Donna Farhi is a registered movement therapist and yoga teacher who is a much sought-after guest instructor and speaker internationally. She is the author of 'The Breathing Book'. She lives in New Zealand.
At first glance, this book's photos and illustrations, which are just as important as the text in an exercise book, seem dated and bland. But a reading of the text and a closer examination of the illustrations reveal that what makes this yoga text different and worthwhile is the author's commitment to tying yoga's spiritual aspects to its physical components. Farhi (The Breathing Book) discusses the "Ten Living Principles," or the yamas ("wise characteristics") and the niyamas ("codes for living soulfully"), and also considers the importance of the asanas ("postures") in grounding spirituality in the body. However, Farhi does far more than provide descriptions and illustrations of postures. At the beginning of each new section, she has readers move through one or two core poses. She then asks them to focus on the way they feel physically while performing the pose. Using these core poses, she moves on to postures of greater complexity while allowing for different levels of ability. One possible problem for beginners is her use of posture names to describe poses that involve movement from one posture to the next (e.g., the sun salutation or the downward dog). Recommended for public libraries as well as academic libraries where yoga is a part of the curriculum, this may also be a worthwhile purchase for hospital or health sciences libraries.--Debra Mitts, Glenview P.L., IL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.