- Yoga Rising by Melanie C Klein
- Publisher: Llewellyn
- Date Published: January 8, 2018
- Format: Paperback
- ISBN: 978-0738750828
Yoga Rising by Melanie C Klein features a collection of thirty personal accounts, recollections, insights and revelations by a variety of contributors who are knowledgeable on the subject of yoga.
In the introduction to the book Dianne Bondy, co-editor of Yoga and Body Image, explains that the purpose behind the book is
…to share the diverse voices and experiences in our collective struggle for understanding, compassion, healing, and equity.
Yoga, she maintains,
…can lift our hearts, our souls, and our humanity.
The contributors to Yoga Rising come from all walks of life. Each share their own experiences on making the journey towards self-acceptance, on through improved body image to a position of self-love.
In reflecting this journey the first part of this five-part publication includes essays that relate to Yoga, Body Image and Self-Worth. This opens with a commentary by Lisa Diers who rather quirkily observes that “Your relationship to your body is the longest relationship you will have. To expect to be “in love” with it all the time is unrealistic.”
Subsequent articles include subjects on yoga and eating disorders, the scourge of personal perfectionism, cognitive, emotional, and behavioural reaction to body weight and shape as well as issues surrounding being gay and the challenge of discovering a sense of personal empowerment.
Part two of the book ‘Healing the Body and Mind through Practice’ reflects the central principle of yoga-work – the integration of mind, body and spirit.
Part three includes essays by Gwen Soffer, Jacobs Ballard, Sabrina Strings, and Jessamyn Stanleyall; of whom pose tough questions regarding the reasons why Yoga remains inaccessible to many and why they consider it important to reverse this trend.
Part Four is titled ‘Igniting Your Inner Yoga Renegade’ and includes stories that offer insight and encouragement from a collection of practitioners who have used yoga as a way of resisting or rebelling against that which they do not consider as serving their higher-selves.
The book closes with the proudest of statements by contributor Gail Parker. She states”The choice is to love yourself unconditionally. I discovered this through the study and practice of yoga,”
How much might it also do for you?
Yoga Rising is a publication of a type I genuinely wish there was more of in the world of self-development and practical spirituality. Whilst there are no end of books, manuals, and courses telling you how to practice self-improvement work there are very few which, as this one does, focuses upon trials and tribulations of years of the dedicated and hard work that is required in any avenue of endeavour.
The stories and personal accounts in this collection range from the remarkable to the astounding. The way that they have been sub-sectioned from a plethora of contributors who submitted their stories to Klein for inclusion in this anthology adds to the book’s readability. So whilst Yoga Rising does not tell you how to practice yoga it’s redeeming feature is to provide ample encouragement to those who find the practice a challenge for one reason or another.
In the main I found this to be a highly enjoyable read but felt that it had a major flaw in its coverage. All of the contributors – except for a minuscule minority, are young, attractive, Western, professional women. This lack of cross-cultural and multi-sexual coverage makes the book somewhat skewed and in many ways countermands the arguments put forward by the author regarding what yoga could and should be on a universal level. Instead I would have liked better coverage with contributions from those who really do have problems practising yoga from the elderly, infirm, disabled, and even from children.
Nevertheless despite its shortcomings Yoga Rising is a book that has a great quality about it. It highlights the immense benefits that its practice can bring and should be a welcome addition to the armoury of those who might ordinarily find the discipline involved in regular practice too great to continue.
Credit: Review copy kindly supplied by Llewellyn Publications, USA.