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The Tree of Yoga: The Definitive Guide to Yoga in Everyday Life

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  999 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Iyengar developed a form of yoga that focuses on developing strength, endurance, correct body alignment, as well as flexibility and relaxation. The Iyengar method integrates philosophy, spirituality, and the practice of yoga into everyday living. In "The Tree of Yoga, " Iyengar offers his thoughts on many practical and philosophical subjects including family life, love and ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 3rd 2013 by Harper Thorsons (first published 1988)
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Craig Shoemake
Now I will use the B word: “B” is for “beautiful,” and this slim volume by the still-living godfather of yoga is beautiful.

While I find I enjoy and benefit from anything Iyengar writes, I was actually more impressed by this book than I had expected to be. I did not go into it with any particular expectations–perhaps that helped–except the very positive reviews on Amazon. It is not an asana book, and Iyengar not being a scholar (he does not even have a high school degree he says on page 28, and
Jul 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first 2/3rds of this book were clear, beautifully-put passages that explained all the basics behind yogic philosophy for anyone with a low background in it, and it covered many of the points I learned over my yoga teacher training.

However, then he went into yoga and health, where he started to assert unfounded things like doing yoga while menstruating can cause cancer longterm and other things I just can't read and maintain respect for, and that had no evidence or sources to back the "medic
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read "Tree of Yoga" at least twice from cover-to-cover, more times by dipping into a chapter on occasion. Now I am reading it again. It's organized as a series of essays addressing some question or topic. That's how the book evolved, as I undertand it. Mr Iyengar would address a question or discuss a topic; those discussions were grouped and edited and compose the book. If you are a yoga practitioner and have ever had a question about your practice, or the discipline, art and science of yog ...more
Aug 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one I'll have to reread a few times.
Alison S
I read this book as I was looking for something that provided a good overview of Yoga philosophy, beyond just the physical poses. It pretty much met that brief - Iyengar has an engaging writing style and there were many passages in this book that were genuinely illuminating. I did struggle more towards the last third of the book though, as it became mystifyingly esoteric, as well as a little dry at times. It certainly acts as a good jumping off point for those interested in finding out more abou ...more
Camille Cusumano
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual

The Bible may be the earliest example of yellow journalism. I can think of no other reason why it would be a bestseller and not Yoga Sutras, Patanjali's ancient spiritual guide that predates the Bible by a few thousand years. Indeed the Bible derives all its good stuff directly from Yoga Sutras. There were not that many people walking the earth in those olden times and they shared wisdom freely, so it is not farfetched to
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book. A bit dense at times, but still a very pleasurable read. Likens the life of a yogi, the eight limbs of the classic yogic path and the rise to awareness with a (literal) tree. Easy to understand. For serious yoga/meditation students only. Not too much asana focus.
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Filled with information about Iyengar's yogic philosophy and principles from Patanjal's Yoga Sutras. Will need many more readings to begin to understand the depths of yoga.
Michael  Gajda
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. Clearly written. With compassion. This is a book that inspires and will also be one that I return to to study and absorb. A great teacher who is also a great writer.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the lesser known works of the great master, Mr. Iyengar, this book is insightful, thought provoking and elegantly written with a touch of humor and a dollop of humility. Picked it up, as it was left unfinished by someone.

Presented as a series of essays, Mr. Iyengar goes through the different sheaths of yoga on an physiological, psychological and spiritual level. With interesting analogies combined with anecdotal stories from his treasure trove of experiences and the puranas, he talks abo
Julia Davis
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really expanded on my existing yoga knowledge, and simplified the academic/intellectual complications that happen from listening and learning about the subject from different sources. Yoga is yoga: it's one and for all. It connects the mind, body and soul, and with asanas brings meditation, if you're lucky enough!

The concept that a person is always a student is really comforting, and the idea that we should approach each yoga session with fresh eyes is exciting too. I appreciate the importance
Ha Thu
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga-journey
This book gives in-depth insights into the therapeutic nature and spiritual value of yoga. On the first half of the book, Iyengar offers his thoughts on many practical and philosophical subjects including family, sexuality, meditation, health, aging, death and culture difference between the East and the West in terms of yoga. I found these anecdotes quite helpful on improving my motto toward everyday asana practice and on integrating yoga into daily life.
The following half is more about discove
Crystal S.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ytt
I found something about reading this book to be a humbling experience. After practicing yoga for 15 years, different styles, different teachers, different places, different spaces, I feel like every yoga teacher or aspiring yoga teacher should read this book.

If you've read Light on Yoga, you realize how technical he can be and this is not that book. It's truly a series of essays you can pick from or read through. I highly recommend the one on childhood and the last chapter on teaching. Many ane
Roman Drits
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Заниматься чистой философией – не самое большое достижение. Философы – те же мечтатели. Но мы должны привнести философию в повседневную жизнь – так, чтобы все её невзгоды и радости были наполнены философией".

Что же происходит с моим умом – медитация или пустота; спокойствие или беспамятство? Учусь ли я осознанности, или хороню привыкшие к хаосу совесть, сознание, чувства и плоть под одеяло гармонии?
Voula  (otl1987)
I liked how this book is made of small parts you can easily read and go back to whenever you want. Yoga, not just the physical parto fo it, is explained simply and you can see how it can be easily integrated in the everyday life of anyone.
It's perfect as a light, introductory book, and I definitely feel I want to read more in-depth stuff about mindfulness and the connection between the physical and spiritual/mental worlds from different cultures as well.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school, yoga, non-fiction
There were some really great parts, and some kind of preachy parts -which, I guess, he’s earned the right to be. I loved his clear analogies and definitions, and the whole tree section especially was wonderful. This is one I’m sure I’ll read again, and will pull out parts for my teaching and my own practice.
Alex Boon
Firm DNF. I'm sure this will work for many but for me it read like a rambling stream of consciousness that desperately needed a copy-editor. The health section was full of quackery and any sentences beginning like "women should..." not written by a woman or medical professional make me feel awkward. Not for me.
Flor de Maria Herrero
Great book to deepen your yoga practice

A mus read for those who have started practicing yoga and for those who want to learn more and find a guide to navigate the practice of yoga
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
great book if you really want to get serious about yoga. highly recommended.
Hazzie Sof
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book to add more depth to my personal practice. Nice read and easy to understand. It gave me more topics to think about as I'm doing my own yoga.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A must read for every yoga teacher or any serious practitioners. Guruji Iyengar always inspires me with his immense knowledge and wisdom.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, yoga
Useful insights.
Read this for my astanga teachertraining
Paul Webb
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. As a yoga teacher it exposed me to several new ideas and therefore impacted my practice and teaching in a good way.
Dennis Littrell
Apr 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga
Iyengar, B. K. S.; Daniel Rivers-Moore, ed. The Tree of Yoga (1988) ****
Light from one of the great teachers of yoga

B. K. S. Iyengar achieved an international reputation with the publication of his classic Light on Yoga in 1966, which today stands as the definitive work on hatha yoga, a work made distinctive not only by the 602 photographs of Iyengar himself demonstrating the various poses, but by the detailed manner in which they are explained. He was then 38-years-old. Since then he has writte
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
After reading Light on Yoga, I decided that my next book should be another of Iyengar's. This time it's The Tree of Yoga. Light on Yoga is more about the poses and how to do them correctly and The Tree of Yoga is a collection of Iyengar's teachings on how to incorporate Yoga into every day life.

There are so many short little chapters that have so much information that I had to take the time to read a little bit and then let the information sink in. I like this approach when 'studying' Yoga books
Jul 30, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: yogis, yoginis, Iyengar students
Shelves: yoga, nonfiction
This is a rambling and charming little book by Mr. Iyengar written in an unassuming, conversational style. It complements his legendary practical manuals (like Light On Yoga and Yoga: The Path To Holistic Health) which are essential but by necessity limited in focus. I liked the metaphor of the eight branches of yoga as parts of a tree (roots, bark, leaves, etc) because it helped me name and remember the eight branches and appreciate how they can all be part of a practice centered around asana. ...more
Hannah Faulkner
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Tree of Yoga is full of symbolic imagery that paints the picture of yoga in a new light. It has inspired me to create a whole spiritual retreat from it, in Palm Springs, with everything from physical yoga practice, meditation, book discussion, palm tree canyon hike and even a palm tree painting workshop. I love how Iyengar gives practical advice to teachers about specifics in both asana and life.

However, it can be tough to get through at times as the language isn't always the most understand
Dec 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a great reference, but a tedious read. There is a glossary for the Sanskrit words that are used throughout the text, but the heavy use of foreign vocabulary made getting through this book quite a feat. That said, I do have a marginally better understanding of the practice and philosophy of yoga and I can see revisiting this book when I feel a little less intimidated (and distracted) by all the Sanskrit vocabulary. Worth reading.
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health, yoga
Interesting and illuminating. I enjoy his voice and how his personality shines through. It has padded my thoughts with things to be conscious of when practicing yoga, and staying present. "Are you caught in the web of what you have read, searching for the experience of somebody else's written word, or are you working to know with a fresh mind what type of new light is cast on the pose by your own experience while performing it?". What a dude.
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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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