The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards

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The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards

by William J Broad

Simon & Schuster | February 12, 2012 | Hardcover

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A lead science writer for The New York Times-and lifelong yoga practitioner-examines centuries of history and research to scrutinize the claims made about yoga for health, fitness, emotional wellbeing, sex, weight loss, healing, and creativity. He reveals what is real and what is illusory, in the process exposing moves that can harm or even kill.

Five years in the making, The Science of Yoga draws on a hidden wealth of discovery, drama, and surprising fact to cut through the fog that surrounds contemporary yoga and to show-for the first time-what is uplifting and beneficial and what is delusional, flaky, and dangerous. At heart, it illuminates the risks and rewards.

Broad describes yoga as a burgeoning global industry that attracts not only curious scientists but millions of true believers and charismatic hustlers. He takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of unknown yoga that goes from old archives in Calcutta to world capitals of medical research, from storied ashrams to spotless laboratories, from sweaty yoga studios with master teachers to the cozy offices of yoga healers. In the process, he shatters myths, lays out unexpected benefits, and offers a compelling vision of how the discipline can be improved.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × 1.18 in

Published: February 12, 2012

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1451641427

ISBN - 13: 9781451641424

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The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards

The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards

by William J Broad

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × 1.18 in

Published: February 12, 2012

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1451641427

ISBN - 13: 9781451641424

About the Book

A lead science writer for "The New York Times"--and lifelong yoga practitioner--examines centuries of history and research to scrutinize the claims made about yoga for health, fitness, emotional wellbeing, sex, weight loss, healing, and creativity.

Read from the Book

Prologue Yoga is everywhere among the affluent and the educated. The bending, stretching, and deep breathing have become a kind of oxygen for the modern soul, as a tour of the neighborhood shows rather quickly. New condo developments feature yoga studios as perks. Cruise ships tout the accomplishments of their yoga instructors, as do tropical resorts. Senior centers and children’s museums offer the stretching as a fringe benefit— Hey, parents, fitness can be fun. Hollywood stars and professional athletes swear by it. Doctors prescribe it for natural healing. Hospitals run beginner classes, as do many high schools and colleges. Clinical psychologists urge patients to try yoga for depression. Pregnant women do it (very carefully) as a form of prenatal care. The organizers of writing and painting workshops have their pupils do yoga to stir the creative spirit. So do acting schools. Musicians use it to calm down before going on stage. Not to mention all the regular classes. In New York City, where I work, it seems like a yoga studio is doing business every few blocks. You can also take classes in Des Moines and Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Once an esoteric practice of the few, yoga has transformed itself into a global phenomenon as well as a universal icon of serenity, one that resonates deeply with tense urbanites. In 2010, the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, began illustrating its parking tickets with a series of calming yoga poses. The popularity of yoga arises not only
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From the Publisher

A lead science writer for The New York Times-and lifelong yoga practitioner-examines centuries of history and research to scrutinize the claims made about yoga for health, fitness, emotional wellbeing, sex, weight loss, healing, and creativity. He reveals what is real and what is illusory, in the process exposing moves that can harm or even kill.

Five years in the making, The Science of Yoga draws on a hidden wealth of discovery, drama, and surprising fact to cut through the fog that surrounds contemporary yoga and to show-for the first time-what is uplifting and beneficial and what is delusional, flaky, and dangerous. At heart, it illuminates the risks and rewards.

Broad describes yoga as a burgeoning global industry that attracts not only curious scientists but millions of true believers and charismatic hustlers. He takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of unknown yoga that goes from old archives in Calcutta to world capitals of medical research, from storied ashrams to spotless laboratories, from sweaty yoga studios with master teachers to the cozy offices of yoga healers. In the process, he shatters myths, lays out unexpected benefits, and offers a compelling vision of how the discipline can be improved.

About the Author

William Broad, science writer for the Times, has twice shared the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in the New York City area.

Editorial Reviews

"Dramatic...a flair for provocation…valuable."

-Publishers Weekly

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