Book Review: Two of the Most Popular Yoga Books of 2020
As yoga teachers, we are always students. For me, this translates into an insatiable desire for lifelong learning. So I’m always looking for great new sources of knowledge and inspiration and I often turn to books. But not all yoga books are the same. I thought I’d share my thoughts on two of the most popular and popular yoga books of 2020 (so far!).
The first review of the yoga book is: Teaching Yoga Beyond Postures: A Practical Notebook for Integrating Topics, Ideas, and Inspiration into Your Class by Sage Rountree (whom we introduced in our free 108 YTT tips ebook) and Alexandra DeSiato
If you are a recent graduate of a YTT who wants to take part in regular classes, this is your book. A basic handbook for finding and outlining topics for your classes, Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses will prepare you for the yoga teacher’s glove; trying to stand out as an instructor while teaching many classes and avoiding exhaustion.
The authors are experienced instructors who have narrowed down 54 classic yoga topics and provided you with quotes, ideas, and even music to play as you tackle each topic in your classes. The book also includes practical tips for elevating your teaching from good to excellent by fighting nerves, finding authenticity, and clarifying your topic.
I enjoyed reading this book and I know it will be like a yoga teaching manual that I refer to over and over again whenever I need some inspiration. I especially liked the diary style questions and the clear, easy-to-use organization of the book. That said, it really is a workbook and includes a fairly large section where it encourages the reader to write their own topics and ideas. Although practical, I found that this book could have gone much deeper. It seemed a little basic to me, but I can see how useful it would be for a novice instructor to get started. I would have liked a deeper dive into the themes, perhaps with scripts for guided meditations, stories on the themes, and entire playlists instead of unique songs to play in your theme classes. However, I understand that this is just a “workbook” and that it could easily have been converted into a textbook if too much detail had been added.
I recommend this book as a quick source of reference and inspiration, especially if you are a newer instructor looking to gather ideas on the subject.
The next yoga book to review is: The language of yin: yoga themes, sequences and inspiration to give life to your class and life to your class by Gabrielle Harris.
Do yourself a favor and buy this book. Whether you ever want to teach Yin or not, this book is an invaluable source of inspiration. The author, Gabrielle Harris, was unfamiliar to me when I bought this book. Her credentials indicate that she is a strong leader in the Yin Yoga community in New Zealand and has had many “rockstar” YTT instructors over the years, but this is the first time I’ve heard of her, though I’m sure it won’t be. the last.
The language of yin breaks down a collection of popular themes for asana practices by devoting each chapter to well-known yoga concepts such as the Yamas, Buddhist influence, seasons, and Hindu deities. The chapters provide a class plan that includes pictures of all the postures and their sequence, script meditations, and speaking points. It also includes, poems, inspiration on how to start a yin class and descriptions on how to guide your students towards each posture.
This book is as complete as it is beautiful; expect to fall in love with every topic and sequence every time you open this book. I really enjoyed reading the meditations and poems to my students. I also liked the variety of topics I may never have considered such as traditional Chinese medicine and chakras. Although the book is specifically aimed at Yin Yoga, many of the themes and readings can also be applied to all other styles of yoga. If you’ve ever felt a little stuck in the limited series of yin postures, you’ll be amazed at all the sequencing possibilities included in this book. Do it, buy this book and you will appreciate how I am.
Share your thoughts on these books or other great yoga readings with us Facebook page or ours Facebook group.
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