Getting Down with Downward Dog: Yoga

July 16, 2017 | Bill V.

Comments (10)

I discovered hot yoga two years ago and haven't looked back since (the best present my husband ever bought me!). It's great for flexibility, toning and strength (I now have triceps) but also for mental calming.

Why not browse among the 2000+ titles that TPL owns on yoga and see what speaks to you. You won't regret it. Your core/belly and glutes will thank you and your friends and family will start to say things like: "you look good" or "you seem calmer."

I especially like Hatha Yoga which requires longer holding of poses and helps build mental and physical strength and improves breath and awareness control.

  Hatha yoga the hidden language  symbols  secrets  & metaphor   Hatha Yoga Illustrated  

I regularly attend a Chakra flow class which is related to the more spiritual and energy driven Kundalini yoga. The library also has many non-yoga books on Chakras.

  Kundalini yoga  techniques for developing strength  awareness  and  character  Anodea Judith's Chakra yoga

There are many different schools of yoga and also many different yoga gurus so you may also be interested in some historical and biographical background, life stories and the personal journeys that others have taken.

  Gurus of modern yoga   Will yoga & meditation really change my life personal stories from 25 of America's leading teachers

I also like the rigour and structure of Ashtanga yoga. Some of the instruction and many of the names are in Sanskrit and that can be a bit disconcerting but the set poses are quickly learned. I once saw three people, who had been studying it for longer than me, move in complete synchronicity for an entire class.

Ashtanga yoga  yoga in the tradition of Śrī K. Pattabhi Jois  the definitive primary series practice manual

Ashtanga is a challenging class to take, especially one of the last postures where you sit in full lotus and lift your entire body for 10 seconds using your arm and body strength. I'm thankful to one of the regulars at my yoga studio who inspires me to hold my body weight – all 173 librarian pounds – up for those 10 seconds. Yoga can also be community.

Ashtanga yoga practice and philosophy

There's a lot of material available for the advanced student or teacher of yoga as well, including a wide variety of anatomy books.

The Student's Manual of Yoga Anatomy 30 Essential Poses Analyzed  Explained  and IllustratedThere are also books on teaching yoga and adjustments.

  Teaching yoga essential foundations and techniques  Yoga adjustments  philosophy  principles  and techniques

Moving away from the body, there is also quite a bit written on the spiritual aspects of yoga.

Light on life  the yoga way to wholeness  inner peace and ultimate freedom    The seven spiritual laws of yoga a practical guide to healing body  mind  and spirit

B.K.S. Iyengar is one of the big names in yoga and his large-scale, beautifully photographed book that has detailed notes on postures is a real eye-opener.

Yoga the path to holistic health

There's also a wide selection of DVDs on Yoga including many by Rodney Yee.

Rodney Yees yoga for your week feel great  lose weight increase flexibility in just 20 minutes a day


  Desk yoga essentials   Yoga to the rescue for back pain

My co-worker Wendy, who lives in the Beach, wanted to me add in a book on paddle board yoga or SUP so ...

  The art of stand up paddling  a complete guide to SUP on lakes  rivers  and oceans

I will also note that there are a lot of specialized yoga books:

I've also read good things about Erich Schiffmann's Yoga: the spirit and practice of moving into stillness and  Ana T. Forrest's Fierce medicine: breakthrough practices to heal the body and ignite the spirit.

 1975 vintage Toronto Star photo Fun and fitness with Yoga. Scarborough women are finding that the eastern art of yoga can provide a fun-filled way to physical fitness.

Toronto Star Archives photo 1975: Fun and Fitness with Yoga ... Scarborough women are finding yoga.

You may know that the library is very active on Reddit – the online community. There is a Reddit board r/yoga that you may find interesting. They have a very helpful FAQ that covers all kinds of interesting questions: what to wear, yoga matts/towels, what to expect, even what to read!