THE ART AND SCIENCE OF RAJA YOGA

Swami Kriyananda, Author, Swami Kriyananda, Author (J. Donald Walters). Crystal Clarity $24.95 (471p) ISBN 978-1-56589-166-1

With yoga much in vogue these days, the prolific Walters, a longtime teacher and disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda and founder of Ananda Village, offers an ambitious package of instruction in the discipline. Intended as a 14-week home-study course, the book's 14 chapters cover teachings, postures and routines, meditation and breathing techniques, health and healing topics and diet. It's tough to do a good yoga book, because a number of variables have to converge: substantive integrity, clarity in how-to explanations and quality visuals. By those measures, this book succeeds. Walters's long teaching record shows in his ability to discuss key yogic concepts and practices in simple terms. Though the author is not a particularly gifted writer, the how-to part—instruction in postures—is adequately clear. Workmanlike b&w photos illustrate form, and each explanation includes a helpful statement of the benefits of each pose. This comprehensive guide has an extra medium to distinguish it on the crowded yoga bookshelf: an accompanying audio CD that contains a vague lecture as well as more helpful sections of guided meditation and posture instruction. The book has its fuzzy edges: relating the Bible to yoga teachings is fancifully unnecessary, and recipes are not its long suit. All things considered, however, it's superior to books that reduce yoga to a series of physical exercises taught by this year's guru. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/27/2002
Release date: 06/01/2004
Paperback - 483 pages - 978-1-56589-263-7
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