Yogaminute by Anita Perry
Greetings! The Review Board here to give our thoughts on Yogaminute but before we get to it, some words from the Unleashed one.
On the surface, this looked promising to me. I don’t have a lot of time on my hands and there are moments when I suffer from back pain. Yet I had been advised it is better to actually be in the classroom to get one-on-one yoga instruction first hand, especially if one is new to it. In order to give further depth into the effectiveness of this hands-on book, I needed someone who had practiced yoga first hand. The following reviewer does have experience in doing Yoga and Pilates and can give further feedback than I ever could. Nikki Vision the floor is yours.
I don’t normally comment on book covers, but this one stands out. I don’t like it. It’s too busy and there is no reference to Yoga, just another generic photograph of a person juggling with so many things to do. It actually put me off.
I do Pilates and went to a few Yoga classes when I was at college. I know the benefits these gentle exercises have and how much more energy I have through doing them. So, when choosing a book to help me practice Yoga exercises, I want to know how qualified the instructor is. Anita states that she has been doing Yoga for a few years and trained as an instructor for one year. ONE year! Sorry, but in my books that is not enough time to train to become a Yoga instructor. Anyway, that aside I decided to give her a chance and read on.
The first chapter is a list of what Yoga is. Fine, now I know. The second chapter tells us how to use the book. I can read, I know how to use the book. Please do not tell me how to live my life according to how you live yours. So off-putting. I started to hate this book. Anita also suggests that the beginner need not ‘…start with any particular pose or breathing exercise.’ Sorry, but in my experience with such a disciplined exercise regime, it is most important to do it correctly and in an order that will build up your core strength and flexibility. To do some random poses in no particular order seems to negate the whole purpose of the discipline. It may even do more harm than good.
Then she tells us how to breathe – a fundamental part of Yoga and Pilates. Okay Anita does this step by step and that is good. Until we get to sitali breathing. “Start by rolling your tongue into a tube.”Well, that is genetically impossible for not only myself to do, but also half of the population on the planet. I did not see the point of including this exercise unless it came with a disclosure stating what I just have. It could put people off, or they may spend hours trying to do something they never will and so feel bad. Not the ethos of Yoga.
The internal layout with photographs looked a little cheap. More like a blog post rather than a comprehensive guide on how to do Yoga exercises. I did not care for the formatting as the pictures with side text looked jumbled. The idea of the photographs, to show how a move looks, did not really give an impression of how to do them. Maybe Anita could show the exercises being done in a series of shots that actually follow the movement from start to finish. Some of the people in the photographs look like they are in pain or going to the toilet. The pictures of her dog do nothing for me. They are not necessary and add little to the text.
We come onto the actual poses and exercises, in the next few chapters. They are on the whole described well and in detail, except for the omission of one rather important thing that is fundamental to both Yoga and Pilates – engaging the core. This is the first thing you do before entering into any exercise. Without engaging the core (lifting and tightening the pelvic floor muscles) the exercises will do very little for you. The core supports your spine and helps you with balance and strength, so that you can perform the exercises properly and to greater effect.
This is especially important when doing exercises for the back. Engaging the core is vital in maintaining flexibility and strength, so helping to support the spine when doing any of the moves. Nowhere does Anita Perry suggest this. I was surprised to say the least. As a back pain sufferer for many years, finding Pilates and engaging in the exercises gradually and progressively, has meant that my back problems have all but disappeared. If I had just followed Anita’s take on Yoga, I would still be paying out a fortune on physiotherapy.
Some of the wording is confusing when I was trying to follow the exercises. If you are new to Yoga, and this book is intended for beginners, then it may take a while to figure out what Anita means when she says things like, “From a sitting position, bring the bottoms of the feet together…”I don’t know what the bottoms of my feet are. Does she mean, bring the soles of your feet together?
Some classic typos could cause confusion: “Inhale your arms up overhead, biceps by the ears…Feel the spine lengthen and stretch in opposite directions. Your head is down; eyes open or close (your choice), while the hips start to reach upwards towards the ceiling.” I think Anita needs a proof-reader who knows something about yoga.
I cannot recommend this book to beginners of Yoga. If you already go to a class and need to remind yourself of what exercises there are, then it may be useful.
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