Most helpful critical review
on November 24, 2013
Well, Yoga Mala is not a fun read. One has to keep in mind that it is a classic text, based on a system of knowledge that is quite different from what contemporary science makes available to us. The nutrition information is quite amusing, with advise to avoid vegetables and eat sugar, milk, wheat and ghee... The description of the Asanas also is demanding read as Jois, after an initial description, refers to numbered vinyasas in the sun salutations rather than to a full description of the movements involved in each. It is understandable as the full description would rapidly become cumbersome but, for the reader, it is quite the mental gymnastic. The reader also gets instructed in how sexual activity is permitted only when one is partly congested... and only from the male perspective. However, there are many positive aspects to this text. For one, Jois emphasise that yoga is for everyone with a clear inclusion of women. He also insists on the importance of learning under the guidance of a qualified teacher. After doing yoga for a while, I cannot agree enough with this as poorly supervised practice seems like the perfect recipe for injury. Overall, I recommend the text for people interested in developing a culture in yoga rather than just using it for fitness. Keeping the text in its context will help with its outdated aspects.