I believe that the benefits of yoga are widely known and published. There even is continued scientific research providing more and more evidence that yoga does us good and why. So Yogis don’t have to be all tongue-tied anymore when asked, “But where is the scientific proof to back up your claims?”
Yoga is excellent for
….all body shapes
With her book Big Gal Yoga, Valerie Sagun opens the door for those who might feel awkward or even unwelcome in the world of yoga, which in our culture is usually not often associated with curvier figures. The author lovingly addresses concerns “big gals” might have and encourages the reader to love and care for the body they currently own. The pictures in this book are wonderful, not least because of the colourful outfits Valerie is sporting. This is a very encouraging book for anybody who wants to become friends with yoga, regardless of size.
….getting in shape
The 21-Day Yoga Body by Sadie Nardini is a book for those who need a plan for better health and fitness. As the title indicates, it is a three week plan that incorporates a daily yoga practice, suggestions for healthy meals, affirmations and tips on how to achieve a more balanced and healthy lifestyle. The author offers a structure for each day, focusing on a yoga sequence, a nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner and a “daily action adventure.” It is the ideal scenario for all those list and plan makers who just love to have everything neatly organized.
Yoga Fitness for Men by Dean Pohlman is brand new in the Winnipeg Public Library collection. The book is packed with information and 55 poses, 25 workouts and 3 programs; 2 for 12 weeks and one for 16 weeks. The format is excellent. The images are superbly designed to guide the reader through each pose step-by-step. Modified versions are offered. This book is like a reference book for yoga poses. I would think it is a must-read, if not own, for anybody who is even remotely interested in yoga.
It is never to late to start a yoga practice. Getting further along in the life cycle might bring the need for adjustments and Yoga for Healthy Aging by Baxter Bell takes this into account. Flexibility, mobility, healthy muscles and bones, good balance to prevent falls as well as staying mentally fit – all of this becomes more important as we age.
This book offers a lot of information about different aspects, such as the principles of yoga, meditation and breathing techniques. The poses are very well explained and photographed and then put together in sequences. The focus is on safe practice and being in tune with your body. Therefore alternative poses are offered to give practitioners options that are meeting the individual needs more realistically. Scientific and medical experts were consulted to create this program, which is very reassuring. Overall this is a perfect guide for those starting out in practicing yoga as well as those who have been practicing for years and now find that some adjustments are needed. I would recommend this book to everybody, regardless of age, who wants to look into safe home practice of yoga.
….for the office
Yes, that’s right. Many of us sit too much and lately I read somewhere that “sitting is the new smoking”. This is where Chair Yoga by Kristin McGee comes in handy. It offers a full range of modified yoga movements you can do in a chair, from very basic to some challenging moves where you use the chair to help you balance as you progress to doing the pose without the chair. Of course you might want to pick and choose which poses work best for you and your office situation. Not all of us have the opportunity or the confidence to pull off a full yoga sequence in a tiny cubicle or under the watchful eye of colleagues or even the public (yikes!). The photos and explanations are all very clear, and the overall tone of the book is fun and encouraging. Please, try this at home as well. Just like all the others suggested in this post this book, too, is not strictly designated for a specific group of people. It could be very useful to the elderly, the infirm, beginners or those who are just curious about doing yoga in or with a chair. Give it a look.
I can not finish this post without mentioning Yin Yoga by Kassandra Reinhardt. If you love Yin Yoga, as I do, you will love this book. But even if you have never heard of Yin Yoga this book is worth a look. It is published by DK, so unsurprisingly the visuals are out of this world. The poses are beautifully photographed and expertly explained by Kassandra. At the back of the book you’ll find sequences suggested for specific areas of your body (and mind) that need some work. Then you are given a sequence of poses across a two-page spread. No cobbling different poses together on your own for a sequence. When you turn the page you find the pose on another two-page spread and follow those for a couple of minutes. It is so easy to follow. I find that just looking at the beautiful photographs makes me want to start practicing right away. And everybody is invited. There are sequences for beginners, intermediate and advanced practitioners with alternative poses for specific needs. The best thing, though, is that it is not overwhelming at all just very attractive.
I hope that you feel encouraged to check out one or the other (or even all) of these books and maybe even a few more from the expansive section on yoga at the Winnipeg Public Library. Sometimes we just need to remember what our body does for us every single day. Usually we take it for granted until something does not work as it used to. Then we pay attention. We deserve better. Yoga is such a wonderful aid in getting in tune with body, mind and spirit. It is an opportunity that should not be passed up. May you experience balance in your life, always.