American Yoga Association Beginner's ManualThe American Yoga Association Beginner’s Manual: The New Definitive Guide

Submitter: This probably would have been a really useful add to a public library’s collection in 1987… The problem is, my public library didn’t add this book to its collection until 2006!!! This seems to be a pretty comprehensive introduction to yoga, with lots of black and white photos illustrating movement through the asanas. I was impressed that both women and men were represented – there are probably four or five pose models throughout the book and it’s noted that they are all students of the American Yoga Association – but they are also all fit and white… And I think Jane Fonda wants her leotard back.

I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why this book was added to the collection this millennium. (Actually, I’m pretty sure it had to have been a donation.) There was a new edition published in 2002 that would have made a much better choice. Weren’t we all pretty much living in yoga pants by 2006?

Holly: Folks, I promise you, it’s perfectly fine to not add every single donation to your collection. Your gift policy (which you all have, right? RIGHT??) states clearly that donations are subject to collection development criteria, just as new materials are. Need a sample gift policy? Sample policies #2 and #3 here have good gift policies included). 

Beginner's Yoga back cover

Beginner's Yoga contents

Exercise (Asana)

full triangle

stress management


  1. They didn’t already have a yoga book? Of more recent vintage? So they felt they had to go with someone’s 20 year old hand-me-down?


    Also, some of those poses are NOT beginner’s!

  2. I actually managed to do – and hold – the Full Triangle pose for ten seconds. I don’t do yoga and never have. I have hypermobile joints.

  3. I don’t know where submitter’s library was located, but I do know that some major budget crises hit libraries in my area about that time. The library I worked for before this one basically shut down its collection budget from 2006-2009, so pretty much everything added to the system from then (and for a while thereafter) was a donation. I had a major weeding project to undertake as we moved back to sustainable funding in 2017. I don’t blame my predecessors for what I had to deal with, it was a function of decisions the tax payers made.

  4. Donor (who may or not actually be a library patron): “This box contains perfectly good books! They’re in great shape! (That’s because I only read four of them and they’ve all been on the shelf for the last fifteen years!) Aren’t you delighted that I am GIVING them to the library?”

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