John Scott is the yoga teacher who helped Madonna sculpt her body to its high level of fitness and toned physique. He is also personal yoga teacher to Sting and Trudi Styler. With this book, Scott introduces the principles of ashtanga yoga to a wider audience. Ashtanga is one of the more dynamic forms of yoga, as powerful an exercise as doing an aerobic class. However, the benefits go far deeper than a fitter body. Ashtanga yoga is a movement meditation, where the breath is the key to focusing the mind, balancing the emotions and strengthening the spirit, while toning the muscles and building stamina. Yoga is also a philosophy and discipline for developing patience, inner strength and heightened concentration. Ashtanga literally means "eight stages" - abstinence, observance, posture, breath control, sense withdrawal, concentration, meditation and contemplation. The book's sequence of practice sessions provides the foundations which should allow the practitioner to achieve his or her physical and psychological peak. It starts with a simple sequence for beginners, moving on to breath-synchronized "asanas" that massage inner organs to purify the body.The structured course develops the strength, stamina and flexibility, which should provide progressively deeper therapeutic benefits.