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AN INDISPENSABLE HANDBOOK FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS OF YOGA
This small book by one of the great yoga figures of our time attests to the timeless nature of ashtanga yoga practice. Based on vinyasa-the coordination of breath and movement-ashtanga yoga has become one of the most widespread and influential stylesof practice today, and Yoga Malais its most important written guide.
In this book, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois outlines the ethical principles and philosophy underlying ashtanga yoga, and explains its terms and concepts. He then guides us through the Sun Salutations and the primary series, which consists of forty-two asanas. At every step he describes how to execute each pose and what benefits each provides.
Pattabhi Jois introduced ashtanga yoga to the West a quarter of a century ago and has been the driving force behind its worldwide dissemination. Having studied for twenty-five years with T. Krishnamacharya, he has passed on his knowledge to generations of students around the world. Jois lives in Mysore, India, where he runs the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute.
Mala is a Sanskrit term that means garland. In India, there are many different kinds of malas. There are japamalas, made up of sacred beads strung on a thread which are used in prayer for counting and keeping focused on the repetition of a mantra. There are pushpamalas, which are garlands of vivid flowers, smelling of jasmine and other scents, that are strung in the form of wreaths and offered in worship to deities in homes , and temples. Jois here offers another kind of mala, which is
ancient in tradition, as sacred as a prayer, and as beautiful as flowers. His mala is a garland of yoga, in which each vinyasa is like a sacred bead to be counted and focused on, and each asana is like a
fragrant flower strung on the thread of the breath. Just as a japamala adorns the neck and a pushpamala adorns the gods, so too does this garland of yoga, when diligently practiced, adorn our entire being
with peace, health, radiance, and, ultimately, self-knowledge." -FROM THE FOREWORD