Light on Yoga
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Light on Yoga

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4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  3,377 ratings  ·  177 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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Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa YoganandaLight on Yoga by B.K.S. IyengarBhagavad Gita by AnonymousThe Yoga Sutras by Swami SatchidanandaOm Chanting and Meditation by Amit Ray
Yoga Teacher Training 2008-9
2nd out of 35 books — 38 voters
Light on Yoga by B.K.S. IyengarLight on Prãnãyãma by B.K.S. IyengarThe Yoga Bible by Christina BrownYoga as Medicine by Timothy MccallPower Yoga by Beryl Bender Birch
Yoga Practice
1st out of 60 books — 38 voters


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Lidia
Mar 06, 2008 Lidia rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Anne
Mar 21, 2008 Anne rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Alissa
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
Craig Shoemake
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...more
Joseph Raffetto
The yoga classic Light on Yoga outlines the history and philosophy of yoga. One definition of Yoga is it's the "true union of our will with the will of God."" In fact there is a lot about God or the Universal Spirit in the introduction. There is much in the ethical teaching that corresponds with the Christian faith. It's been suggested that Jesus spent time in India. After reading this, I wondered if that might be true.

This is not to say yoga is a religion. It's not. It's a science of all religi...more
Danimal4288
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.
Dennis Littrell
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-...more
Jessie Toporek
“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...more
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...more
Nicole
Had some good info, but was a lot of reading for a few positions. I think this book was probably great for when it was first written but now that yoga has picked up in popularity, I think there may be better books for beginners out there. This would be for someone that is looking to read more about the positions rather than learning how to do them.
Barbara
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.
Ram
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.
LeeLee
Very clear introduction to a the classic perspective of Hatha yoga.
Uday Desai
Sep 07, 2011 Uday Desai rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: must-read


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...more
Pewterbreath
Whooo. Ever buy a cookbook wanting something new to make for weekday dinners, and it ends up being an incredibly intricate spend all day cooking tome of extremely difficult recipes that didn't fit your needs? That's what this book is like for me. This has all the stuff about yoga that initially turned me off--incredibly uncomfortable looking poses, explanations that require you to be gung-ho to really get into. Phew, this book probably does a lot of good for some people, but it's way too hard co...more
Jennie
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...more
Deborah
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...more
Anastasia Kozak
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
Wendi
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
Donna
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...more
Terri
Another must read, a foundational text in the exploration of asana practice. Just be aware that asana is the tip of the iceberg, and a gateway into your practice, as opposed to the ultimate goal.
Dipa
Awesome book. Could only digest so much on my first reading. I'll probably have to read it again at some point. Simply written, easy to understand.
Harvendra Raj
Nice illusteration of all the posture.
yogic posture to cure common disease is given.
300 Week yoga course is unique feature of this book
Girish
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
Ashley
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
Dasha
A thorough and organized guide. A staple in my home yoga library.
Cyrus
Oct 30, 2008 Cyrus is currently reading it
I read this book off-course because I practice Yoga, DUH! that and I have nohing better to do but stand around in some position of some forest animal,for hours a day, since I'm un-employed somehow "independently wealthy" (as my best-buddy on here, amy, puts it) and pretty much retired and, fought all my "personal battles" and, won them; already at the tender old-age of 30.
Oh yeah; and by the way; that s the only reason and,or condition ,you should be reading it too.
which is why I just told you...more
Summer Bock, Holistic Nutrition & Herbs
I began studying this book over 8 years ago. This book was the cornerstone to the beginning of my serious practice of yoga. I practiced for years before I even took a yoga class. Now I study and practice Ashtanga, but would like to get certified as a teacher through Iyengar's teacher training because he is so focused on proper form and utilization of the right muscles. When I leave an Iyengar class, I can walk with my heart open and my shoulders back with ease.
Shana
Feb 06, 2014 Shana rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I'm clearly not enough of a yogi to slog through this yet. I love doing yoga, but I couldn't sit still...
Alicia L
Aug 20, 2012 Alicia L rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Yoga lovers
Recommended to Alicia by: Friend
This book frequently comes off the shelf. Its my go to at home yoga book and the loose binding, scribbles of writing, beat up cover and tea stains are all signs of love. This book has lots of description as well as photographs for yoga poses. Don't expect the photos to look like modern day yoga models though. Its not a book that I could ever read cover to cover, but use as a sort of encyclopedia for the physical yoga practice.
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  • The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice
  • Yoga Anatomy
  • Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: A Manual for Students, Teachers, and Practitioners
  • Yoga The Spirit And Practice Of Moving Into Stillness
  • Hatha Yoga Pradipika
  • Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual
  • Yoga: The Iyengar Way
  • The Yoga Sutras
  • 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
  • The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice
  • Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life
  • Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit: A Return to Wholeness
  • Yoga and the Quest for the True Self
  • Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing
  • Anatomy of Movement
  • Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques
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Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (Kannada: ಬೆಳ್ಳೂರ್ ಕೃಷ್ಣಮಾಚಾರ್ ಸುಂದರರಾಜ ಐಯಂಗಾರ್), (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 p...more
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