The recently published Meditative Yoga: Integrating Body, Breath and Mind by Are Holen and Torbjørn Hobbel differs from other yoga books. It spells out in concrete and lucid detail how yoga can provide a meditative impulse in everyday life. It contains beautifully (and usefully) illustrated stepwise instructions for more than 60 postures and practices, as well as a number of yoga programmes for different levels.
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The word "yoga" can designate many different things. Physical exercise tends to be associated with health and competition, and many people understand yoga in much the same way. An alternative view sees yoga as a meditative practice that helps set free a spontaneous impulse towards meditative deepening. The crux lies in a relaxed practice and an open awareness.
An American group is campaigning for the recognition of yoga's roots in Hinduism. But an American scholar is arguing that modern postural yoga was invented in the 19th century, as an incredible mix of Euroamerican and Indian ideas and physical cultures.
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