It’s hard to walk down the street in any city without seeing someone totting around a yoga mat. You can barely make it out of the checkout line at the grocery store without hearing someone talking about their yoga class. In this day and age of yoga abundance it’s nice to have a spot to dive in from, but who has the time to invest in large voluminous academic yogic texts? We want to get to the yoga right?
I received an advanced reading copy of “27 Things To Know About Yoga” by Victoria Klein. This pocket sized yoga book was a quick read, I was able to finish it in 10 minutes, but it was still full of useful information. The book read very much like a dialogue. It was not dry as most informational books can be, it was more like listening to an avid practitioner discuss their experiences with yoga. This book dismisses the idea that yoga needs to be practiced by only the young and blond, refutes allegations that yoga is a religion, and helps readers to better understand the different styles of yoga. All of these topics and more are covered in the 175 page book.
Again, this book is great for what it is, a small pocket sized book that gives you a quick breakdown of yoga and introduction to some larger concepts. This is a gateway book. It opens the door to Svadhyaya – self study and the reader may choose to find more in depth texts to educate themselves with. This book will definitely help any beginner get to or get through their first class.
While I did not agree with all of the content; my personal belief after studying many forms of yoga and going through many teacher trainings is that there is definitely a religious component to classical yoga – which is not present in all forms of yoga. I also took issue with the directive that in order to practice yoga you MUST have a yoga mat because it helps you to maintain balance and proper alignment. A yoga mat does neither of these though I agree that you get what you pay for – and I steer clear of PVC and latex mats when I use them – but I have had very successful classes/ practices without a mat. Without a mat you learn to use your hands and feet better. Give it some thought, what did yogis use thousands of years ago before manmade materials? Not a sticky mat.,
Even though I did not agree with some of the content – I thought the research that went into the “Benefits of Yoga” was great and the “Mind your Manners” section should be required reading for any yoga student.
At $9.99 this book will make a great stocking stuffer, office gift, and should be available at most yoga studios (especially those that offer beginner classes).