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The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice

4.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,458 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
A world-renowned teacher outlines a step-by-step sequence for developing a complete practice according to viniyoga--yoga adapted to the needs of the individual. 300 photos/illustrations.
Kindle Edition
Published by Inner Traditions International (first published 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ines
Jan 02, 2016 Ines rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in yoga
When I first began yoga, I loved going to class but found my at-home practice to be uninspiring, so I really only practiced in class. I bought this book to help develop my personal practice. Unfortunately, I was a beginner and found this book to be over my head. I could see it was a good source about yoga, but it seemed so foreign, intimidating, and distant from my everyday life. I imagined it was written by someone who lives in a lovely, peaceful secluded place where they can just meditate and ...more
Monica
After reading so many books on yoga, this is probably the best that I have come across! I am extremely happy to have found and read this. I really believe that when you have a need, and articulate it, the right thing would come your way. Just like when it is said that the guru will appear when the student is ready, this book is most suited for me at this point of my practise.

I find TKV Deshikachar's approach is similar to many of my own personal beliefs when practising and teaching yoga, so I fi
...more
Chaundra
Jul 24, 2008 Chaundra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tracie Pope
Recommended to Chaundra by: Rachel Hawes
Shelves: that-shaped-me, yoga
A great book to reflect over and provides some really wonderful insights into what is a very healing and balanced approach to yoga. You go through the whole thing thinking "This man speaks sense". I'm not sure I'm quite ready to incorporate all of it into my practice (and some of it I might never), but the parts that I have, have made a difference already. A great one for people looking to start to delve a bit deeper into a very authentic, yet adaptable philosophy of yoga.
Bernie Gourley
Jul 25, 2015 Bernie Gourley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga
This book’s author, T.K.V. Desikachar, was the son and student of T. Krishnamacharya. If you’re not a well-read and/or Indian yoga practitioner, there’s a good chance the latter name means nothing to you, and yet your practice has likely been influenced profoundly by him. He was the teacher of B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, and Indira Devi. Iyengar, who recently passed away, popularized the use of props (blocks, straps, bolsters, etc.) as a means to achieve proper alignment until one’s flexibili ...more
Laura
May 30, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book on all aspects of yoga that is comprehensive without feeling tedious or too heavy. Written by T.K.V. Desikachar, the son of Krishnmacharya, it strikes a perfect tone where you feel like your teacher is beside you guiding you along your journey. Krishnamacharya is credited with spreading yoga to the west, as he taught yoga indiscriminately to both Indians and Westerners alike as well as women (small side note: How the Brahmin class for centuries could have thought that w ...more
Wendy Coulter
Apr 05, 2014 Wendy Coulter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always on my bedside table & rarely travel without it.
Angela Dawn
This is a wonderful resource for those interested in developing a personal Yoga practice with depth and meaning.
in addition to practical and expert advice about the asanas(postures)of Hatha Yoga. This book gives the reader a rich insight into the Yoga tradition in terms that are amenable to the minds of modern readers.
Additionally, this book is a loving tribute from a son
T.V.K. Desikachar, to his father, a true Yoga Master of the old school, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya(1888 to 1989)
who was a lege
...more
Abby
Jul 20, 2009 Abby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, yoga
July 2009:
Namaste Book Club first book club pick.









********************************************************************
Review for Yoga Teacher Training December 2008:

Another really interesting perspective on the spirituality and practice of yoga. TKV Desikachar is the son of Krishnamacharya, yogi, teacher, scholar, doctor, and much more. Krishnamacharya is a rock star in the yoga world for all he has accomplished in bringing yogic principles to a broad audience. This book combines biography, autob
...more
Jobie
Great read and reread for someone interested in yoga

This is a great book. It is my second time reading. I feel like I found more in it to hold onto the second time in the first. This is Desikachar's thoughts about yoga - physical as well as spiritual and mental practice. I also get just as much from his commentary on the Sutra's near the end as I do from the Sutra's themselves.
Ebony Haywood
Mar 21, 2009 Ebony Haywood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Glad I purchased it. I didn't really understand yoga before reading this book. I learned that yoga is way more than being a human pretzel. Yoga is a mind, body and spiritual practice. It is about experiencing clarity and peace within your moment to moment experiences. I highly recommend this book to anyone even remotely interested in yoga.
Karli
Feb 04, 2011 Karli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read for yoga teacher training. I mean I had to read it for the training but I also find myself referencing it now while creating yoga classes. It has a lot of the basics, the yoga sutras and vinyasa philosophy from its originator.
Olivia
May 19, 2016 Olivia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those books that even though it was an enjoyable and enlightening read, I am so glad to be done with it. I read it for a yoga training workshop so it felt like homework but not in an entirely terrible way. Before reading this, I knew nothing about the 8 limbs of yoga other than asanas (the poses). I like Desikachar's voice and how he explains things. These are not easy topics to explain, so kudos to him. The part that took me the longest was the Yoga Sutras. It's like reading the ...more
Cheyenne
Jan 21, 2016 Cheyenne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book! the translations of the yoga sutras at the end is crystal clear. A must read to anyone who's seriously practicing yoga.
Shannon Andrews
Jun 03, 2016 Shannon Andrews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fun of Yoga so I read all books I can get hold of to learn new information about meditation and Yoga. Its new for me to learn how to develop a practice that can be beneficail in my Yoga sessions which were discussed briefly along with their concepts. I also learned about history of Yoga along with its variety of body positioning. I like and appreciate the pictures seen on this books and the overall content of the information made available through this book were well written and easy t ...more
Christine
Sep 02, 2008 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
Philosophies behind yogi practitioners. Wonderful food for thought.
Coleen
Jan 18, 2015 Coleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Among my top ten best yoga books.
Elizabeth
Sep 14, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best yoga advice I've seen.
Abhishek Upadhayay
A must read.
Louise Silk
This is the book I would recommend for teacher training. It includes all of the reasoning and understanding for what is behind a yoga practice.
I particularly appreciated the included Yoga Sutra of Patanjali translation.

"When we begin studying yoga- whether by way of asanas, pranayama, meditation, or studying Yoga Sutra- the way in which we learn is the same. The more we progress, the more we become aware of the holistic nature of our being, realizing that we are made of body, breath, mind and mo
...more
Julia
Jan 07, 2016 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read about half of the book.
The last half of the book walks you through several sequences and flows and the reasoning for why one pose followed another.
A great book that took me back to Dr. Joseph Alter's Medical Anthropology class, where he explained the original meaning of yoga and its roots, which seem so far removed from today's understanding of yoga in the West to be something far too often associated with simply how to get "that yoga body", or as an excuse to douse yourself in Lululemon
...more
Lydia
Currently I am in a yoga teacher training, and this review will be structured as notes to myself for the TT:

Foreword:
-Engineering major at the university influenced Desikachar.

Interview with Desikacher:
-Many people became versed in Sanskrit in previous generations the way people become versed in English today.
-alvar = someone who has come to us to rule; regarded as an incarnation of God
-Yoga is considered a purely spiritual discipline in India.
-Krishnamacharya took the pulse of people who v
...more
Mary Ann
Mar 21, 2010 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is by the son of T. Krishnamacharya, the founder of modern yoga, teacher of B.K.S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois, who studied with him in their early years and later developed Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga, which have spread worldwide. Their fame has far outstripped their teacher, who was a modest man who never traveled abroad.

T.K.V. Desikachar lived and studied with this father all his life. Although he trained as an engineer, he now teaches the full spectrum of Krishnamacharya's yoga. Th
...more
Jim
Jan 24, 2011 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
T.K.V. Desikachar is the son of a guru Sri T. Krishnamacharya -- so, he grew up with yoga ever present in his life. His perspective, explained so a westerner can understand (or at least hear it and try to understand) is very helpful.

To learn yoga, and I mean more than just learning a lot of yoga poses, will be easier with this sort of basic and practical insight into the history of the traditions from India. It is curious that the early yogi experts were all men -- that women were not even consi
...more
Angela
Apr 24, 2010 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful resource for those interested in developing a personal Yoga practice with depth and meaning.
In addition to practical and expert advice about the asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga, this book gives the reader a rich insight into the Yoga tradition in terms that are amenable to the minds of modern readers.
Additionally, this book is a loving tribute from a son T.V.K. Desikachar, to his father,
a true Yoga Master of the old school, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888 to 1989)
who was
...more
Julia
Jan 04, 2016 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a way to start the year by finishing this book.
I started practicing Yoga for health reasons and before I knew it, was quickly drawn to the more demanding poses such as inversions and arm balances. This obsession can be consuming and detracts from the bigger picture and meaning of Yoga.

This book will bring you back from the brink and you will learn that Yoga is a very personal system of belief, not just a calisthenics workout.
Alicia Montgomery
Aug 19, 2014 Alicia Montgomery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots to know. This was more like a text book than an easy read. I appreciate the wealth of information it provided. I plan to refer back to it again and again to truly absorb all that it offers. I got it on Kindle. For a one time read this is ok. But since I plan to study Yoga in depth I think I will buy a hard copy.
Kimberly Duquette
Often called the father of modern day yoga, Krishnamacharya's teachings live on through his son and author Desikachar. This valuable title is designed for a home practitioner, and even includes Krishnamacharya's translation of the Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali. This is one of my first, most highly recommended resources.
Cherie
B+ Interesting book as growing up as the son of a great yogi guru, and how to create your own personal practice. My favorite part was how they examined in detail the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - I struggled to try to fully understand them, and this "translation" really helped.
Mary
May 03, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My go-to yoga text. I continue studying, with the guidance of my viniyoga teacher. I refer back to this text nearly every day and predict that I will continue to do so for years. I own two hard copies, a digital copy on my Nook, and another on my phone!
Steven Walker
Nov 04, 2008 Steven Walker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my all time favorite books on yoga written about the life and teaching of Sri T. Krishnamacharya, one of the fathers of western yoga and a primary guru of B.K.S. Iyengar. What I particularly love about this book is the complete picture of yoga that it gives as passed from father to son, master to disciple. It ties together the old world of yoga and the new yoga awareness emerging in the west and around the globe. While yoga must change and evolve to adapt to new cultures, there is ...more
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TKV Desikachar, son and student of T Krishnamacharya had the privilege of living and studying with T Krishnamacharya from 1960 until Krishnamacharya's death in 1989. For over 50 years, TKV Desikachar has devoted himself to teaching yoga and making it relevant to people from all walks of life and with all kinds of abilities. His teaching method is based on Krishnamacharya's fundamental principle th ...more
More about T.K.V. Desikachar...

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“Whenever you are in doubt, it is best to pause. Few things are so pressing that they cannot wait for a moment of breath.” 3 likes
“In education the first requirement is the teacher, the second is the student. What should happen between them is learning. How it should happen is through the constant teaching of that which will be relevant to the student. That is education.” 2 likes
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