Pick Your Yoga Practice - Exploring and Understanding Different Styles of Yoga

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On the surface it may appear that yoga is yoga is yoga, but take a closer look and you’ll discover myriad different yoga systems and lineages. There are dozens of yoga styles to choose from, and while yoga is for everyone, not every style is...
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On the surface it may appear that yoga is yoga is yoga, but take a closer look and you’ll discover myriad different yoga systems and lineages. There are dozens of yoga styles to choose from, and while yoga is for everyone, not every style is the perfect fit for every person. But how do you choose between mysterious-sounding names such as Ashtanga, Kundalini, Bikram, and Kripalu? As Meagan McCrary discovered when she began exploring different classes, finding the right style is essential for establishing a steady yoga practice. Pick Your Yoga Practice is the first book to describe the most prominent yoga styles in depth, including teaching methodology, elements of practice, philosophical and spiritual underpinnings, class structure, physical exertion, and personal attention. Those new to yoga will discover they have options and can confidently attend a class of their choosing, while experienced practitioners will expand their understanding of the vast world of modern yoga, and perhaps find themselves venturing into new territory.

Styles included:

Ashtanga * Iyengar * Kundalini * Integral * Kripalu
Bikram * Jivamukti * Sivananda * Ananda
Viniyoga * Svaroopa * Power * Forrest * ISHTA
Anusara * Moksha * AcroYoga


Product Details

Paperback: 240 pages


    Editorial Reviews


    “A wonderful and very helpful book to guide you through the various choices of yoga practice.”
    — Doug Swenson, author of Mastering the Secrets of Yoga Flow and founder of Sadhana Yoga Chi

    “Meagan McCrary captures the essence of multiple styles of yoga in this easy-to-read text. With the global explosion of yoga that has taken place over the past decade, this much-needed guide will help anyone to navigate the wide variety of choices now available. This book is an important complement to everyone’s yoga practice, providing deeper insights into the nuances of each style.”
    — Kia Miller, creator of the Radiant Body Yoga DVD series

    “Until Meagan McCrary’s book, choosing the right style of yoga was like blind dating. You’d have to try various styles before finding the one for you. Now, finally, there’s a guidebook. Let this book be your yoga matchmaker.”
    — Brian Leaf, author of Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

    “Meagan McCrary’s book is perfect not only for those who are wondering how to choose a yoga class or style but also for those who are interested in an intelligent and thorough historical account of these yoga styles and their evolution in the West. This is a much-needed asset for anyone who’s ever been overwhelmed by the diversity of yoga methods out there!”
    — Amy Ippoliti, yoga teacher and cofounder of 90 Monkeys

    About the Author

    Meagan McCrary is a certified yoga instructor and journalist. Her yoga, wellness, and lifestyle writings are widely featured online and in print. She lives in Los Angeles, California, where she teaches at various Equinox Sports Clubs, and leads yoga retreats nationally and internationally.

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    4 of 4 people found the following review helpfulBy Thomas MacNeil on December 22, 2013
    Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    In "Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses", Claire Dederer spends a chapter (Pigeon) talking about the challenges of wanting to learn more about yoga and being completely overwhelmed by all the text out there. In her own words:

    "One of the problems with yoga was that there was no bible. No urtext. No word of god. Really, this is because yoga is a technique for knowing god, or even becoming god. A technique cannot have a bible. It has, instead, a manual. Or many manuals."

    She goes on to tell of the many books she read looking for an understanding of yoga, finishing up with:

    "What I took away from my readings was this: I was, according to these scholars, not doing yoga. I was doing asana, and the origins of that were quite suspect."

    Oh, how I felt for her! My own experience was one and the same. I started going to yoga classes for the same reason so many of us start - a friend asked me to come with an I liked it so I kept going. It was wonderful and I could quickly tell there was more to it. But where to learn more? A Google search for "yoga" returns 471,000,000 results (as of today). In no time one will, like me, be completely overwhelmed at all the information that seems to have no structure to it and says crazy things about not having sex and not eating meat or drinking wine. Such a turnoff! If only I had started with "Pick Your Yoga Practice", I would have saved months of research and wrong turns.

    Meagan McCrary does a wonderful job of organizing thousands of years of knowledge into a quick cheat sheet of yoga. The first three chapters - Yoga Explained, America's Yoga History, and Philosophical Foundations - are worth the purchase alone.Read more ›
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpfulBy Meredith Leblanc on January 12, 2014
    Format: Paperback
    Finally! An easily understood resource for teachers and students alike explaining different styles of yoga. Meagan McCrary, certified yoga teacher and journalist, has written a well laid out and thought out guide to the plethora of disciplines in the marketplace today. Eighteen are covered, eight with their own chapters and ten more briefly covered in one chapter. Additionally, she has included history and explanation of the practice of yoga.

    Meagan McCrary's writing style is clear and light, while exhibiting authority on her subject. The eight chapters that describe the major disciplines of yoga include and introduction, the gist, and conclusion; within these sections, the masters, trademarks, and other unique viewpoints are introduced and explained. Also, certain important aspects of the discipline are highlighted, which are nice to be able to come back and review.

    Agreeing with my fellow reviewer, Victoria Klein, this book made me realize my personal practice and my teaching really draws from many types of practices, not just one. Further to this point, while all of the disciplines want to be unique in their ways, the goal is the same, just delivered in different vehicles. This book has made me appreciate the many teachers and masters who have poured their heart and souls into the transformation of all beings.

    I have read many books in the past couple of years on yoga that I have felt are important books to add to the shelves of teachers and students, and this is another one to add to that list. I would recommend this book to studios to have on hand to help guide students who come in with questions too. My hats off to Meagan McCrary for her excellent book!


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