In this remarkable book about yoga, William Broad, a lifelong practitioner, shows us that uncommon states are integral to a hidden world of risk and reward that lies beneath clouds of myth, superstition, and hype.
Five years in the making, The Science of Yoga draws on more than a century of painstaking research to present the first impartial evaluation of a practice thousands of years old. It celebrates what’s real and shows what’s illusory, describes what’s uplifting and beneficial and what’s flaky and dangerous—and why. Broad illuminates how yoga can lift moods and inspire creativity. He exposes moves that can cripple and kill. As science often does, this groundbreaking book also reveals mysteries. It presents a fascinating body of evidence that raises questions about whether humans have latent capabilities for entering states of suspended animation and unremitting sexual bliss.
The Science of Yoga takes us on a riveting tour of unknown yoga that goes from old archives in Calcutta to the world capitals of medical research, from storied ashrams to spotless laboratories, from sweaty yoga studios with master teachers to the cozy offices of yoga healers. Broad unveils a burgeoning global industry that attracts not only curious scientists but true believers and charismatic hustlers. In the end, he shatters myths, lays out unexpected benefits, and offers a compelling vision of how the ancient practice can be improved.
©2012 William J. Broad (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
This book highlights that yoga as all exercises and physicals activities involves some degree of risk and rewards, and points out the need to educate and practice a better, safer yoga, to decrease and prevent its risk, and for other side, optimize and multiply its rewards. As a yogi one of my favorites books.
Chapters 1-3 are really good, shedding light on the history of yoga as well as scientific insight about the benefits.
The second half of the book is not nearly as good, as broad goes out on a limb time and time again - making claims without much scientific basis. The chapters on injury, healing, sexual drive and creativity all lack the substance shown in the first half of the book.
Still a good read to any interested to yogi and yogini.
This book was basically a bunch of information that felt like it had an agenda, and that the agenda wasn't to outline the risks and rewards of yoga.
If you're looking to just learn more about Yoga in very broad and general ways, you might find the book interesting. I wanted to end the book with some sense of how I should best approach my own yoga practice (you know, the risks and rewards mentioned on the book cover). Instead, I was left sort of confused - feeling like I knew more about yoga, but didn't really know what to do with all of that information.
If you're looking for someone to say "do poses A, B and C for this ailment..." this book does not contain that information. In fact, sometimes the information in one chapter contradicts the information in another chapter. The cobra pose can injure you severely, but it can also enhance testosterone and create a state of bliss. OK, so should I do the cobra pose or avoid it? That was not clear, as the information was delivered, but the author never gave any kind of advice or helped lead the listener to any kind of conclusion. I expected this, and thus was disappointed in the book.
I also found the narrator a little bit robotic, which doesn't really work for me for this topic.
This book by an educated yoga practitioner helps to dispel some of the silly claims made by yoga teacher (toxins? really? what are they?) while sharing benefits and dangers so we can make informed choices.
Would definitely recommend. I rarely write reviews but this book presents an understandable and interesting summary of research, folklore and history of yoga - beyond the evangelical or heavy approach of others. If you are looking for a clear account of the pros and cons of yoga and an informed view on history and traditions then this is it. Section on injury and teachers credentials really helpful and meant I finally found someone who can safely guide me in the traditions and eight arms of yoga.
As above and easy to follow
Personable - understandable-authoritative.
Really enjoyed this book, well researched and clearly written covering a wide range if yoga through the last 50 years will definitely recommend it.
I loved this book. As someone who has not practised Yoga I thought I would listen to this as a way of making sure what i got myself into. Very useful in pointing out the benefits but also the dangers of Yoga before getting into the practice. I will now think twice and ask some important questions of any instructor before taking a class.
"thorough and grounded"
I enjoyed the overview of the history of yogas evolution and relationship with science. I found it helpful as a keen yoga practitioner. As a Nurse I found the information about risks interesting too.
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