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Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual

4.42 of 5 stars 4.42  ·  rating details  ·  799 ratings  ·  35 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,534)
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Deborah
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!
Tom
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.
Lindsey Jarrett
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.
Katy
Incredibly complete. Even if you have practiced for years, the depth of the descriptions is worth a look.
Patricia Bacall
Something to aspire to... cannot do many of the poses, but beautifully illustrated...
Coleen
The toto Astanga practice manual. Among my top ten favorite yoga books.
Candina
Excellent explanation, very thorough, lots of modifications.
Kimz Zahour
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
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Valeria
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
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Tina Hamilton
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.
Kristin
Oct 02, 2008 Kristin rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Michelle
Aug 09, 2007 Michelle rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
Joshua
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
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.
Jena
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.
Brandi
May 15, 2012 Brandi rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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.
Heidi
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!
Emily
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... :)
Judy
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.
yengyeng
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).
Branqo
Most important book for Ashtanga yoga! Illustrations are great with detailed descriptions. Covers everything you need to know
Angela Remillard
Very detailed and illustrative yet uncomplicated guide to some complicated asanas.
Kate Lumsden
this book inspired some of my first home yoga practices. i think that says it all.
Rita Ramos
A very useful tool for beginners and more advanced ashtangis. Concise and informative.
Shelley
This book is permanently on my desk and I refer to it all the time!
Melanee
Excellent guide for aspiring yogis. I would definately recommend it.
Leigh
Jan 17, 2010 Leigh added it
Ashtanga yoga : the practice manual by David Swenson (2000)
Gwen Hurd
Excellent photos, great modifications for each pose.
Jennifer Davis
Wonderful! Will help develop anyone's yoga practice.
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