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    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 Global Village, 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 global culture.

    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.