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Yoga of Heart: The Healing Power of Intimate Connection Paperback – September 1, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Before Mark Whitwell's mother died, she told him, "Men can learn how to love women properly. When they receive us, our strength comes out. That's best for men too." Inspired by her words, Whitwell has delivered a treatise on how yoga relates to intimate relationships, sexuality, gender, and love. He suggests that the practice of yoga, which he describes as "the merging of all polarities," will foster "mutuality between men and women." Much of the book's text is taken from talks given by Whitwell, who lives in and teaches in both the United States and New Zealand. His freewheeling discourses are thought-provoking, and his ideas and passion for putting them across are compelling, but the book would have benefitted from more skillful editing.

About the Author

Mark Whitwell has enjoyed a life long relationship with the yoga teachings of T. Krishnamacharya, and with his son and primary disciple T.K.V. Desikachar, whose students have had a major impact on yoga in the West. Whitwell was editor and contributor to Desikachar’s classic book, The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice. This tradition teaches that yoga must be adapted to the individual to be successful. Yoga postures, or asanas, exist to support the breath and thereby enhance the human being’s direct absorption of the vital and nurturing essence of Life. The goal of yoga is not to achieve gymnastic extremes. For Whitwell authentic yoga is simply moving and breathing and is the birthright of all humanity.

Mark Whitwell is the founder of the non-profit organization Heart of Yoga which provides yoga education worldwide. He may be contacted at www.heartofyoga.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Lantern Books (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159056068X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590560686
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having studied, practiced and taught yoga for thirty years, I have finally touched in with the essential yoga through this book and this teacher. Whitwell brings the inspiration from Krishnamacharya and Desikachar, the teacher of the teachers. This is yoga before all the systems, and the reader has immediate access to the missing link of it all, the simplicity of breath. What happens when we really inhale, and really exhale. These tools can be put into any other kind of yoga, or any other practice in life. It is life itself.
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Too often we feel pulled apart, fragmented, dis-intergrated by the admirable goals we have set, the competing roles we fill, the tensions of our every day lives. To ease the pain of this fragmentation many have embarked on a journey or spiritual path only to find that this seeking fails to provide the comfort they desire. In "Yoga of Heart," Mark Whitwell offers a simple solution to this quest for wholeness: Stop struggling, do your yoga, and be receptive to the strength and wisdom that rests, too often hidden, in each of our hearts. In this exploration of the ancient origins of yoga and contemporary practices, Mr. Whitwell demonstrates a remarkably nuanced understanding of the challenges of modern life and relationships, and a sophisticated interpretation of the wisdom cultures that gave rise to yoga. He knits these valuable lessons together and offers a simple practice designed to open your heart to the miracle of your daily life. I have found these lessons and a gentle daily yoga practice to be life altering and now offer them to patients and students when I see them struggle with the sense of emptiness that comes from fragmentation. Lou Lukas, MD
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I have studied with many teachers, even some of the most renowned in the world, but none have come close to the humble teaching of Mark Whitwell. His book illuminates what might be called the "authentic yoga"... with principles that translate into any "style" of yoga. I can't say enough about this book!
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I've taught yoga for 8 years and practiced for many more. I've become disillusioned in recent years, however, with the direction that "marketing" yoga has taken the teachings. Ironically, what started out as a miraculously healing practice has become yet another vehicle for business, competition, games, and unfortunately, just a tiny degree off its healing capacity.

Enter Mark Whitwell. Quietly studying, practicing and teaching; informed by some of the most respected authorities in yoga, Mark gently and sincerely conveys the simplest truths in his teachings and in this book. I find myself trusting his authenticity and returning to that place of who I am, only this time, fully accepting.
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Format: Paperback
Third century Hermetic writings encouraged followers to "grow as vast as that immeasurable vastness" and wrote "...find your home in the heart of every living creature, make yourself higher than all heights and lower than all depths; bring all opposites inside yourself and reconcile them; understand that you are everywhere..." This is what was missing from my yoga practice. Even with great devotion and a daily asana, pranayama and meditation practice I wasn't close. Mark Whitwell's book changed that. In "Yoga of Heart" he generously, sincerely and lovingly opens his heart and mind and shares what he has learned practicing and studying with masters. You will learn to breathe and move your body to your breath. He teaches you how to take the grace and beauty and healing of yoga off the mat and into life.
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My yoga journey started in 1993 and it's taken until now to find a book that speaks that journey. Mark has captured the essence of yoga on and off the mat and goes beyond much of the dogma and my-way vs your-way that can fill yoga books and practise. Yoga of heart is challenging to the ideas that surround some of the so called traditions of yoga putting the political and social context alongside their ideas and then coming back to the heart of yoga. As a woman it was liberating to hear the theory returned again and again to the balance of male and female energies and the experience of yoga in relationship. This book now has pride of place on my bookshelf and I bought one for the studio so that my students can share the journey.
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A wonderful contribution to true Yoga. It makes so much sense, it is a true God-send. Coming from an ordinary person who now knows I can stop searching, for I have everything I need. I believe Krishnamacharya would be blessed. Thank you Mark!

Words cannot express the value this book offers. A must read for all who are still searching for something missing.

Bless you Mark.
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Love this book!!! Mark Whitwell is the real deal and has a passion for making his knowledge and experience available to all who will listen. He skips the typical yoga "mumbo jumbo terminology" and makes this practice accessible and understandable to everyone. I highly recommend this book as well as his other book entitled "The Promise of Love, Sex and Intimacy"
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