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Yoga: Path to Holistic Health

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  990 ratings  ·  58 reviews
B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health covers the complete teachings of BKS Iyengar for mind, body, and health, and is suitable for every level of yoga ability, age, and physical condition.

Fully illustrated throughout with unique 360-degree views of classic Iyengar asanas, B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health includes a 20-week course introducing
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published 2001 by Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The best part of this book is the "360 degree" photographs of each pose. Being able to see a pose from a variety of angles is incredibly helpful.
Judy Desetti
Great book for showing you exactly how to get into the pose. Each pose is shown in progressive shots so you can really see how to make the pose work for you. He has a 20 week progressive sequences of poses which is great for beginners. A perfect book for anyone wanting to learn yoga poses. I especially liked the one sheet translation of sans skirt and English names for the poses.

Biographical information about Iyengar as well as basic information on tenets of Yoga is also in this book.

I want to
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's an introduction to Iyengar Yoga and a reference book, so while I've had it for two years, I've only recently attempted reading it, rather than looking up poses. I would reccommend it (and Iyengar Yoga) to anyone, but particularly if you have physical ailments, or are overweight, it's a very accesable style of yoga- not like a gym yoga workout. It's helpful to read the introduction and go to an Iyengar Yoga class, to make sure you're doing poses correctly.
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gotta say... this is the "Holy Grail" for anyone interested in a home practice grounded in the Iyengar method.

What this book has to offer that many others don't is many many many pictorial sequences. Definitely a plus if you're used to flipping all around other yoga books to create a sequence. This one has a ton!
Dec 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction-misc
This hefty book is a more accessible (though much larger! :)) version of Iyengar's Light On Yoga. Best are the 360 degree illustrations of each asana (pose). Packed with great information on the core hatha yoga asanas, plus yoga with props, yoga for ailments and conditions, and what sequence to follow when building your own routines.
Quite possibly the best hatha yoga book out there.
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was very helpful. It detailed technique and explained the multiple variations of the poses and What Not To Do. The back of the book was especially helpful in that it pin pointed specific ailments (i.e. Migraine, Heart Attack, back pain, anorexia, you name it) and their specific treatment. I recommend this wholeheartedly to anyone wishing to educate themselves on holistic cures using yoga.
Mandy Sue
Mar 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
My go-to book for natural healing from ailments. Packed with picture guides to break down poses, yoga with props and routines based on ailments. A must have go-to guide for any practicing yogi.
Charlotte Burn
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent - BKS Iyengar designed yoga poses to help many different ailments. Diagrams in this big book are very clear. There is detailed, helpful description of how to get the pose right, including step-by-step and 360' diagrams. There is key information with each pose, such as who it will benefit and who should avoid it. Iyengar yoga teachers are highly trained and it is worth discussing your medical needs with them so that they can adjust classes for you. The book will work well alongside any ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a must have book for any yoga student. It's thick and encyclopedia-like, you are not throwing this one in your beach bag. However, the explanations and alignment for essential asanas are fantastically detailed and the photographs of each asana are from multiple angles (not just the side view like other yoga books). I also appreciated that the bodies were of an athletic fit type rather than a thin model. The substance and the philosophy sections of the book are a helpful addition and I ...more
Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not a book you ever really "finish." I took it from the library to check some poses and see if there were some new ideas for my yoga practice :) There were!

I recommend books like this ONLY IF you already do Iyengar yoga and already know how to do the poses - and having learned them from well-trained sources/teachers!

You can hurt yourself doing yoga!!

I have done Iyengar yoga for decades and for me the benefits are that it keeps me strong and flexible as I age...your results may vary :)
Feb 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
breaks down the staple poses so you know how each of your body parts should be participating. it also offers modifications of those staple poses to make them accessible for beginners. iyengar yoga at its best.
Oct 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i'm not a fan of using props, but i'm definitely using the book as a resource to deepen my asana practice. to set myself up for future yoga options :)

the 360 breakdown of the poses was really helpful!!! loved it!!!
S. Taylor
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource for fragile practioners.
Oct 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent translation of Mr Iyengar's most recent teachings, more accessible to westerners than Light on Yoga perhaps
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found this book at a used book store about three years ago and bought it thinking I would read it when I had time. What a find! It is a treasure trouve of information from the yoga master himself. Each pose is carefully broken down and includes benefits and contraindications, different modifications, and a little history. This is a "must have" for any yoga teacher's library. I think I will be going back to this book over and over again.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
The introduction read like gobbledygook, probably partially because the concepts translated from Sanskrit were not translated in a way that made them comprehensible for me as an English speaker. The bulk of the book contains explanations of postures, but I found the majority of them either inaccessible for beginners or requiring props that I don't have.
Raoum Bani
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An essential book for anyone practicing yoga
Carla Baker-boner
Excellent book for modifications and making yoga accessible to everyone.
Michelle Conley
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Perfect for helping me as I begin my practice, independent from class. Helps with accurate positioning... great tool.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: body
I didn't read all of this, but what I did read was interesting and helpful for breaking down the asanas step by step and deepening my practice.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource on practical asanas for yoga and yoga therapy.
Boris Juguin
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great teaching & great book to kick off a Yoga practice
Jun 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Yogis and those interested in health
The first four chapters of this book include a mini-biography of BKS Iyengar, his school in Pune, and yogic philosophy. The Yoga poses are illustrated with so many high quality pictures that try to present a 360 degree view of a practitioner holding a pose. After an exposition on how to correctly do an asana and its modifications, follows information on which asanas are good for which health conditions. This is invaluable information. This book is heavy and thick and chock-full of information ...more
AJ Dreadfulwater
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga-inspired
A wonderful guide for everyday yoga practice. A mix of ancient yogic philosophy, guidance through 20 classic foundational poses chosen by Iyengar, theory and practice of guided yoga uses tools, blocks, etc cumulating in a simple to follow 20 week program for beginners or anyone! Iyengar speaks and teaches as if he were born to be the one to unveil the life of a yogi directly to you. Brilliant.
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga
A very beautiful hardcover book with large photos of poses. The selection of poses are limited, although their variations are not. There is a huge chunk at the back that details the use of props to help get the therapeutic effects of certain yoga poses. This book seems to be written more for the beginners though.
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga
Better than most yoga books in that it gives detailed information about how to place your body. Some of this information is hard for a novice to understand without referencing appendices. The book also does not discuss how the poses work (why we move certain ways) or how to make your own sequences. Still looking for a better reference book
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i grabbed this off the 'new year's resolution' shelf at the front of the bookstore the other day. it seemed the one and only book that didn't scream "please feel bad about yourself and buy this diet book!". the photos look amazing and although i know i can't get into all of those positions right now i'm excited to try!
Dec 06, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a huge coffee table book, but I'm glad I read it. I've been doing Iyengar yoga for about 2 years now and enjoy it more than any other style of yoga. This book explains the philosophy of Iyengar, as well as each individual pose and what ailment it's good or bad for. It also teaches you how to do a home practice, which I need to start doing. Long book, fascinating read.
Apr 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga
Superb so far. It's nice to learn the history of the man who brought yoga to the western world. His journey causes me to feel such humility, and I only hope that I will live a life that is half as magnificent and simple as Iyengar has.
And, the yoga exercises, as always, are wonderfully rejuvenating. Iyengar's a yoga genius and my hero. =)
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a must have book for those practicing yoga. It is the ultimate reference guide on alignment, poses and iyengar way of yoga. I keep going back to it to check the proper form of a pose. It is a great reference tool.
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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 ...more