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Yoga-the ancient practice in today's world   Tags: #meditation, #yoga  

Yoga has many forms and practices, discover the different types, deepen your practice and take yoga beyond the mat.
Last Updated: Nov 17, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Yoga history and overview

Yoga has been practiced for centuries.  These books can help provide some background information on yoga.

Cover Art
Yoga - Linda Sparrowe; David Martinez (Contribution by)
ISBN: 9780789399878
Publication Date: 2008-01-08
Yoga is everywhere these days. The yoga we practice today in the West bears little resemblance to the yoga that began humbly almost 5,000 years ago, but in its rich and varied history, yoga has always evolved to meet the needs of the culture it serves. But what distinguishes this publication are the 400 poses, or asanas, illustrated by artful black-and-white photographs taken especially for this book, that demonstrate the physical postures derived from an ancient Indian tradition.

Cover Art
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Swami Satchidananda
ISBN: 9781938477072
Publication Date: 2012-09-14
This valuable book provides a complete manual for the study and practice of Raja Yoga, the path of concentration and meditation. This new edition of these timeless teachings is a treasure to be read and referred to again and again by seekers treading the spiritual path. The classic Sutras (thought-threads), at least four thousand years old, cover the yogic teachings on ethics, meditation, and physical postures, and provide directions for dealing with situations in daily life. The Sutras are presented here in the purest form, with the original Sanskrit and with translation, transliteration, and commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda, one of the most respected and revered contemporary Yoga masters. In this classic context, Sri Swami offers practical advice, based on his own experience, for mastering the mind and achieving physical, mental, and emotional harmony.



Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at


Yoga-definitions of common terms

Yoga  - translates as "to yoke" or union.  Yoga is a practice of physical postures, linked with breathe to provide strength and flexibility.  The physical practice, called asana, is designed to strengthen a person for meditation.

Asana  - a physical posture or pose used in yoga practice.

Namaste  - a gesture and word that can be interpreted in different ways.  It is used as a respectful gesture often said and done at the end of a class/practice.  One interpretation is I bow from the light within me to the light within you.

Hatha  - refers to the physical practice of yoga, often symbolizing balance.

Vinyasa  - the movement of mulitple postures, flowing from one to another.

Sanskrit  - an ancient language of India, the language the traditional names of yoga asana's are in.

Sun Salutation  - a sequence of poses practiced in yoga.

Om  - a spiritual sound often spoken at the beginning and/or end of a yoga practice

Yoga-a beginning

If you are new to yoga, the following links may provide some guidance on where to start.

  • 10 Beginner Yoga FAQ's
    From Yoga Journal: Answers to some of the first questions you might have about yoga.
  • Yoga Finder
    Need to find a yoga class? Here is a good place to start
  • Yoga Equipment Guide
    This is a beginner's guide to let you know what to bring to class.
  • Gaiam-yoga
    Gaiam is a reputable source for yoga mats and accessories. There are tools to help you find the right mat for you and a large amount of options. There are many other places to buy yoga accessories and most studios have props you can borrow for class before you buy your own.

Yogi Librarian

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Jennifer Willis
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"Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind."



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