Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hatha Yoga Illustrated

Kirk, Martin, Brooke, Boone, and Daniel DiTuro. Hatha Yoga Illustrated.

I'm finally going to call this one finished. It isn't, of course, because I keep referring to it and will continue to do so.

What I liked about this one:

  • brief, but informative background information, even if philosophy is not in depth
  • asanas are divided into sections (standing, balancing, inverted, twisting, etc.)
  • excellent photographs
  • postures are shown step by step
  • both English and Sanskrit names for the asanas are included
  • counterposes
  • drishti (where the eyes should focus)
  • physical & mental benefits for each pose
  • contraindications
  • gentle variations & more advanced variations

I've been through all of the poses (although some of the advanced versions are still beyond my ability) and have used this book in conjunction with some of the others books on yoga that I'm reading. When I have a question, I look it up in one of the other books, but the photographs and information in HYI are excellent.

It does not include the pronunciations for the Sanskrit poses, but one of the other books does. Yoga Anatomy and Yoga as Medicine (still in progress) are much more detailed about complicated anatomical aspects and medical benefits of poses, but HYI is the best book for learning over 70 asanas. It is suitable for basic and advanced practitioners, has clear, easy to read info and instructions, and marvelous, helpful photos. Great learning and reference tool.

Nonfiction. Yoga. 2006. 232 pages.


  1. Jenclair...can you tell me your secret? I consider myself an avid reader, but I can't read as many books as you do. You seem to read a book a day! Where do you find the variety of books to choose from? How do you do it? Do you do reviews for a job or just for fun? I LOVE your blogs. Thanks for all the sharing you do!!

  2. averyclaire - :) I do read quickly, but I also spend several hours a night reading. The reviews often come close together because I finish 3 or 4 books before I begin reviewing them.

    My reviews are just to keep track of my reading and are not professional in any way. They are all personal opinions, not literary criticism, and I often feel much differently about books than other reviewers. That is the beauty of blog get opinions from bloggers you know.

    My book choices are often the result of the reviews from blogs I read, from seeing a book on the library shelves, and from something that catches my interest in a book that I've read. (Love books with good bibliographies!)

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blogs. Comments are what keep many of us returning to the computer!