Book suggestion: How to Use Yoga

The first yoga book I bought was How to Use Yoga, by Mira Mehta.  It’s very clear, with lots of pictures.  It covers many basic poses, and in the back it gives the sequences for a couple of years worth of home practice.  The sequences show thumbnail photos of the asanas, so once you know how to do the poses you don’t have to do a lot of flipping back and forth in the book.

I think it was out of print for a while, because I kept seeing it in discount places like TJ Maxx and Tuesday Morning, but I haven’t seen it there lately.  I hope I come across it again, because I gave away my last copy.  It’s a perfect beginner’s book, especially for someone who has already attended some Iyengar classes.

nuts and bolts

Yoga books

I seem to have amassed a rather large yoga library, not exactly on purpose. Most of my books are downstairs in the room where I practice, but I have a little pile beside the bed. At any given time I am reading a novel, something on web development, a New Yorker (because my father-in-law gives me his old ones), possibly something on spirituality or writing or both, and a yoga book or magazine.

My current bedside yoga books are:

  • Light on Life, by B.K.S. Iyengar. I have to confess I’ve had this beside the bed for a long time and have only read a teeny bit.
  • Yin Yoga, by Paul Grilley. I’ve read this a couple of times and really like it.
  • Recovery Yoga, by Sam Dworkis. I just got this, and haven’t had time to read much. I want to read the whole thing through before I start applying it to my own practice. Silly me, I keep thinking that I’m going to heal up miraculously and not need any recovery anything.
  • Yoga Anatomy, by Leslie Kaminoff. Excellent reference book! But it’s time for it to go downstairs to my yoga library. I’ve gone through it, and now it’s only inertia that keeps the book beside the bed.
  • Yoga as Medicine, by Timothy McCall. I can’t say enough good things about this book. It’s divided into chapters by illness or condition, and for each chapter, the author interviews one yoga teacher (mostly well-known) who has worked with that condition. There’s general information about the condition, and about the teacher’s approach, a case study, and at least one sequence. I read it all the way through, put it downstairs in the yoga library, and then got it back out again on the advice of my sister when the Lyme arthritis reared its ugly head.

I keep wishing I could read and do yoga at the same time, but it seems counterproductive to the going-inward, paying-attention aspects of yoga.