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Yoga Beyond Belief: Insights to Awaken and Deepen Your Practice

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  361 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Yoga Beyond Belief offers a unique vision of contemporary yoga. It integrates scientific and practical approaches providing a much-needed integrative perspective that complements existing yoga books for all levels and styles of yoga students. Serving up a collection of valuable insights gleaned from a lifetime of exploration, practice, study, and teaching by one of America ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by North Atlantic Books (first published January 2nd 2006)
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Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
After a couple of years of very superficial and on-off relationship with yoga, I had finally 'peeled' a layer and begun to have a better, deeper understanding of the practice. I wanted to find some reads that placed yoga into context (historical, philosphical, etc) and at the same time made it relevant for non-religious people like me. Most stuff I found around was either too new age for my liking, or too dry and interested in presenting yoga simply as a fitness routine.

This book is EVERYTHING
Sep 03, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a great read for any yogi. White details the history of yoga, the different styles of yoga, and makes recommendations for poses (for people who have injuries, or for practitioners who are looking for modifications for their practice). Highly recommended for yogis or for those looking to learn more about modern yoga.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It discusses the philosophy of yoga as well as the important of asanas. I appreciate Ganga's perspective on yoga as healing, strengthening and incorporating it into our daily lives. It is humbling to see great yoga teachers be injured in their practice...because we are all human. ...more
Jessica MacKay
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga
An insightful introduction into the world of yoga.

This was issued to us as a prerequisite for our 200 hr yoga teacher training. It formed a good base for our knowledge as we continued to dive deeper into some of the topics discussed in this book.
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very cool book about yoga practice that emphasizes your own experience and making your practice your own as well as tradition.
Carla Chernencoff
Mar 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
I read this book after 20 years of a personal yoga practice, so it's possible that I wasn't wow'd by this book because I had heard all its contents before. Still, I agreed with the thoughts within. ...more
Shelley Schanfield
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A useful book that demystifies yoga and establishes it in a perspective that resonates with me, one that strips away "religiosity" and yet does not ignore the importance of spirituality for the true yogi. The epigraph by White sets the tone:

"What if our religion was each other/If our practice was our life/If prayer, our words/...What if meditation was our relationships/If the Teacher was life/If wisdom was self-knowledge..."

The summary of yoga's history necessarily leaves out a lot in such a sho
Angela Boland
Synopsis: Yoga is a combination of many elements, but at times it becomes so Westernized that this doesn’t become apparent. So let’s break it down.

This book is right up the current spiritual alley in which I find myself. Ganga White pulls a lot from his own personal testimony of life as a yogi. He doesn’t come across dogmatic or supercilious, which can be hard to do when you’re writing a book on spirituality. It’s hard not to think of the truth you’ve found as the one and only truth.

It's a goo
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book contains tremendous insight regarding yoga practice in the 21st century. Although Yoga Beyond Belief is a look at the practice from a contemporary perspective, White includes history and explains origins. The scientific link to this spiritual practice was well written and profound. The writing is conversation and concise.

For some, there is a tendency to devalue new literature and interpretation on classical practices, but White makes an excellent point:

"Looking at music as an example
Kathleen Maguire
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Ganga White is brilliant. He has studied yoga in every corner of the world with the most prominent teachers of this century, and then distilled the important elements of it (well-being, safety, inquiry, discernment) into his own teaching. Despite the depth and intensity of his experience, he is an incredibly accessible teacher, and I feel so utterly privileged to have experienced it firsthand. One of the more esoteric lectures he offered was to describe the parallels between the matter/energy co ...more
Dec 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2011
Part of the reason I liked this book is because a lot of what White had to say matched up with a lot of things I've thought myself; maybe if he weren't saying things I already believed, I'd like the book less, but maybe it would have just make me think harder (which I think I've done enough of this semester, thankyouverymuch). Some of what White's saying sounds totally nuts, like, "Pain is our friend," but he's got a point about it. He does sound a little annoying-new-age-y sometimes, but other ...more
Jul 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone! everyone!
Shelves: yoga-meditation
Great book, and surprisingly easy to read and digest (not always true for spiritual or yoga books). Ganga approaches the subjects of yoga asana, meditation and spirituality with a down-to-earth yet inspiring voice, telling readers to sift through tradition, teachings and experience and find what rings true for yourself.

The very last paragraphs of the book are the most meaningful, to me: "Meditation and spirituality can be simple and natural, or made into complex forms of mental contortion and i
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
Ganga White has been a huge yogi since the 70s and founder of the White Lotus Foundation. This book focuses of principles of Bikram (the yoga I practice), and gives a wonderful insight on how yoga can be used for mind, body and soul. Its practical and inspiring and gives you greater insight on how to practice with awarness. I really loved this book. As its not a book on technique rather understanding the greater processes of flow.
Jen Madsen
Mar 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What I appreciate about this book is that while it acknowledges the "jewels" of the past in the art and philosophy of yoga, it also allows for yoga to be relevant to modern, and perhaps rational, people and times. To use a yoga metaphor, it allows yoga to breathe. Rigidity is so antithetical to the practice of yoga that it should be an obvious error to insist on practicing yoga a particular way simply because that's the way it's been done for thousands of years. ...more
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, i have had this on my shelf since it was published in 2007. Have started and stopped reading several times. Picked it up again as my personal yoga practice has developed into more than just exercise and absorbed it like a sponge...everything resonating with where I am in my life at this moment.
I started yoga with Total Flow dvds from Ganga White and Tracey Rich of the White Lotus Foundation years ago, and continue these practices and philosophies in my life today.
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book about making Yoga your own. The book is clear, easy to understand and encourages you to make yoga your own by listening to your body and using every day life as a way to practice integrating mind, body and spirit. Ganga White is an incredible teacher, and this book is a wonderful distillation of his wisdom.
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, yoga
Love Tracy Rich and Ganga White Flow Series Yoga DVDs so when I realized there is a book by Ganga White i jumped at it. His non- dogmatic, non-prescriptive approach is a must read for all yoga lovers. I learned so much about both asana practice and spirituality of yoga and meditation. Also loved reading about the author's own journey. ...more
Carrie Ridgeway
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bpl, non-fiction, yoga
Excellent book! I would love to own a copy of this book so I could refer back to it, and re-read it every year of so. There was so much insight and good sense in this book. Highly recommend it to anyone seeking to learn more about yoga to enrich their practice.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very practical approach to yoga with chapters on different kinds of yoga practices, healing injuries, meditation and spirituality. I expect that I will refer to this book as I deepen my yoga practice.
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love how comprehensive this book is on yoga principles and spirituality. Ganga takes a non-dogmatic approach -- I learned quite a bit reading this book. As I seek a path and a teacher, I've been reassured that everyone's path is unique. Namaste! ...more
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Third time reading this book and I always find something new. If you are interested in the spiritual aspect of yoga, then this is a gem that will not disappoint.

May 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm re-reading this book and just loving it. I think White is very grounded and full of wisdom! ...more
Dec 12, 2008 rated it liked it
this book explains the history and philosophy of yga and provides insights into the practise so that you can maximize and enliven your experience.
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A lot about how authority can weaken, damage, and hurt one's yoga practice. Four stars because I took some good quotes from it that illustrate principles worth a lil' rumination. ...more
Hope Hernandez
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great read, it filled my head and heart with answers to questions I already had, however I am more thankfully for the further questions I will ponder. But first I will sit,in lotus pose and rest.
Feb 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Studied with him at White Lotus yoga teacher training in Santa Barbara. A great book about yoga practice and philosophy.
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read_in_2016, yoga
Absolutely incredible, full of gems to dog-ear throughout. This is simply full of practical and spiritual advice, while avoiding any hard line dogma.
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May 02, 2013
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Rebekah J.
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