The Science of Yoga

The Science of Yoga The Risks and the Rewards

Over five years, I studied more than a century’s worth of scientific research and interviewed dozens of top authorities to produce this first impartial look at a system of physical and spiritual renewal that arose thousands of years ago. It distinguishes what’s real, uplifting, and beneficial from what’s flaky and even dangerous. It casts new light on a burgeoning global industry that has attracted not only curious scientists but waves of true believers and charismatic hustlers. It shatters myths, lays out unexpected benefits, and offers a compelling vision of how the ancient practice can be improved. I consider it one of the best things I’ve ever written.

Puzzled by a Contradiction

Many teachers praise yoga as a smart way to fight degeneration of the hips and promote joint health. But I kept hearing of women practitioners – including stars of the yoga circuit – who found themselves in urgent need of hip repairs. I followed the clues and put my findings in The New York Times. Here, I flesh out the story with new information, including how to reduce the danger.

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A Reading List on Yoga Safety

Herewith a list I’ve drawn up of books and articles on how to avoid yoga injuries. I make no claims for its completeness – or the value of particular recommendations – but offer it simply as an introduction to the growing literature. Thanks for joining the discussion. We all stand to gain from new ways to lower the risks and raise the benefits. Onward to better yoga!

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Praise for The Science of Yoga

“Belongs in the library of every yogi.” – Yoga Journal

“A fascinating, persuasive case for demythologizing yoga and recognizing its true value to mind and body.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Dramatic writing and a flair for provocation…a whirlwind tour…unusual and valuable.” – Publishers Weekly

“Broad brings neither the boosterism of a yoga devotee nor the leeriness of a professional skeptic to his project — just curiosity, energy and a commitment to follow where his investigations lead.” – New York Times Book Review

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