Yogi Ramacharaka's book Hatha Yoga is a guide for the beginning yogi and advanced yoga practitioner alike. This book differs from many yoga books you will find today in that it is primarily not a step-by-step guide to the various poses and movements you will practice. In fact, there are no images to accompany the text of this book. While this may be intimidating or seem inappropriate for a book about such a physical activity, the clarity of Yogi Ramacharaka's voice shines through in the absence of colourful pictures.
Rather than narrow in on specific poses, Yogi Ramacharaka has opted to take a broader approach to a yoga instruction. Early chapters focus on the philosophy of hatha yoga, its origins, and the deep spirituality that is part and parcel of yoga practice. For those who have only practiced "fitness-centre" style yoga, with emphasis almost exclusively on the physical, these early chapters provide an excellent introduction to the spiritual aspect of hatha yoga practice.
As the book progresses, Yogi Ramacharaka delves into more specifics regarding the physical aspect of yoga practice. Several chapters focus on breathing, highlighting the essential nature of effective breathing for any yogi. Later chapters focus on proper eating and drinking habits, as well as the importance of physical activity and consistent rest. Even advanced yoga practitioners are sure to learn several tips that will advance their yoga practice and life in general.
While definitely not a step by step instruction manual, Hatha Yoga is an invaluable read for any yoga practitioner. When viewed as a lifestyle instructional for the student of yoga, there are few better options available. Highly recommended.