Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga by Kathryn Budig is exactly how it sounds. It is a big book that guides you through the practice of yoga. With that said, it is just a guide. It isn’t supposed to be the end all be all yoga book. However, this book is easy to read and Budig communicates her ideals of yoga like she is talking to you in person, one-on-one.
The book has introductory information covering the history and philosophy of yoga and then goes into poses and how they can benefit your body. The Big Book of Yoga summarizes the full practice of yoga (hint: it’s not just physical poses!) and the founders of modern yoga. You can decide to fully delve into the eight limbs of yoga or choose to learn about them one at a time, incorporating the different practices into your life as you’re ready.
The book breaks down yoga into small, digestible bites of information, allowing the reader to understand the concepts. When explaining the poses, the book goes even further and provides photos of each one. As the book progresses, these photos are put together for sequences for the reader to follow. These sequences are provided in different yoga routines for a variety of topics such as athletics, life, sex, and emotional health.
When reading through the information, I couldn’t help but wonder how others would interpret the information. As a yogini that has practiced for a little over a year, I found that the book had some benefits as well as drawbacks depending on the amount of experience you have.
- Lots of photos.
- Detailed cues.
- Explanation of pose benefits.
- Short sequences that beginners can practice at home.
- Best friend conversational feel.
- My favorite part = Chapter 2: All of Your Questions Answered
- Some poses can lead to injury if practiced incorrectly. Absolute beginners should use this book to accompany classes with a qualified yoga instructor.
- Breaks down all levels of poses, including arm balances and inversions, with photos, step-by-step instructions, and variations.
- Philosophy communicated in a personal tone.
- The carefree presentation can lead to a less regimented practice.
- My favorite part = Setting intentions (page 11).
- Lots of information to sort through – from detox to disciplines – if you’re looking for something in particular.
- Offers cuing, sequencing, and modification ideas that teachers can use to freshen their classes.
- Includes a 3-day cleanse with recipes and information on how to use nutrition to support your practice.
- Sequences offered to really help you hone in on what you want to work on at home – from high heels to broken heart to hangover.
- Skims the surface of philosophy.
- Short sequences.
This book is like a relaxed version of a lecture given by Budig who states, “I always tell my students that if you can’t smile (or at least make a funny face), you’re taking it way too seriously.” After attending a workshop with Budig, this quote rings true. Her personality is the same in person as in the book. If you are ever able to attend a workshop with her, you will be happy to have this book afterwards so you can challenge yourself to grow in your yoga practice.
I want to leave you with my favorite quote from this well put together yoga practice guide. Budig beautifully captures how you should love yourself no matter what you do, who you are, or what you look like when she writes, “Embrace your soul in addition to your body – you’re the same person inside no matter what you weigh, so connect with who you really are and celebrate your strength and beauty!”