Yoga for the Three Stages of Life: Developing Your Practice As an Art Form, a Physical Therapy, and a Guiding Philosophy

Excerpts & Samples

By Srivatsa Ramaswami

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Srivatsa Ramaswami

Srivatsa Ramaswami
Srivatsa Ramaswami has taught yoga in universities, hospitals, and schools in India for more than twenty years. A familiar figure on Indian radio and television, he now teaches workshops throughout the United States as well.



Essential reading for those looking to customize their practice to life's changing needs.


• Includes sections on vedic chanting, throat breathing, and exercises for women.

• Presents a unique portrait of  T. Krishnamacharya and his teachings.

For 33 years Ramaswami studied with the legendary T. Krishnamacharya, teacher of B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, and T.K.V. Desikachar and perhaps the most influential figure in the field of yoga in the last 100 years. Since that time he has developed Krishnamacharya's teaching into what may be the most highly evolved program available for making yoga a way of life, rather than simply a routine. In seventeen chapters Ramaswami lays out the whole philosophy of yoga, including principles for right living, postures, breathing practices, meditation practices, and mental disciplines.

Key to Ramaswami's teaching is the focus on adapting yoga to individual needs and to different stages of life. During the early part of life, learning yoga as a physical art form is most beneficial for the self-confidence and discipline it instills. In middle age, yoga should focus on physical therapy and maintaining optimum health as far into life as possible. In the last stages of life, the practitioner will be ready to focus on the ultimate goal of yoga--true understanding of the philosophy behind it and the realization of truth.

"The title of this book gives you a good indication of what this excellent book is about. A lot to live up to, but this book lives up to it. The author points out that there have been more books on yoga in the past twenty years than ever before.The author thought that he had something to add to the discussion, and after reading this book, I agree. I strongly recommend this book. It is not for beginners, as the author points out, but can be used as a reference for ongoing practice. It it well written and well organized. The book is great. It encourages the reader to explore the science of yoga, and go beyond the asanas and exercises to expand on the union of yoga."
Yoga Connoisseur, Online magazine at

"Ramaswami, a student for 33 years of the legendary yoga master T. Krishnamacharya, has developed and expanded those teaching to include a key element: the need to take into consideration the individual's stage in life while practicing yoga."
Networking News, June/July 2001

"Individuals ready to devote their lives to the field of yoga will find Yoga for the Three Stages of Life an excellent introduction which blends the usual guide to postures and meditation practices with insights on adapting yoga to individual needs and different stages of life. Young and old receive appropriate discussions of yoga techniques geared to age, sex and ability."
Reviewer's Bookwatch, May 2001

"The book by Sri Srivatsa Ramaswami is much more than a compendium of Asanas; it captures the spirit of the Hindu view of life of which hatha yoga is a part. This is a wonderful book that makes an excellent reference for the practitioner of hatha yoga, and a great reading for the non-practitioner."
Paramarth Tatwam, Journal of Sringeri Vidya

". . . Many of the asana variations are seldom seen in most contemporary hatha yoga books. . . . There is much fruit here for the experienced, motivated student to harvest."
Yoga Journal, July/August 2001

"Young, old or in between, this book will give you a complete yoga routine."
Hinduism Today, September/October 2001

"This is a thoroughly enjoyable book, written with the sincerity and wisdom you would expect from a long-time, dedicated student. More experienced students, teachers and Yoga therapists will certainly want a copy of this book in their library."
Int'l Journal of Yoga Therapy, No. 11, 2001

"Yoga for the Three Stages of Life has a clarity and simplicity unlike many of the other books recently published."
New York Spirit, October & November 2001