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The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker's Guide to Extraordinary Living

by Stephen Cope

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I really enjoyed reading this book, even though it took me forever and a day to get through it. It is written in the style of a novel which makes it a fairly easy read for those who are not 100% familiar with yoga philosophy. There are a few sections that are a bit too technical at times, but it balances out with the rest of the book. Anyone interested in more than just the physical side of yoga may enjoy this...I definitely reccommend it. ( )
  StephNicole0413 | Apr 7, 2013 |
For modern spiritual seekers and yoga students alike, here is an irreverent yet profound guide to the most sophisticated teachings of the yoga wisdom tradition–now brought to contemporary life by a celebrated author, psychotherapist, and leading American yoga instructor.

While many Westerners still think of yoga as an invigorating series of postures and breathing exercises, these physical practices are only part of a vast and ancient spiritual science. For more than three millennia, yoga sages systematically explored the essential questions of our human existence: What are the root causes of suffering, and how can we achieve freedom and happiness? What would it be like to function at the maximum potential of our minds, bodies, and spirits? What is an optimal human life?

Nowhere have their discoveries been more brilliantly distilled than in a short–but famously difficult–treatise called the Yogasutra. This revered text lays out the entire path of inner development in remarkable detail–ranging from practices that build character and mental power to the highest reaches of spiritual realization.

Now Stephen Cope unlocks the teachings of the Yogasutra by showing them at work in the lives of a group of friends and fellow yoga students who are confronting the full modern catastrophe of careers, relationships, and dysfunctional family dynamics. Interweaving their daily dilemmas with insights from modern psychology, neuroscience, religion, and philosophy, he shows the astonishing relevance and practicality of this timeless psychology of awakening.

Leavened with wit and passion, The Wisdom of Yoga is a superb companion and guide for anyone seeking enhanced creativity, better relationships, and a more ethical and graceful way of living in the world.
  saraswati_library_mm | Aug 5, 2010 |
This quotation which leads off the book I am reading entitled “The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living,” by Stephen Cope so resonates with me and damned be the religious bigots among us who want to force their way of understanding upon us all:

“There were no formerly heroic times, and there was no formerly pure generation. There is no one here but us chickens, and so it has always been: a people busy and powerful, knowledgeable, ambivalent, important, fearful, and self-aware; a people who scheme, promote, deceive, and conquer; who pray for their loved ones, and long to flee misery and skip death. It is a weakening and discoloring idea, that rustic people knew God personally once upon a time–or even knew selflesness or courage or literature–but that it is too late for us. In fact, the absolute is available to everyone in every age. There was a more holy age than ours, and never a less.” –Annie Dillard, “For the Time Being (1999).”

The Introduction on page xiii begins: “Mircea Eliade, one of the greatest students of religion in the twentieth century, once declared. [We go] to the past only in order to learn about such authentic possibilities of human existence as may be repeatable in the present.”

What a puzzling planet we tread on. And physicists tell us that time is an illusion. There are a hundred billion stars in this galaxy and the Hubble Space Telescope has found there may be 125 billion galaxies in the universe. To grasp the concept of a billion, consider this: Counting non-stop, at one number a second, it would take you 31 years,251 days, 7 hours, 46 minutes, and 39 seconds to count to 1 billion. (Roll the Carl Sagan tapes here).
  kerowackie | Jul 12, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553380540, Paperback)

For modern spiritual seekers and yoga students alike, here is an irreverent yet profound guide to the most sophisticated teachings of the yoga wisdom tradition–now brought to contemporary life by a celebrated author, psychotherapist, and leading American yoga instructor.

While many Westerners still think of yoga as an invigorating series of postures and breathing exercises, these physical practices are only part of a vast and ancient spiritual science. For more than three millennia, yoga sages systematically explored the essential questions of our human existence: What are the root causes of suffering, and how can we achieve freedom and happiness? What would it be like to function at the maximum potential of our minds, bodies, and spirits? What is an optimal human life?

Nowhere have their discoveries been more brilliantly distilled than in a short–but famously difficult–treatise called the Yogasutra. This revered text lays out the entire path of inner development in remarkable detail–ranging from practices that build character and mental power to the highest reaches of spiritual realization.

Now Stephen Cope unlocks the teachings of the Yogasutra by showing them at work in the lives of a group of friends and fellow yoga students who are confronting the full modern catastrophe of careers, relationships, and dysfunctional family dynamics. Interweaving their daily dilemmas with insights from modern psychology, neuroscience, religion, and philosophy, he shows the astonishing relevance and practicality of this timeless psychology of awakening.

Leavened with wit and passion, The Wisdom of Yoga is a superb companion and guide for anyone seeking enhanced creativity, better relationships, and a more ethical and graceful way of living in the world.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:25 -0400)

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