Yoga for Wimps: Poses for the Flexibly Impaired

By Miriam Austin (Sterling, 2000)

Let’s face it: Yoga can be a bit intimidating — and not just for “wimps,” but for anyone who is less than limber, including super-fit folks whose muscles tend more toward bulk than length. This equal-opportunity book takes the ouch and anxiety out of yoga, making it accessible to all fitness levels and body types. The instruction begins with “Instant Yoga” (single poses that can be done anytime), followed by a series of 15-minute sequences that give a bit more detail about each pose, before moving on to a still more specific “fix it” section that offers poses for particular ailments. It concludes with a glossary in which Austin explains the poses in even greater detail. The directions — from simple to complex — allow readers to choose their level of intensity, and Austin encourages moderation. Even if you practice only 15 minutes a day, you’ll start to feel significant changes. The real-people models — most of them lovely individuals in middle age who appear modestly flexible at best — offer accessible insights, such as using an old necktie and a dictionary for props. If you’ve wanted to try yoga but resisted for any number of reasons, this book places its benefits within easy reach. You don’t even have to be able to touch your toes.

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