Book Review

yoga and quest for true selfYoga and the Quest for the True Self 

is a most enjoyable overview of the practices of yoga. Stephen Cope writes of the disillusionment with his outwardly successful life that set him on a one year journey of self discovery that turned into a 10 year sojourn. As a newcomer to yoga his experience is an authentic, down-to-earth look at what yoga is, it’s traditions and how it continues to be relevant in the daily life of a modern day Westerner.

Yoga and the Quest for the True Self is structured around Stephen’s activities during a prolonged stay at the Kripalu ashram in Massachusetts. Being a psychotherapist his insights combine psychological perspectives with his knowledge and respect for yoga and its’ traditions. This, in addition to his use of student transformation case studies, serves to make the often confusing and contradictory writings on yoga traditions accessible to the western reader. For those who like intrigue this book even spans Kripalu’s great guru scandal that forever changed the landscape of this organization.

The combination of ancient teachings and modern musings makes this book suitable as an introduction for the new yogi, or a clarifying review for the more studied yogi. The end appendix also has a very short, extremely comprehensible overview of the various traditions of yoga. I have recommended this book to graduates of our yoga teacher training program for that little gem alone.

A definite stocking stuffer idea for the yogi on your list.

Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope, Barnes and Noble, 1999

 

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