Essential Yoga

An Illustrated Guide
By Olivia Miller with Paul Howard, Yoga Consultant
Illustrations by Nicole Kaufman
Published by Chronicle Books, Spring 2004; 240 pages

ESSENTIAL YOGA is a comprehensive guide to the practice of hatha yoga. It features clear and detailed instructions and beautiful illustrations to over 100 yoga poses, breathing exercises, and meditations. The soft cover book with its lay-flat binding is divided into 7 chapters:

Breathing Exercises
Chapter 1 features a dozen breathing exercises (pranayamas), designed to help decrease tension, increase energy, and improve mental and physical health.

Warm-ups
Chapter 2 includes 27 warm-ups to help loosen joints and muscles, get the circulation moving, and preparing your mind for yoga.

Poses
Chapter 3, the largest section of the book, features yoga poses (asanas) done from standing, kneeling, seated, prone, supine, and inverted positions.

Meditations
Chapter 4 features 10 meditations (dhyanas) designed to help you quiet your mind and bring yourself back to the present moment.

Flowing Yoga Routines
Chapter 5 includes yoga routines that are done in a specific series, such as Sun Salutation, Moon Salutation, Camel Vinyasa.

Yoga Sessions
Chapter 6 offers 10 yoga sessions, ranging in length from 20 minutes to up to an hour and a half; thumbnail sketches of the postures are included.

Recommended Sequences
Chapter 7 includes 48 sequences for alleviating specific health conditions (back pain relief, balance and concentration, energy boost) or strengthening activities (bicycling, running, swimming).

A reference section is also provided for those who would like more information about books, websites, videos, and organizations.

This simple and complete reference guide is geared toward yoga practitioners at all levels of practice. Suggestions and cautions are provided for beginners as well s those coping with knee, back or neck pain. Tips for proper alignment and technique are included as well as the benefits of each pose, breathing exercise, and meditation.

I hope ESSENTIAL YOGA proves to be a helpful resource to you in your yoga practice. As always, namaste!

The deck is available on Amazon.