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Friday, June 26, 2009

Yoga Mind, Body and Spirit

Farhi, Donna. Yoga Mind, Body and Spirit.

Part One: Groundwork covers a definition of yoga, the principles of yoga (the Yamas and Niyamas), an explanation of asanas and their purpose, and Farhi's Seven Moving Principles.

Some points and passages that I especially liked:

- "the practice is the reward"

- "yoga is both the means and the result, and the seed of all that is possible is present at the beginning"

- on asteya (not stealing) - "all misappropriation is a an expression of lack" and "The practice of asteya asks us to be careful not to take anything that is not freely given." (she goes on to explain that taking someone's ideas or time is a form of misappropriation)

- on santosha (contentment) - "Contentment also should not be confused with complacency, in which we allow ourselves to stagnate in our growth," and "Contentment not only implies acceptance of the present but tends to generate the capacity for hopefulness."

Farhi also covers the Neuroendocrine System, the Organ System, the Fluid System, the Cellular System, the Nervous System, and the Musculoskeletal System. She lists their attributes, structure and qualities and how to engage each system.

Part Two: The Yoga Asanas includes how to practice the asanas, considerations to keep in mind, essential skills, and how to incorporate the "Seven Moving Principles." There are separate sections on the standing postures, the sitting postures, backbends, arm balances & inversions, and restorative postures & breathing practices.

Part Three: Practice discusses sequencing, general and thematic practices, transitional movements, counterposes, and gives several possibles sequences for beginner, intermediate, and advanced practioners.

This is an excellent book by a registered movement therapist and renowned and respected yoga teacher. The book is practical and inspirational. I finished it about 2 weeks ago and have already referred to it many times!

Nonfiction. Yoga. 2000. 270 pages.


  1. "the practice is the reward" - I love this. And, I think I'm finally "getting" it the more I'm committed to a practice. I've done yoga on and off for years but I think something has really clicked for me in the past months. Needless to say, I haven't read much about yoga other than articles in Yoga Journal. I definitely wouldn't mind checking out this book so thank you for a great review of it. I'll have to look for it. And, now, I'm off to yoga - really! :)

  2. iliana - Although much of the content in many of the books overlaps, it is always interesting to see the way each author interprets and presents the material. I've been impressed by the quality of all of the books on my reading list from YogaYoga and with the ones I had ordered at the beginning of the year as part of my self-challenge.