Ashtanga Yoga For Beginner's Mind is a primer for anyone who wishes to learn the fundamentals of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. This is more than just a book about yoga for beginners. I wrote this book in response to students who were asking me for a practical guide to the primary series, while also hoping for a clear path to the state of meditation that results from deep ashtanga yoga practice.
Yoga For Beginners
Yoga teachers sometimes complain to me sometimes that they have “only beginners” in their classes. I love beginners. I always want to be a beginner. One sure way to stop learning is to become an expert.
So, this is a book for beginners. If you are already an expert, then you probably will not learn anything by reading these pages, so better to go do some advanced practice.
As a beginner, you might be able to do all the postures in the primary series, but you might not. Please do not worry about this. Worrying makes your face tight and your breathing shallow, and neither of these help get you into the postures any faster. We call this yoga practice, not yoga performance. Practice makes perfect. Performance makes Oscars.
I started this project at the encouragement of students who, over many years, have asked for reference books on the Ashtanga Vinyasa system. I never paid any attention, since there are already several excellent manuals describing the practice and many good videos. If you want to learn the postures, these teachings are quite readily found.
what people say
Read the foreword by Richard Freeman, one of the most respected ashtanga yoga teachers in the world today:
Ashtanga yoga, though familiar to some as strictly a series of postures accompanied by specific patterns of breathing and gazing, is actually the broad system of yoga that forms the context for posture and breathing practices. The opportunity to start again at the very beginning is always available, but we often overlook it. By practicing, by starting over, the context of whatever the focus of the practice is becomes revealed.
Ashtanga Yoga For Beginner's Mind provides a solid introduction to the tools available to undertake this process of inquiry. It lays the foundation for a deeply grounded practice to take root and flourish.
~Richard Freeman, Mirror Of Yoga
And this review by a respected teacher of dream yoga in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition:
Kim Roberts has distilled a lifetime of learning and yogic practice into a beautiful book. With the ease of a confident master, she skillfully guides both new and seasoned students into the wonders of yoga and meditation. Meditators often dismiss the importance of body, and practitioners of yoga often set aside the significance of mind. This book serves to unite body and mind, and will be of benefit to anyone who possesses both.
~ Andrew Holecek, Dream Yoga
Everyone starts at the beginning. Whether you are looking for your own introduction to yoga for beginners, or for a way to help guide your students, Ashtanga Yoga for Beginner's Mind can illuminate steps along the path.