The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice

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Overview

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 years old, was one of the greatest yogis of the modern era. Elements of Krishnamacharya's ...

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Overview

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 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.

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Editorial Reviews

L.A. Yoga
“Desikachar speaks from the heart with tenderness as well as an engineer's careful attention to details and individuality.”
From the Publisher
" . . . a milestone in the transmission of yoga from the ancient masters to the modern world."

"I can think of no better book to recommend to a friend beginning to be excited by yoga but bewildered by the plethora of different schools and their sometimes-conflicting teachings. In addition, I would be hard-pressed to think of a book I would recommend more highly to any yoga student seeking to deepen a yoga practice . . . The great gift of The Heart of Yoga lies not simply in the depth of Desikachar's learning, but in the compassion, gentleness, practicality, and down-to-earth spirit that permeate the book."

“An invaluable source of information regarding the theory and practice of yoga. A must for students and teachers alike.”

“Desikachar speaks from the heart with tenderness as well as an engineer's careful attention to details and individuality.”

“Read this book from cover to cover and you will begin to understand what yoga is all about.”

“Those who are interested in understanding what yoga is about, those who are looking for a larger context and focus for their hatha practice, those who look to the Yoga Su-tra for guidance, and all those who have loved and benefited from Krishnamacharya and/or Desikachar, directly or indirectly, will want this book.”

Winter 1999 / Spring 2000 Bodhi Tree Book Review
" . . . a milestone in the transmission of yoga from the ancient masters to the modern world."
author of Yoga for You Indra Devi
“An invaluable source of information regarding the theory and practice of yoga. A must for students and teachers alike.”
January 2011 LA Yoga
“Desikachar speaks from the heart with tenderness as well as an engineer's careful attention to details and individuality.”
Yoga Journal
"I can think of no better book to recommend to a friend beginning to be excited by yoga but bewildered by the plethora of different schools and their sometimes-conflicting teachings. In addition, I would be hard-pressed to think of a book I would recommend more highly to any yoga student seeking to deepen a yoga practice . . . The great gift of The Heart of Yoga lies not simply in the depth of Desikachar's learning, but in the compassion, gentleness, practicality, and down-to-earth spirit that permeate the book."
The Sunday Times
“Read this book from cover to cover and you will begin to understand what yoga is all about.”
Yoga International
“Those who are interested in understanding what yoga is about, those who are looking for a larger context and focus for their hatha practice, those who look to the Yoga Su-tra for guidance, and all those who have loved and benefited from Krishnamacharya and/or Desikachar, directly or indirectly, will want this book.”
Bodhi Tree Book Review
" . . . a milestone in the transmission of yoga from the ancient masters to the modern world."
Indra Devi
“An invaluable source of information regarding the theory and practice of yoga. A must for students and teachers alike.”
LA Yoga
“Desikachar speaks from the heart with tenderness as well as an engineer's careful attention to details and individuality.”
Yoga Journal
I can think of no better book to recommend to a friend beginning to be excited by yoga but bewildered by the plethora of different schools and their sometimes-conflicting teachings. In addition, I would be hard-pressed to think of a book I would recommend more highly to any yoga student seeking to deepen a yoga practice.... The great gift of The Heart of Yoga lies not simply in the depth of Desikachar's learning, but in the compassion, gentleness, practicality, and down-to-earth spirit that permeate the book.
Bodhi Tree Book Review
A milestone in the transmission of yoga from the ancient masters to the modern world.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892817641
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: 2nd Edition, Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 44,388
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

A structural engineer by training, T. K. V. Desikachar lived and studied with his father until Krishnamacharya's death in 1989. He has devoted his life to yoga instruction for people of all backgrounds and all levels of ability and currently teaches at the school founded in his father's memory in Madras, as well as in Europe, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

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Table of Contents

Heart of Yoga
Developing a Personal Practice
A Blessing from Indra Devi
Forword by Vanda Scaravelli
Introduction by Mark Whitwell
Part I The Practice of Yoga
1. Yoga: Concept and Meaning
2. The Foundations of Yoga Practice
3. The Principles of Asana Practice
4. The Careful Construction of a Yoga Practice
5. Asana Variations
6. Pranayama
7. The Bandhas
Part II The Understanding of Yoga
8. The Things That Darken the Heart
9. Actions Leave Traces
10. The World Exists to Be Seen and Discovered
11. Living in the World
12. The World Exists to Set Us Free
13. The Qualities of the Mind
14. Nine Obstacles on the Yoga Way
15. The Many Paths of Yoga
Part III The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali
Part IV Yoganjalisaram
Appendix 1 The Texts Mentioned in This Book
Appendix 2 Four General Practice Sequences
Glossary

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Love this book

    I am using this as a text in my Yoga Instructor's course. I hope to be completed by winter 2010 and Alliance certified, I plan to keep this book in my permanent library as even now I find myself referring to it daily and have discussions on the contents with my colleagues.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    It is the best book of Yoga for me

    I love this book very much. It teaches you everything about Yoga and the whole Yoga Sutra is inside the book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 14, 2012

    This book is the best book on Yoga, as a beginning introduction

    This book is the best book on Yoga, as a beginning introduction or as a reference tool for those more advanced. I have been reading it for over ten years and never fail to learn or be enlightened in some way by it. This book encouraged me to learn more about Yoga, I became a Yoga Teacher and am now a Certifed Yoga Therapist in Desikachar's lineage.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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