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Practitioners around the world reap the physical benefits of yoga, assuming poses and frequently calling them by their Sanskrit names. While many know that hanumanasana is named for the deity Hanuman, few understand why this is the case. Behind each asana and its corresponding movements is an ancient story about a god, sage, or sacred animal, much like Aesop’s fables or European folktales. Myths of the Asanas is the first book to collect and retell these ancient stories. The myths behind yoga’s spiritual tradition have the power to help students of all levels realize their full potential. Meditating on the tolerance of trees while standing in tree pose can help one become more tolerant. Learning how the disfigured sage Astavakra came to be the teacher of a king can liberate us from anxieties about our external appearance and our self imposed limitations. Marveling at Hanuman’s devotion to Ram can serve as a source of spiritual strength and determination. With more than sixty beautiful illustrations to frame the stories, Myths of the Asanas will add a new dimension to your practice and study of yoga.
Alanna Kaivalya is an internationally renowned yoga instructor, musician, and writer who was named one of the top yoga instructors under forty by Yoga Journal. Her JivaDiva podcast has attracted more than one million listeners. She lives in New York City Arjuna Van Der Kooij is the author of Doorway to Eternity and the editor of Yoga and Vegetarianism. He is a longtime yoga practitioner who has studied with various teachers of the bhakti tradition in India, and researched the yoga tradition as part of his master's thesis in Cultural Anthropology. He lives in Amsterdam Shiva Rea is a yogini firekeeper, sacred activist, and leading innovator in the evolution of vinyasa flow yoga integrating the tantric bhakti roots of yoga, Krishnamacharya's teachings, and a quantum approach to the body. She leads retreats and pilgrimages worldwide and has served as a creative catalyst to bring community together through Yoga Trance Dance for Life, Moving Activism for 1,008,000 Trees, and the Global Mala Project. Manorama is the director of the School of Sanskrit Studies in New York. She leads workshops that combine Sanskrit, meditation, and yoga philosophy. She lives in the New York area