Book: Total Yoga

Book: Total Yoga by Tara Fraser

Now, yoga – or rather the way my body hums after doing yoga – is one of my 10 Random Joyful Things, but I didn’t always feel this way. I admit, I used to think of yoga as “easy” and “a nice way to stretch, but not really exercise.”

After a 75-minute yoga class at the gym last year, one of the women walking out behind me said, “I wonder if I should go running now?” I could tell she was simply thinking aloud, but because I was feeling somewhat similarly, I turned around and asked her what she meant. When she explained that she didn’t feel as if she’d had a “real workout,” I was in total agreement. I mean, I felt decent, but not post-workout-y. Then, I noticed that most of the other yogis streaming out the studio were drenched in sweat and panting a bit. Definitely post-workout-y… and smiling.

Then, around the holidays, a really great family friend and I were discussing his yoga practice, and he mentioned all the positive results he’d seen, both physical and nonphysical, from doing yoga regularly. I had a serious wait-a-minute moment. Clearly, I was missing something.

I camped out on the floor of Barnes & Noble, surrounded by every instructional yoga book in stock. Total Yoga: A Step-by-Step Guide to Yoga at Home for Everybody by Tara Fraser stood out as being exactly what I needed. Each step of each pose is illustrated with both a picture of a person performing the step AND detailed instructions as to what to do and how to do it; what not to do and how not do it; common mistakes and how to avoid them; and the benefits and variations of the poses and postures. Both modified and advanced steps are included, as well. I also like the fact that the necessity of patience – which I naturally lack – and practice – which I don’t always devote the time to do – are kindly reminded throughout.

Very quickly (i.e. the first day I pulled out my mat and this book), I realized what I was missing: I wasn’t doing the poses properly! I was doing them almost right, but I learned that the little details of body placement make all the difference. Small shifts created opportunities for increases in strength, flexibility, and focus. In short, I felt post-workout-y in the best way: sweaty, panting a bit, smiling, and humming 🙂


  1. Next up…HOT YOGA!

  2. Thanks for the tips and all your kind words! It means a lot, especially considering how much I admire your blog…for some reason I don’t think I can respond to comments w/ my current template. Thankfully I’ll be switching it up soon enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *