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Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual

4.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  979 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Whether new to Ashtanga or an experienced student or teacher, readers will find this book to be invaluable. It contains over 650 photos and multiple variations for every asana in the primary and intermediate series plus three short forms. Its spiral binding assures easy use while practicing and the hard cover increases durability.
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published August 17th 2004 by Ashtanga Yoga Productions (first published September 20th 1999)
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Feb 07, 2008 Tom rated it it was amazing
Strongest feature is that for each posture, a number of alternative versions are suggested for students who can't accomplish the full posture. Many detailed photos and motivational insights. The spiral-bound format is useful for practioners.

Some aspects of the layout are a little cheesy, and editing is not great (many misspellings and grammatical errors), but these are outweighed by the good points. Note: the book is Ashtanga-specific, so there's no discussion of pranayama, for instance.
Mar 13, 2012 Deborah rated it really liked it
Liked the emphasis on 'practice,' the explanation of the basics: Breath, Bandhas, Mulabandha, the 9 Drishtis, and at the end, the Full Flow and Short Forms. Helpful manual!
Lindsey Jarrett
Mar 01, 2013 Lindsey Jarrett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga-meditation
A great manual that I was gifted by two amazing yoga studio owners. Great for anyone who loves the Ashtanga practice to get a breakdown of the series. Really easy to follow and has literally been by my side many times in front of my mat. The perfect buddy when developing your practice. And David Swenson is wonderful. Great energy, so much knowledge.
Mar 17, 2016 Goncalo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
Best practice manual I've seen - simple, clear and good photos.
Annie Vu
Aug 09, 2015 Annie Vu rated it it was amazing
It turns out to be the Practice Manual exactly as I hoped it to be. Neither too short or too long, concise, in spiral bound, with lots of big clear pictures of each step. It is perfect for making your own Pictograph - when my teacher corrects my pose, I make a note of it on the photo, which has been a very helpful reminder for my practice.

This book provides just enough background information and things we should pay attention to while practice. For those wanting more in depth history and analysi
Oct 30, 2014 Katy rated it it was amazing
Incredibly complete. Even if you have practiced for years, the depth of the descriptions is worth a look.
Patricia Bacall
Jun 11, 2014 Patricia Bacall rated it really liked it
Something to aspire to... cannot do many of the poses, but beautifully illustrated...
Jan 18, 2015 Coleen rated it it was amazing
The toto Astanga practice manual. Among my top ten favorite yoga books.
Feb 15, 2014 Candina rated it it was amazing
Excellent explanation, very thorough, lots of modifications.
Kimz Zahour
Mar 23, 2008 Kimz Zahour rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga
I was hoping this book included the forth, fifth and sixth Ashtanga series of poses. Not that I'm ready for them... just curious to even SEE them. Most Yogis don't practice beyond the third series and that is the highest level I've seen depicted in any book (maybe they are included on the OM poster of 908 poses... I'll have to look more closely).
I'm not at all disappointed in the book though. It's a wonderful book with a spiral binding and beautiful photographs of the "Form" and includes the fir
Nov 11, 2012 Valeria rated it it was amazing
I'm very satisfied with this guide of Ashtanga Yoga. Although, not sure if this is ideal for beginners. I've been practicing yoga for a year now and this guide gives more flesh to the basics that one has learned all these months. However, one can have this book at the same time one goes a beginner's class.

David gives you alternatives to the positions, gold corns of advice about the practice and the spirit of yoga.

I think this is one of those books you'll return to as long as you're a yoga pract
Tina Hamilton
Jan 12, 2010 Tina Hamilton rated it really liked it
I had the opportunity to recently take a weekend workshop with David Swenson. I have always heard he is a remarkable teacher. I also found him to have a great sense of humor and down to earth in his advice. Of course I had to purchase his book as I practice Ashtanga yoga, he is my teacher's teacher, and I was fortunate enough to be David's model for a few poses. Yes, he graciously autographed the book.
Oct 02, 2008 Kristin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: yoga practitioners
Shelves: yoga
Attending one of David Swenson's workshops is even better.

This manuel is great for any level of practitioner as it gives clear and concise directions and instructions on the poses found in the Ashtanga sequence. That he offers modfications makes this book a huge step up from other (that and it lies flat).

A great reference for anybody practicing yoga, not just the Primary Series.
Aug 09, 2007 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Speedo Enthusiasts
Shelves: sport
This is an essential yoga book. It is great as a companion to your in class studies, and on it’s own. Ashtanga Yoga has step by step illustrations and clear descriptions, that are enlightening even for the veteran yogi.

In the back of the book they have “short form” and “long form” work outs you can build off of when you start developing your own personal practice.
Apr 08, 2008 Joshua rated it it was amazing
this is the bible for any serious student of asana in the ashtanga vinyasa style. david swenson provides detailed descriptions for moving into and out of poses in both the primary and intermediate series, as well as modified versions of the poses for those who may not have the initial strength or flexibility for the full pose.
Uday Desai
Nov 03, 2011 Uday Desai rated it it was amazing
There are not more than 5 stars available to give to this book. I wanted to give more (don't know how many more).

Though I have "read" this book several time, I cannot mark it as "read".

I decided to move it into read, because I did not want to crowd my "currently reading" list.
Apr 03, 2008 Jena rated it it was amazing
This is the one of the best books on ashtanga that I've found thus far. The spiral binding makes it easy to spread the book out in front of you for reference while trying new postures. The sequence illustrations are also wonderful.
May 15, 2012 Brandi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga
This is the place to start if you want to pick up Ashtanga. Straight forward and offers lots of modified options for asanas that might start off as too difficult. Not overly philosophical. I really like Swenson.
John Cal
Jun 08, 2010 John Cal rated it it was amazing
A must read if you're into any sort of yoga. Even if you're not into Ashtanga, the step by step explanations help make yoga easier or more challenging, not matter your current level of practice.
Aug 08, 2012 Heidi rated it really liked it
An absolute must have, not just for the well illustrated poses, but also for the explanation of philosophy. Just reading it had a positive effect on my practice!
Feb 10, 2012 Avonlea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is fabulous. It will give me ideas for yoga for years to come. Now I just need to make it a daily practice AND become a certified yoga instructor... :)
Jun 05, 2008 Judy rated it it was amazing
It really is the one book everyone who practices yoga should have. Good photos,clear instructions on when to take a breath and when to release it. Namaste.
Mar 30, 2010 yengyeng rated it it was amazing
Two life lessons learnt are that yoga is a life-long endeavour and that there are always alternatives (for poses that I cannot do today).
Jul 22, 2012 Branqo rated it it was amazing
Most important book for Ashtanga yoga! Illustrations are great with detailed descriptions. Covers everything you need to know
Angela Remillard
Feb 16, 2011 Angela Remillard rated it it was amazing
Very detailed and illustrative yet uncomplicated guide to some complicated asanas.
Kate Lumsden
Nov 03, 2012 Kate Lumsden rated it it was amazing
this book inspired some of my first home yoga practices. i think that says it all.
Rita Ramos
Nov 16, 2013 Rita Ramos rated it it was amazing
A very useful tool for beginners and more advanced ashtangis. Concise and informative.
Apr 05, 2009 Shelley rated it it was amazing
This book is permanently on my desk and I refer to it all the time!
Aug 25, 2008 Melanee rated it really liked it
Excellent guide for aspiring yogis. I would definately recommend it.
Jan 17, 2010 Leigh added it
Ashtanga yoga : the practice manual by David Swenson (2000)
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