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Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga by [Lorr, Benjamin]
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Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 192 customer reviews

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Length: 321 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In a narrative guaranteed to give goose bumps to chiropractors and their patients, Lorr announces one anatomic objective in the opening paragraph of this high-energy book, I convinced myself that I could take my spinal cord and bend it so severely that I could touch my forehead to my ass. To achieve his goal, he employs an extreme form of yoga that accounts for only 8 percent of the yoga practiced in the world, Bikram yoga. Bikram Choudhury is the leader of this intense and hot (the temperature of these studios is deliberately ratcheted up) form of yoga. Lorr describes Choudhury as a charismatic but controversial character while portraying himself practicing yoga for more than 14 hours a week and enrolling in a nine-week Bikram Yoga Teacher Training course that costs $11,000. His description of that surreal experience might make even Franz Kafka envious. Lorr’s appraisal of yoga culture and Bikram yoga, in particular, feels fair. He documents remarkable self-transformations—weight loss, enhanced energy, improved sleep. He marvels at the commitment of devotees. Back bending and bliss, stretching and sweating, bonding and betrayal have rarely seemed so complementary. Hell-Bent is sure to turn readers’ impressions of yoga upside down. --Tony Miksanek

Review

Hell-Bent is witty and wise. If you don't practice yoga, read it anyway – you may learn something about the impulse for self-transcendence. And if you do practice yoga, you will laugh and cry with recognition.” ―Stefanie, Syman, New York Times Book Review

“In all honesty, Hell-Bent may be the best book I've read all year… Imagine if you can the lovechild of a sober Hunter S. Thompson and Elizabeth Gilbert and you'll get an idea of the prose.” ―Kayt Sukel, The Big Think

“An addictive read.” ―People Magazine (3.5 out of 4 stars)

“This extraordinarily thoughtful book stretches and reaches and bends in several seemingly impossible directions at the same time. It is at once a searching act of self-examination, a fascinating scientific investigation, a brave spiritual endeavor, and a fair minded look at one of yoga's most controversial icons. All in all, reading Hell-Bent makes for a wonderful, inspiring, maddening, complicated, edifying journey – and one that I was very happy to take.” ―Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love

“A fast paced narrative about how one struggling, overweight undisciplined New Yorker discovers a guru who takes him on an incredible journey of personal transformation… Lorr makes you grimace but also ponder the broader consequences of searching for self.” ―USA Today

“Meticulously researched, suspenseful and engrossing.” ―Kirkus Review (starred review)

“Lorr writes about his odyssey in vibrant, entertaining prose. Although he is obviously enamored by the discipline that has transformed his life, he retains a critical distance that allows him to present his larger-than-life guru in ruthless clarity.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Who knew self-purification could be suspenseful? This tale of an unlikely America yogi and this maniacal outlandish guru is more than memoir. It's a spiritual thriller.” ―Walter Kirn, New York Times Bestselling author of Up In the Air

“A vividly researched, beautifully written insider's account of the yoga world's most inscrutable, profitable, and misunderstood subculture.” ―Neal Pollack, bestselling author of Stretch

“One need not be familiar with the strange and fascinating world of hot yoga to fall head-over-heels for this book. Insightful, compassionate, and laugh-out-loud funny, Lorr delves deep into the for and motivations behind our human obsession with god-like perfection, introducing a cast of unforgettable characters and exposing a world of faith and devotion, pain and promises, myths and miracles. I could not put this book down.” ―Aryn Kyle, New York Times bestselling author of The God of Animals.

“A fascinating, riotous, and hilarious insight into the world of hardcore competitive postural yoga practice.” ―Mark Singleton, author of Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice

Hell-Bent is a compassionate, insightful exploration of the emotional and intellectual tug-of-war many of us have experience in our yoga practice, revealing how we can fear and resent our most charismatic teachers – yet still be willing to follow them to the ends of the earth.” ―Suzanne Morrison, bestselling author of Yoga Bitch

“You'll be inspired to strip down to your intimates for hot yoga after devouring this read.” ―Marie Claire

“If, in addition to good health, yoga offers insight, then this might be the most thorough and honest book on the topic. Hell-Bent is a personal romp through a bizarre world, a clear-eyed exploration of the science of contorted bodies, and an unflinching expose of a guru that finally leaves you asking: How do you judge the salesman when the snakeoil might actually work?” ―Stefan Fatsis, New York Times Bestselling author of Word Freak and A Few Seconds of Panic.


Product details

  • File Size: 1115 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 30, 2012)
  • Publication Date: October 30, 2012
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008VA716C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,218 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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