Getting Down with Downward Dog: Yoga
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.
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.
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 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.
There's a lot of material available for the advanced student or teacher of yoga as well, including a wide variety of anatomy books.
There are also books on teaching yoga and adjustments.
Moving away from the body, there is also quite a bit written on the spiritual aspects of yoga.
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.
My co-worker Wendy, who lives in the Beach, wanted to me add in a book on paddle board yoga or SUP so ...
I will also note that there are a lot of specialized yoga books:
- yoga for back pain
- gentle yoga and yoga for therapeutic purposes (including arthritis &, osteoporosis)
- yoga and pregnancy
- yoga for children
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.
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!