- Use promo code GIFTBOOK18 to save $5.00 when you spend $20.00 or more on Books shipped and sold by Amazon.com. Enter code GIFTBOOK18 at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga Paperback – February 11, 2014
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
“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.
About the Author
BENJAMIN LORR graduated from Columbia University with a degree in environmental biology and creative writing. He lives in New York City and is currently at work on his second book.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-5 of 194 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
As a yogi, I find the concept of competitive yoga to be insane on the surface. However, as a devotee of Ashtanga, I would be lying if a small part of myself and other students I know weren't secretly in competition even if it is only very slight and even if that competition is mainly with one's self. Unless someone is extremely enlightened, it's going to be there.
Reading about the world of competitive yoga is nothing short of fascinating. Granted, I may be more interested than most given my background, but even someone who has never taken a yoga class would be shocked to learn the extremes that these competitors go to and put their bodies through. The stuff about the back-bends-up to 90 in an hour-had me groaning in empathy. Then there is the description of the 9-week teaching training that Lorr decides to enroll in taught by none other than the man himself, Bikram Choudhury.
For those who haven't heard of him, Bikram is l'enfant terrible of the yoga world. Those who think that gurus don't have egos should just read an interview or two with him and that will quickly take away that misconception. Now, I was never a fan of Bikram or his particular brand of yoga but interestingly, after reading "Hell-Bent" my respect for him grew somewhat. While he probably is as big of a hot-head as he is portrayed and a possibly suffering from NPD, there is still the impression he believes in yoga and wants to bring it to the masses. In the latter, he has been very successful. He may be making a ton of money, but he's not alone in liking and making money. Also, he makes no bones that he likes money. If people want to pay $11K to become a Bikram instructor and are willing to pay, then why not? Also, the snippets of him showing genuine compassion to various people was unexpected and made him seem a tad more human than he usually appears.
Over all, I enjoyed this memoir and highly recommend it.