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The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the…

The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards (2012)

by William J. Broad

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The author tried to give a balanced view of yoga. The benefits of yoga is in personal transformation, which might not necessarily be measurable by science. While this is known to yoga practitioners, the general public still look towards statements issued by "authorities" to guide them in their choices. And the current "authority" of the day is "science".

I did enjoy the historical development of yoga, which gives a good perspective to understand the way things are now. ( )
  yamiyoghurt | Jan 29, 2018 |
Honest, scientific and open-minded. Loved the author's prose and read the book in three weeks. As a yoga beginner I am really glad I read this book, it may have helped me avoid a serious injury. Just as I was reading the chapter about the risks I was attempting the Plow or Halasana posture. I felt my finger tip tingling a couple of times. The day after I heard a crack sound on my neck, most fortunately without major consequences. But it sounded like a good warning. Yoga has inumerous rewards but it certainly has risks. I will neither attempt the Plow nor the Shoulder Stand anymore. Just keep it safe and enjoy! ( )
  FranceParijs | Apr 4, 2014 |
This is an excellent overview of what we actually know about yoga, as opposed to what claims are made about yoga. The author is himself a yoga practicioner, and also a scientist. He interviews the people who do the research, doctors, physical therapists and presents clear examples of what we know and what we don't, why certain studies are stronger than others, and where there is room for future research. He flatly debunks some popular yoga health claims and cautiously endorses others. He also gives an overview of the history of modern yoga, especially as it has developed in the US. Strongly recommended for anyone interested in improving their health through a yoga practice. ( )
  teckelvik | Feb 19, 2014 |
This book's subtitle says 'The Risks and Rewards'. Unfortunately, more than half of the books looks at injuries and risks in an alarming way, although there is little (or no) statistical evidence for it. Then, in the epilogue, the author apologetically states that there are actually more rewards than risks (?). As a passionate reader (and practitioner) of yoga, I found this book amateuresque, with no direct references throughout the book (they are all squeezed at the end of the book, and most of them cite the sources as 'anonymous'). The pompous title has nothing to do with the content. This book is poorly referenced, generalizes based on assumptions and is logically flawed. But, at least it's a start in trying to see yoga from a (intended) science perspective. There is definitely more to be done in the future. ( )
  simora | Jul 29, 2013 |
I didn't find this book very readable. I'm not a big fan of nonfiction so that may be why. I feel like the beginning of the book could use better organization and perhaps renaming the first chapter from Health to. History.

The best chapter by far was the Risk of Injury. Reading this book wasn't a total loss, but wasn't my cup of tea. ( )
  jnorath | Apr 2, 2013 |
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Examines the health claims of modern yoga, drawing on scientific and cultural research to offer advice on how to recognize authentic yoga practice and gain actual benefits.

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