This book by Alison Leighton and Joe Taft is a delight and forms an answer to that question I have heard so many times from students on my Foundation courses: `Where do I start my home practice?' I have always given them handouts and tips - but in future I will recommend this book. As research reveals, the history of hatha yoga is not so rigid as we might have previously thought. When I started practising yoga for myself, back in the dawn of yoga in the west, it was always with the words of my teachers in my ears. There was very much a prevailing convention of the `right' and `wrong' way to do postures. Words like `alignment' and `correct' occurred quite often. I was a good student, and always wanted to do things as well as I could, as if my teacher was right there. I suspect this is not unusual. It took a long time and a few life experiences to realise the premise of this book: that the teacher is indeed right there - and it is inside us. And yet - I could not have framed the realisation without the guidance of those first teachers. Again: a common occurrence. Our point of original departure is with a good teacher who can advise and guide us through our postures. And a good yoga teacher will also give us the tools to set out upon our own journey of self-discovery. This book is a powerful ally on that journey. By starting with simple postures and sequences that will form part of many a yoga class, the authors show ways of building upon the original framework with creativity and confidence. It guides the practitioner inwards, away from out-sourcing their power to an external force, towards a place on their mat in their own home where they can truly own their practice. By such means do we get to know ourselves. The book is shot through with intriguing insights, the sort of everyday observances which, if pursued, lead to life-changing events. Alison, for example, writes about how she lived in London, imagining the green leaves of trees somewhere else ... held back by a sense of belonging - her home, friends and work were all in London - her perception of this fact led her and her husband to uproot and transplant themselves to the `incredibly beautiful mountains of North Carolina', where the wind blows through the green-leafed trees. The book unravels simple techniques to help the practitioner create their own practice. It is practical and supportive, the vocabulary gently suggestive: `intuitive', `inspired', `explore', `silence', `stillness', `quality of authenticity' ... step by step, the door to self-realisation opens. Yoga is ever-evolving. With this book as a guide, each practitioner is encouraged to explore the evolution for themselves and to create their own narrative. We make our own stories, and every one is true.
Developing A Yoga Home Practice is very well written and begins with the idea that Yoga is much more than physical postures. Joe and Alison offer many clear and effective ways to experience yoga in the comfort of our own home. This book should be required reading for Yoga Teacher Trainings moving forward.
Joe and Alison have created a valuable companion for anyone who feels called to develop a home yoga practice. Their clear guidelines will help you enter into the sacred and nourishing space of your practice with clear intention so that your practice supports your specific needs. With plenty of room for self-exploration, this book will help you understand yourself better and relish the experience of embodiment through your home practice.