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Breathing Space: Twelve Lessons for the Modern Woman Paperback – Bargain Price, December 30, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This book by the coauthors of Chakra Yoga follows yoga veteran Repka through an anxious first year in New York, her disappointment with intimidating yoga classes—bastions of chic slimness—and her serendipitous meeting with Supreme Yogi Alan Finger. She is inspired by the yogi's tantric knowledge, and Finger recognizes Repka's skill and passion. He makes her his assistant, and the two embark on private sessions in which Finger reveals the advantages of breath work in ameliorating stress, resolving problems and increasing well-being. The breathing exercises at the end of each chapter increase in difficulty, and the authors suggest audio-taping each assignment (rather than trying to follow them in written form) for ease of completion. While Repka's happy ending might feel suspiciously neat, the universality of her need to find focus and balance, as well as the time-honored application of the breathing remedy, make this book an illuminating endeavor. The pairing of day-to-day problems with a distinctive antidote is anything but pedestrian. A quick read, the book conjures a powerful portrait of the mentor-pupil dynamic. (Jan.)
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About the Author

Katrina Repka has been both studying and teaching yoga for more than fifteen years. She has led workshops and retreats in North America and overseas. She lives with her husband and new baby in London, England.

Alan Finger has been practicing and teaching yoga for more than forty years, and earned the title of "the supreme yogi." Alan and his father created a modern practice called ISHTA, now taught in studios throughout the world. He founded the Tantra Institute, Yoga Works and Yoga Zone, and has been teacher and guide to such personalities as Barbra Streisand, Joni Mitchell, Diana Ross, Robin Williams, Neil Diamond, and Michael J. Fox. Visit: www.ishtayoga.com/ --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 235 pages
  • Publisher: Voice; 1 edition (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401303471
  • ASIN: B002UXS0BQ
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,068,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Jackson on March 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
ANYONE who has met Alan Finger, knows that all of what Katrina writes is true. I applaud her for exposing herself so completely and creating a way to incorporate Alans teachings and the basic teachings of Yoga, into her life story. We could all use these teachings to help us navigate through life's challenging obstacles. What Alan teaches is so positive and humane, and Katrina's story of how she wrestled with herself all make for a good read and leave an inspiring after taste. As a man living in NYC, even I found useful lessons here.
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Breathing Space is not only entertaining and inspiring, it is instructive. The pranayama instructions with each chapter invite you to look within and discover the power of the breath in your own life. Katrina's story is genuine and draws you into her world to witness her struggles and triumphs. Breathing Space is like dark chocolate, both delicious and good for you.
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Format: Paperback
Perfect for : Personal Use,Professional Use, Would be an interesting book club read

In a nutshell: We take our breath for granted. It happens automatically - in, out, in out - . . . without thought. If we really experience our breath's full potential, it brings us awareness, power and release. Throughout the course of this book, Katrina gives the reader a glimpse into her life, and her conversations with Alan Finger, which ultimately lead to her learning breathing exercises that provide great benefits. At the end of each chapter she shares the exercises that she learns in an easy-to-follow format so that we can learn them too. I was amazed to find that I could follow the instructions, and that I have become more relaxed and am sleeping better. I have not done the exercises long, so have not reached the full benefit, but I do believe that they can bring the reader/practitioner many benefits.

Extended Review: Each chapter begins with a brief glimpse into Katrina's life, which soon flows into dialogue between her and Alan, ultimately resulting in a new breathing lesson. Each of the breathing exercises help the participant to focus or improve something such as their focus or redirecting "self-destructive tendencies."

Content: Each of the twelve chapters focuses on a different yoga breathing technique. Each technique is meant to provide a benefit to the person performing them.

Format: Each chapter starts with a memoir-type story, which leads to a conversation with Alan, ending with a new breathing technique. The end of the chapter includes the step-by-step instructions so the reader can do the techniques, and a personal note by Katrina to provide extra explanations or tips.
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I felt compelled to write a review on this book for a few reasons. One, because I really enjoyed it, and the lessons it imparts, and another because I'm astounded by some of the negative comments from other reviewers. The thing I like about this book, is that it is written by someone who has the guts to expose her vulnerabilities, in order to help others, and heal herself. She comes across as very human, both in her strengths and her weaknesses, and I think most women can relate to some of the feelings and problems she is faced with. I don't know why people are so mean spirited (calling her whiny), and judgmental. It may be cliché, but truly no one is perfect, and we're all just on a journey, trying to find our best path in life. People need to get off their high horse, and stop expecting the writer [and Alan] to be so God-like. I have met him, just once, and he really does seem very wise, kind, and compassionate. I can't wait to take one of his classes. Thank you Katrina, and ignore the unnecessarily cruel comments from other readers...they are just people who will never be happy because they expect perfection from people, something which is unattainable.
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First, it needs to be said that when a book claims to be "for" woman it should not be assumed that all women think the same way, feel the same way or are interested in the same things. Further, the women depicted, including the author, were depicted as shallow, superficial, non-supportive and needy, while all the men were depicted as supportive and profoundly understanding. Really?

The author continuously claims to have grown and matured through her work with Alan Finger, yet I didn't really see it. It made little sense that someone who is so insecure could suddenly have profound experiences through following a breathing technique and then return to her needy state. Where was the change and how did the change come about? Right up until the end she was still appearing needy and insecure. It seemed that she was not making too many decisions about her own life but was rather allowing all of the men in her life to make them for her while she made all the women in her life out to be just plain pathetic.

"Byron Makepeace", or whatever he was called was not very well disguised and I wasn't impressed that the author turned down a job with him. There was really no point in telling the story. In fact, nothing the author said about her experience was impressive.

I would rather have read about how her process was working within herself than about parties she was attending, what people were wearing, who was driving what, who was cheating on who, how much money everyone has, what women do to attract and keep men, etc. The idea that this is what women think about and that this is how women behave individually and collectively is insulting.

Overall, the book was self-indulgent and lacked any real content.
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