Book Review: Yantra Yoga: The Tibetan Yoga of MovementVitality Magazine May 1, 2010
Author: Chögyal Namkhai Norbu
Publisher: Snow Lion
Book Publication: 2010
For the first time in the West, this marvelous and comprehensive text explains the ancient Tibetan practice of Yantra Yoga (www.yantrayoga.org).
Also known as the Yoga of Movement, Yantra Yoga is one of the oldest recorded systems of yoga in the world. Working with postures much like those in Indian hatha yoga, Yantra focuses attention on the breath and on methods of concentration. It is a gentle yoga of movement, although of course some of the more advanced poses can be physically demanding.
In Yantra Yoga, a sequence of seven phases of movements connected to seven breathings is used. In particular, in the central phase of the movement the position helps create specific retentions of the breath that work at a subtler and deeper level. For this reason, it is not only the main position, but the entire movement that is important.
Yantra Yoga presents not only the exercises, but also the benefits of the various exercises in relation to different modern-day problems such as stress, depression, eating disorders, uncontrollable emotions, chronic pain or illnesses, rooted in the imbalances of functioning of prana according to Tibetan Medicine. The movements, or Yantras, coordinate and harmonize all these functions of prana.
Yantra Yoga is a complete spiritual path and an invaluable benefit to daily life. It can be an entry point to the great Dzogchen teachings, considered by many to be the most esoteric and powerful elements of the Tibetan spiritual tradition. Learned with the transmission of a qualified Dzogchen Master, Yantra Yoga is said to be a method for complete realization.
Born in Tibet in 1938, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu is an acclaimed author and one of the foremost living masters of Dzogchen. He has written more than 250 highly-acclaimed books and articles on Dzogchen and Tibetan culture, including The Crystal and the Way of Light, Dzogchen: the Self-Perfected State and Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light.
In 1976, he began to give instruction in Dzogchen in the West, starting in Italy but now covering Canada, the U.S., Australia, Europe, Russia, China and Southeast Asia. Yantra Yoga brings his powerful teachings in an accessible form, so that anyone can breathe easier and live better by applying them in daily life. It introduces these ancient Tibetan teachings, so they continue to thrive in the West.