Most of us ware familiar with the For Dummies series of books that cover a plethora of different topics and try to explain them in simple, unintimidating, non-technical terms. This tremendously successful series of books have some 1,600 titles and among them is the very popular Yoga for Dummies, by George Feuerstein, PhD and Larry Payne, PhD with a foreword by Lilias Folan.
Yoga for Dummies is a lucid and instructive guide to yoga, even for those of us who have never tried it. This yoga manual starts by debunking some of the many myths surrounding the practice of yoga that the western world has come to believe. For instance there is the erroneous belief that you have to be very flexible (double jointed) in order to perform yoga whereas yoga can be tailored to suit all of us, regardless of flexibility, stiffness, age or fitness levels.
Yoga for dummies offers guidelines for designing and following one’s personal yoga program, with specialized instructions for all ages, ranging from teenage to seniors as well as partner yoga. The focus is on Hatha yoga – the postures, breathing exercises and so on.
The attempt is to offer a complete exercise and wellness program that offers multiple health benefits that can also help with minor ailments. There is also a section on the practice of Yoga during pregnancy as well as menopausal women.
An attempt is made by this yoga book to underscore the ability of yoga not only to enhance fitness and flexibility, but also its unique holistic quality of being able to reduce stress and improve quality of life. Yoga for Dummiesteaches you the 5 main approaches to yoga, the classic foundational postures, and also offers tips on safe yoga practice and the basic breathing techniques that yoga requires.
The entire philosophy that yoga is based on is explicated by the book; however the book retains the element of humor that we have come to expect from the Dummies Series of books. You can use the manual to tailor your own personal routine or to target specific problem areas. It also offers tips to select a Yoga class.
The plus points of the book are that it is a step by step instruction manual that is easy to follow and is suitable even for first timer yoga practitioners who are advised to take some basic classes to begin with. Photos and drawings elucidate the instructions given in the book though the text and the illustrations do not always coincide perfectly, which is something of a spoiler.
Yoga for Dummies is available in its e-Book form as well, from Amazon (the Kindle edition costs less than half of what the paperback costs). For those who enjoy this book, there are other titles related to the yoga concept – There is the pocket version of the book, then there is Power Yoga for Dummies; the related concept of meditation is covered in Meditation for Dummies. One can also pick up DVD yoga guides such as Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies starring Sara Ivanhoe.