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Light on Yoga

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  5,406 Ratings  ·  252 Reviews
The definitive guide to the philosophy and practice of Yoga--the ancient healing discipline for body and mind--by its greatest living teacher. Light on Yoga provides complete descriptions and illustrations of all the positions and breathing exercises. Features a foreword by Yehudi Menuhin. Illustrations throughout.
Paperback, 544 pages
Published January 3rd 1995 by Schocken (first published 1966)
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Mar 06, 2008 Lidia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: yogis
About a year ago, I got myself a mat (eco friendly, of course), some stretch pants (organic cotton, duh), and went to a yoga studio to investigate what this bottle-nursing, teeny-tiny-spandex-wearing, mat-bag-dangling gang of people that I observed roaming the streets of my neighborhood were up to.

Now, after a year of actually sticking to a regular practice, (Insert applause here. Actually, forget that. Because, you see, I don't need that external validation. No offense.), I have discovered that
Mar 21, 2008 Anne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in yoga
Recommended to Anne by: Kim my Yoga Teacher
I'm in love with this book. It is a great life Bible, and it helps solidify the emotional and subconscious effects yoga has on me. For anyone who's thought about practicing yoga, you will be more than inspired if you read the 50 page introduction to this book. There is also a huge section of this book dedicated to the poses and the effects of the poses, and the final section of the book is about breathing. Yoga is definitely more than flexibility and if anything, being tight and gaining flexibil ...more
Craig Shoemake
Oct 30, 2011 Craig Shoemake rated it it was amazing
As they say of Porsches: "There is no substitute." Legal notices aside, every yogi on the planet could say the same for this book. And for once in a blue moon a sensational blurb on a cover-"The Bible of Modern Yoga," in this case-is truer than true. If you own only one book on yoga, let this be the one.

It begins with an introduction "from the inside," so to speak. As has been made plain by some of my previous reviews, the background of the writer is as important as the extent of the writer's k
May 04, 2008 Alissa rated it really liked it
This is on my "currently reading" shelf in perpetuity. Or until I hammer together a couple more e-shelves. Regarding the book: I sort of get eye-rollish about things referred to as "the Bible" of anything, and find it even a bit more grating when the topical focus is of a spiritual nature that is more broad than should be described in analogy to the pre-eminant book of one particular path to spirituality. Ok, that aside, it isn't this book's fault that the title did that. And this book is phenom ...more
Dennis Littrell
Apr 17, 2010 Dennis Littrell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga
Iyengar, B. K. S. Light on Yoga (1965)
Simply the best

This is the definitive text on hatha yoga. This is the book you want if you are serious about beginning your yoga practice. This is also a text of reference for professional teachers used throughout the world. It is no exaggeration to say that all yoga instructors in the United States know this book, and most of them own a copy and refer to it regularly.

Iyengar's text is characterized by a thoroughness of content, a detailed, precise, step-by-
Jan 27, 2009 Danimal4288 is currently reading it
apparently i'm supposed to attain freedom from desire. gotta lotta work to do on that one.
Jessie Toporek
Apr 27, 2010 Jessie Toporek rated it it was amazing
“Light on Yoga” is the perfect resource manual to learn more about alignment, transitions between poses and breathing techniques. There are photos of Iyengar demonstrating nearly every pose, detailed instructions on how to approach them, and comments on their symbolic meaning.

The symbolism is the most interesting part of the book to me. My yoga teachers don’t tend to focus on this aspect of the practice, so it’s nice to pair Iyengar’s analysis with my teachers’ emphasis on physicality. My favor
Adrian Astur Alvarez
Nov 30, 2014 Adrian Astur Alvarez rated it it was amazing
I wouldn't exactly call this a great read. The introduction is useful for anyone new to yoga but it could probably fill out an entire book on its own so you're really skipping over a lot of ideas in that essay. The bulk of the book is an index of poses and commentary on their usefulness. The index is ESSENTIAL. Particularly the suggested schedule of asanas. This book is defining a trajectory for my practice and basically changing my life. So, yeah, 5 stars for that.
May 10, 2016 Justin rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, yoga
Mostly centered around asanas. There are many asanas here including many that don't seem to common. There are pictures, but less than I'd like. The main selling points for me were the better than average texts describing the positions and their effects.
Ryan Leier
The Yoga "Bible" is a must for any one interested in Yoga. This is the first of many books written by "The Michaelangelo of Yoga." It Has a great introduction which covers the philosophy and science of yoga. Most of the book is filled with asana. There are helpful instructions and great stories accompanying the pose.

Because BKS Iyengar practiced asana for hours a day over a period of many years, this books explains how the asanas work on many levels. The pictures are amazing! He rates the poses
Sep 24, 2010 Ram rated it it was amazing
the most authentic and outstanding book on yoga, gives crystal clear and simple descriptions of various asanas. Highly recommended to everybody in this world, young and old, man, woman, every human being.
Feb 23, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga-exercise
This is a huge, detailed book, filled with postures ranging from simple, to those which are intensely difficult and rarely done. It is well illustrated and most instructions are clearly stated. Much of the book is also devoted to Eastern philosophy, diet and lifestyle.
Jul 26, 2010 LeeLee rated it it was amazing
Very clear introduction to a the classic perspective of Hatha yoga.
Dec 30, 2014 Ravi rated it it was amazing
Timeless, glorious wisdom of Yoga! Iyengar is a gift to those who seek that wisdom.
Dec 25, 2015 Thesi11 rated it it was amazing
Yogaūbungen sind so genau erklārt- besser geht es nicht!
Dec 25, 2016 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent referrence work, I wish I had had this when I first started. Clear descriptions of the different elements and concepts of yoga, covers a lot of the information also included in Iyengar's commentary on Patanjali's sutras but more concisely. Has detailed descriptions and photos of dozens of postures and pranayama techniques. Has practice sequences according to level and for special conditions (menstruation, illness etc).
Bernie Gourley
Jul 25, 2015 Bernie Gourley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga
I recently reviewed the book Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha [APMB] and used this book as a point of comparison, and so further insight into my thoughts on this book can gleaned from that review. This will be fairly short and to the point as the APMB review provided a great deal of detail.

Light on Yoga is the work of world-renowned yogi BKS Iyengar. Iyengar is one of several noted students of T.T. Krishnamacharya, and is celebrated for developing a system using props (belts, blocks, chairs, bolste
Apr 06, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga
This is basically the must-read book on Yoga. On all of the sites I visited Light on Yoga is mentioned as a book that everyone should read to get a good solid knowledge of Yoga. And this is true. It really is a great resource.

The first part of the book explains a lot of the history and foundations of Yoga. It explains what it's about and all about Yoga philosophy. It's a lot to get your head around but if you take it in small doses it's really informative.

Then the majority of the book is a detai
Uday Desai
Mar 16, 2016 Uday Desai rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: favorites

This book deserves more than 5 stars.

This book is all times Yoga classics. As it is written in 1976 (I will check my copy and will update this if necessary), you may not see the presentation and writing style of Yoga books published in the western world now days.
But this is very dense book, so that every word in it is important. This book is not to be read in usual sense. The reading of this book includes practice of yoga for number of years (At least 2 years -- but this my view based on some or
Mar 21, 2015 Kris rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
One of the fairly seminal books/guides to yoga in recent times. Apparently a staple according to many a yoga teacher, and I can see why. There's a brief section at the beginning on the philosophy of living one's life as a yogi, which is mostly what I was in this for, and which I very much enjoyed. Short but sweet. Most of the book is a guide to 150-200 yoga poses, with detailed instructions, pictures, history behind the poses/names, what benefits they bring, and difficulty ratings. Extremely tho ...more
Apr 14, 2014 Anastasia rated it liked it
It's hard to review a classic, especially a classic that continues to have such an effect on modern yoga practice. I came to this volume seeking practical advice on how to deepen my practice through proper alignment and breathing, but realized that is is mostly a reference work full of asanas that I could never even hope of attaining. At the same time as reading "Light on Yoga" I was watched the DVDs of Iyengar Intensive at Estes Park (recorded in 2005) where Iyengar provides the very instructio ...more
Nov 10, 2013 Deborah rated it liked it
Helpful introduction to yoga including the stages, distractions and obstacles, plus hints, cautions, techniques and effects. I liked the Intro but the

It is said: When a yogi or yogin's mind, intellect and self are under control, freed from restless desire, so that they rest in the spirit within, one becomes a Yukta -- one in communion with God.

[One who follows the path of Yoga is a yogi or yogin.]

**Eight Limbs of Yoga**

1) Yama - universal moral commandments
2) Niyama - self-purification
3) Asana
Sep 08, 2014 Jennie rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2013, yoga
I picked this book up and hoped if I actually read it then it would help me retain the Sanskrit name of the poses. I have a teacher that follows this book closely and often quizzes us on the Sanskrit names for the poses. I’ve had it for a while and I pick it up often to check out certain poses but never really sat down and read it. Some of pictures can be quite intimidating when I first started out and I thought I’d save it for a later time.

It’s a very complete book and gives you effects and pr
Apr 20, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing
I didn't read this book from cover to cover, but reading the introduction thoroughly gave me a good idea of what it takes to develop a yoga practice. It's a great book that details the history and origin of yoga, as long as imparting the philosophies and disciplines of a 'yogi.' It has definitely changed the way I view yoga, and I look forward to practicing yoga with my new mindset.

On top of the intro, the book contains a comprehensive list of all the yoga poses I've ever done and MUCH more that
Nov 02, 2012 Wendi rated it it was amazing
I like this book because I have been doing yoga for over 10 years and wanted to add more depth to my practice. This book does this for me. There is a never ending supply of poses and I enjoy the explanation. I do not try to emulate the author while practicing. We are not built the same and my body does not and should not contort into certain configurations. That is ok. Some of the poses can be very dangerous. My only concern is that someone will really try to do some of the poses and injure them ...more
Oct 19, 2014 Ro rated it it was amazing
Used this book to study for a yoga certification exam. It is a great overview of the main principals, but I found I had to supplement with the internet. Back in the days before internet, I can see how this book would have been (and still is) a sort of yoga bible. I will be using it for years to come. The only thing I don't like about this book is the photos of his poses. I believe it leads one to believe what so many believe about yoga, that you must be able to bend like a pretzel to do yoga, wh ...more
Jul 08, 2013 Girish rated it it was amazing
This is the bible as it says. If you are into yoga then you got to have this book on your shelf and you got to look into it. But having said that since the book came out many decades ago, there have been lot of good books that came out that make it easy for beginer to learn the yoga. So you may want to look at those also. But then this book was the source and origin of yoga universe. So you got to have it and look into it to see what the master says....even though you depend on other more easily ...more
Jun 05, 2013 Ashley rated it really liked it
My senior exit project was on stress management and there are many techniques to cope with stress, yoga being one of them. This book talks about the history of yoga and also provides many different yoga poses. Personally, I've never done yoga, but started while doing research for my senior exit project, and yoga does definitely help me relieve stress. When you are doing yoga, you are focusing on your breathing and your body and nothing else around you. I believe more people should take yoga more ...more
Jan 09, 2016 Ymazing rated it liked it
This is a recommended course book in my Yoga Teacher Training programme.
The only area of caution I would like to share is that there are no classification of poses as beginners/ intermediate/advanced.
so , if you are on your own with this book, without a teacher, then it is advisable to listen to the limits of your own body ,rather than try to exactly replicate the pictures of the poses as shown in the book.
other than that, it is a dictionary for yoga, with an exhaustive list of poses covered.
Srinivas Reddy Thatiparthy
Jan 27, 2015 Srinivas Reddy Thatiparthy rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for anybody who wants to start yoga. There are more 600 asanas illustrated with the photographs from the master of Yoga - BKS Iyengar. The main difference between this book, other yoga books found in the market is the images shown in the books. I have searched many yoga books in the market, and I did not feel genuine when i saw asanas pictures of other books.

But when you see the master's asanas you will quickly realize that he is the real pro.


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Goodreads Librari...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Double entry 4 24 Aug 01, 2015 12:02AM  
  • The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice
  • Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: A Manual for Students, Teachers, and Practitioners
  • Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual
  • Yoga Anatomy
  • Hatha Yoga Pradipika
  • Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness
  • Yoga: The Iyengar Way
  • Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit: A Return to Wholeness
  • Yoga Tradition (REV Ed)
  • Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul
  • The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga
  • Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga
  • Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times
  • Yoga: A Gem for Women
  • The Yoga Sutras
  • Yoga Mala: The Seminal Treatise and Guide from the Living Master of Ashtanga Yoga
  • Yoga for Wellness: Healing with the Timeless Teachings of Viniyoga
  • The Language Of Yoga: Complete A To Y Guide To Āsana Names, Sanskrit Terms, And Chants
Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (Kannada: ಬೆಳಳೂರ ಕೃಷಣಮಾಚಾರ ಸುಂದರರಾಜ ಐಯಂಗಾರ), (also known as Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar) (Born December 14, 1918 in Bellur, Kolar District, Karnataka, India) is the founder of Iyengar Yoga. He is considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world and has been practicing and teaching yoga for more than 75 years. He has written many books on yogic practi ...more
More about B.K.S. Iyengar...

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