students would find certain segments would set a good foundation for the new practise, including the need to for the mind-breath-body connection without which no matter how strong or flexible you are, you are not doing yoga. Other chapters on sequencing of postures may not be too easy for new studnets to understand, so it is better if they attend a class with a good teacher. But for the more seasoned practitioner, this book would certainly help you to give depth to your personal practise.

  • Chaundra
    2019-03-27 12:26

    A great book to reflect over and provides some really wonderful insights into what is a very healing and balanced approach to yoga. You go through the whole thing thinking "This man speaks sense". I'm not sure I'm quite ready to incorporate all of it into my practice (and some of it I might never), but the parts that I have, have made a difference already. A great one for people looking to start to delve a bit deeper into a very authentic, yet adaptable philosophy of yoga.

  • Laura
    2019-04-07 15:30

    This is an excellent book on all aspects of yoga that is comprehensive without feeling tedious or too heavy. Written by T.K.V. Desikachar, the son of Krishnmacharya, it strikes a perfect tone where you feel like your teacher is beside you guiding you along your journey. Krishnamacharya is credited with spreading yoga to the west, as he taught yoga indiscriminately to both Indians and Westerners alike as well as women (small side note: How the Brahmin class for centuries could have thought that women were incapable and unsuitable for a spiritual practice when they embody creation is beyond me...). This book is divided into very manageable chapters and also includes the yoga sutras. There are also lots of terrific photos of Krishnamacharya at 100 years old and doing really challenging yoga poses at the age of 80+ with a look of absolute serene pleasure and ease. This book would be probably be best for someone who has a basic knowledge of yoga through asana practice and who is looking to understand better the spiritual philosophy behind the practice.

  • Wendy Coulter
    2019-04-06 11:43

    Always on my bedside table & rarely travel without it.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-08 10:49

    It's hard to really say I'm "finished" with this book, because I've gone back so many times and read and re-read and highlighted so many passages! Needless to say, this is one of the cornerstones of my yoga journey and practice and the wisdom and practical information in this book keep me coming back time and time again.

  • Kirtida Gautam
    2019-04-06 10:37

    This is one of the best books I have read on Yog. Brilliant.

  • Angela Dawn
    2019-04-06 15:23

    This is a wonderful resource for those interested in developing a personal Yoga practice with depth and meaning.in addition to practical and expert advice about the asanas(postures)of Hatha Yoga. This book gives the reader a rich insight into the Yoga tradition in terms that are amenable to the minds of modern readers.Additionally, this book is a loving tribute from a son T.V.K. Desikachar, to his father, a true Yoga Master of the old school, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya(1888 to 1989)who was a legendary yogi, scholar, and a healer. Though he "never crossed an ocean" as was befitting a true Brahmin, his yoga has spread throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Today, it is difficult to find an asana tradition he hasn’t influenced. Unless you could study with Patanjali himself, you could hardly find a truer Guru.Modernly the heart of Yoga is Krishnamacharya, his teachings are the central source of this knowledge and practice.One of the his discipline's great and important reformers, he led a dedicated and quiet life absorbed in continuously revising, refining and adapting ancient yoga practices to suit the changing times. As a direct descendent of the great 9th century South Indian yogi, Nathamuni, he brought profound insight and innovation into the way he taught yoga. One of the precepts unique to his teachings is this, "As there are no two identical beings,we must respect every individual’s requirements." Individualized practice as opposed to traditional standardized practice set him apart.According to Krishnamacharya, "For the learned in yoga, the focus is the breath and not the dharma." His teaching practices were always appropriately challenging, considering the age, condition, culture, and station in life of the individual student. The range and capacity of his teachings can easily be seen in the range of styles taught by his four most famous students: B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Indira Devi, and his son, T.K.V. Desikachar. The impressive diversity of styles and approaches that these disciples teach, despite the fact that they belonged to the same tradition and were taught by the same Master is amazing. Evidence that each was given an individualized education by their great, but humble master. He is the source from which arose many of the different schools of yoga which have literally taken the world by storm, namely Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Viniyoga Krishnamacharya divided yoga practice into three stages representing youth, middle and old age respectively. He focused first on strength, muscular power and flexibility; second on the practice to maintain good health and clear mind; and finally on going beyond the physical practice to focus on God, "Your Lord or mine, it does not matter, with a quiet mind, meditate with humility. The Lord, pleased, gives what you seek and happily will offer more." Bhavana (feeling) or the involvement of the heart in the meditative practice of pranayama was an important aspect for him "Regulate the breath, be happy, link the mind with the Lord in your Heart". In later years he also started to teach and incorporate Vedic Chanting both as a mode of worship as well as a method of pranayama. Despite his many innovations he never made any claim of authorship over what he taught, wrote or channeled. To honour his beloved father and teacher, T K V Desikachar founded the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, at Chennai in 1976. In the quest toward the wholeness, the union of mind, body and spirit that Yoga offers, this book is a useful tool and a wise companion. It is designed to help with the development of an individualized personal practice. "Where is the conflict when the truth is known? Where is the disease when the mind is clear?Where is death when the breath is controlled?Therefore, surrender to Yoga".T. Krishnamacharya

  • Abby
    2019-03-25 16:46

    July 2009:Namaste Book Club first book club pick.********************************************************************Review for Yoga Teacher Training December 2008:Another really interesting perspective on the spirituality and practice of yoga. TKV Desikachar is the son of Krishnamacharya, yogi, teacher, scholar, doctor, and much more. Krishnamacharya is a rock star in the yoga world for all he has accomplished in bringing yogic principles to a broad audience. This book combines biography, autobiography, discussion on Indian spirituality and religious principles as related to yoga, discussion of asanas and pranayama, and a translation of the Yoga Sutras with the original text translated and then a narrative putting it into larger context. This is a tough book to read all the way through because it is so dense. The material is much more easily understood if read in parts and in conjunction with other texts. I know I'll be returning to this book again and again through the training process and as a teacher of yoga.Highly recommended for more advanced study/extended interpretation of the spirituality, history and practice of yoga.

  • Ebony Haywood
    2019-04-02 16:24

    Loved it. Glad I purchased it. I didn't really understand yoga before reading this book. I learned that yoga is way more than being a human pretzel. Yoga is a mind, body and spiritual practice. It is about experiencing clarity and peace within your moment to moment experiences. I highly recommend this book to anyone even remotely interested in yoga.

  • Karli
    2019-03-28 15:48

    A must read for yoga teacher training. I mean I had to read it for the training but I also find myself referencing it now while creating yoga classes. It has a lot of the basics, the yoga sutras and vinyasa philosophy from its originator.

  • Alissa
    2019-03-22 10:36

    Definitely an (the?) essential yoga text, with a focus on making yoga more than just something one does in a studio. As the title indicates, this is about the personal practice of yoga: the things that a person does to put the philosophy into action. The perfect starting point.

  • Abhishek Upadhayay
    2019-04-02 16:49

    A must read.

  • Christine
    2019-04-12 15:44

    Philosophies behind yogi practitioners. Wonderful food for thought.

  • Coleen
    2019-04-03 15:30

    Among my top ten best yoga books.

  • Oksana Taran
    2019-04-20 10:33

    Дешикачар - син Крішнамачар‘я (вчитель нам усім аштангістам відомого Патабхі Джойса). Дешикачар також був одним з учнів Крішнамачар‘я, жив та вчився в нього 25 років.Вперше почала читати цю книгу ще влітку. Дуже багато корисного для своєї практики там знайшла, хотілося підкреслити майже кожен абзац. Тоді прочитала лише половину і на той період було достатньо, ходила пів року і просто переварювала інформацію.Тепер тут в Майсорі вдруге почала читати її, і склалося таке враження що читаю цю книгу вперше ;) Зовсім по іншому її зараз сприйняла. Дуже доступно автор намагається пояснити складні речі. Так як він народився та виховувався в Індії, а навчався в Європі та зрозумів як сприймаємо світ та інформацію ми - європейці, то зміг перекласти глибокі філософські та духовні ідеї через аналогії, та прості приклади. Це дійсно талант.Дуже рекомендую всім викладачам йоги прочитати її, ну і звісно учням, що вже трішки більше цікавляться йогою, ніж просто асанами. Це однозначно одна з тих книжок, що має бути на поличці сучасного йога.

  • Nikki Neal Rich
    2019-03-29 14:38

    I enjoyed this book. It is much more about yoga philosophy that about asanas but it has been quite helpful in developing my own practice which is what the book is about. I kind of wish there was like a flow chart with words and meanings. There is a glossary but I still had to keep some notes in order to keep the sanskrit words straight in my head. If you are into yoga I would definitely recommend this book.

  • Kimberley A. McClure
    2019-04-08 15:45

    Good Books Generate More QuestionsThis provides a wonderful resource that may be read multiple times with each reading yielding something new to ponder. It also complements other sources on the yoga sutras with practical recommendations for tailoring practice to an individual. Perhaps not for a beginner unless studying with a teacher or an experienced yoga practitioner.

  • Ella Mason
    2019-04-19 16:28

    every single body on this earth should read this book. the world would be a more lovely place. yoga philosophy is a way of life! no matter what religion or whatever someone believes it, or doesn't believe in, they will get so much out of this. please please read :)

  • Ashley Heggi
    2019-04-15 17:43

    Such a lovely book - I really enjoyed Desikachar's approach to personal yoga practice and his clear, concise insight into how to bring yoga to the individual body, rather than forcing the body into a particular style of yoga.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-11 12:28

    I FINALLY got around to reading this book as part of my Yoga Teacher Training. I will probably be re-reading this book periodically for awhile to continue absorbing more information. I now have a much deeper understanding of yoga philosophy and look forward to learning more from other texts

  • Diane
    2019-04-07 18:45

    Best book about yoga ever

  • Amber
    2019-04-20 13:38

    3.5 - it’s easy to read and informative, not especially riveting

  • Lia Hulit
    2019-04-16 13:51

    Useful for getting into deeper philosophical and meditation practices of yoga. Helpful Sanskrit. At times required heavy concentration to read, not light and easy.

  • Anne Goulart
    2019-03-25 14:32

    👍🏼👍🏼

  • Rob Martin
    2019-04-01 13:35

    Most important yoga book I've read to date...

  • Angela
    2019-04-09 18:24

    This is a wonderful resource for those interested in developing a personal Yoga practice with depth and meaning. In addition to practical and expert advice about the asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga, this book gives the reader a rich insight into the Yoga tradition in terms that are amenable to the minds of modern readers. Additionally, this book is a loving tribute from a son T.V.K. Desikachar, to his father, a true Yoga Master of the old school, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888 to 1989) who was a legendary yogi, scholar, and healer. Though he "never crossed an ocean", as was befitting a true Brahmin, his yoga has spread throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Today, it is difficult to find an asana tradition he hasn’t influenced. Unless you could study with Patanjali himself, you could hardly find a truer Guru. Modernly, the heart of Yoga is Krishnamacharya, his teachings are the central source of this knowledge and practice. One of the his discipline's great and important reformers, he led a dedicated, and quiet life absorbed in continuously revising, refining, and adapting ancient yoga practices to suit the changing times. As a direct descendent of the great 9th century, South Indian yogi, Nathamuni, he brought profound insight, and innovation into the way he taught yoga. One of the precepts unique to his teachings is this, "As there are no two identical beings, we must respect every individual’s requirements." Individualized practice, as opposed to traditional standardized practice, set him apart. According to Krishnamacharya, "For the learned in yoga, the focus is the breath and not the dharma." His teaching practices were always appropriately challenging, considering the age, condition, culture, and station in life of the individual student. The range and capacity of his teachings can easily be seen in the range of styles taught by his four most famous students: B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Indira Devi, and his son, T.K.V. Desikachar. The impressive diversity of styles, and approaches that these disciples teach, despite the fact that they belonged to the same tradition, and were taught by the same Masteris amazing. Evidence that each was given an individualized education by their great, but humble master. He is the source from which arose many of the different schools of yoga which have literally taken the world by storm, namely Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Viniyoga.Krishnamacharya divided yoga practice into three stages representing youth, middle and old age respectively. He focused first on strength, muscular power, and flexibility; second on the practice to maintain good health, and clear mind; and finally on going beyond the physical practice to focus on God, "Your Lord or mine, it does not matter, with a quiet mind, meditate with humility. The Lord, pleased, gives what you seek and happily will offer more." Bhavana (feeling), or the involvement of the heart in the meditative practice of pranayama was an important aspect for him "Regulate the breath, be happy, link the mind with the Lord in your Heart". In later years, he also started to teach, and incorporate Vedic Chanting both as a mode of worship, as well as a method of pranayama. Despite his many innovations, he never made any claim of authorship over what he taught, wrote or channeled. To honour his beloved father, and teacher, T K V Desikachar founded the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, at Chennai, in 1976. In the quest toward the wholeness, the union of mind, body, and spirit that Yoga offers, this book is a useful tool, and a wise companion. It is designed to help with the development of an individualized personal practice.The Humble Master says it like this: "Where is the conflict when the truth is known? Where is the disease when the mind is clear? Where is death when the breath is controlled? Therefore, surrender to Yoga". -T. Krishnamacharya (less)

  • Mary Ann
    2019-04-01 16:48

    This book is by the son of T. Krishnamacharya, the founder of modern yoga, teacher of B.K.S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois, who studied with him in their early years and later developed Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga, which have spread worldwide. Their fame has far outstripped their teacher, who was a modest man who never traveled abroad. T.K.V. Desikachar lived and studied with this father all his life. Although he trained as an engineer, he now teaches the full spectrum of Krishnamacharya's yoga. The fundamental difference between this and the styles of yoga we are familiar with in America is the belief that practices must continually be adapted to an individual's changing needs.Thus Krishnamacharya, who studied yoga for 7 years in Tibet as a young man before returning to Indian and starting a family, included taking pulses as acupuncturists do and inquiring about diet and sleep. He used yoga and Ayurveda as a physician would, to bring a patient to health. To him, yoga covered every aspect of life.I am interested in the intersection of yoga and traditional Chinese medicine. Krishnamacharya was one who bridged that gap, understanding the nadis/meridians, yin/yang, and chi/prana in the living human and prescribing yoga to increase the health of the body/mind/heart/spirit system that each human being is. I got a sense through reading the book that Desikachar is a serious, kind, and unpretentious man. This book starts with a biography of Krishnamacharya and includes many photos of him at various stages of his long life, with his family and others. Part I is about the practice of yoga. Part II is the understanding of yoga. Part III is the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, and Part IV is a short manuscript of verses by Krishnamacharya. A worthy addition to the library of any serious yogi.

  • AJ Dreadfulwater
    2019-03-21 18:43

    Book 1 of 4- Yoga Teacher Training at Open Space