Four Yogas recommended books, with reviews - Nagualism, Tibetan Buddhism, Adi Da, nondual Shaivism, Meditation

The Mind-body Connection, Yoga, Entheogens


Ashtanga Yoga, The Practice Manual: An Illustrated Guide to Personal Practice
by David Swenson

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Spiral-bound: 263 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.97 x 9.92 x 9.60
Publisher: Ashtanga Yoga Productions; (September 1, 1999)
ISBN: 1891252089

Avg. Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
Number of Reviews: 40


Book Description
This is the most user-friendly yoga book available! It contins the entire Primary and Intermediate series of Ashtanga Yoga with three options for every asana. It is spiral bound to easily remain open while practicing. It contains over 650 photos with clear instructions and commentary. It is a great book for all levels of practitioners to enjoy and teachers will find it to be an invaluable tool for teaching their students.


Customer Reviews

4 out of 5 starsAshtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual: An Illustrated Guide to Personal Practice
Reviewer: Kristen Collins from Maine

Yes it really is that good, January 2, 2004
Reviewer: James White Jr. (see more about me) from Oak Park, IL United States
I recently started practicing The Primary Series, and although there are some really good books out there (Julie Pegram, Berly Bender Birch, Richard Freeman, etc.) I must say this is the best. This book gives a lot of what alot of the other books give (History, Sanskrit Terminology, The entire Primary Series, some or all of the Intermediate Series, modifications to postures, etc.), but this book goes a little beyond. A prime example of this concept is the abbreviated workouts (aka "Short Forms"). The Short Forms range from 15-45 minutes. I can speak from personal experience on how well even a 15 minute Short Form can improve your overall wellness. In addition David Swenson's breaking down of how to properly perform a half vinyasa (the Up Dog, Down Dog, jump through after every seated posture) is unparalled, a very detailed step-by-step analysis that makes this impossible display of dexterity seem attainable. Any person with at least a base understanding of Ashtanga Yoga, or Yoga in general, could benefit from this book. In fact, anybody interested in developing an at home practice could benefit from what this book has to offer. What else can I say, this book is really that good.

4 out of 5 starsAshtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual: An Illustrated Guide to Personal Practice
Very user-friendly - particularly useful for beginners, October 27, 2003
Reviewer: Robin Catto from London UK
The great thing about David Swenson's book is that it is true to the pure form of Astanga Vinyasa Yoga, allowing for certain points of style. Most books go for the "power yoga" option, which is really more of a spin-off from Astanga Vinyasa, and this can lead to discrepancies and omissions in the form and series of postures. David is also very tolerant in his approach which I think works well for beginners (up to a point) since this is a very demanding practice and it would be easy to be put off. As long as it is understood that the book is not a substitute for a teacher, this shouldn't be a problem. Alternatives are provided in all situations where a practitioner might have difficulty. As well as the physical practice there is a lot of very informative background information which helps to put the whole practice of Astanga Vinyasa Yoga into context. And of course the spiral binding means the book can lie open which makes it easy to use during practice. An excellent book which I would recommend very highly.

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Yoga Essentials Kit

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Editorial Review
This uniquely designed set of basic yoga tools comes with all the essentials for a yoga practice. Set includes one non-slip mat (68"), one reinforced cotton strap (6') two durable foam bricks (9" x 5.5" x 3") and the "How to Use Props Plus Workout" video (30 minutes).


Customer Reviews

WONDERFUL KIT!!!, August 24, 2001
Reviewer: Neal from Pittsburgh, PA United States

This Living Arts Yoga Kit is great! You get everything you need to get started at a great price! If you bought all of the pieces separately it would cost much more. The mat is very high quality, as are the yoga strap and blocks. You will get years of use from this set. The video will go through the use of props with you and help you understand their uses better. We recommend this to everyone!


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Yoga: The Path To Holistic Health
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Hardcover - 408 pages (March 2001)
DK Publishing; ISBN: 0789471655 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.34 x 11.10 x 8.85 Sales Rank: 587

Average Customer Review

Editorial Reviews
From Booklist
Serious yoga practitioners consider B. K. S. Iyengar to be the master of hatha yoga. Born in India in 1918, he has been teaching for more than six decades, and Iyengar yoga centers have been established all over the world. Iyengar's tried-and-true technique emphasizes breath awareness, alignment, balance, suppleness, and strength to achieve the yogic union of mind and body, a sure path to holistic health. A pioneer in the use of sequenced asanas, or poses, to develop flexibility and endurance, Iyengar has also created an innovative approach to using props-- blankets, blocks, chairs, and belts--to help students overcome stiffness and other limitations and practice restorative variations of demanding poses. This beautifully produced volume is the most useful Iyengar text to date with its sharply detailed, step-by-step color photographs; generous page layouts; clear explanations of how to do the various poses and the benefits of each; and in-depth section on yoga therapy for specific ailments, an Iyengar specialty. There is nothing trendy here: Iyengar is yoga. Donna Seaman
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

The Definitive Resource For Yoga Students, November 28, 2001
Reviewer: from Hillsboro, OR United States

This is an amazing book -- and not just for seasoned yoga students! It features thousands of photographs of each core pose (including a 360-degree view) making it easy to learn the various postures. It also serves as a guide to understanding how yoga affects the body, mind, and spirit.

These DK (Doris Kindersley) books just get better and better. Buy this book -- it is definitely money well spent!


A complete yoga resource, May 3, 2001
Reviewer: from Marlton, NJ, USA

This book is an excellent and thorough source of information about yoga. Yoga is not just about the physical movement of the body. It is a lifestyle that betters the mind. It also allows practitioners to deal with physical and emotional stresses.

Chapters include Philosophy of Yoga, Asanas for You, Yoga for Stress, Yoga for Ailments. The excellent illustrations guide you step by step on how to practice the routines. The 20 week Yoga Course at the end of the book outlines exactly which asanas to do, starting with simple ones and adding the more complex. I loved the Yoga for Ailments chapter because it went through common ailments (osteoarthritis, insomnia, PMS, asthma etc...) and (through illustrations) outlined each asana to follow.

All this from a leading practitioner and expert.

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Yoga Zone: Music for Yoga Practice
Yoga Zone (Windham Hill Series), Various Artists - Miscellaneous - Exercise/Meditation

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Audio CD (September 15, 1998)
Original Release Date: September 15, 1998
Number of Discs: 1
Bmg/Windham Hill; ASIN: B000009S4M Sales Rank: 690

Average Customer Review:

Editorial Reviews
This mostly acoustic compilation of 13 cuts by such Windham Hill artists as
William Ackerman and Michael Hedges mesh well for a soothing, even-paced (although sometimes a bit busy) musical experience that's excellent as accompaniment to a yoga routine. With a slow, steady rhythm, "The White Spirit" from French duo Uman unfolds the collection splendidly, transporting the listener to an exotic, rhythmic place perfect for focusing the mind and stretching the body. Other standouts include "Bridges" from Celtic-folk artists Nightnoise, featuring a lyrical acoustic guitar and plaintive violin; Philip Aaberg's poetic "Crying Smile"; and Patrick O'Hearn's electronic "87 Dreams of a Lifetime," whose cadences are just spirited enough to keep your body moving while still laid-back in delivery and meter. Yoga Zone is a solid collection whose only weakness lies in its demand to be listened to rather than used to underscore physical movement. --Karen Karleski

Customer Reviews

Relaxing music at the right tempo for practice., February 1, 2000
Reviewer: A music fan from New York City
The music is exactly what it claims to be -- good music for the practice of yoga. I've been working out with it regularly for about a month, and I find that the music helps me focus on the exercise without being as distracted by what's going on in my apartment. The music can be described as "new age" and somewhat "digital". It is not music I would normally listen to, and I think I might find it annoying as background music at a party or if I were reading a book. But it is, in fact, great music to listen to when doing a yoga workout.

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DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences
by Rick Strassman MD
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Paperback - 320 pages (January 2001)
Inner Traditions Intl Ltd; ISBN: 0892819278 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.97 x 9.00 x 6.06 Sales Rank: 1,674

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Editorial Reviews

Larry Dossey MD, Author of Reinventing Medicine, and Healing Words; Executive Editor, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
Strassman raises vital questions about the origin of spiritual experiences and the nature of consciousness

Andrew Weil, author of Spontaneous Healing
"Rick Strassman's pioneering research work with DMT raises fascinating questions about the neurochemical basis of experience. Truly adventurous reading!"

Karl Jansen, M.D., Ph.D. This book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the mind, philosophy, the nature of reality, and spirituality.

Book Description
A clinical psychiatrist explores the effects of DMT, one of the most powerful psychedelics known.
* A behind-the-scenes look at the cutting edge of psychedelic research.
* Provides a unique scientific explanation for the phenomenon of alien abduction experiences.

From 1990 to 1995 Dr. Rick Strassman conducted DEA-approved clinical research at the University of New Mexico in which he injected sixty volunteers with DMT, one of the most powerful psychedelics known. His detailed account of those sessions is an extraordinarily riveting inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. DMT, a plant-derived chemical that is also manufactured by the human brain, consistently produced out-of-body, near-death, and mystical experiences. Many volunteers reported convincing encounters with intelligent nonhuman presences: angels, aliens, spirits. Nearly all agreed that the sessions were among the most intense experiences of their lives.

Strassman's research connects dmt with the pineal gland, considered by Hindus to be the site of the sixth chakra and by Rene Descartes to be the seat of the soul. DMT: The Spirit Molecule makes the bold case that DMT, naturally released by the pineal gland, facilitates the soul's movement in and out of the body and is an integral part of the birth and death experiences, as well as the highest states of meditation and even sexual transcendence. Strassman also believes that alien abduction experiences are brought on by accidental releases of DMT. If used wisely, dmt could trigger a period of remarkable progress in the scientific exploration of the most mystical regions of the human mind and soul.

About the Author
Rick Strassman, M.D., was a professor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine for ten years. He now lives and works in Taos, New Mexico.


Reader Reviews

A Bold Study of Chemicals and Consciousness, March 25, 2001
Reviewer: A reader from your Inner Self
Dr. Strassman describes his research with dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a very powerful psychedelic drug that can produce very profound experiences that go beyond the explanations of our current scientific model. In this bold treatise he explains how this simple chemical induces mystical states that were previously reserved for religion and the occult. Not since Robert Monroe and his Institute's "Hemi-Sync" sound technology have I seen such potential to facilitate such events.

I was relieved to read that this Doctor of Psychiatry didn't reduce these extraordinary experiences of the volunteers down to creative imaginations, and I was impressed with his mature methods of studying a psychedelic drug. This isn't Timothy Leary tuning us in so that we can drop out. This is a scientist who is sincerely searching for something that can enhance our lives in areas such as creativity, therapy, and spirituality.

Dr. Strassman has a good grasp of our culture's perceptions about drugs and he not only discards the militaristic attitude against drug use, but also the naive acceptance that they are always beneficial. His clear insights allow this book to have a wide appeal to a mature audience. Hopefully, as he states, this research will at least be the start of more open discussions of practical applications of psychedelics.

interesting, June 18, 2001
Reviewer: A reader from Austin

I recieved my copy two days ago and finished the book an hour ago. Dr. Strassman's book is well written and thoughtful I could hardly put the book down and when I did I had to go to work and sleep. Dr. Strassman proposes that DMT gives us an insight into a reality that may or may not exist. I have trouble excepting the fact that there may be a parellel universe. It is easier for me to believe that DMT helps us cope with the stresses of dying or any other stressful situation that would cause the release of DMT.

Pries the lid off the coffin of human psychedelic research, March 25, 2001
Reviewer: Cathie Leavitt from Nevada City, CA United States

Detailed, very accessible description of Strassman's studies of the effects of intravenously administered DMT in human volunteers in a clinical setting. He describes his research protocols, his struggle to obtain government approval, and the volunteers' reports of their DMT experiences, with clarity and compassion. The book raises questions about the nature and purpose of mystical experiences, the similarity between externally induced experiences of death and rebirth, alien contact, and spiritual enlightenment and naturally occurring experiences, and the role of DMT (which occurs naturally in the body) in these types of experiences. Strassman discusses the limitations of the biomedical model in understanding these experiences, as well as the risks and benefits of using DMT as a research tool. Open-minded scientists, those on a spiritual path, therapists, and dedicated "psychonauts" will find much to ponder in this book. It enlarges the scope of rational discussion about psychedelics, and goes a long way toward dispelling the fear, ignorance, and stigma that have hampered psychedelic research for the last 30 years. The addition of an index would have been helpful, but other than that this book exceeded my expectations and deepened my sense of wonder about the nature of consciousness and the spirit.

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Ketamine : Dreams and Realities
by Karl Jansen

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Paperback - (February 2001) 354 pages

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Customer Reviews

Reviewer: Sylvia P.
I have been lucky to read Ketamine: Dreams and Realities. It opens a Pandora's box of ancient forms of knowledge where science and experience where one. It is a fundamental call to overcome the split, for UNITY. I would like to see Dr.Karl Jansen awarded a prize for this book, as he is one of the few living persons who has written anything original and understandable to almost everyone about psychedelic drugs and the possibility to access other states (levels) of awarness by means of these powerful tools. He is not only using the intelligent language of science but also the one of living human experience.This book is not only about ketamine but it is about Everything...Read it!

The Poetic Teacher, July 8, 2001
Reviewer: Loretta Brooks from South San Francisco, CA United States
A Course in Miracles says, "It would indeed be strange if you were asked to go beyond all the symbols of the world, forgetting them forever, yet were asked to take a teaching function...then step back to darkness, not because you think it real, but only to proclaim its unreality."..This author, Karl Jansen, knows not only the symbols of the world of experience on this subject, but has gone beyond them sufficiently to be a teacher of not the positive but negative aspects of this strong and effective yet by most comparisons benign medicinal drug. In his clear imparting of such a rare tale, taking on this subject in all its dimensions which had previously been mostly distorted and maligned by the media, Dr. Jansen's underlying wit, humor and gentleness shines clearly throughout its well- written and easy to read pages. Although I found all the book interesting, he has devoted one chapter to the means one might employ if letting go of the use of drugs of any kind. Although I had heard most all this information presented before, I found this chapter particularly helpful in terms of general mental and physical health. Though this is a technical subject matter, I found this to be an easy to read yet complete work on what in terms of experience could be considered to be a somewhat obscure and multidimensional subject, a must-read for anyone who is in any way familiar with it.

An unparalleled work on Ketamine, May 17, 2001
Reviewer: einarwelby from Gainesville, FL United States
Dr. Jansen is undoubtedly the world's leading authority on Ketamine, its history, applications, benefits, and risks. Ketamine: Dreams and Realities contains over 300 pages of invaluable information on this remarkable substance deemed both an anesthetic and psychedelic. It addresses everything you've wondered about this amazing chemical from physiologic descriptions to existential inference. His objective accounts are thorough and insightful as well as extremely logical and convincing. There are literally hundreds of references that are well worth the cost of the book alone, not to mention all of the valuable information contained within. His style entrances you like a powerful book should, and takes you on an intuitive and multisided journey through the history, use, misuse, and future of the drug. Unique and rare information is included to both support his assertions and entertain the reader. Most notably he relates the effects of Ketamine to the near-death/near-birth experience, the quantum mind, and the metaphorical mental modem. Having coined the term "Quantum Psychiatry" Dr. Jansen explains how the Newtonian model of the universe is being reassessed in light of the evolving understanding of modern and quantum physics. Never before have I read such a comprehensible and clearly written work on this topic. I strongly recommend this book to both the professional and layperson wanting to know specifically about this amazing psychedelic or the nature of our existence. It is extremely well written and thoroughly documented. Having donated 100% of the profits from the sale of this book to ketamine psychotherapy research Dr. Jansen demonstrates his passion for his work and undoubtedly will go down in history amongst such spiritual pioneers such as Aldus Huxley, Stanislav Grof, and Albert Hoffman to name a few.

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"DEAF YOGA For Beginners, with Lila Lolling"
First instructional yoga DVD in ASL (with captions)

"Deaf Yoga for Beginners is specifically designed to bring the powerful benefits of Yoga to the Deaf, as it is taught in American Sign Language. This DVD includes quick interactive access menus, practical instructions and other special features. Guided by traditional Hatha Yoga instructor, Lila Lolling, this DVD offers an excellent introduction to various Yoga topics such as Proper Breathing, Chakras and much more!"

Available at:


Lila Lolling: Teaching Yoga to the Deaf Community

By Sharon Steffensen


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