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The Martial Artist's Book of Yoga    by Lily Chou & Kathe Rothacher order for
Martial Artist's Book of Yoga
by Lily Chou
Order:  USA  Can
Ulysses Press, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Foreword is written by Dr. Norman G. Link, 6th dan, who is Associate Director of the Martial Arts Program at the University of California, Berkeley. He speaks about 'the centuries-old attraction of martial exercise for all people, from the very young to the very old', and calls The Martial Artist's Book of Yoga 'a long overdue project that helps return the martial arts to the world of a normal adult.' The book's author, Lily Chou, explains why she considers yoga 'a great complement to martial arts training.'

Chou begins with an overview of yoga, and continues to describe specific benefits for martial artists in improving flexibility, strength, alignment, balance, body awareness and control, breath control, and focus. Yoga Basics are introduced, including a detailed explanation of the 'Sun Salutation' warm-up and an introduction of fundamental poses. Then, yoga poses that facilitate martial arts techniques are covered under six headings: falls/rolls, grappling, joint locks, kicks, strikes/blocks, and throws. Essential Elements of each set of techniques are introduced, along with the benefits of recommended yoga asanas. Throughout the book, Andy Mogg's excellent black and white photographs illustrate positions and sequences of moves.

Though all martial artists stretch, and include at least some of the techniques suggested here in their training, The Martial Artist's Book of Yoga is a very useful resource that allows for a more systematic integration, and also arms readers with the knowledge of which asanas can help with particular techniques or injuries.

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