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Light on Yoga

4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,997 Ratings  ·  237 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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Light on Yoga by B.K.S. IyengarAutobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa YoganandaOm Chanting and Meditation by Amit RayYoga and Vipassana by Amit RayBhagavad Gita by Anonymous
Yoga Teacher Training
1st out of 55 books — 61 voters
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Yoga Practice
1st out of 85 books — 58 voters

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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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-
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
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
Mar 06, 2016 Kristie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, to-die-for, yoga
It's weird to mark this as "finished" because I'm not truly finished--I won't be finished for a long time, if ever. But I've read through most of it and have started using his course schedule as my daily at-home practice, so I feel confident enough to rate this book. It's wonderful. Obviously, it is best to practice yoga with someone there to guide and correct you, but that isn't a realistic thing to have every day, so his instructions are extremely helpful. I especially like the name descriptio ...more
Dec 25, 2015 Thesi11 rated it it was amazing
Yogaūbungen sind so genau erklārt- besser geht es nicht!
Emily Judds
Jul 07, 2015 Emily Judds rated it it was amazing
While it's not exactly a beach read, this book is basically the Bible for yogis. I thought it might be hard for me to understand since I only started my practice less than a year ago, but the instructions, photographs, and effects are all explained really clearly--even for the beginner! It's a great reference book that I will keep handy for whatever question I may have about my asana practice. If you're looking to deepen your yoga practice, I definitely recommend this one!
Mar 13, 2012 Nicole rated it it was ok
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.
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
Jun 14, 2016 Meg is currently reading it
"Āsanas have been evolved over the centuries so as to exercise every muscle, nerve, and gland in the body. They secure a fine physique, which is strong and elastic without being muscle bound and they keep the body free from disease. They reduce fatigue and soothe the nerves. But their real importance lies in the way they train and discipline the mind.
Many actors, acrobats, athletes, dancers, musicians and sportsmen also possess superb physiques and have great control over the body, but they lack
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.
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.
Dec 30, 2014 Ravi rated it it was amazing
Timeless, glorious wisdom of Yoga! Iyengar is a gift to those who seek that wisdom.
Apr 14, 2016 Cheyenne rated it it was amazing
One of a few yoga bible! A must read for any yoga practicioner.
Jul 26, 2010 LeeLee rated it it was amazing
Very clear introduction to a the classic perspective of Hatha yoga.
Mar 03, 2016 Krista rated it it was amazing
a lot of excellent info
Apr 06, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
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
Debra Radigan
Feb 14, 2016 Debra Radigan rated it it was amazing
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 Thatiparthy
Jan 27, 2015 Srinivas 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.


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
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
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
Mar 01, 2014 Pewterbreath rated it did not like it
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
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Goodreads Librari...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Double entry 4 23 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
  • Yoga The Spirit And Practice Of Moving Into Stillness
  • Hatha Yoga Pradipika
  • Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit: A Return to Wholeness
  • Yoga: The Iyengar Way
  • Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul
  • The Yoga Sutras
  • Yoga Tradition (REV Ed)
  • Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga
  • The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga
  • Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times
  • Yoga for Wellness: Healing with the Timeless Teachings of Viniyoga
  • Yoga Mala: The Seminal Treatise and Guide from the Living Master of Ashtanga Yoga
  • Yoga: A Gem for Women
  • 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
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