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Yoga for Wimps: Poses for the Flexibility Impaired
by Miriam Austin

Have you been avoiding Yoga because of your lack of flexibility? You shouldn't - the least flexible are the ones who probably benefit the most from practicing Yoga. Yoga is not about twisting your body into impossible configurations (no matter what you see in some magazines and books) - it's about feeling relaxed, less stressed, more in tune with yourself and everything around you. More often than not, flexibility eventually flows from that feeling of well-being. Want a book that'll get you started in the right direction without intimidating you? Here it is.

Author and Yoga teacher Miriam Austin has taken basic Yoga poses, modified them so that they are accessible for anyone, and created a lighthearted, user-friendly book that's a joy to have. The beautifully clear photographs show real people - not advanced yogis - practicing the stretches. And it's laid out so that you can easily choose a simple routine that'll take just a few minutes. You can also string a few of the routines together, if you have the time. In the glossary at the end of the book, Austin herself is shown practicing the precise form for the stretches, but that's all she's doing - no fancy stuff. She just wants to make sure you can see how to do the pose.

All this is great, but what makes this book even better is its good humor. The section, "Fix-Its," offers series of poses to relieve backaches, stress, neck aches and other everyday ailments, and they have amusing titles such as "Oh, My Aching Feet" and "I'm Fried!" You'll also find some funny little comments, along with the instructions for the poses. For Downward Facing Dog, Archer comments, "I don't know why this is called a 'dog pose.' Obviously dogs don't work this hard!" On Upward Arm Stretch, she instructs you to "let your fingers do the walking up the wall." Not many Yoga books teach you and make you smile at the same time.

Yoga for Wimps is a true gift for those who have shied away from Yoga. Even those who aren't "flexibility impaired" will enjoy this book, as it offers stretches you can do any time you need a few relaxing moments and not a whole Yoga session. Many people like to claim that Yoga is for everyone - kudos to Austin, who offers the poses to prove it.

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