By: Manuela Soares
It can be ridiculously intimidating trying something new, especially when that something is all over the place and you don’t fit the physical image that is typically associated with it. Yoga is one of those things that everyone can do, but when you fall outside of the physical image typically associated with it, it can be terrifying and make you feel like you can’t do it and that you don’t belong. This book takes away that fear by being a complete introduction to yoga and giving new practitioners varying ways to do a yoga pose so that they can customize it to fit their body. It goes through 50 classic poses, with each pose having one to three variations that are photographed step-by-step with the varying models. These variations make it easy for you to find the way that best suits your body and ability.
The book is broken into four chapters: Yoga Basics, Standing, Balancing, and Reclining, Twisting, Folding, and Bending, and Sequences. Within each section, there are inspirational stories staring the author Dianne Bondy (a plus-size woman of color) and models of the book that are heartfelt and sincere. The author and models are of varying sizes, genders, and abilities, with one of the women being pregnant and one of the men a double leg amputee.
The last chapter of the book is my favorites as it focuses on multiple sequences you can practice including a morning practice, sun salutation, bedtime practice, and easing back pain. Each of the sequences lists what poses are in that sequence and what page each pose can be found on.
As someone who has never taken a yoga class in my life and genuinely used to consider it nothing more than expensive, fancy stretching, this book is one that I am glad to have read. It’s informational, inspiring, easy to follow, spectacularly put together – the photography is superb and it has a very light and energetic feel to it, and it has me wanting to pull out my several-years-old and only-used-a-few-times yoga mat and start practicing. I’m sure that the information in this book could be learned in any beginner yoga class, but for those out there like me that just would not be comfortable in that situation, this is a fantastic start to not only learn the basics and how you can tailor them to your body and ability, but also to help build up that confidence and courage that may one day see you walk into a yoga studio for a class.
Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Random House for this free eBook copy in exchange for an honest review.
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