Stories Behind the Poses: The Indian Mythology That Inspired 50 Yoga Postures

Leaping Hare. Jul. 2022. 244p. ISBN 9780711271883. $27. REF
Scholar of Hindu mythology Balkaran (Oxford Ctr. for Hindu Studies; The Goddess and the Sun in Indian Myth; host of the podcast New Books in Hindu Studies) describes Hindu myth as a mix of history and fantasy that offers a “map for the human journey.” Organized by deity (Shiva; Devi; Kali) and by topic (e.g., the wisdom of the Sages), entries for each of 50 yoga poses outline the mythology behind it, key themes, and applications. “Elephant Trunk Pose” (themes: surrender, balance, grounding) relates how Ganesha came to have an elephant’s head and suggests contemplation of separation and unity. Devika Menon’s richly colored illustrations draw on her Indian heritage and add brilliance to each story.
VERDICT Suggest to readers looking to broaden and deepen yoga practice, and include in displays with yoga guides and training manuals.
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