Healing Yoga: A Book Review

Healing Yoga- A practical approach to healing common ailments with yoga

I’m always on the lookout for well written instructional yoga manuals, and so when I came across Healing Yoga, I had to purchase it.

The book Healing Yoga by Stella Weller main focus is to provide yoga routines which will help with a variety of chronic illnesses. This book emphasizes the healing power that practicing yoga can provide for your life. Weller’s health background as a registered nurse provides paired with her hatha yoga instructor certification provides her with a strong foundation to develop this type of manual.

A Well Written Overview

Weller begins her book with a basic overview of yoga: what it is and what it isn’t. This section provides a clear definition for those individuals who may not have ever engaged in a yoga class. I really liked this section, because it captured the essence of yoga without overwhelming the reader with philosophy and terminology.

Excellent Instructions for Each Movement

If you are looking for a book with clear detailed descriptions on how to execute the movements, then this is the book for you. Each asana has not one but several photographs assisting the visual learner with how to practice each movement.

The pictures are then accompanied by three different sections: what the exercise does, a step by step “how to” section, and notes and adaptations. The “How to Do it” section is written in clear, concise language, which helps to ensure that the user is completing each portion correctly. As an additional bonus, Weller has placed notes on several of the movements that provide simple adaptations (such as adding cushions or towels).

To truly test out if these instructions could be followed by a non yoga enthusiast; I used my husband as a guinea pig. I am happy to say he was able to easily follow the instructions to most of the movements. However, he did mention that he would have preferred a recommended amount of time to hold each stretch (in the majority of exercises Weller states to hold the stretch as long as you comfortably can).

As an additional bonus, Weller has provided a clear basic description for each ailment. This section would be very helpful for an instructor as it helps tie together the ailment with the movements. However, it is probably not necessary for the majority of users of this manual.

A Need for More Modifications

In addition to mentioning a specific time frame, the only other change that I would implement would be to provide additional adaptations for each movement. Although the exercises are great, they may be challenging for some individuals with these ailments to complete.

I particularly noticed this in Weller’s prenatal routine. This section is excellent for women in their first trimester in pregnancy but for someone in the third trimester it would be challenging (a lot of the asanas took place on your back). Although she does mention that spending time on your back is not recommended, I would have liked to see additional exercises that a woman in her third trimester of pregnancy could complete.

Overall, I believe this book is a great read. It is user friendly, the photographs are fantastic and it is an excellent supplement for any beginner yoga enthusiast. However, if you are suffering from an ailment, I would probably recommend that you attend a few yoga classes first to ensure that use the adaptation best suited for you.

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