One of the great yoga figures of our time, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois brought Ashtanga yoga to the West more than thirty years ago. Based on flowing, energetic movement coordinated with the breath, Ashtanga and the many forms of vinyasa yoga that grow directly out of it have become the most widespread and influential styles practiced today.
Yoga Mala—a “garland of yoga”—is Jois’s authoritative guide to Ashtanga. In it, he outlines the ethical principles and philosophy underlying the discipline, explains important terms and concepts, and guides the reader through Ashtanga’s Sun Salutations and the subsequent primary sequence of forty-two asanas, or poses, precisely describing how to execute each position and what benefits each provides. It is a foundational work on yoga by a true master.
To coincide with publication of Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Through the Eyes of His Students by Guy Donahaye and Eddie Stern, this new edition of Yoga Mala includes a foreword by Jois’s grandson Sharath Rangaswamy, currently co-director of the famous school Jois founded in Mysore, the Ashtanga Yoga Institute.
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YOGA ASANASThe asanas that follow the Surya Namaskara should be practiced in the manner described below.1. PADANGUSHTASANAPadangushtasana has three vinyasas, of which the 2nd is the state of the asana (see figure).1
METHODFirst, stand up straight, inhaling through the nostrils deeply, jump the legs apart as much as half a foot, slowly let the breath out, reach down and take hold of the big toes, lift the head and chest up completely without bending the knees, and stay in position while inhaling; this is the 1st vinyasa. Then, letting the breath out, take in the lower