The Science of Yoga

  • by William J. Broad
  • Narrated by Matthew Boston
  • 9 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this remarkable book about yoga, William Broad, a lifelong practitioner, shows us that uncommon states are integral to a hidden world of risk and reward that lies beneath clouds of myth, superstition, and hype.
Five years in the making, The Science of Yoga draws on more than a century of painstaking research to present the first impartial evaluation of a practice thousands of years old. It celebrates what’s real and shows what’s illusory, describes what’s uplifting and beneficial and what’s flaky and dangerous—and why. Broad illuminates how yoga can lift moods and inspire creativity. He exposes moves that can cripple and kill. As science often does, this groundbreaking book also reveals mysteries. It presents a fascinating body of evidence that raises questions about whether humans have latent capabilities for entering states of suspended animation and unremitting sexual bliss.
The Science of Yoga takes us on a riveting tour of unknown yoga that goes from old archives in Calcutta to the world capitals of medical research, from storied ashrams to spotless laboratories, from sweaty yoga studios with master teachers to the cozy offices of yoga healers. Broad unveils a burgeoning global industry that attracts not only curious scientists but true believers and charismatic hustlers. In the end, he shatters myths, lays out unexpected benefits, and offers a compelling vision of how the ancient practice can be improved.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not what I was expecting.

This book was basically a bunch of information that felt like it had an agenda, and that the agenda wasn't to outline the risks and rewards of yoga.

If you're looking to just learn more about Yoga in very broad and general ways, you might find the book interesting. I wanted to end the book with some sense of how I should best approach my own yoga practice (you know, the risks and rewards mentioned on the book cover). Instead, I was left sort of confused - feeling like I knew more about yoga, but didn't really know what to do with all of that information.

If you're looking for someone to say "do poses A, B and C for this ailment..." this book does not contain that information. In fact, sometimes the information in one chapter contradicts the information in another chapter. The cobra pose can injure you severely, but it can also enhance testosterone and create a state of bliss. OK, so should I do the cobra pose or avoid it? That was not clear, as the information was delivered, but the author never gave any kind of advice or helped lead the listener to any kind of conclusion. I expected this, and thus was disappointed in the book.

I also found the narrator a little bit robotic, which doesn't really work for me for this topic.
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- Melissa "Say something about yourself!"

Makes me think and act differently at yoga...

This book by an educated yoga practitioner helps to dispel some of the silly claims made by yoga teacher (toxins? really? what are they?) while sharing benefits and dangers so we can make informed choices.
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- Karen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-25-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios