SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

The Truth of Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Yoga’s History, Texts, Philosophy, and Practices

North Point: Farrar. Jan. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9780865477810. pap. $18. REL
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Simpson (A Rough Guide to the Dark Side)began his practice of yoga with the Iyengar. More than 15 years later, he teaches his own classes, using an integrative style while drawing on his roots. The author is also grounded in academic work; he has an MA in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation from the University of London and is a tutor at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. As with his teaching practice, his study of yoga’s history and philosophy integrates multiple texts and approaches. This book was written as an introduction to help readers engage in further inquiry. While dispelling myths and misunderstandings, the author does not aim to scold readers or have them doubt their existing knowledge. Instead, he points readers to source texts so that they can make their own decisions about what might serve their practices. Readers can follow the text in sequential chunks or enter the book at any point and focus on specific topics.
VERDICT Simpson covers the study and practice of yoga in this comprehensive yet accessible text. By sharing what he has learned, and continues to learn, without prescribing a single, definitive approach, he welcomes readers to embrace the truth of yoga.

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