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Posted March 8, 2001
Review of Yoga for the Three Stages of Life
YOGA FOR THE THREE STAGES OF LIFE is an extensive resource for anyone seeking an authentic, detailed description of yoga theory and practice. Srivatsa Ramaswami is an erudite scholar of yoga and an experienced teacher and practitioner. His teacher, Sri T. Krishnamacharya was also that of B. K. S. Iyengar and J. P. S. Pattabhi Jois, who both currently have extensive followings in the west. It may only be a matter of time before this is true of Ramaswami as well. The first section of this two part book is filled with innumerable quotes and references to authentic yogic texts. Here Ramaswami gives in-depth explanation of yoga, and the meaning of yogic terminology and its practical import. He also tells the story of Patanjali, the ancient sage credited with codifying the system of yoga. This theoretical section of the book alone was worth its price. I own many yoga books that only give a small portion of the information available in this text. The second section is on practice and presents the unique system of 'vinyasa krama', which coordinates movement into and out of the classical yoga postures with the breath. All major areas of practice are included and there are some quite advanced postures described and depicted. The section on breathing is one of the most detailed you will ever find short of going to India and training at the foot of a master. Ramaswami not only describes the practices but also explains how these exercises benefit health at every level of being. Because this is not a watered down introductory book, any yoga enthusiast will find expert guidance into expanding capacity. There are also chapters on practices particularly beneficial to women and on more esoteric aspects of yoga, such as stilling the mind and yoga's ultimate goal of freedom. Srivatsa Ramaswami has provided an enormous amount of information, detail, and source material for the benefit of the entire yoga community, and especially for the experienced practitioner who wants to improve and learn even more.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.