YogaFit, 3rd ed
| Year Published:
YogaFit, 3rd ed. describes Beth Shaw's yoga program by the same name. If you are interested in yoga -- whether you are a beginner or experienced -- this book is for you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
• Beth Shaw is a yoga practitioner, instructor, and entrepreneur. She launched YogaFit® in the early 1990's and today it is the largest yoga school in the world. Shaw and her company have been featured in numerous publications including TIME, Huffington Post, O: The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Self, More, and Entrepreneur and TV programs CNN, CBS, NBC, Showtime, and E! Entertainment Television. The first 2 editions of YogaFit have sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide. Shaw holds bachelor's degrees in business administration and nutrition and numerous fitness certifications.
This 334-page book is organized as follows:
PART I: PREPARING TO BE YOGAFIT
- Chapter 1: YogaFit Lifestyle
- Chapter 2: YogaFit Essentials
- Chapter 3: YogaFit Breathing
- Chapter 4: Three Mountains of YogaFit
PART II: PURPOSEFUL POSES
- Chapter 5: Core Strength and Stability
- Chapter 6: Standing and Balance Poses
- Chapter 7: Forward and Backward Bends
- Chapter 8: Twists
- Chapter 9: Deep, Relaxing Stretches and Inversions
PART III: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
- Chapter 10: Workouts for Fitness and Sports
- Chapter 11: Yoga As Therapy
- Chapter 12: Benefits of Meditation
Appendix A: Chakras
Appendix B: Recommended Reading and Shopping
Appendix C: YogaFit Teacher Training and Partner Programs
Appendix D: Yogic Diet and Nutrition
Part I introduces the reader to the principles of yoga, and, the yoga exercises presented in this book. Chapter 1 discusses principles and philosophies of yoga, and chapter 2 explains what is needed to get started and what to expect if you are new to this activity. These 2 chapters are done well. The YogaFit's "Seven Principles of Alignment" on p. 18-19 offers solid kinesiology tips.
Chapter 3 reviews breathing technics and is done well. This might be a totally new concept for some readers!
Chapter 4 explains YogaFit's "mountain and valley" concept of a yoga routine. Mountain I consists of exercises to warm-up your body. In Mountain II, you perform strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility exercises. In Mountain III, you cool down. Between I and II, you perform sun salutations, and between II and III, you perform standing balance poses. While logical, the use of the wavy-line-with-dots symbol on each exercise described in Part II gets confusing (see below).
Part II is the largest section of the book: 192 pages. Here, each specific pose is described. For each one, several color photos are provided, along with an explanation of how to do it, and how to modify it if it is too difficult for you. The photos and the page layout make these easy to understand.
Part III presents specific routines, start to finish. The first 4 are general routines, ranging from easiest to most difficult and the 2nd half of chapter 10 presents sports-specific routines for swimming, running, cycling, golf, tennis, baseball/softball, volleyball/basketball, skiing/snowboarding, weightlifting, and boxing/kickboxing. It concludes with 2 pages on stretching.
Chapter 11 focuses on "restorative" yoga...ie., presumably, for people with health issues. This chapter provides 11 additional poses, which appear to be minor modifications of some presented in Part II.
Chapter 12 addresses the benefits of meditation.
The book concludes with 4 brief Appendicies.
• Photos & Illustrations: There are lots of color photos. These are well done and an improvement over the 2nd edition which provides black and white photos. The models include young women, older women, and men, too. There is only 1 illustration: a drawing of the spinal column.
• Tables & Graphs: Chapter 10 presents the specific routines in table format. This is useful. It would be helpful to create greater visual separation between these routines...ie., more space between the end of one and the beginning of the next, use a larger font size for the heading, center the heading, start each one at the top of a new page. No graphs are provided.
• Documentation / Accuracy: This is not a scientific book, though several research citations are listed at the end of the book.
What I Liked About This Book
YogaFit, 3rd ed. is very thorough. And, the page design/layout is done well. The color photos are an improvement over the black-and-white images in the 2nd edition, and the font choices make the text generally easy to read.
What Could Be Better
This book is generally well-done, but 2 things could be better:
First, the summary of the specific routines which appears on p. 235 needs to appear much earlier in the book, and, the names of these routines should be listed in the Table of Contents. I've never done yoga, let alone YogaFit, so I didn't really understand how to use this book to construct a yoga routine: ie., What do these wavy-line-with-dots symbols mean? Are the poses with dots in the left-side pyramid the easy ones and the ones with the dots in the right-side pyramid the hardest ones? In one routine, do I perform only the poses that have the same identical symbol? And why do some exercises have dots in more than one mountain and/or valley? I spent nearly 30 minutes leafing back and forth through the book until I finally landed on p. 235. OK, now I understand: Part II presents ALL the poses, whereas the "routines" are in Chapter 10. In my way of thinking, pp. 234-235 -- which explains the routines -- should appear in Chapter 2, then, present the specific routines (Chapter 10), and then follow that with the individual poses which appear in Part II. Indeed, each pose in the routines in Chapter 10 refers the reader to the page where that pose is explained in greater detail. In other words, what appears in Part II is intended to be supportive of the routines lists in Chapter 10. It just seems more logical to present, or, at least, explain, the routines before listing all the individual poses.
The 2nd issue I have is when the author makes claims about the health benefits of yoga. For example, on p. 296, she states: "Yoga helps you decrease stress." I think intuitively we all believe this to be true, and, it probably is. But, health claims like this deserve to be supported with clinical evidence. On pp. 312-313, she advocates for yoga being used by people with PTSD. Again, intuitively, this seems worthy, but, is there any proof that this has, indeed, been successful? On this theme, if the author does want to promote yoga as effective for health problems, why no discussion of the benefits for routine low back pain, which 80% of the population suffers from at some point? Does yoga work for this? If I ever do yoga, this would probably be the reason. It would also be helpful to know what percentage of people injure their back from doing yoga.
In summary, this 3rd edition of YogaFit is a very good book. Because of the issues I mentioned above, I wanted to give it 3.5 stars, but half-star increments aren't available. Nevertheless, I can -- and will! -- recommend this book.
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|Reviewed by: Stan Reents, PharmD
||4/13/2019 8:39:05 AM