The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman's Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras
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The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman's Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  289 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Yoga is well known for its power to create a healthy body, but few realize the emotional and spiritual benefits. In The Secret Power of Yoga, world-renowned Yoga expert Nischala Joy Devi interprets Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the principles at the basis of Yoga practice, from a heart-centered, intuitive, feminine perspective, resulting in the first translation intended for wo...more
Paperback, 301 pages
Published March 20th 2007 by Harmony
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Lindsay
This book took me a few months to finish; not because it was thick and wordy -- but, because it was saturated with insights. This book does not contain the classic yoga sutras (there are other books for that, and she is quick to point that out). These are the sutras as interpreted by Nischala Joy Devi, an elder in the yoga community in the US. She filters the sutras through the heart and her experiences on the path of yoga to provide us with a map. She takes complicated Sanskrit terms and concep...more
Victoria Klein
Before reading this book, I read a "traditional" translation of the Yoga Sutras. I found Devi's book to be a nice contrast to the previous book, adding another dimension of understanding to the overall Yoga Sutras. I also highly appreciate her lack of the use of "God", making the Yoga Sutras much easier to understand from a non-Christian/Atheist perspective.

Billed as a "Woman's Guide to the ... Yoga Sutras", I feel the need to address the representation of men vs. women in this book. Others who...more
Sara
This book represents what Devi refers to as a more compassionate "heart" translation and commentary on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, with an eye towards how the sutras can be viewed from a woman's perspective.

She offers practical explorations of the sutras and how they can enrich everyday life, which I like, and also provides experiential exercises at the end of each section of sutras.

I would emphasize, however, that while Devi says that she is exploring yoga philosophy from a "woman's perspective,"...more
Roxanne
**Rereading this for my yoga teacher training; previous review is below.**


I've been reading this book since January and I FINALLY finished it (May 21, 2010)! The extremely long reading period isn't a reflection on Devi's work at all; it's more a reflection on (1) how busy I am right now, and (2) that yoga/meditation books aren't really suited for reading on the train.

Devi set out to write a book that explicates the yoga sutras from a heart-centered, more "feminine" perspective. She realized that...more
Allison
That's it. I give up. It's cheesy, it's sappy, and most of all, it's boring. Maybe it was my expectations of the book. I was hoping for a book that would help me make the most out of my yoga practice; perhaps something that would help me clear my mind, focus on the breath. What I got was a bunch of hippy-dippy mumbo jumbo. Take pleasure in mundane tasks, the author says. Enjoy the satisfaction of a dish washed, a floor cleaned, etc. Obviously, she is on no time limit to get to work in the mornin...more
Shashi
May 07, 2009 Shashi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: especially women and yogis
Recommended to Shashi by: fellow yoga teachers
The intro of this book is amazing and beautiful. She talks about the human heart and how it is one of the first things to form in an embryo, how it forms before the brain, and maintains it's own rhythm til just before birth. I highly value her interpretations of the yoga sutras as she is the first woman to translate this 2500 year old text, and because she's a yogi of the last 30 years.
I went to a workshop with her May 17-18,2008 and feel extremely inspired and challenged. I am starting a readin...more
Trista
Aug 04, 2011 Trista added it
The title of this book would normally have me running away, but it was recommended to me by Kathy Cooper, an Ashtangi I admire deeply. Except for the title, this is a fabulous book. The yoga sutras finally make sense to me. I have one chapter left and am savoring it. "Nothing can be more life-changing than an escape from your own preconceptions."
Irma
This is one of the most powerful and enlightening books I've ever read! I currently use it as a reference just to stay focused/balanced specially during trying times. What I've also learned from this book is to dedicate myself to anything that elevates and embraces my heart.
This practice has actually helped make my life's journey more pleasant.
Brigitte Crawford
I'm reading this for a yoga class, and I do find it interesting. It looks at yoga from the perspective of a woman, whatever that means ;) Mainly the yamas and niyamas are reviewed from an emotional sense and how to approach life rather than how "not" to approach life. Definitely a good read.
Nicole
My great friend, mentor and yoga guru Irma recommended this book to me. It's a nice relaxing read, offering advice about the spiritual yoga of the mind rather than the physical postures and poses. Did I mention I read the book more than once because this year was so stressful.
Judith Harlan
A powerful and insightful look at Patanjali's Sutras, from a woman's perspective and also from a modern Western eye. If you have struggled to decipher the Sutras, this book is a gateway to understanding. And not just for women; men can walk through this gate too.
h
May 31, 2011 h rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to h by: Roxanne Ward
Shelves: ebook, yoga, 2011, spirit
there's a lot to like about devi's approach to the sutras, but the syrupy quality of her writing was a bit much for me. that said, this is a great resource and a book i will return to because her thoughtfulness and joy in life are inspiring.
Maria
The yoga sutras show how as divine beings, we have inner energy to achieve peace and health in this life. I really enjoyed this read. Not light reading and something that should be re-read.
Sandra
This commentary on the Yoga Sutras would be perfect for the beginner. The translations are easy to understand and are given deeper meaning with real life examples.
Joy
I am loving this book. The yoga sutras from a feminine perspective. Very applicable to my own life. Will be a continuing reference, go-to resource.
Elizabeth
Discussion of the yoga sutras, with exercises. Special emphasis on women's experience with the spiritual aspects.
Stephanie
Wonderful interpretation of the sutras from the female perspective. Great exercises at the end of each chapter.
Catherine
Apr 28, 2008 Catherine rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people looking for a sense of peace
I wasn't really into the author's commentaries, but her translation of the yoga sutras alone makes the book worth it.
Barbara Phillips
The Sutras written from a woman's perspective. Understanding the Sutras is a way to embrace yoga throughout your day.
Siobhan
This book is a refreshing take on the Sutras from a women's perspective. A book I have to re-read and go back to.
Donalee Attardo
Hoping for some insights from a woman's perspective but no such luck. The writing was disappointing too.
Amy
Excellent commentary on the Sutras. Really enjoyed it and all the exercises/meditations throughout.
Laura
An unecessarily long title for what is essentially a new guide to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Kendra
Wonderful reflections and translations of the Sutras. I keep this book by my bed.
Holly Lewis
Wonderful weaving of the first three padas of the Sutras. Lovely feminine perspective.
Jessica
A wonderful, accessible look at the yoga sutras, from a more feminine viewpoint .
V K
A bit cheesy, but some good insight if you can keep your breakfast down while reading it.
Karen
One of my favorite Sutra books. Written from a woman's perspective.
Erin
Jun 29, 2009 Erin is currently reading it
I love this book. I'm always dipping into it & finding new treasures.
Sonia Crites
I found this book to be enlightening and enjoyable to read.
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