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Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga

With the Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga you don't have to wade through text to get to the heart of the matter -- 50 routines explained through simple and effective descriptions with color photos.

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More than two years ago we reviewed the “Athlete’s Guide to Yoga,” a book that was done in a truly authentic style discussing what poses and what kind of practice a real athlete should do. The author, Sage Rountree, is not only a yogi but also quite an athlete. She used just enough of the yoga voice and just enough of the athlete voice to keep it real and approachable. (Click here to see that Jan. 14, 2008, review.)

Now, Rountree has a so-called “Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga,” which is a spiral-bound, smaller-format book with thicker pages, that is the perfect companion – or may just be pretty perfect on its own for that athlete who just wants to do it and not read about it.

The book, from Velo Press, does have a short section on how to do yoga, but it’s kept to 10 pages and covers only the basics of equipment, alignment, breathing and how to use the book. The guts of the book’s 113 pages are its all-routines-all-the-time, with each of the 50 routines confined to one colorful page with real people showing the poses in real photos. No descriptions, no warnings, no pros and cons, just the photos and the posture names so you can get to it. Granted, that assumes you know how to do it, so if you don’t, get the guide for more description.

The routines are divided by type or body segment, i.e., balance, hips and legs, restorative, etc. Then there is another sub-section of routines designed to help you achieve a specific result, so you can choose routines for strength, power, flexibility and focus, with tips about which variations to use when, e.g. “after a ride,” and how long each should take – for all those Type A athletes.

The only problem is the routines for specific results have many poses, and therefore, more text and smaller photos (we assume to keep them from spreading across multiple pages), so people who need glasses to read might need to put on and remove their glasses to view the descriptions. That could get a bit annoying, and it might have been better to let the routines spread over an extra page or two.

Nevertheless, we like the fact that the book has a truly compact design (6 inches by 7 inches, and less than an inch thick), and the paper stock is durable. This means you could toss it in a workout bag, schlep it to the gym, pack it in your travel carry-on, or otherwise knock it around and flip through it over and over without tearing the pages.

SNEWS® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)

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