THE WOMAN’S BOOK OF YOGA & HEALTH, THE
By Linda Sparrow with yoga sequences by Patricia Walden
Paperback: 364 pages
1 in stock (can be backordered)
Today more than ever, it’s crucial that we include practices in our daily lives that promote health and spiritual growth. The state of the environment, the stresses created by the world’s ever-increasing population’s demand on dwindling resources, and political unrest are signposts of the critical state we face. If we want a world worth living in, and worth leaving to future generations, we need to take responsibility by creating well-being in our lives and by supporting others as they choose healthier lives. In other words, to transform the world, we first have to transform ourselves.
My personal journey with yoga began with a health challenge: when I was in my early twenties I suffered from arthritis. I was loath to take the daily barrage of pills prescribed to me and opted instead to try a yoga class offered where I worked. The results were transformative. Through careful experimentation with diet and daily yoga practice, my symptoms subsided within a couple of months. Needless to say, my dedication to practicing yoga was cemented by no longer being in pain. But I also found that I felt more alive, more open on all levels. Simply put, I was become healthier spiritually as well as physically. I feel very strongly that, while yoga may not cure all our symptoms, the regular practice of yoga can lead us home to ourselves, to our power and compassion, and therefore to greater mental and emotional health.
In fact, increasing research in the fields of health and well-being indicates that the stress- reducing effects of yoga practice, breathing techniques, and meditation are significant and powerful. But while many books have been written about the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of yoga, very few have focused on the special needs of women. This omission has been corrected by the publication of The Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health: A Lifelong Guide to Wellness.
As modern women, we face the increasing stresses of work and family responsibilities, while living in a society of quick fixes, quick meals, and quick moments of family intimacy caught on the fly. We run faster and word harder, nurturing those around us and checking things off our “to do” list. But there remains in many of us a deep longing. We crave solace and comfort. We long for freedom-not the freedom from our lives, but the freedom we can find within our lives.
Yoga can help us to find this freedom, not only freedom from our aches and pains, but also from our fears, our agitation, and our sense of separateness. Yoga brings a feeling of connection-to ourselves and to the larger community of women. As we step onto our mat every day, we can be assured that other women are doing the same thing. Practicing then becomes both a personal and a universal exercise. By remembering our deep selves in the poses, we reaffirm our connection with the souls of women everywhere who are struggling to survive, to flourish, to give birth, and to raise their daughters to live with open hearts and clear minds.
As we bend and stretch in yoga class, we are training our bodies to be flexible and we learn to be adaptable as well.