The above book is one of the first two books that taught me basic, yet powerful hatha yoga! I consider it one of my personal yoga classics that I would NEVER, never dare part with. I own two yellowed copies. Written in the 1960s by the then New York journalist, Jesse Stearn, who delved into the mystical and metaphysical world to disprove it, the book ardently describes his journey into the world of yoga.
Studying with a yoga teacher in the Boston area, Jess Stearn shares his experiences with a spirited and fit yoga instructor who revealed a whole new world to him. Skeptical at first, Jess takes on the challenges his yoga teacher gives him and within a few months he feels new from the inside out. The story is simple and some parts seem very 1960s-ish. One would almost expect to see tie-dyed hippies with flowers in their hair and layers of beads pop out between the covers! So - what do I find so fantastic about this book?
For me, it captures and explains the essence and spirit of how to do yoga to transform your body and mind in a gentle, yet powerful way. It teaches us that yoga can be done and enjoyed by virtually anyone, regardless of age or condition. Jess Stearn had suffered whiplash in an auto accident that yoga helped to relieve and eliminate. There is no talk of "hot" yoga or power yoga or props or Birkram yoga competitions. It was just simple, and in my humble view, true yoga. Yoga that allows you to become slim, supple, and serene and to cultivate heightened awareness and experience being "alive." Especially useful are some of the in-depth explanations of how to execute certain poses and what to expect and not be alarmed about when you begin. I return to this book to refresh my memory about why I do yoga and what got me started. Check it out! You can still find copies on Amazon.com.
Thought of the Day:" Gentle, flowing motions synchronized with breathing obviously improve circulation and coordination." ~ Jess Stearn - Yoga, Youth, and Reincarnation