Yoga Beneath the Surface: An American Student and His Indian Teacher Discuss Yoga Philosophy and Practice

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9781569242940: Yoga Beneath the Surface: An American Student and His Indian Teacher Discuss Yoga Philosophy and Practice

In The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga Srivatsa Ramaswami presented the full breadth of yogasana teachings as taught by Sri. T. Krishnamacharya (1888–1989) — the father of modern yoga. Now, for the first time, Ramaswami imparts his vast yoga experience and knowledge of Krishnamachara's distinct vinyasa krama system in an accessible question-and-answer format with experienced California yogi David Hurwitz. In a beautifully clear and conversational style, Ramaswami and Hurwitz delve deeply into various general and specific topics relating to yoga philosophy and practice, shedding light on even the most confusing concepts. The nearly 240 questions are drawn directly from Hurwitz's private study with Ramaswami, and include: Does yoga lead to happiness? How do we achieve the famous ahimsa (non-violence)? How does the yogi "see" his soul? What is the role of breath in Asana? Where does willpower come in? and Was Krishnamacharya happy? Yoga Beneath the Surface is the next best thing to studying directly with one of yoga's true gurus — and a must-read for every serious yoga student.

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From the Publisher:

Praise for Yoga Beneath the Surface

"Yoga Beneath the Surface is a unique book, and a must read for all serious students. With his extensive knowledge, and profound understanding, Srivatsa Ramaswami makes accessible a broad spectrum of teachings on yoga philosophy and practice. Thinking of Ramaswami, whom I first met in 1974, the words sincerity, humility, and authenticity come to mind. I am grateful to him, and to David Hurwitz, for bringing out this work."
GARY KRAFTSOW, author of Yoga for Transformation and Yoga for Wellness, founder of American Viniyoga Institute

"David Hurwitz has asked the questions that linger in the mind of many a yoga student but often go unasked. Srivatsa Ramaswami provides insightful answers to a wide variety of issues, including details on the practice of pranayama, advice for dealing with specific issues faced by teachers of yoga, and interesting facts on the philosophy and history of yoga. This book includes something for everyone, and is presented in a narrative, conversational style. David is to be commended for his careful crafting of questions and Srivatsa Ramaswami is to be applauded for his cogent, gentle answers."
CHRISTOPHER KEY CHAPPLE, professor of theological studies, Loyola Marymount University

"This book has reached in, grabbed, and tied up so many loose threads for me. David Hurwitz intelligently introduces topics by category and then steps aside to let the master speak clearly to the reader. Conversations on such topics as breath as an uplifting object, breath in asana, meditation on Ishvara, the chikitsa texts, and diagnosis are in depth and sophisticated. Comments on asana practice and karma equally provide implemental treasures for the serious yoga student. The joy of this work is that, in the didactic method of questions and answers that are inherent to the yoga tradition, it offers the serious yoga student user-friendly access to traditional yogic thought. Yoga Beneath the Surface has captured the voice, the footprint, and the gentle echoes that will hum in my brain long after my readings."
VERONICA ZADOR, president of International Association of Yoga Therapists, vice president of Yoga Alliance

"Hollywood writer and life scholar David Hurwitz has turned his attention to yoga. Thank you David! He reveals the vital and sometimes subtle secrets of the great Krishnamacharya, ‘the teacher of our teachers.’ He shows how you and I as western students can really use yoga to live our lives in peace. David’s accord with another great teacher, Srivatsa Ramaswami, in this living lineage of yoga transmission speaks volumes. Ramaswami studied a solid thirty three years with Krishnamacharya to absorb his gift to the world. David asked his own questions, but has asked them for all of us coming to grips with the questions of What is yoga? and How do I practice in the way that is right for me? Here yoga is made relevant to our present time. Read this book. It reverberates from the ancient source to you."
MARK WHITWELL, author of Yoga of Heart

"This is a treasure chest full of gems for the serious practitioner and scholar. The book serves as a unique and fascinating guide to the classical tradition that is rarely accessible to the modern student, west or east. The questions by David Hurwitz, a scholar in his own right, are as revealing as the answers by Srivatsa Ramaswami, a modern authority on the traditional written and oral teachings. This is a most humbling, yet equally inspiring book for those of us calling ourselves yoga teachers."
JOHN KEPNER, director of International Association of Yoga Therapists

About the Author:

Srivatsa Ramaswami studied yoga with the legendary Sri. T. Krishnamacharya for more then thirty years and had taught Krishnamacharya's vinyasa yoga for more than twenty years in India and the United States. He has extensive knowledge of the classic yoga texts; is the author of The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga, Yoga for the Three Stages of Life, and countless yoga articles; and has made more than thirty-five recordings of Sanskrit mantras.

David Hurwitz is a yogi and yoga instructor who has studied for almost twenty years, most recently with Srivatsa Ramaswami. He has written articles on Yoga for the studies and journal of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and for LA Yoga magazine. He lives in Los Angeles.

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