Usually my deeply entrenched cynicism would steer me well clear of any “self-help” or self-proclaimed “spiritually enlightening” books. However, Donna Farhi has managed to keep it simple and normal as she explains the way to incorporate yoga practises and beliefs into every aspect of your day to day life to make changes for the better. It’s all about inner peace, awareness and seeing clearly, and in this book there’s no crap to wade through to find the points.
Bringing Yoga to Life doesn’t teach you how to actually practise yogic exercises, it’s more theoretical, concentrating on the spiritual philosophy that is the foundation of yoga. Farhi shows you how to get back in touch with your body, discover your true nature, survive the constant blows that life deals out and be more loving and compassionate towards others. Over-ambitious? Maybe, but she doesn’t promise miraculous life changing experiences or that less bad things will happen to you or anything, only that you’ll be able to deal with things better and therefore create more happiness for yourself. “Life does not become easier, we become easier with life just as it is.”
Rather than being airy-fairy or hippyish or whatever misconceptions you may hold about yoga, Farhi presents it as a natural, common sense and down-to-earth practise. Her guide is easily understandable and convincing, and perhaps just what the 21st century needs when cynicism and individualism have obliterated any sense of religious or spiritual experience and love has become so limited and scarce.
This is as good a place as any to start for those interested in self-improvement. Basically it’s about changing your mind set and therefore your relationships with yourself and the greater world around you. You are taught to take your life into your own hands and to seek happiness through “skilful means and self-determination”.
Farhi has taught yoga for 28 years, her accumulated wisdom and insight come through in this lucid and eloquently written guide. I would recommend it to everyone, and especially to anyone feeling a little lost.