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Power Yoga: The Total Strength and Flexibilty Workout
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Power Yoga: The Total Strength and Flexibilty Workout

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  281 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Tens of thousands of athletes know Beryl Bender Birch, Wellness Director for the New York Road Runners Club, as the teacher who showed them that yoga could protect them from injuries and improve their athletic performance. In Power Yoga, the first book on astanga yoga, a unique form of hatha yoga designed to build strength and stamina, Birch brings the ancient spiritual an ...more
Published (first published January 17th 1995)
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Jan 06, 2014 Keith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Athletes
A delightful book to read, both because of the personal history, but also because of the genera background written in an interesting writing style. Although I say I have 'read' it, it outlines a program take will years to work through to doing the more advanced poses. And if I never get there, that's all right. As I went through the book, the poses and sequences were familiar because I had a yoga teacher that used them, even though she didn't use the words 'power yoga' or 'Ashtanga'. Most of the ...more
Nov 17, 2010 Morgan is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Morgan by: Studio 34
Birch's brand of "Power Yoga" is, simpley put, the Ashtanga Yoga as practiced by K. Pattabhi Jois and his disciples. What makes this book unique is Birch herself, and her story of how she came to yoga, and then to Ashtanga. Her introduction is a fascinating slice of what yoga in the late 20th century was to America—from hippy cults who rode the bandwagons of various gurus, to hatha systems that constantly broke poses up with moments of rest, to the Joisian flow that Norman Allen brought to New Y ...more
J.J. Johnson
In my twenties, I was too intimidated to go to a yoga class, so I bought this book. I literally based my Ashtanga practice on this book. About six months later, I worked up the nerve to go to a yoga studio. I went to a 90 min intermediate Ashtanga class. After class, I confessed to the teacher that it was my first yoga class, ever. She was agog. "But... how did you learn your practice?" I told her I had read a book. She shook her head and smiled. "Wow. That must have been *some* book."
Apr 20, 2012 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The pictures of asanas in the book are wonderful. I especially like that there are variations of common poses as well as "textbook" positions shown.

There are a few pictures where I would suggest changing the alignment, and I felt the personal narrative was slightly unnecessary, but overall this was a wonderful introduction to power yoga and would be suitable for people who what to begin a personal practice but don't know where to start.
Jan 11, 2008 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, own
I don't know if you can really say I'm "reading" this book... but I am absorbing it chapter by chapter as I slowly fumble my way through learning yoga, by book. This book is excellent, but maybe I should give in and take a class.
Oct 13, 2008 Candice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good overview if you are just starting yoga. It give detailed photos and descriptions of the poses without going too far so you get lost. This is a textbook for a course that I have taken several times and is an all around good overview for pure astanga yoga.
Mar 15, 2011 Kristina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a required text for my hatha yoga class, now I'm rereading it more in depth. I love Birch's analogies, she is truly someone I would love to meet someday.
Craig Shoemake
Oct 30, 2011 Craig Shoemake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga, asanas
Instructive manual on astanga yoga. Intellectually a little fluffy...
Mar 31, 2008 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in yoga
This is a great intro to power yoga to supplement/enhance anyone's yoga practice. It was a textbook for school and I kept it and it's a great refresher and has lots of pictures and descriptions.
Oct 02, 2008 Kristin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: practioners of Ashtanga series
Shelves: yoga
A bit wordy to use with an active practice, but some great advise from a long time practitioner of the Ashtanga sequence. I like to use this as a reference more so than a practice manual.
Power Yoga: The Total Strength and Flexibility Workout by Beryl Bender Birch (1995)
Aug 07, 2014 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great resource for power yoga practitioners and teachers. I found the information on specific injuries to be very helpful.
Tirzah Evangelista
I paused for now, but it's a good read for who wants to actively practice Yoga
May 06, 2011 Jocelyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my textbook for my first yoga class. This stuff is hard. If it doesn't hurt, you're doing it wrong.
David Melik
Jul 01, 2007 David Melik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystics
This book details a vigourous system of Hatha Yoga that I suggest one try after taking a Yoga class.
Oya rated it it was amazing
Apr 17, 2012
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Apr 09, 2012
Lara rated it it was amazing
May 25, 2014
Zijadin Hajdari
Zijadin Hajdari rated it it was ok
Oct 18, 2016
Susan Miller
Susan Miller rated it it was amazing
Jun 04, 2014
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Feb 29, 2012
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“finding the time to practice takes a little effort and thought. For many of us, already feeling maxed out in terms of time constraints, being told that we need to set aside more time five days a week to do something else is in itself stressful. As you make your wellness and wholeness a priority, you will find it becomes easier to protect your practice by creating a special place and time in which to work on yourself.” 0 likes
“The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root yug, which means “to yoke or harness.” Since 500 B.C., yoga has traditionally referred to the art of “yoking.” or hooking up, the lower (or individual) consciousness with the higher (or universal) consciousness. Over the centuries the word yoga has also been used to mean “union,” and often refers not only to the union between lower and higher levels of consciousness, but union between mind and body.” 0 likes
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