How to use this manual

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The basics of ashtanga yoga cannot be learned enough. Because yoga practice is progressive it is important to go through this manual in the order it is presented. However, if you are having difficulty with any of the postures go back to the beginning. Keep in mind that the true source of understanding is in the basic principals underlying the asanas. Take your time and learn the fundamentals of the practice. Go slowly. Never force or push yourself into a posture, be patient, and all will come in time. What's the rush?

If you are experiencing any health problems, consult your yoga teacher or a health advisor before beginning the exercises in the manual. This manual is a guide to be used in conjunction with classes and is not a substitute for the personal attention and assistance of a teacher.

Most of all, have fun! Enjoy the process of building your yoga practice and bringing peace into your life and those around you.

One cannot understand the

rhythms and meanings of the

outer world until one has

mastered the dialects of the body.


You can't diligently practice yoga, honing the clarity of your mind, and fail to be struck by the very humorous-albeit pathetic predicament we're all in. We find ourselves chained to the wheel of karma, going round and round in our own private illusory worlds, struggling to glimpse reality and attain eternal peace. It's funny and maddeningly difficult, and sad, too, sometimes. It's also the only game in town and nobody gets out alive.

From The Five Tibetans y introduction

Getting It Together

Separateness causes suffering and union creates freedom. Yoga is future and past, and perception is restored to its primal freshness.


It is the separation from our Self, each other, nature, and from something greater or higher (be it God, universal consciousness, or whatever term you want to use) that causes the anxiety and chaos symptomatic of our times. It is difficult for us to experience our natural connection with each other when we don't have that connection with our own Self. Yoga connects us with an inner wisdom, in which there is no doubt as to the connection of all things.

Now is the time for yoga. Yoga is a practical method of bringing peace and connectedness back into our lives. Because we are a reflection of our nervous system, the state of our nervous system dictates how we experience the world. If the nervous system is fresh and rested, the body will be healthy and the mind alert and comprehensive. As a result, our thought will be powerful and clear and our actions, which are manifested thought, will be successful and rewarding.

We can actually gain back the connection to Self and others as we are released from the restricted thinking, dull mind, and negativity resulting from a strained, tired nervous system. The healthier our nervous system, the healthier our body, mind, thoughts and actions.

The purpose of this manual is to make these techniques available to all who are interested in enhancing the quality of their lives from the most fundamental foundation, the inner source. The idea is to promote self-practice and self-responsibility, to offer a tool for reconnecting. This is the place where yoga truly begins in each of our own individual lives. Yoga helps you rise to the challenge of living.

Yoga strengthens and purifies the nervous system so it can reflect a greater degree of consciousness and our lives can become an increasingly positive force in the world. If the methods presented in this manual are practiced correctly the whole nervous system is revitalized, the body enjoys better health and more energy, the mind is rested and freed from the endless burdensome thought of

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