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Kokoro Yoga: Maximize Your Human Potential and Develop the Spirit of a Warrior--the SEALfit Way Paperback – April 12, 2016
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"Every CrossFit athlete and modern-day warrior needs to incorporate yoga into their life, and this book will teach you how. Mark's teachings have changed my life, and they will change yours too." ― Greg Amundson, former DEA Special Agent, business owner, and CrossFit Law Enforcement Liason
"Mark has redefined yoga for me.... With his integrated approach, he is able to whittle down its complexities into actionable sequences that not only energize and strengthen my body, but also heighten my mental focus and spiritual awareness. Bravo Zulu." ― Chriss Smith, U.S. Navy SEAL, owner of Trident CrossFit
“As a former Naval Special Warfare Sniper Course manager I know the importance of developing a solid mental and physical training program. To be candid, 8 Weeks to SEAL FIT is the best program I've come to know outside of someone actually going through SEAL training. If you're looking for a quick start fitness gimmick then move on, if you want to adopt a program that promotes lifestyle fitness and mental toughness then get Mark's book, it will change your life for the better.” ―Brandon Webb, Navy SEAL, New York Times Best Selling Author and Editor of SOFREP.com on 8 Weeks to Sealfit
About the Author
MARK DIVINE is a retired Navy SEAL, accomplished yoga teacher, and martial artist and has trained thousands of aspiring special operators, athletes, & professionals in physical and mental toughness using the principles outlined in this book. An entrepreneur and innovator in the field of human potential and peak performance, Mark created the world-renowned Unbeatable Mind integrated training system, founded SEALFIT and NavySEALs.com, and is a New York Times bestselling author of The Way of the SEAL, Unbeatable Mind, and 8 Weeks to SEALFIT. He lives in North County San Diego with his wife, Sandy, and son, Devon.
CATHERINE DIVINE has taught in a variety of studio and conference settings such as Wanderlust Festival, Yoga for Peace, and the Green Yoga Festival. She has trained in various Yoga styles, notably with Tim Miller of Ashtanga Yoga and Gary Krafstow of Viniyoga. She lives in Encinitas, CA.
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Top customer reviews
Even though I am a senior in my 70s I have always lived my life as a warrior seeking out challenging fitness programs such as U.S. NAVY SEAL workouts, WOD programs, Circuit programs and numerous other routines to challenge the body and mind. When I saw this book on Amazon I had to have it and I just finished reading this 267 Soft Cover book. I love this book for a lot of reasons. For one thing his life time interest and search for Bushido, the way of the warrior is something I can relate to in my own life. My lifelong interest in developing my mind, body and spirit has been continuing journey. Like the author, I was in the U.S. Navy but unlike him I never became a U.S. Navy SEAL.
Yoga was one of the exercise and meditation arts I have always had in my exercise routines and this book really reinforced my interest in this warrior art. This great book is filled with incredible information and detailed advice on numerous warrior spirit (Kokoro) fitness programs. I was amazed at how my own personal every day fitness routine very closely matched some of the ones in this book. Besides a rugged WOD HIIT workout, I always end my workout with more than 50 Yoga postures (asanas) of which most are shown in this fantastic book.
This excellent volume is organized into 8 detailed chapters. The first chapter covers the author’s personal experience explaining how he became a U.S. Navy SEAL, and how his journey began with his study of Seido Karate and many other warrior arts. He also explains the various types of Yoga he has studied. The second chapter (The Pursuit of Maximum Human Potential) goes into detail on the philosophy and practice of Yoga. The third chapter explores the strategies of Kokoro Yoga. Tactics involved in the practice of warrior arts are covered in chapter four. Chapter five explains “Core and supporting sequences." The various poses and movements are covered in chapter six. Chapter seven focuses on the “Physiological and psychological benefits of Yoga.” The final chapter gives advice on “developing a personal practice." Do not pass on the Appendix sections because they have a lot of valuable information.
This short review cannot do justice to the many positives things you will learn reading this book. If you are seeking a guide to achieve the ultimate in warrior fitness of mind, body and spirit this book is for you. I have created my own daily fitness routine combining the movements and exercises shown in this book. I really loved this book.
Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Tactical Principles of the most effective combative systems)
I, therefore, tend to approach books like Mark Divine’s “Kokoro Yoga” with a measure of skepticism. That said, I found that this book offered a respectable vision of yoga that might even succeed in bringing a new demographic into the fold. Divine is a former Navy SEAL who developed a fitness empire called SEALFIT, a system that combines fitness ideas from the famous Special Operations unit with ideas from civilian sports and exercise science, such as high intensity interval training (HIIT.)
Incidentally, “kokoro” is the Japanese word for heart / mind (heart and mind were inexorably entwined for Japanese in the era in which the term came into being.) Divine mentions that “Warrior Yoga” would have been his first choice, but that was already taken. The author appeals to warriors with this approach to yoga. He does this in several ways. Firstly, and encouragingly, he doesn’t neglect the mind, but rather puts it front and center by emphasizing the need for mental strength and clarity. My biggest problem with the plethora of new yogas is that they usually forget that it’s ultimately about calming the mind, and instead of providing an environment conducive to looking inward, they embrace or create all sorts of distractions (loud pop music, mirrors everywhere, nudity, animals, ice cream, circus clowns, etc.) Divine doesn’t just make a new fitness fad, he argues for the need for all of the eight limbs of yoga—not neglecting yama and niyama—and emphasizes how yoga served as a calming and clarifying tool for him and not just as a means to be more bendy.
Second, he adds components to balance out the dimensions of fitness. If you are a yogi / yogini, and you want a yoga body; yoga is all you need. However, if you are a martial artist, cop, or soldier, you also need strength, speed (then, by definition, power), and cardiovascular endurance, as well as those aspects yoga offers (e.g. breath control, flexibility, core strength, posture, and mental clarity.) Again, I’m often dismayed by attempts to round out yoga with functional strength building and cardiovascular endurance. I understand the desire to combine them into one workout. Besides the fact that some people need a more balanced approach to fitness, not everybody has time to do multiple workouts multiple times a day. Still, one can’t just ram these components together willy-nilly because if one needs to be in a space to observe one’s breath while being still and one is coming out of having done 100 burpees, it’s probably not going to work so well. I haven’t yet done any of the sequences from the book, but it looks like this shouldn’t a problem, at least not for individuals who are moderately fit. I’m less confident about the value of mixing in elements of chi gong and “cardio kickboxing,” which is suggested by the system. It’s certainly not that I’m opposed to either chi gong or functional martial arts training, but there’s a lot of important detail in those activities and this format risks some horrible half-assery. (Yes, sometimes you get chocolate in peanut butter and get a Reese’s cup, but more often you get sausage in the pudding. Two things being great, by no means ensures they will be great together.)
Finally, Divine puts his approach in the language of soldiers, using concepts like “strategy” and “tactics” and eschewing Sanskrit terminology. The book begins with an anecdote about going into a combat zone as a Reserve officer, which describes his use of yoga to help him get his mind in the right place. He also talks extensively about his practice of martial arts.
There are eight chapters and three appendices to the book. They proceed from the aforementioned story through a look at the general approach, looking at the eight limbs of yoga, before getting into the details. The penultimate chapter sums up research on some of the benefits of yoga, and the last chapter offers advice about how to set up one’s sadhana (personal practice) with the Kokoro Yoga approach in mind. The appendices offer information about functional conditioning exercises, combat conditioning, and module building.
Overall, I think this is a useful book that provides some interesting thoughts on yoga. You may or may not find that it’s the approach for you, but it’s worth checking out. The photos are well-done—though some readers may wish there were more related to the functional conditioning exercises (but he’s got other books for that, it seems.)
I’d recommend this book for those interested in how a yoga practice might be integrated with other aspects of fitness without losing track of the core yogic objectives.
Kokoro Yoga: Maximize Your Human Potential and Develop the Spirit of a Warrior--the SEALfit Way