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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teaching Yoga by Mark Stephens

Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques is an excellent source for both teachers and students.  

Stephens is well-versed in the history and ethics of yoga, as well as in several yoga styles.  The first few chapters deal with the history of yoga, its philosophy and ethics, subtle energy (the 5 sheaths, prana, nadis, bandhas chakras, etc.), and body structure and movement.

There are also chapters on teaching yoga poses, techniques and tools, teaching pranayama and meditation, and sequencing and planning classes.  He emphasizes the importance of practice, self-discovery, and the role of the breath.  Steeped in the knowledge of classical yoga and modern adaptations, Stephens
manages to make the practice of yoga accessible to experienced teachers, new teachers, and students.

The book also includes appendices on yoga resources, a glossary, a list of asanas, and asana elements (preparation, integration, and exploration).

I will be using this fine book as a resource and re-reading chapters and elements frequently.  It took me quite a while to read through and highlight on my first reading, but it was well worth the effort.

Nonfiction.  Yoga.  2010.  385 pages + extensive notes and bibliographical information.


  1. I'm really proud of the fact that I understood a bunch of the things you mentioned in the review! :-)

    My practice continues. I'm settling into a 3 times a week routine and it is lovely.

  2. Kay, I've been making changes in my morning practice, incorporating more of Gary Kraftsow's routines...I really like having a specific purpose for each one. Now I'm trying to "check with" Mark Stephens hints, too.

    I'm so glad that you are enjoying your classes!

  3. I get questions about teaching yoga all the time. If you read Planet Yoga’s #yogachat, they had a great discussion on teaching tips. It’s part of their weekly Twitter #yogachat. I thought your readers might want to check it out: