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:
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
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,
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
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 four sections:
What is Yoga?
Why is Yoga Beneficial?
Different Kinds of Yoga
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.
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