Cool Yoga Tricks by Miriam Austin

Cool Yoga Tricks Offers Creative Adaptations

Cool Yoga Tricks by Miriam Austin
Cool Yoga Tricks by Miriam Austin. Courtesy of

Cool Yoga Tricks sounds like it is going to be a book of impossible yoga poses that would impress your friends at cocktail parties. But it is really quite the opposite. The "tricks" are intended to help beginners use props effectively so that they can do range of yoga poses safely. This Iyengar-based approach is applied to the most basic poses and on up to rather advanced asanas.

First published in 2003, Cool Yoga Tricks more than stands the test of time.

The decade plus since its publication has seen monumental changes in the yoga world as more and more people take up this practice. Scores of glossy books (and videos, and apps) on the subject have come and gone, but this one continues to be a uniquely useful reference source on the role of props for students and teacher alike. 

A Great Resource for Yoga Beginners

In keeping with Iyengar-style practice, author Miriam Austin believes that practicing proper alignment in the key to reaping the benefits of any yoga pose. But, as an experienced yoga teacher, she also realizes that most students are not able to achieve perfect alignment from the moment they first take up yoga. Her book is a guide to how to use a variety of props, including blocks, blankets, straps, benches, chairs, and the wall to safely practice a variety of poses correctly.

Unlike many yoga books, which show super flexible advanced yogis demonstrating the most difficult postures with ease, Cool Yoga Tricks offers practical advice for real people.

Geared towards the "beginner, beyond beginner, preintermediate, and intermediate" student, the book features more than 200 suggestions on how to adapt poses to your individual level using a wide range of props. It assumes a certain familiarity with basic yoga poses, while also including excellent alignment-based instructions on how to correctly do each pose.

Austin's tricks can be used by home practitioners and also applied during group yoga classes where props are often available but teachers out of the Iynegar tradition rarely go into detail on how to use them

Also a Must For Yoga Teachers

Cool Yoga Tricks is also indispensable for yoga teachers. It is so helpful to be able to offer prop-based adaptations to your students that will help them feel good in a pose and encourage them to continue their practice. This book has such a wealth of options, you will find something to help even the least flexible student. Quite a few of the tricks illustrated are actually intended as partner assists, which makes them well suited to a yoga class setting. With so much yoga in the media, it's surprising how few resources are directed at helping yoga teachers improve their skills, which in turn benefit their students exponentially.

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