Book Review

Warrior Pose:  How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life
by Brad Willis (Bhava Ram)

"Warrior Pose, to be made into a full feature length film... due out in 2016. Hope it serves to bring more people to yoga as a pathway for healing and self-empowerment." --Bhava Ram


“Warrior Pose, to be made into a full feature length film… due out in 2016. Hope it serves to bring more people to yoga as a pathway for healing and self-empowerment.”
–Bhava Ram



This beautifully written book will inspire you to take charge of your health. Willis clearly illustrates the potential for transformation, from a presumed hopeless illness, to vibrant health. Most remarkable, is that he performs this miracle of self-healing in his 50s, when many people surrender to “aging,” expecting a downhill slide.

How many of us travel a path of material success, working obsessively at the cost of health and relationships? What is really important in life? The message of this book is that no matter what our situation, we have choices in each moment—how to live and how to think. We have within, the power to make positive changes and transform our lives.

Willis is a man of formidable commitment, as illustrated by his dedication to his career path and equally unwavering path of healing. What I like about this story, is that Willis shares in detail how—like most people—he first chose shortcuts instead of dealing with his problems. Mask the pain! Forge ahead with the career! Ignore the real issue because there is no time for treatment. No time! Life is too busy. When death loomed imminent, the love of his young son inspired Willis to take charge of his health.

Self-empowerment regarding one’s health seems rare these days. I teach yoga to college students. Many of these young people suffer from debilitating physical health conditions, severe depression, extreme anxiety, chronic migraines, and little passion for life. Many of them depend on drugs for mental and physical pain management, and have lost touch with their inner guides. Yet, I see shifts in these students when they add even a small amount of yoga to their lives—one hour, twice a week.

As I read this book I wondered—how many people would be willing or able to plunge into the intense course of healing that Willis describes? Would Willis’ journey intimidate or inspire the overwhelmed populace? My wish is that Willis’ riveting tales of news correspondent adventure will draw readers in, and his deeply honest accounts of his own disconnection to his emotional and physical life will act as a mirror, or personal connection with readers, for this common human experience. Those facing severe health issues can find new hope, and those facing more ordinary challenges can start with a few small steps and discover for themselves the healing power of yoga. A knowing that tremendous change is possible is the first step, and Willis gives us that.

Balancing Moods & Healing Depression with Yoga

 

Almost everyone has experienced depression on some level, either the fluctuations of mood with life’s ups and downs, or major depression, characterized by depressed mood or irritability most of the day, nearly every day. In the United States over 21 million people suffer from depression annually. According to current statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health between 6-10% of the U.S. population are suffering from depression at any given time. Adolescents are the most at risk. A study done by the Journal of Clinical Psychology reported that depression costs about $44 billion annually, which includes psychiatric care, lost work days, and decreased productivity. This does not include the 86 billion dollars a year that Americans spend on Antidepressants! These statistics are a few years old, and likely much lower than reality, because they only include reported cases.

 

The good news is that yoga can help all forms of mood disturbance. When you’re fully in yoga (union of body, mind and spirit) mood reactions to the events of life fade, because you’re present in the moment. Being present means flowing with life, versus judging it, so even the ups and downs don’t register as “good” or “bad” anymore. Events are just events and each one presents an opportunity. Our moods give us messages about our lives (such as “This isn’t working for me!”), and give us opportunities to make new choices that will make us feel better.

 

Yoga shows us that we already have everything we need, including the love of pure spirit, which infuses every part of the universe.

 

 

How do we bring this level of yoga into our daily lives?

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