Top critical review
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on September 12, 2002
The practice of yoga IS the quest for the true self. It is a way of finding out who we are. It is a profound and private journey away from the distractions of our social, political and economic world toward a union with Brahman. It is a Spartan path that countenances no humbug and admits of no compromise. It is eons removed from the psychoanalytical claptrap of modern Western civilization, and it predates, and properly understood, is distinct from the great world religions of Hinduism and Buddhism, whose true adherents know it well.
The yoga of Patanjali and the yoga of B.K.S. Iyengar, the yoga of the Gheranda-Samhita and the Hathayogapradipika, the yoga of the Bhagavad Gita and the Katha Upanishad, the yoga of countless unnamed and unknown practitioners past and present, I am sorry to report, is not the yoga of this book. Here we have a highly social, Western psychotherapeutic, feel good, New Age sort of yoga spun out in New Age psychobabblese by someone who has only a limited and largely academic understanding of yoga. The best parts of this book are the poetic quotes at the beginning of each chapter; the worse parts the irrelevant and distracting notions about "the hated child" and other faddish trends in shrink psychology.
Yoga is the path of renunciation, a path away from the delusions of this world through non-attachment. This book is very much of this world.