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The 8 Limbs of Yoga: Pathway to Liberation Paperback – January 16, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Neither a scholarly argument nor a New Age how-to manual, Ram's accessible book walks the reader through the celebrated eight limbs first codified thousands of years ago by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. Ram gives a chapter to each of the Yamas (the five moral restraints such as non-harming, truthfulness, moderation) and the five Niyamas (the personal practices of purity, contentment, discipline, spiritual self study and constant devotion to the divine). His understanding of how these ancient virtues apply to modern times is both personal and poetic. And though he does not suffer the corporate media or other fools gladly--nor the American food industry!--his gentle tone encourages true seekers to be patient, forgiving, loving toward themselves and others.
Ram uses his own experiences of pain, suffering, and limitation--a broken back, a diagnosis of "fatal" throat cancer--to illustrate the way out of darkness toward the light of physical and spiritual health. He discusses many sutra-derived tools to discover who we really are, to improve focus, sideline the ego, and cultivate life-enhancing emotions such as gratitude, forgiveness, and loving kindness.
He also writes with the authority of a man who has seen violence up close, as a television reporter working in many American cities and eventually as a network correspondent for NBC News in Iraq and Afghanistan. Out of such life experiences came his determination to achieve peace, balance and harmony internally and to model that spiritual serenity for others.
Ram does not pretend to be a scholar, saint or sage. He's the founder, with his wife Laura Plumb, of the Deep Yoga School in San Diego, a composer and singer of devotional music. But his The Eight Limbs of Yoga: Pathway to Liberation also reveals the kind of great heart that Nobel-prize winning Bengali poet and musician, Rabindranath Tagore, wrote of in his preface to Samadhi: The Realization of Life. New interpretations of the ancient texts are always needed, Tagore said, so that the ancient scriptures of India do not become mere archaeological specimens, mummified in old traditions. "The meaning of the living words that come out of the experiences of great hearts can never be exhausted by any one system of logical interpretation. They have to be endlessly explained by the commentaries of individual lives, and they gain an added mystery in each new revelation."
Ram's book stands fully in that tradition of living commentary on the ancient truths of Yoga.
I highly recommend this book