A radical presentation of the most rigorous form of contemporary yoga as meditation in motion.
The Art of Vinyasa takes a unique look at Ashtanga yoga as meditation in motion that produces profound inner change. Two of the most well-respected teachers of the Ashtanga style of yoga, Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor, explore this rigorous practice not as a gymnastic feat, but as a meditative form. They reveal that doing the practice--and particularly the vinyasa, or the breath-synchonized movements--in such a deep and focused way allows practitioners to experience a profound awakening of the body and mind. It also develops an adaptable, flexible practice that can last a lifetime.
Freeman and Taylor give an in-depth explanation of form, alignment, and anatomy, and how they work together in the practice. They also present a holistic approach to asana practice that includes an awareness of the subtle breath, and seamlessly merges yoga philosophy with practical technique.
Unlike other books on Ashtanga, The Art of Vinyasa does not follow the linear pattern of the sequences of postures that are the hallmark of Ashtanga yoga. Instead, it interlinks the eight limbs--yama and niyama (ethical practices); asana (postures); pranayama (breathing); pratyahara (nongrasping of the senses); dharana (concentration); dhyana (meditation); and samadhi (harmony, insight)--and shows how to establish an internally rooted yoga practice.
The book will be fully illustrated with fifty halftones by esteemed photographer and cinematographer Robert Muratore, along with thirty illustrations.
RICHARD FREEMAN has been a student and practitioner of yoga since 1968. He is one of the first students of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois to be certified in the Ashtanga tradition and teaches workshops and seminars on yoga asana, philosophy, pranayama, and meditation throughout the world. Richard draws from his background in philosophy and years of study in SE Asia to present an interlinking of traditions: Sanskrit studies, Hatha and Tantric Yoga, Sufism, and Buddhism, to bring out a direct experience of the internal methods and forms common to a broad spectrum of traditions. He is the author of The Mirror of Yoga and has also produced a number of videos and audio recordings on yoga, yoga philosophy, and chanting. When not traveling, he and his wife, Mary Taylor, split their time between Colorado and Thailand, where they also teach.
MARY TAYLOR began studying yoga in 1972 and became an avid Ashtanga practitioner in 1987 after her first trip to Mysore, India, to study with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. She is the cofounder, with Richard Freeman, of the Yoga Workshop, in Boulder, Colorado, which they started 1988. Mary travels and teaches throughout the world both with Richard and on her own. In addition to teaching Ashtanga yoga, Mary works closely with programs focus on bringing contemplative and yoga practices into the health care system for integrative therapies and self care, and she is active in Donna Karan's Urban Zen Foundation.