The Heart of Yoga, Developing a Personal Practice
Desikachar, T.K.V

The Heart of Yoga, Developing a Personal Practice

Printed in USA, paperback, 244 pages

Size203 x 254 mm
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Desikachar offers a distillation of his father, Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya's, system as well as his own practical approach, which he describes as "a program for the spine at every level - physical, mental and spiritual". This is the first yoga text to outline a step-by-step sequence for developing a complete practice according to the age-old principles of yoga. Desikachar discusses all the elements of yoga - poses and counterposes, conscious breathing, meditation and philosophy - and shows how the yoga student may develop a practice tailored to his or her current state of health, age, occupation and lifestyle. Krishnamacharya placed the highest value on Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, which is included here in its entirety, with a translation and commentary by Desikachar. Added to this second edition of The Heart of Yoga is the Yoganjalisaram - thirty-two poems composed by Krishnamacharya that capture the essence of his teachings and further make The Heart of Yoga a milestone in the transmission of yoga from the ancient masters to the modern world.

Heart of Yoga

A Blessing      from Indra Devi   ix
Foreward        by Vanda Scaravelli   xi
Introduction   The Life and Yoga of Sri T. Krishnamacharya   xv
Part I the Practice of Yoga   3
1   Yoga: Concept and Meaning   5
2   The Foundations of Yoga Practice   9
3   The Principles of Asana Practice   17
4   The Careful Construction of a Yoga Practice   25
5   Asana Variations   45
6   Pranayama   53
7   The Bandhas   71
Part II: Ther Understanding of Yoga   77
8   The Things That Darken the Heart   79
9   Actions Leave Traces   87
10  The World Exists to Be Seen and Discovered   93
11  Living in the World   97
12  The World Exists to Set Us Free   107
13  The Qualities of the Mind   121
14  Nine Obstacles on the Yoga Way   125
15  The Many Paths of Yoga   135
Part III: The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali   143
Part IV: Yoganjalisaram   217
Appendix 1 The Texts Mentioned in This Book   230
Appendix 2 Four General Practice Sequences   233
Glossary   238
Index   243

"I can think of no better book to recommend to a friend beginning to be excited by yoga but bewildered by the plethora of different schools and their sometimes-conflicting teachings. In addition, I would be hard-pressed to think of a book I would recommend more highly to any yoga student seeking to deepen a yoga practice....The great gift of The Heart of Yoga lies not simply in the depth of Desikachar's learning, but in the compassion, gentleness, practicality, and down-to-earth spirit that permeate the book".
Yoga Journal

"Read this book from cover to cover and you will begin to understand what yoga is all about".
The Sunday Times

"Those who are interested in understanding what yoga is about, those who are looking for a larger context and focus for their hatha practice, those who look to the Yoga Sutra for guidance, and all those who have loved and benefited from Krishnama-charya and/or Desikachar, directly or indirectly, will want this book".
Yoga International

"An invaluable source of information regarding the theory and practice of yoga. A must for students and teachers alike".
Indra Devi, author of 'Yoga for You'


About the Author
T.K.V. Desikachar is the son of Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, one of the greatest yogis of the modern era.

A structurtal engineer by training, T.K.V. Desikachar lived and studied with his father all his life until Krishnamacharya died in 1989 at over 100 years old.

Desikachar has devoted his life to teaching the full specturm of Krishnamacharya's yoga to people of all backgrounds and all levels of ability. He has based his method on Krishnamacharya's fudamental teaching, which maintains that practices must be continually adapted to the individual's changing needs to achieve the maximum therapeutic value.

Desikachar currently teaches at the school founded in his father's memory in Madras, as well as in Europe, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.