If you like yoga, or are merely curious about it, this lovely book covers all the basics and can get your practice jump-started. Even though I've been doing yoga for years, the author surprised with many details that I had not heard before about its philosophy and forms.
In five brief parts it covers all the basics of yoga: its history, branches, all the yoga styles. It also covers the philosophy of yoga, many of its poses with brief illustrations, also breathing, meditation, mantras, mudras, bandhas, and chakras.
The meditation section is a six page description of types of meditation including walking and compassion ones. Yes, just what it sounds like helping others as part of doing yoga. This part begins with a quick list of how to start a meditation practice.
The last section, appropriately subtitled "Yoga off the Mat" covers yoga at work and school, while traveling, in relationships, and at rest.
The poses--obviously not a complete compendium--are illustrated with 2 or 3 line drawings, a verbal description of how to do them, and in closing, a list of benefits for each.
This beautiful red book is highly portable and with its amazing summary and synthesis of yoga would make a lovely gift. Perfect for the bedstand table, so you can practice breathing or peaceful asanas just before bed, or more active ones after waking up in the morning.