Thursday, May 3, 2012


For those of you who'd rather avoid Facebook, I thought I'd pubblish my "RECENTLY READ" additions here on my blog too, as I wouldn't want you guys to get left out. So here are two books for you to consider. 
( If you'd like to follow this and other yogic content and photos  on my Facebook page search under "Lotus Pocus" and you'll find me! - but in the meantime.....)

or in Italian under the title: "YOGA - PENSIERO E PRATICA"
Today Elena and Nadia asked me to suggest a good yoga book to help them do a bit of practice at home. This one by possibly the worlds greatest ever yoga guru B.K.S Iyengar, is his latest and probably his most user friendly. It's great for all levels as it has a bit of everything - from his philosophy behind yoga to the asana, the later which are presented by a frighteningly perfect model with legs one would die for that just seem to fit into the right place with a precision of alignment that seems to smack of something Swiss. But don't let that put you off (the perfection I mean - I love Swiss people! Lots of my friends are Swiss! :-) The photos are actually great and give a good ideas of how to render a super challenging positions possible to the most trunk-like of us. However the book isn't that technical when it comes to positions and doesn't have as many as a home-yogi practitioner may like. You could always try "Light on Yoga" by the same guru but it's so heavy going it may put you off forever - I certainly wouldn't suggest it to a beginner. Of all his books I'd start with this one. I'm glad to have this book amongst my collection. 
I'd give it **** (out of 5)

I'm constantly attracted to books about keeping still, slowing down, meditating (and being a buddhist sympathizer : Buddhism) I guess this is indicative of what I need (my husband thinks it's just indicative of having married someone extremely boring, and puts it on a par with train spotting.)You know..... like when you're feeling a bit pale and peaky and your body tells you that what you really need right now is a big fat juicy STEAK (oops! Maybe that's why I can't become a Buddhist!!!....actually the fact you have to be a vegan to be one is an urban myth - so I can't really use that as an excuse. I'm just too ....BUSY to be a Buddhist ;-)
So when my student Mara mentioned this book and title I thought "this is for me!".

Let me be clear. It is NOT a bundle of laughs. It's not sexy. It is not high adventure, and it's not even a hard sell for meditation (so if you are an experienced meditator looking for written "pat on the back" confirmation for cushion sitting as it's a "fabulous thing to do", this is not the book for you), although it does get the point across.

It is extremely DRY. Excuse the pun. It is BLUNT. An unflinchingly honest portrayal of a man (Tim Parks) brought to his knees by his own body and its inexplicable pain. Thought to be caused by prostrate gland problems the doctors, almost to his horror, told him his prostrate was actually perfectly functioning. Doctors could suggest no reason for his intense discomfort, his peeing problems nor a solution other than tranquilizers and pain killers.
And so Tim begins this (true) tale of his journey to reconcile his mind with his body. In desperation he starts to turn towards.....well, among other things, sitting still.
Although not a laugh a minute there is a quiet humor here (Tim Parks lives in Italy so I, as an ex-pat in Milan, loved his accounts of the people and the place). I found the whole book very compelling, and difficult to put down.
If you are suffering from some kind of inexplicable pain, concerned about the effects of stress and pace of life on your body, and/or are interested in flirting with meditation (or even if you are not) I highly suggest this book. 
I'd give it ***** (out of five) But then again I am quirky and I admit "train spotterish"  in my reading material. Be warned. 

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