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The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman's Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras Paperback – March 20, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This sweetly voiced explication of the Yoga Sutras is disarming in its simplicity . . . I read it smiling.” —Sylvia Boorstein, author of Pay Attention, for Goodness’ Sake: The Buddhist Path of Kindness

“A dynamic new interpretation . . . that will make this wonderful ancient teaching accessible to modern readers and useful in their daily life.”
—David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri), author of Yoga and Ayurveda

“Truly life changing. A book to be read again and again.”
—Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., P.T., author of A Year of Living Your Yoga

About the Author

Nischala Joy Dev is a renowned Yoga expert who has been teaching internationally for more than thirty years. She is the author of The Healing Path of Yoga, which is regarded as the definitive guide to the subtle use of body and mind in healing and stress management. Visit her website at www.abundantwellbeing.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (March 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307339696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307339690
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Although most of us view yoga as simply a physical discipline, there is a far more spiritual dimension to it. The entire philosophy of yoga has been contained in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. Sutra is Sanskrit for "thread" - the sutras are a collection of terse aphorisms threaded together, laying out the whole of yoga.

Translations of these sutras have been done by males over the years and although there are some wonderful books on the subject (Iyengar's "Light On the Yoga Sutras" for one), I have found these books to be rather dry. Well known yoga instructor, Nischala Joy Devi has written an entirely new and feminine perspective on these ancient proverbs. Devi writes in an almost poetic manner and substitutes words that are 'negative' with a more heart centered counterpart. For example, for Aparigraha which is often translated as non-greed, Devi uses "awareness of abundance". This is a very nurturing viewpoint that makes the sutras "friendlier" and more easier to relate to. Meditations and practices are sprinkled throughout to help intergrate the vibe of the sutras into your heart.

She covers books one and two of the sutras and did a brief scan of book three. I am somewhat hopeful that she is intending on covering books three and four (she didn't mention book four at all) in a further volume, but until then, this is enough food for thought for now.
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This set of CD's lives in my car and accompanies me down the road -- both the physical road and the road of my life. As an avid student of Yoga, I am enamored not only with asana (poses) practice, but with the metaphysics and philosophical underpinning of this ancient and sometimes complex system of whole health. Nischala Devi guides me from a woman's perspective, simply and clearly through the maze of the Yoga Sutras with her own unique flavor and world view. And while this is not an accurate "translation" of these ancient texts, her interpretation and commentary is for today, for women, and uncomplicates and simplifies the teachings so I can cease struggling and just rest in the depth of how to live my life in the 21st century where I am and as I am.
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This book is truly a gem. It discusses the Sutras from a heartfelt perspective lacking in most other translations. It will compliment any other reading of the Sutras you have done, and will add a whole other dimension. A must-have for any complete yoga library.
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Didnt enjoy or really learn much from this book. I found the writing to be disjointed...almost incoherent. Very disappointed. I am new to world of yoga and was hoping this would be a good place to start....rolf gates book is much better and easier to understand, with very articulate writing.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best interpretation of Pantanjali's Yoga Sutras I've ever read. I highly, HIGHLY recommend it. I just finished it and will be reading it many, many more times. Instead of making a list of do's and don'ts that sound unattainable this book rephrases the sutras so that they're truly livable. It doesn't matter that it isn't a word for word translation and it doesn't matter that not all of the sutras are included. The author states her reasons for not including all of them and explains that she's not translating as a scholar. This is the first time I've read the Yoga Sutras and have been warmed by them.
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Before reading this book, I read a "traditional" translation of the Yoga Sutras. I found Devi's book to be a nice contrast to the previous book, adding another dimension of understanding to the overall Yoga Sutras. I also highly appreciate her lack of the use of "God", making the Yoga Sutras much easier to understand from a non-Christian/Atheist perspective.

Billed as a "Woman's Guide to the ... Yoga Sutras", I feel the need to address the representation of men vs. women in this book. Others who have reviewed this book say that Devi is doing nothing more than promoting the "usual" roles of men being angry & dominant and women being delicate & emotional.

While I see how that could be interpreted, I simply disagree. Women have been fighting for all-encompassing equality for centuries, and we have come a long way. That being said, women are naturally more caring and compassionate - that's why we are given the biological ability to give birth & nurture children, or perhaps because of it.

On the other hand, men are physically stronger and no-nonsense problem solvers - that is their natural duty since, classically, they don't spend as much time rearing children as they do protecting and providing for them.

Please don't interpret my musings as derogatory or enforcing traditional roles - this is simply Mother Nature. I'm all for feminine equality, such as making the same amount of money and having the same opportunities as men. That's referring to social/cultural equality. I'm talking about nature/biology. There will always be exceptions to the rule, but the majority of men & women follow the traditional biological personalities at varying levels.

All that being said, I didn't find Devi's interpretations of men vs.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved the book. She knows how important language is and uses positive language to get her points across. It is wonderful to have a woman write about them.

Some of these negative reviewers are most certainly men and I find it really odd that they make a big thing about her not being able to read Sanskrit and translate Sanskrit when so many of the other books translated were not originally translated by authors that could translate Sanskrit either. They hired people to do this.

What people need to remember is the all of these books about the Sutra's is that are interpretations. I have read four of these books not including this one and they are all different. Get over it!

Nischala has spent years as a yogi and lived in an ashram for eighteen years, etc. She is more authentic than many others that have written about the Sutra's so open your mind a bit and examine your own prejudices.
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