From Publishers Weekly
Western-trained internist and Yoga Journal
medical editor McCall has practiced Iyengar yoga for a decade. In 2002, he traveled to India, where most scientific research on yoga's medical benefits has been conducted. The results of that visit and McCall's subsequent study of yoga therapy and ayurveda (India's ancient medical system) are presented here, translated into Western medical terms. For example, McCall demystifies such concepts as samskaras (unconscious patterns that negatively affect behavior and health); scientists, McCall says, explain these patterns as repeated firings of neurons that change the brain's wiring. Although McCall's focus is on yoga therapy, he includes material that will be helpful to most students. For readers challenged by illness, he provides an overview of popular yoga styles and their suitability for various degrees of fitness; steps to finding a yoga therapist; and what to expect from a session. Twenty chapters feature noted yoga instructors describing their approaches to specific conditions—panic attacks, carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, infertility, cancer, etc. They offer advice, rather than fixed protocols, based on their tradition and experience. This might frustrate readers seeking a formula, but those willing to experiment have access to many diverse tools and practices. No doubt McCall's fine articulation of yoga's healing potential will appeal to a large audience of instructors, students, physicians and their patients. (July)
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"Yoga as Medicine
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