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40 Days to Personal Revolution: A Breakthrough Program to Radically Change Your Body and Awaken the Sacred Within Your Soul Hardcover – December 9, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

Those familiar with yoga teacher Baron Baptiste know that he trains many high-profile celebrities and athletes. Yet his message is the antithesis of the American obsession with wealth and fame. For Baptiste, personal transformation is about facing the abyss of our internal emptiness and recognizing all the ways we seek to fill the void with money, status and material possessions. Ultimately, this program offers readers a kick-butt chance to get started on a steadier and more lasting, internal form of fulfillment. "In the end yoga is not a magic cure-all, but the way challenges our bodies moves our stuck energy, clears our mind, and inspires us to seek and live in truth can be a catalyst for amazing spiritual growth," he writes. "Ultimately the yoga program found in the book is about developing a soulful perspective to the question that I hear nearly every day in my classroom: 'How did I get into this state, and how can I get out?'"

Baptiste divides his program into a six-week system. Each week focuses on a theme for transformation. For instance, Week One starts with the theme of "Presence." Baptiste suggests readers start with a daily 20-minute yoga practice. (His asanas are all gentle, but the mechanics may be challenging for readers completely new to yoga, although the pictures and lengthy captions will help.) He also suggests a beginning "balancing diet" (based on Ayurveda principles), and thematic meditations, which include a list of "excavation questions." One could argue that this book is even better than going on a 40-day retreat at one of Baptiste's yoga centers. The program is designed to be integrated into your life as you live it. Readers do the yoga and prepare the food in their homes, and contemplate the principles for enlightenment within the routines of daily life. In this way it has the potential to be a lasting and well integrated transformation. --Gail Hudson


Ana T. Forrest Founder of Forrest Yoga and owner of the Forrest Yoga Circle in Santa Monica Baron's fresh and synergistic approach to yoga has excited and turned on many people who previously thought yoga had nothing to offer them. He has contributed greatly to spreading the benefits of yoga in the United States. -- Review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Fireside; First Edition edition (December 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074322759X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743227599
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you found "Journey Into Power" (Baron's first book), to be a life changing book (I also have it on CD and listen to it all the time for inspiration), Baron has produced another excellent guide along the path of his approach to yoga.

While I must admit that I haven't followed the plan on a week by week basis, I have already been doing yoga daily for 8 years and have a very well established practice which I vary daily (I have over 70 videos of every imaginable style of yoga).

A big part of the reason that I purchased this book is because I was curious to see how he broke the sequences down for the various weeks. I like the way he lays out the routines in the series of photographs in the back section of the book, very useful!

The excavation questions in the meditation sections are useful as well as the principles he outlines in the first part of the book. The last section is also very useful in terms of applying yoga to one's whole life and not just what happens on the mat.

I did find Baron's nutritional principles ("The Cleansing Diet" and "The Detoxifying Cleanse") a bit easier to follow in "Journey Into Power", but there was still much interesting "food for thought" in this new book :) Baron's approach to eating is not a "diet" in the way the word is typically used, it's just really an approach to eating vital, living and unprocessed foods along with the psychology behind your relationship to food.

As far as practicing Yoga, in general I feel it's much easier to work with his Video/DVD programs than any book, even those as excellent as Baron's. His video/dvd programs are the best I've seen if you want a real "physical" yet sensible practice.
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Format: Paperback
I have to admit I have an ambiguous relationship to this book. I admire the author's credentials and experience and the contents are organized around a 40 day plan which is a great idea. However, I think there are some important gaps if this is your only reference.

First, the best part about this book is progressing and deepening your commitment a day at a time. This is a great way to change your life and the ideas presented are useful and cover physical, mental and spiritual practices. The book is also well-illustrated and provides basic instruction on the most important asanas.

What I feel is missing here is more depth on the appropriate and safe ways to practice the asanas. If one is attending regular yoga classes or has a teacher, then I think the instructions are adequate. However, I think it's particulary important for beginners to focus on the details and if you purchase this book I would get something to supplement it such as Judith Lasater's "The 30 Essential Yoga Poses" and/or "Dancing the Body of Light" by Dona Holleman. If you have a bad back or neck, then it might also be worth purchasing "Back Care Basics" by Mary Pullig Schatz. (The Pilates back book might also be helpful, but it is not as comprehensive and it's not a yoga book per se.)

Some other aspects of this book that I like is the broad scope that covers philosophy, diet, meditation and routines that build up over time. It also talks about dealing with resistance and has a very motivational tone. While this approach may be a bit aggressive for non-athletes or people who are casually acquainted with yoga, the challenge will appeal to more serious students and atheletes who want to move forward quickly and are already in relatively good shape.
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Format: Hardcover
The concept of having one book that covers spiritual philosphy, detailed yoga sessions, meditation practices and alternative diet theory is a noble goal. It is difficult to execute that goal though, especially in an easy-to-read format like Baptiste tries. This book may be useful for those already with some experience in yoga, and spiritual quests, but may be disjointed for beginers.
The first part of the book lays out 12 good spiritual "laws" and is a great mixture of Eastern and Western spiritual guidelines, quoting Jesus, Buddha, Ghandi, and others. This is worthwhile reading, and may touch on a foundation for spirituality that will resonate with many Weterners. Very Intriguing, I wish there was more here.
The Yoga Vinyasas are much more difficult to follow, with over 30 pages of writing and photos showing the first 20 minute session alone. Yoga appears to be Baptiste's primary fame to date, and where most of the pages of the book focus. Video may be a better format to get Yoga across. I run one of Rodney Yee's videos (albeit with a different sequence of Vinyasas) and use Baptiste's photos and description to give me details if I don't know a pose.
The diet sections are confusing, I saw Baptiste in a lecture and I'm not sure he even understands what is written here ( was there a ghost writer helping?) Still, their focus on balance in a diet, and balance from many viewpoints (including building vs cleansing, cooling vs heating foods)is good.
The meditation emphases and "Excavation questions" are good also.
Can one have a personal revolution in 40 days with this book? The book is too new to know so stay tuned. From what I see, there needs to be significant supplements as far as reading and instruction for this to be the main catalyst for such a revolution.
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