Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Happy Yoga: 7 Reasons Why There's Nothing to Worry About
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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****

This is a lovely book ostensibly about yoga (and it is), but more than that, about life. It is about how ordinary people can learn from yogic wisdom and apply it to our mainstream lives. It is about how to be enlightened, simply and happily, rather than rigorously and with struggle.

Full of wisdom and strong opinions from the author (especially about veganism---the author is a vegan), you may not agree with everything, but you will enjoy this book greatly and learn a lot. It will make you think and examine your beliefs. It will also make you happy---the subtitle is "7 Reasons Why There's Nothing to Worry About". An example of one secret: "You Can't Get Happy (You Can Only Be Happy)".

There are brief questions for reflection throughout the book. It is well-organized.

People who will enjoy and benefit from this book are:

Those who practice yoga very seriously.

Those who have never tried yoga and who wonder what it's all about.

Those who think a lot and who spend time worrying.

Those who want to "wake up", sensing that they are sleepwalking through their lives and missing something.

Other very serious people.

This is a happy book, although I wouldn't call it light. It's not heavy, either, though. "Fun" and "deep" would be the best description...well..."happy"---and thus unique. I really enjoyed it. Oftentimes I'd feel happy and blissful just reading it and contemplating on the points the author would make.

The only negative about the book is that the yoga postures at the end of each chapter are very advanced---many at the contortionist level---with instructions not anywhere near beginner level. I just looked at the pictures. However, it would be very easy for an uninformed reader to injure themselves while attempting to follow the instructions and illustrations. It would also give a beginner new to yoga the misguided idea that they can't do yoga because it's too hard for them at their fitness level. Untrue! The yoga postures are not, however, vital to the book and can simply be skipped. Still, for this reason I give this wonderful book only four stars.

****
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on January 3, 2005
I discovered Steve Ross on the Oxygen network's morning yoga program, "Inhale." I had been cruising along with my light and lovely Suzanne Deason, the strong and gentle Rodney Yee, and the soothing tones of Patricia Walden--all happy members of my video and DVD yoga collection. While surfing through the TiVo listings one day, I came across Steve's yoga program, and my life hasn't been the same since.How happy I was to find Steve's book, Happy Yoga: 7 Reasons Why There's Nothing to Worry About! I happened across it before going on a plane trip, and practically devoured the whole book on the to and from flights, using the yoga sequences listed in the book while on the ground. This book is not a yoga how-to manual--it's a yoga why-to manual. Yes, the poses are there, but this is not a book about getting the poses just so. The yoga Steve shows you is the essence of yoga, the essence of Self, and the finding of joy.The book gives you just what it says: seven reasons why there's nothing to worry about. The chapter on food alone makes the book worth buying, even if you never decide to be a raw foodie vegan (I'm not, but it sure was great, enlightening reading). In each chapter, Steve connects to yogic wisdom, real-world examples, and just plain common sense to give you a true guide to living a yogi's life, even in the hustle and bustle of 21st century America. As he says, anyone can be a deeply connected yogi in a cave in India. It takes talent to do it in the midst of our every day lives.Steve Ross is an irreverent yoga instructor and life guide--just what the "yoga industry" needs, IMO. Try the book, do the Inner Yoga exercises, and watch your life come more into focus. And don't forget to try the playlist selections conveniently provided at the end of each chapter. You'll never do yoga to New Age chanting CDs again!
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on July 12, 2004
I've been reading this book for the past 3 weeks along with practicing yoga using Steve's program and I do feel calmer and more at peace, as well as stronger and more comfortable in my body.
The book features lessons followed by suggested exercises (mental as well as physical) that can guide you on your journey. I've been to many yoga classes and found that they can be indimitading and pretentious to newcomers. This book explains the principles of yoga in a way that beginners can understand and feel in sync when practicing with more experienced others.
Every lesson had has inspired me - I can already tell that this will be a book that I pick up time & again.
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on February 16, 2004
although new to yoga, this book has truly changed my life. it has provided me with a concise guide to living life with joy and love. i especially appreciate steve's humor-- alot of spiritual/yoga practice is just sooooo serious!
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on November 12, 2003
I have read every yoga book out there, and none of them have really gotten to the heart of yoga like this one. I'm so happy that someone finally gets that yoga is about happiness! It's deep, but not convoluded or confusing.
I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who is just getting started with a yoga practice and wants a deeper understanding of the underlying philosophy of yoga. And anyone who already has a clue about yoga will find this to be a helpful reminder of those very important principles that are so easy to forget sometimes. FINALLY! A GOOD YOGA BOOK!
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on November 28, 2003
Very good book on Yoga philosophy. I didn't find the references to certain studies very scientific though. But as a philosophy book it's very well written. For example, my favorite quote from the book is:

"The extent of a person's evolution is proportionate to their acceptance of the unacceptable"

I'd recommend "Happy Yoga" even for people who have no intention of practicing the physical side of Yoga.
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on May 12, 2005
As a yoga practitioner of many years, I found Ross's apporach to the practice and general philosophy of yoga both sensible and resonant with my own experience. I was hugely dissapointed, however, by his use of shoddy "science" to support his dietary conceits. Morphological evidence points overwhelmingly to humans having evolved as omnivores, not vegetarians, as he claims. The yogic principal of ahimsa, or non-harming, supports vegetarianism, but there is no clear-cut dietary or "evolutionary" indication for it. Worse than the dietary issues, however, was the respectful reference to Dr. Masaru Emoto's work, which is lovely art, but hardly science, and which claims to be science. A critical component of enlightenment, it seems to me, is heeding the "small voice", the intuitive self that pipes up even as the ego storms ahead, willing to believe whatever supports its preconceptions. People in touch with the actual miracle that life is don't need to believe in bogus ideas like the one that "positive" intentions make "pretty" patterns in freezing water and "negative" intentions make "ugly" patterns. Even a cursory reflection on the premise of Dr. Emoto's idea (never mind the "experimental" method) reveals its dependece on the idea of polar opposites, which a little yogic introspection will reveal, as Ross himself points out, to be a trick of the mind and nonexistant in reality. How can Ross respect Emoto's work and at the same time be telling his readers that the tragedies in their own lives are only "negative" from their limited viewpoints? Ross's book would have been a lot better if he had done his research with the same care and open attitude with which he approaches his yoga practice.
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on January 13, 2006
You know the truth when you read it --- it just resonates. And this book does that for me. Steve is funny and the book reads like you're talking to him. He hits all the stupid things we worry about, puts it into perspective and shows you the way out via yoga, without being preachy. I refer to it constantly. Just love this book and glad he wrote it. Highly recommended.
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on September 25, 2004
Our great and courageous (did I say great and courageous) president allegedly views people as those that "get it" and those that don't. I look at the world of yogis the same way, and Steve Ross DEFINITELY gets it. Most importantly, he calls out all of the other yogis that don't.

Specifically, he indicts those that preach fanatical attention to perfection while performing asanas while not appreciating that the attempt itself is what is important (obviously not doing any poses "unsafely). Anyone who has had the pleasure to view Mr. Ross's program on the Oxygen network, Inhale (check your local listings), is immediately struck by the levity and joy in the studio, hence "Happy Yoga."

In this book, Mr. Ross addresses the yogi "way of life" much more than the actual asanas. The asanas have been around for over 4,000 years, and despite the claims of other practioners, beyond the "Power Yoga" movement and its connecting movements between asanas, not much new has occurred in the field.

In a superior way than all of the other yoga books I've read, he explains "yogi bliss", nutrition, supplementation, the joy of music during practice, relationships, materialism, sex, and the "endless wanting" that leads so many (myself included) to unhappiness. For example, he examines the folly of expecting a "soulmate" to make you whole. Or, the expectation that a newborn child can complete you or make you happy (often to mend a fragile marriage).

Mr. Ross emphasizes the importance of relinquishing any hate you have, to love everyone--and everything--uncondtionally, and the joy of laughter. It may sound simple, but he does a wonderful job in explaining it.

If you don't agree with everything he says, at the very least his words will make you consider his (and the great yogis that he "trained" with) suggestions.

I urge everyone--yogis and yoginis and non-yoga practioners alike--to purchase this book, read it, re-read it, and save it for future reference.

Namaste,

As always, thank you Amazon.com (and A9 search) for the wonderful service.
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on June 16, 2004
it is lovely to have something so well written and funny on a subject usually treated with intense seriousness. steve ross reminds us that yoga is FUN and about joyful living. he touches on many topics including relationships, diet advice (changed my life and my body), money, the tyranny of the ego, and the potential for permanent happiness. there is no fixation on perfecting the postures, like i have experienced in class so many times, but instead a recipe for lifelong bliss. i expect i will reread this book many many times.
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