Petri Räisänen – Ashtanga Yoga: The definitive primary series practice manual
“Petri Räisänen‘s fine book honours the tradition of Astanga yoga. I have gone through the vinyasa techniques in all of the asanas with him, and discussed philosophical questions that affect the practice, and I give my blessing to Petri and to this book. I hope this book reaches a wide audience of readers, so that the teachings and beauty of yoga continue to spread.” (Sri K. Pattabhi Jois)
I have been recommending this book to my beginner students since it was first published. It’s fair to say that once you start to study yoga keenly, you tend to read and collect a great deal of information. This however remains my favourite practice manual and would add value to any book collection. The reason that I recommend it so highly is that the attention to detail is paramount but it’s also accessible for students looking for high-quality photographs and great design. It’s a book you read thoroughly and dip into when you need to check some factual information.
The Primary Series is examined throughly, asana by asana. Benefits and effects of asana practice are included but importantly, the book covers the history, philosophy, the mantras and Sanskrit pronunciation.
Sarah Miles is my teacher but I have studied with Petri over a number of years previously and (together with our Yoga base Brighton colleague Kathryn) we are delighted to be bringing Petri to Brighton in April. Information featured in this book about the energy flows of the body is of particular interest to me because his background includes studying the Finnish tradition of “bone-setting” and energy-healing, alongside training as a chiropractor and working with the spine. I naturally gravitate towards learning about the anatomy of the body and to Western science but when one experiences a great yoga adjustment that feels in line with the rhythm of our body, it’s hard to deny that there’s more going on than simply moving limbs.
As someone who doesn’t spend much time reading lengthy book reviews myself, I’d suggest looking this book up online to view the beauty of the pages and the quality of the information. Treat yourself to a copy during these winter months. And don’t forget to book to attend Petri’s workshops with us — he doesn’t visit the UK often and these will sell out quickly. He can sign your book too!
By Anna Jones