Book Review: The Power of Ashtanga Yoga by Kino MacGregor. ~ Amanda Perez

Via elephant journal
on Mar 12, 2013
get elephant's newsletter

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

Head to any bookstore, whether brick and mortar or online and you will find a wide variety of yoga books—all will have different titles and claim to have the secrets to yoga and ground breaking practices that will literally change your life.

Knowing this, I am always just a little hesitant to take on another yoga book. Most of the time you can take a variety of books on yoga set them side by side and you will notice that they all say essentially the same thing. I was pleasantly surprised that The Power of Ashtanga Yoga by Kino MacGregor is not one of those books.

The foundation of the book is the same as you will get in any yoga manual. Part I is a collection of information about the history of yoga in general, the history of Ashtanga yoga as well as a description of how it differs from other forms of yoga (Ashtanga for instance is broken into six groups of poses that must be studied in order). It also has a wonderful section on our relationships to food and how yoga can help us to realize these relationships and come to terms with them.

Part II of the book is the instructional part of the book. This part of the book is very detailed (you can easily compare it to the instructions given by Iyengar in The Light on Yoga). It also contains many wonderful photographs that show exactly what is described in the descriptions of the asanas.

The best section of Part II is the section on Bandhas. I have read many yoga books that try to explain how to achieve a Bandha but usually the language becomes poetic and if you have not been introduced to the bandhas in a class the reader will more than likely finish the section having no idea how to achieve the bandha. MacGregor, however, lays out the bandha instructions clearly and concisely and it is for this conversation alone that I believe this book is a great addition to any yoga book collection.

The Power of Ashtanga Yoga also contains a wonderful collection of Appendices that outline the Sun Salutations and a Glossary that is impressively comprehensive.

As a resource, the book is fantastic and would be a great addition to any library no matter what type of yoga you practice. Perhaps the most unique thing about this book though is the voice. It is not often that you can pick up an instruction manual and feel as if you are connecting with the person; from the introduction to the glossary, MacGregor lays it out there for you and inserts her own experiences so you feel as if your time spent with the book is like time spent in the company of a knowledgeable yoga instructor.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in yoga; no matter what type of yoga you practice the advice and knowledge between the covers is universal and accessible. I personally cannot wait for the publication of this book in May of this year…it will be on my shelf right next to another classic: The Light on Yoga.

My book rating: 4 of 5 stars

NOTE: I was given this book by the publisher to read and review. In no way does that affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.




Amanda PerezAmanda Perez earned her RYT200 yoga certification and Level I Reiki healer certification in 2012 from Reflex Arts in Sarasota, FL. She currently works as a photographer. In addition to photography Amanda spends a large portion of her time reviewing books for various publishers and publications. She resides in Florida with her husband and their eleven year old border collie. Amanda has been blogging at Amanda’s Weekly Zen since 2004.


Like elephant Yoga on Facebook.



Asst. Editor: Edith Lazenby/Ed: Bryonie Wise




About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive—and get your name/business/fave non-profit on every page of Questions? Send to [email protected]


6 Responses to “Book Review: The Power of Ashtanga Yoga by Kino MacGregor. ~ Amanda Perez”

  1. Robyn says:

    I've been looking forward to this book. I just read her other one, and it was interesting but not edited at all. Hopefully this one will be a little better in that regard!

  2. Kino says:

    Thanks for reading my first book. This new one is definitely edited and much more professionally done, published by Shambhala. I am really excited about it too!

  3. Robyn says:

    Kino, now I feel like a huge jerk that you saw this, which I should have realized is possible. My 2-year-old was pestering me, so I didn't elaborate much. I am a newspaper copy editor, so I tend to notice things that others wouldn't. But aside from any of that, I really enjoyed your book. I don't get a lot of reading time (except on my dinner break at work), but I was reading your book with every meal, and at each moment in the day I could find a few spare moments, and I can't say that about many books. Your story was very inspiring to me.
    I look forward to the next book and have kept an eye out on its release.

  4. Pat says:

    Is this book suitable for a senior with 2 artificial hips? Is it suitable for total newbies? Thank you.

  5. Lalana says:

    I have my pre-order in on it already and look forward to it. I loved the last book as well:)

  6. digitalpanacea1627 says:

    Very excited by this new book which I will definitely be purchasing. I have been practicing (loosely speaking) Ashtanga for about four years and while I love it, I have never sat down and read a proper explanation of what it is all about and where the practice comes from. I'm sure this book will fill that gap perfectly.