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Yoga for Men: a Workout for the Body, Mind and Spirit
by Bruce Eric Van Horn
2002

We in the Western world expect men to be driven, competitive and aggressively ambitious. All this goes against Yoga's principles of non-violence, balance and flexibility (mental and spiritual, not just physical). That's why many Western men often view Yoga with just a bit of suspicion, as if practicing the poses risks branding them as wimps or (worse yet) whiney new age guys. The truth is that men who practice Yoga become stronger, more focused, less stressed - and are at least as manly as any other guy. Take a look at Yoga masters B.K.S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois - even in their 80s, these two exude masculinity and vitality. This book is one of several that attempts to bring the benefits of Yoga to the Western male mind.

Author Bruce Eric Van Horn explains what Yoga can do for the average guy in plain language. Along with the usual stress relief, better sleep, and added strength and endurance, Yoga can also enhance a guy's prostrate health and his sex life. Van Horn invites his readers to go beyond the ego, move beyond dualism and he also invites deep exploration of the postures. Amusingly, he has renamed many of them to make them more accessible to men: Sun Salutation becomes Opening Bell; Camel Pose is referred to as Bending Over Backward to Serve Your Customers; Wheel is transformed into Bridging Corporate Cultures. The best aspect of the book? It includes some introductory work with Pranayama and breath. The most questionable part? Early on, Van Horn discusses the Chakras, a concept that may be a little too new agey for many men. Fortunately he keeps this section down to just a couple of pages that can easily be passed over for the more grounded, practical parts of the book. Westerners (particularly men) who want instruction, not theory, will find it in a concise, easy-to-read manner here.

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