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A Life Worth Breathing: A Yoga Master's Handbook of Strength, Grace, and Healing Hardcover – April 7, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“I love the energy and flow of Max Strom’s yoga classes . . . but perhaps above all, I respect his quiet strength and deep humility.” (Ali McGraw)

From the Back Cover

 "Max Strom's book is so powerful and straight forward, it reminds me of life's priorities. Max encourages and explicates what is sacred (and occasionally tangible) about life and fully owning our experience of it.  I can't wait to read it again."
--Diane Lane
 
"A beautifully written, all-inclusive guidebook to the soul. Max provides both inspirational insights and practical skills to help navigate our spiritual journey. Highly recommended, thoroughly enjoyed." 
--Seane Corn, author of the Vinyasa Flow Yoga, the Body and Beyond DVD.
 
"A vast treasury of practical wisdom techniques and insights to help accelerate and inspire your personal evolution and contentment connection. I couldn't put it down!"
--Lilias Folan, PBS host and author of Lilias! Yoga Gets Better with Age
 
"Wonderfully written, thoughtful, thorough and convincing." 
--Paul Grilley, teacher and author of Yin Yoga
 
"This book inspired me. Well done, Max!"
--Erich Schiffmann, author of Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness
 
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (April 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602399808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602399808
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 6.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born with severe clubbed feet, Max Strom spent much of the first six years of his life with his feet confined in plaster casts and braces. Today, he is known for inspiring and impacting the lives of his students and has become one of the most respected teachers of personal transformation and yoga worldwide, guiding his students to grow into happier, healthier, and empowered human beings. He has taught tens of thousands of students, and trained several hundred teachers. He is the author of the new release, A Life Worth Breathing, Skyhorse, 2010. You can see more of his work on his DVDs, Learn to Breathe, to heal yourself and your relationships, and, Max Strom Yoga - Strength, Grace, Healing. www.maxstrom.com

When we are in pain, we become self-centered and myopic. When we heal, we become more empathetic, self-less, and sympathetic to the pain and welfare of others. It is our gift to others to heal ourselves. ~ Max Strom

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Caroline Weaver on April 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With this book, Max Strom makes an invaluable contribution to the existing yoga literature. In a very practical way, he shows us how different yoga practices can work to counteract the modern plagues of sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, and apathy. This book includes an extensive discussion of ethics and the importance of living one's life, on and off the mat, with a "code" -- leading by example, or in the words of Gandhi, being the change one wishes to see. The book's philosophy is universal and ecumenical: Strom draws on traditional yogic teachings and also early Christianity, Buddhism, Sufism, and Taoism.

What really sets this book apart, perhaps, from other yoga books, is its emphasis on yoga breathing. Readers will learn how and why breathing is such a highly effective tool for healing. Almost anyone can do and benefit from the breathing practices Strom describes, which is what makes them so beautiful. You don't need to be able to do headstand or scorpion pose or one-armed handstand; you just need to breathe. Essentially, Strom's point is that when we breathe well, we heal ourselves; when we heal ourselves, we heal our relationships, our communities, maybe even the world.

"The ancient yogis said that the breath was our direct energetic connection to spirit, or God. If this is so, then if you focus on your breath with spiritual devotion, hatha yoga becomes a spiritual practice, a wordless prayer. This is because as you fill your body/mind with breath, you are also filling yourself with spirit and the breath of God. Your body then radiates who you are from your soul, and what you stand for in this world." (p. 121)

Highly recommended for beginners and experienced practitioners alike!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By The yoga social book club on September 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
The cover of Max Strom's new book "A life worth breathing" presents the book as "A Yoga Master's Handbook of Strength, Grace and Healing". As such it provides instruction and philosophical guidance about how to live the fulfilled life we are meant to live, yet which we seem to trade for what Max Strom calls a "near life experience". According to the book, the reason why we seem to scrape past life rather than live it is our malnourished physical, emotional and spiritual state, the neglect of our "three pillars".
The insightful analysis of the predicaments in these areas, followed by contemplative practices and practical exercises, as well as advice on how to integrate the three pillars, directly transmit life's most profound teachings. Max Strom suggests that we repair our body through dedicated yoga practices; train our emotions through the cultivation of certain emotional virtues; and focus our mind through meditation to heal and to create a life worth breathing.
The gentle and wise authority he speaks with is supported by years of study and practice as a yoga student and teacher, his personal experiences and challenges on his spiritual path and concepts from Christianity, seminal Buddhism, Sufi philosophy and Taoist Qui Gong. He does not accentuate one particular philosophy, nor does he assume that all his readers are seasoned spiritual seekers (in fact, a large portion of the book is dedicated to beginners). His book speaks to everybody, Yoga teachers, students, novices and sceptics alike. This open invitation, call for action to transform or re-evaluate our habits, thought patterns and code of life through practice make for a well-rounded, captivating and deeply experiential handbook which is well worth reading.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Freed on December 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Max Strom is a powerful yoga teacher and after taking just a couple of workshops with him, my own teaching style was instantly enhanced. He has the profound ability to simultaneously teach a multi-level class that challenges and nurtures every student in the room, and everyone leaves feeling uplifted. Max's TedX talks have gained huge traction on Youtube, particularly his lecture titled "There's No App for Happiness". One of the best Max Strom experiences now takes place within the covers of his book A Life Worth Breathing: A Yoga Master's Handbook of Strength, Grace and Healing. It lives up to his promise, with nuggets of transformational wisdom on every page.

The weltangshung of Max's yoga practice is breath-centered, body-centered, spirit-centered, and - perhaps most importantly - God-centered. Except he takes an approach that is rarely seen, providing a truly multi-cultural and non-exclusive approach to the Oneness of the Universe:

"the reason for yoga's nondogmatic approach to healing and spirituality is that the first purveyors of yoga who came to America wanted to make it more accessible for Westnerners, so they excluded much of the traditional spiritual components. What is fascinating is that even though their intention was probably self-serving, the uninteded consequence was that students were led by the practice- without dogma- to a more pure spiritual experience. This is because yoga takes one's spiritual life and vitality into one's body, healing it while removing stress and pain. After a time, the drugs one may have depended on to battle depression, sleeplessness, and axiety are thrown into the wastebasket.
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