One of the first yoga books I ever saw was Asanas: 608 Yoga Poses. A small, thick black book with one pose on every page. With very little in the way of method or explanation, the power of the book is in its simplicity and its comprehensive list of postures. There are easily recognizable poses, almost infinite variations on those poses, and also poses I have never seen before. Studying the book is like experiencing the mind of a yogi: playful but traditional, adventurous but respectful.
The man in all the pictures, Dharma Mittra, wrote a brief introduction, and in doing so illuminated a fundamental nature of yoga and of being. The quote below is from the introduction of Asanas: 608 Yoga Poses.
It is said that yoga takes the shape of all of creation. There are an infinite number of poses - this is what makes yoga a living tradition.Three thousand years ago yoga started with one meditative pose, Easy Lotus. The word asana originally meant "meditative posture." Then the masters introduced Cobra Pose to keep the spine flexible. In their quest for physical health they developed the eight most important poses to insure the health of the body and glands. From there it grew. Even today dozens of new poses are created each year by true yogis all over the world. There are many different schools, each with their own variations, but basically all yoga comes from the same set of classic asanas. In the 30 years I have been teaching I have developed many poses, but in yoga no one puts his or her name on a pose because in reality I didn't do anything. I am just a body through which the intuition has passed.
This journal honors my ongoing experience with the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
1) Sridaiva Yoga: Good Intention But Imbalanced
2) Understanding Chair Posture
2) Why I Don't Use Sanskrit or Say Namaste
3) The Meaningless Drudgery of Physical Yoga
5) Beyond Bikram: Why This Is a Great Time For Ghosh Yoga