To help you work your way through this book, we've set up a few conventions:
✓ Boldfaced text emphasizes keywords in bulleted lists and identifies steps to take in numbered lists.
✓ New terms are italicized and followed closely by a definition.
✓ URLs appear in monofont.
✓ In English, you customarily write yoga in lower-case letters. However, throughout this book, we write the word with an initial capital letter — Yoga — to emphasize that Yoga is a self-contained system or tradition, like Zen, Hinduism, or Buddhism. The adjective of Yoga is yogic, which you encounter frequently in this book.
✓ A person who's dedicated to balancing mind and body through Yoga is traditionally called a yogi (if male) or a yogini (if female), and we use both terms. Alternatively, we also use the English term Yoga practitioner.
✓ Although we give you some basic info on all branches of Yoga, the focus of this book is on Hatha (pronounced haht-ha) Yoga, which is the branch that works primarily with the body through postures, breathing exercises, and other similar techniques.
✓ We use the words pose and posture interchangeably, although we use posture in the names of specific postures.
A final note: For your safety, be sure to read all the instructions when getting ready to practice the exercises. Don't just glance at the illustrations and think you can leap right in. Although the illustrations are very helpful tools, they don't give you the whole story needed to practice safe and effective Yoga.
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