Andrea's Reviews > Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice

Yoga Body by Mark Singleton
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it was amazing
bookshelves: yoga

"Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice"

I had to add the subtitle, b/c for some reason goodreads didn't. And it's really pretty important, imo. Because this is NOT just another yoga history book that focuses on the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita and blahdeblah. This is an incredibly documented history of *modern* yoga practice - the practice you get at Yoga Tree or Yoga Mayu or wherever the heck you practice in whatever city you live. Whatever the lineage you practice! Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Jivamukti, Anusara, Iyengar, they ALL owe their historical dues to ... well, to a history that you might not expect!

How much DID the ancient yoga texts discuss physical practice? Why IS it that when most people think of yoga today, they only think of pretzel poses?

I don't want to give much away, because the book is so fascinating to read. ALTHOUGH! CAVEAT: it's very academic and assumes at least some knowledge and understanding of what's been given to us as "yoga history" - e.g., the Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and who the heck Patanjali, Pattabhi Jois, and Krishnamacharya are. So... not for beginners.

That said, I believe EVERY YOGA TEACHER should read this, and I'm not kidding. WHATEVER your lineage (or whatever you *think* your lineage is - ha!), it's super-important to understand this history and how modern postural yoga as we know it came to be.

Think: combine every incredible combination of physical training, postural training, **military** training, bodybuilding, gymnastics, plus Protestant New Thought, New Age, and mystical "women's" stretching... and you've pretty much reached a modern lululemon advertisement for yoga pants. NOT that there's anything wrong with modern physical yoga asana practice! Heck, it's how I make my living. But to really understand WHY we do the poses we do and HOW this all came to be... this understandably controversial book opened my eyes to modern yoga practice in ways that MY teachers probably never even knew or understood themselves.

My review, in essence: Wow. WOW. WowowowowOWWWWW!!!

Bonus: incredible, awesome old photos

Yes, extreme-yoga-geekism. Yes, fascinating historical stuff.
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Reading Progress

May 13, 2010 – Shelved
May 13, 2010 – Shelved as: yoga
Started Reading
June 3, 2010 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca Thank you Andrea. I just ordered this after seeing your review. I LOVE yoga especially for what it does for me spiritually and can't wait to see what this book will bring to my awareness :)

Andrea Very cool - it was incredible.

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