Wellness teacher publishes ‘Joy of Yoga’

Susan Lang
Emma Silverman

Every week, some 150 Cornell students, faculty and staff do downward facing dog, cobra, lizard and other poses under the guidance of Cornell Wellness teacher Emma Silverman. Now, anyone in the world can do likewise, with the publication of Silverman’s first book, “The Joy of Yoga: 50 Sequences for Your Home and Studio Practice” (Skyhorse Publishing).

The 198-page hardcover – already translated into Dutch, German, Italian, Chinese and Spanish – offers yoga sequences ranging from five minutes to an hour long for

  • • Specific places, including planes, bus stops, subways, office chairs, before bed or even just waiting for water to boil;
  • • Concerns – heartache, headache, backache, stomachache, sadness, menstruation, wrist pain, hangovers or sinus pressure;
  • • Well-being – for balance, “glowing skin,” anger management, gratitude, muscle toning, bone strength, arm strength and even “tushy toners”;
  • • Sequences for bikers, hikers, gardeners and runners; and
  • • Yoga “for a midday pick-me-up,” “for people who type too much,” “for busy people” and even poses “that are awkward to do naked.”

“The incredible thing about the practice of yoga is that it can soothe so many physical mental and emotional ailments,” says Silverman, who’s been teaching at Cornell for about four years and practicing yoga for about 15. “In these sequences, I tried to address the concerns I hear regularly from my yoga students.”

Each sequence includes a brief introduction or anecdote by Silverman, a list of poses forming the sequence, simple cartoon illustrations of each pose, and benefits and modifications of the poses.

The style of yoga presented?

“The book – as well as my classes – are based on what I call progressive vinyasa [breath-synchronized movements used to transition between held postures] yoga,” explains Silverman, where poses are simple to start and get more difficult as the sequence progresses.

Silverman, whose blog offers more sequences and discussions, teaches several Cornell Wellness yoga classes a week. Her book is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Walmart and locally through Buffalo Street Books. Silverman will discuss her book and sign copies of it Thursday, Aug. 21, 6-7 p.m. at Buffalo Street Books in Dewitt Mall (between Buffalo and Seneca Streets).

Book cover Illustration
Book cover Illustration