Wild Asana: Animals, Yoga, and Connecting Our Practice to the Natural World (Paperback)

Wild Asana: Animals, Yoga, and Connecting Our Practice to the Natural World By Alison Zak Cover Image

Wild Asana: Animals, Yoga, and Connecting Our Practice to the Natural World (Paperback)

$17.95


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Ever wonder about the dog in Downward Dog or the pigeon in Kapota? Rewild your yoga practice by connecting to the animals behind the asanas.

For nature-loving yogis and readers of World of Wonders and Yoga Mythology


From Downward Dog to Cobra, Wild Asana invites you into an embodied exploration of the animals that inspire familiar yoga poses. Drawing on wildlife science, anthropology, Hindu mythology, Eastern philosophy, and personal stories, this insightful guide by environmental educator and yoga instructor Alison Zak explores the connections among our bodies, our minds, and the animals that inspire our practice.

In illustrated chapters on asanas like Tittibhasana (Firefly), Garudasana (Eagle), Bidalasana (Cat), and Ustrasana (Camel), Zak invites you to bring the deep nature of animals into breath and movement.

You’ll learn to: 
  • Respect the monkey in “monkey mind” to honor—not tame—your own wildness
  • Fly like an eagle to move from imprisonment to liberation 
  • Embody a pigeon’s stillness and nonattachment
  • Imbue your practice with the agility, flexibility, and fierce commitment of a cat 
  • Incorporate asana variations, mudras, and meditations inspired by animal nature
  • Practice lovingkindness meditations that include the more-than-human world 

With an encompassing ecological compassion, gorgeous original illustrations, profound insight into animal wisdom, and the humor and perspective of lived experience, Zak offers a path to deepen and enliven your practice. Whether you’re an animal lover, a first-time yoga student, or an experienced practitioner, Wild Asana is a practical and accessible guide to becoming animal on your yoga mat.
ALISON ZAK is an author, yoga teacher, anthropologist, and animal. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband Vishu, Meeko the dog, and Monkey the adopted budgie. In addition to her writing and spiritual practices, Zak runs the Human-Beaver Coexistence Fund and regrets that there is no yoga pose named after the incredible ecosystem engineer, the beaver. Learn more about her at www.alisonzak.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @animal_asana.
Product Details ISBN: 9781623178079
ISBN-10: 162317807X
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication Date: June 27th, 2023
Pages: 256
Language: English
"Wild Asana is inviting, imaginative, and restoring, reestablishing our ancient connection with all of life in an original, welcoming, freeing way. A great way to celebrate and honor our bodies and our world!"
—Sy Montgomery, author of How to Be a Good Creature

"With every page, I felt Wild Asana attuning me to the living connection between the yoga postures I love, the animals they honor, and the heart of humanity. In her paean to the interdependence of the human spirit and the natural world, Alison Zak flows effortlessly between science, poetry, myth, and memoir—reminding us that true yogis are both naturalists and mystics."
—Anne Cushman, author of The Mama Sutra and Moving into Meditation

"Equal parts scientific, scholarly, and spiritual, Wild Asana brings us closer to both our divine and animal natures, lovingly detailing their interdependence, and the ways in which the ancient art of yoga intertwines with our humanity."
—Sarah C. Beasley, award-winning author of Kindness for All Creatures

"Wild Asana teaches us how to live and learn from and with each other in order to bring about balance both within and without.... Combining insightful stories and practical methods, this book is perfect for beginners and experienced yoginis alike."
—Cassie Premo Steele, PhD, author of Earth Joy Writing

"...a song for the spirit...told in a way that makes yoga and deep connection accessible for all of us. The world needs this book now."
—Beth Allgood, president of OneNature

"...unique and thoughtful...Alison Zak muses beautifully on the connections between humans, animals, and the planet—all through the lens of yoga.... a worthy addition to any thinker's library."
—Sage Rountree, PhD, E-RYT 500, author of Everyday Yoga

"[A] beautiful invitation to seek the wisdom and the power that our 'more-than-human' relatives have to share and own what is truly Yoga."
—Micah Mortali, author of Rewilding

"As a naturalist and wildlife conservationist who's always been curious about yoga, Zak's book offered me the perfect entry point to delve into the practice through my love of animals and commitment to conservation."
—David Mizejewski, naturalist and TV host, National Wildlife Federation

"Mix one part lore, one part science, a draught of personal essay, and a dash of yoga, then stir in a bit of mysticism. The result is Wild Asana, a delightful concoction that will help you breathe into the magic and mystery of the natural world."
—Maia Toll, award-winning author of the Wild Wisdom series

"...a deeply compassionate and playful exploration of how we are still animal and connected to other species in the animal kingdom through asana and nature.... Beautifully written and thoughtfully designed, this book is a warm and bright companion on the journey back to your wild nature.”
—Eila Kundrie Carrico, author of The Other Side of the River

"Zak elegantly weaves together personal experience and reflection and scientific research to illustrate how yoga constitutes a pathway through which we can realize our connections with other animals, or 'beyond-human beings.'"
—Dr. Erin P. Riley, professor of anthropology at San Diego State University