Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Guide to Best Yoga Poses: Just Do Yoga [Review]

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Just as quickly as I exited the yoga world a few years ago, I jumped right back in. I practiced beginner to intermediate yoga on a weekly basis for almost one year. The Thursday evening class was exactly what I needed to combat the work stress. After the class moved out of our office building and to a newly build nearby gym, I was not getting the same results out of the practice sessions. My yoga instructor was amazing, but the atmosphere was different, not to mention the higher cost of the class.

Prenatal yoga rekindled my interest in yoga. I became eager to feel the peace and calm that I received after each practice. I wanted both a structured yoga program like a class and a reference that I could use if I needed to focus on a specific body part (taking care of babies will surely slide something out of alignment). Just Do Yoga: The Complete Guide to Best Yoga Poses is a comprehensive guide that allows me to quickly reference the best yoga moves for different parts of the body.

Just Do Yoga       ($22.35 Paperback, $5.49 Kindle)
Rating: total green check marks out of 5.

The Good
The Not So Good
Comprehensive reference
No summary page for pose flows
Suitable for beginners and pros

I believe that anyone can practice yoga and everyone should practice yoga. Yoga is versatile. The practice can be customized to each person's physical fitness and/or injuries. Yoga is more than physical poses; yoga is about uniting the mind, body, and soul to focus on peace, strength, and breathing. Breathing is one of the most importance aspects of yoga. Breathing helps us to reduce stress by finding our center and focus on the strength of our body.

The versatility of yoga lies in the countless poses for each area of the body. Julie Schoen used yoga to heal her chronic back pain after an accident. Her knowledge and wisdom are woven throughout "Just Do Yoga: The Complete Yoga Guide to the Best Yoga Poses for Total Mind and Body Bliss." This nearly 500-page book categorizes yoga moves by sections focused on different areas of the body. Over 120 poses are detailed and photographed in vinyasa style sequences. You can do just the pose or the vinyasa (flow) sequences.

I have been experienced back pain from holding, carrying, and wearing my 11 month old (~20 lbs). My upper and lower backs usually hurt at the end of the day. I read the "Just Do Yoga" introduction and then flipped to the Happy Back Yoga section. I like the introduction and words of wisdom at the beginning of each section. Each pose has a black and white photograph and a description. I like that the description includes modifications, if you need them.

I went through the Happy Back Flow 2 sequence of poses. Each page is devoted to a pose, so as you go through the sequence, you would have to stop before the next post and flip the page. I ended up putting something heavy over the page to keep the book open. Since I was familiar with the poses, I tried to remember a couple at a time so I could continue the flow sequence without stopping. I would like to see a summary page that either lists the name of each pose (once you begin to remember the names and the poses) and a page that has the pose photographs lined up. This would greatly help to go through the flow sequences without stopping.

"Just Do Yoga" is a great comprehensive guide for anyone looking to start a yoga practice, continue a previous practice, or just need a reference guide. The detailed descriptions, paired with photographs, are self-explanatory and easy to follow.

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions are my own.

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