As we march into this bright new millennium, we’re constantly reminded of the
fusion of east and west. Whether it’s through satellite television programming
that beams in productions from different cultures, enjoying books and music
from distant lands that, only a generation or two ago, couldn’t be accessed, and –
of course – communicating with people across time and space through the
Internet and other telecommunications advancements, the world has become a
much smaller place. Indeed, when Marshall McLuan coined the term
even he probably didn’t envision so much, so fast, so soon.
Riding the wave of information that now crisscrosses our tiny planet is something
that has its roots in ancient history, yet is experiencing a blossoming in the west
that continues to gain momentum with each passing year. Whether it’s at a local
YMCA or a lush spiritual retreat in the Everglades,
Yoga is establishing itself as a
mainstay in western culture; indeed, in
However, many people are reluctant to experience the physical, emotional, and
psychological health benefits of yoga; and there is really only one major reason
for this: misinformation.
While many people might truly enjoy yoga and find it to be the side-effect free
answer to a lot of their emotional and physical ailments, they just don’t know
enough about the subject to take that first step.
Furthermore, a stereotype out there that seems to persist despite evidence to
the contrary is that yoga is a
religious following; and that to experience its many
health benefits somehow obliges one to renounce their faith or, worse, run away
to some commune and eat tofu in between chanting sessions.
While, yes, if you’d like to go to a retreat and enjoy tofu and chanting, that’s
probably possible (almost anything is possible, as long as it’s legal and people
want to do it, right?).
Yet that vision of yoga – people with shaved heads and handing flowers to
strangers at the airport – is by no means the overall picture. Yoga is really a very
simple, accessible, and in many countries around the world,
ordinary thing to do.
In that light, this book is created with one goal in mind: to demystify yoga for you,
and provide you with a clear, simple, and fun introduction to the topic.
If you’ve never been exposed to any kind of yoga (except for what you might
have seen on television), then this book is for you!
In addition, even if you have experienced some kinds of yoga (perhaps a friend
dragged you to a class at the local recreation center all those years ago), this
book will reignite your interest in the topic and reattach you to a mode of body
movement and mind focus that has lived in ancient lands for millennium.
This book is conveniently organized into five sections:
I. What is Yoga
II. Why is Yoga Beneficial?
III.Different Kinds of Yoga
IV.Yoga Positions For Beginners
V. Yoga Equipment & Accessories
As you read through these sections, please bear in mind that there is absolutely
no attempt here, directly or indirectly (or in any other way possible!) to endorse
or promote any religious view. This is because the view of this book is same view
that is held by the world’s foremost authorities on yoga: that it is
not a religion.
It does not have a dogma.
While there are indeed different schools and streams of yoga – there are actually
thousands of them – they have all managed to coexist quite peacefully because,
for the most part, yoga is not evangelical, which simply means that it does not
seek to spread itself as part of its mission.