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Yoga Mala: The Seminal Treatise and Guide from the Living Master of Ashtanga Yoga

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  695 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
The seminal treatise and guide to Ashtanga yoga by the master of this increasingly popular discipline

There is a yoga boom in America, and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois is at the heart of it. One of the great yoga figures of our time, Jois brought Ashtanga yoga to the West a quarter of a century ago and has been the driving force behind its worldwide dissemination. Based on flowing,
ebook, 160 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by North Point Press (first published 2000)
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Jul 31, 2013 Abby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my reasons for joining the Yoga teacher training program was because I am very interested in the mind and body connection. Therefore, I very much enjoyed the first few sections of Yoga Mala because it focused so much on that concept. On page 11 he talks about how “if the mind turns toward the inner self for the purpose of knowing the nature of the self, then the strength will increase. Conversely if the mind is interested in external objects, then the strength will be diminished.” He warn ...more
Mar 18, 2011 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspiring, yoga
Studied with Guruji and teach ashtanga. Love this book! I refer to it often and always pass a copy on to my students. Must have for any ashtangi.
Bernie Gourley
Jul 25, 2015 Bernie Gourley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga
Yoga Mala is a guide to yoga by one of the most influential yogis of the modern era, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Sri Jois, who passed away in 2009, developed an approach to Hatha Yoga that is alternatively called Ashtanga Vinyasa or Ashtanga Yoga. Herein, I will use the term Ashtanga Vinyasa to represent Sri Jois’s style of yoga, which relies on a fixed sequence(s) conducted with vinyasa, i.e. flowing transitions that link postures. The reason I chose one term over the other is that the term “Ashtanga ...more
Laura Zurowski
This book is the heart of the Ashtanga yoga primary series; the historical documentation of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois' curriculum for asana practice and his overview and explanation of the 8-limb path.

There are newer Ashtanga books written by some of Jois' long-time students that explore in greater detail different areas of the practice, but this book is considered the original source. If you are looking to incorporate Ashtanga yoga principles both on and off the mat, you will need, and want, to own
Èlia Viader
Aug 11, 2016 Èlia Viader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Basic and needed!
Pake Hall
Sep 12, 2012 Pake Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga

Wonderful explanations of the asanas of the primary serie and put into a traditional context. I'm very inspired to continue to explore the Ashtanga Yoga tradition and be fully present in every breath while doing so... And maybe take some ghee with that :)
Dec 26, 2015 Simone rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed, oriente, yoga
Il testo di riferimento del (ri)fondatore dell'Ashtanga Yoga. Sicuramente utile e fondamentale per conoscere meglio Sri Pattabhi Jois e il suo pensiero. Tuttavia Jois non era uno scrittore e il libro à pià un manuale senza il rigore scientifico di un manuale. L'impressione à che l'autore abbia confuso l'approccio scientifico/oggettivo alla narrazione con la mera depurazione di opinioni personali dal testo. Quando in realtà tutto il testo à ovviamente una trattazione fondata su interpretazioni so ...more
Dec 07, 2011 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish I'd read this much sooner. A must for ashtangis.
Farnoosh Brock
I started my Ashtanga practice formally October of 2012. Before that, I was doing a lot of vinyasa power yoga and looking for a home. Well, I found my true home in Ashtanga. I knew that I had to read the Ashtanga bible, Yoga Mala by Pattabhi Jois and I've finally completed that task. I have to say that I feel deflated after reading this book and here's why: I had put so much expectation into what this book was going to tell me about Ashtanga and the way of the practitioner and inspiration on how ...more
Feb 23, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jois' book starts out well. He explains the concept behind vinyasa in a way that is easily understandable. Using the purpose of a mala as a way of understanding that each vinyasa and breath is like a bead on the string of yoga etc. very poetic.

He offers pictures of each asana throughout the book. They are in order however certain ones are missing, like the B form of Utthita Parshvakonasana.

Unfortunately the pictures are not necessarily placed on the page of their description so the book doesn't
I had seen so many copies of this book displayed during my time in India: at ashrams, at friends' houses, at bookshops. This popular classic has some parts that are a bit out of date or in conflict with some of my current believes, but this classic really set a lot of standards for yoga for years to come.
Digressive, strange. I love Ashtanga, so obviously this is a big deal, but I don't think Jois took the whole reaching out to the English-reading public too seriously. If he did, then he has a lot of splaining to do--his suggestions for, say, 90 minute headstands and reabsorbing semen are, um, whimsical.
Nov 25, 2014 Kier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am definitely glad to have picked this one up since it was different than expected. It gave me a new perspective of yoga as a religious practice which is an element I hadn't been much exposed to previously. You hear of yoga in relation to health, fitness, and weight loss and as a type of lifestyle, but not as often do you hear of it in the way Jois is depicting the practice. I will admit that going into reading this I had hoped to come away with some new asanas to try, but instead I feel I've ...more
Eduards Stucers
I read this book just because its classics of Patthabi Jois teachings. Its written in pretty simple way and often using kind of expressions like this : "... Those who follow this rule will receive whatever they desire" or "Utthita Trikonasana dissolves the bad fat at the waist, and brings the body into shape." All vinyasa are very detailed explained and counted and the health and body benefits of asanas listed.
The book doesn't give options and variations of the asanas for the practitioners who a
Bertrand Jubault
May 28, 2015 Bertrand Jubault rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga
By the funder of Asthanga Yoga, one of the legends of Yoga whith BKS Iyengar, they both had the same Guru and both made Yoga Popular in the West. A Must read for Yoga Lovers
Michelle Garrett
I liked having the clear layout of yoga poses and what the names are in Sanskrit and everything. What's actually written in there can get pretty weird, off-topic, and redundant. But that's just me.
Adam Centurione
May 23, 2016 Adam Centurione rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of my favourite books thus far on the subject obviously because its Pattabhi Jois' original work on the subject.
Feb 24, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pillar of the modern yoga movement, yet ancient in its message. To read Guruji's book is to enter not only the mind of a master, but to enter the minds of his (and everyone's) masters' masters. The thing is, anyone reading this book for instruction on living according to the yogic principles never "finishes" this book, because its contents are the stuff of the eternal Divine that resides within each of us. Guruji may have taken Mahasamadhi, but he will always be there to guide us within these ...more
Apr 07, 2016 Nirmal rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 26, 2011 Rik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you really want to get inside the head of Guruji, this does it. You get very strange translations, lots of dense technical yoga terms in Sanscrit, and prohibitions against sex alongside encouragement to eat ghee. Then on to the pictures: all 42 asanas of the primary series of Ashtanga are illustrated and explained, which makes this a useful reference. If you're looking for some insight into the spiritual relevance of yoga to westerners, look elsewhere.
Uday Desai
Oct 22, 2012 Uday Desai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it once. This is book of yoga practice, not just theory, so you cannot read it in usual way.
As Francis Bacon has said ...
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested". This is the one should be not only chewed and digested, but should be the essential part of your daily "diet".

Pattabhi Jois is the master who established the style of youga now popular in the world as "Ashtanga Yoga".
Kelly Ferguson
Jun 09, 2012 Kelly Ferguson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
Disclaimer: This is not a plane read, but a book for yoga practitioners.

With all the flotsam and Bikram floating around, I prefer a more traditional yoga. I never had the honor of practicing with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and I'll probably never make it to Mysore, but these black and white pictures and the sincere, if somewhat odd prose, of this revered teacher inspires me to be a better practitioner—of all eight limbs.
Mar 13, 2009 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga-meditation
I think this book would be tough for beginning yogis to digest, as Guruji refers to a lot of the ancient yogic texts, and the translation from his original book into english can be cumbersome at times. However, for ashtanga yogis, this book is wonderful - how cool to read Guruji's own words about not only Yoga Chikitsa (primary series) but also living the other 7 limbs!
True yogic philosophies and the ashtanga series broken down in a very serious way. Must be read with a grain of salt in today's modern world (pontificates an extremely ascetic lifestyle, no booze, sex rarely, little outside stimulus). But, a worthwhile read if you're interested in the background of yoga philosophy and a tutorial on yoga postures and their benefits.
Feb 22, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must-read for Ashtanga Yoga students. Though Guruji (the author) typically answers questions with the statement "Ashtanga Yoga is 1% theory, 99% practice", this book answers some common questions about the philosophy behind the practice, as well as life-style instructions for the practitioner - some easier to follow than others...
Mar 25, 2013 Pinarpir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga
if you are practicing ashtanga it is good to have in your library and read time to time..
aştanga yapıyorsanız kütüphanenizde başucu kitabı olarak bulunmalı, dönem dönem gözden geçirmenizde fayda var. kitapta şimdikinden farklı bazı değişiklikler de var, bilginize..
Dec 15, 2008 Kristin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, yoga
Yoga Mala aby Pattabhi Jois moves away from the asana's of the Ashtanga practice and focus's more on the philosphy behind the Ashtanga system. A must have resource for anyone who practices a traditional or contemporary style of Ashtanga.
So...being the fiction reader that I am, I find it difficult to rate a book like this. I am obviously getting into yoga, which is a lot of fun, and this was a great intro. I don't agree with most of what he says, but it is fascinating.
This is the Ashtanga bible. Every purist's best friend. I've taken the lessons from this book and added them to those I've learned from all my teachers through the years. I still have a lot to learn. Namaste.
Aug 22, 2014 Sydni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome foundation to Ashtanga practice. The specific methods are very useful, and I love his sporadic detours into how to live everyday life. I'll be using this book a lot in the future.
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