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Practical Yoga Psychology [Paperback]

Dr. Rishi Vivekananda
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Oct 2006
Aims to blend the teachings of Yoga with those of psychology, psychiatry and other branches of Western science to give us an overview of the human personality, an idea of where we are going and guideline to proceed on our journey.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Yoga publication trust (30 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8186336397
  • ISBN-13: 978-8186336397
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 14.2 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Yoga Psychology 4 Jun 2011
Practical Yoga Psychology is something totally unexpected and truly a great and interesting read. The author brings the east and west points of view together perfectly. I cannot understand why more people have not purchased this book or left reviews?? My advice is purchase it and take your time to read this, thanks
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars useful for beginners 27 April 2011
This book helps those people who still have problems to understand why the yoga system is so useful to everybody. For us, westeners, some eastern concepts are difficult if we don't accept to leave behind all our preconcepts - reading and studying this book will help us to make peace between our beliefs and the magic of yoga. Well written, simple, it also gives one of the most complete explanation of the chakhra system. Also suitable for those who don't practice yoga but are curious to learn more.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars practical yoga psychology 7 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is without dought different from other Yoga books combining yoga and psychology in an interesting and informative way. its well writen, easy to read and full of very very usefull info, a basic understanding of yoga might be helpfull as is a basic understanding of Chakras but if your not to familier with either dont worry, this book gives a good basic outline. The exercises are easy to do and you can alomost feel a benafit right away, in my oppinion its well worth every penny.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yoga mind stuff 11 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is great reading for anyone who wants to know more about yoga than the basics. Like all the books in this series (published by Bihar School, I think) it's good quality, carefully and simply presented, and worth every penny.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible and Practical Treatise that Maps the Extraordinary Maturation Possible for the sentient Self 22 Feb 2006
By yogamm_indy - Published on
Over a couple of days and nights I had absorbed and soaked the principles laid in this treatise from cover to cover. In short, the book felt "un-put-downable". What makes the read luminous, is the clarity with which Vivekananda describes ancient terms from Yoga, Samkhya and Tantra, that are being regurgitated constantly and (mis)appropriated incessantly by the new age gurus, rushing out their latest offering that hams together many of these ideas to suit the palate of the recently minted fans of "everything to do with yoga".

He doesn't take much of our time, with short practical statements he makes subtle distinctions, to help the reader recognize the complex variations that birth the chakra-guna-kosha-antahkarana complex of each individual self. And then, he proceeds to elaborate on the possibility of maturing our particular state of self to the next "better" possibility...again using non-mystical vocabulary, very precisely as though laying out the most easy to access set of things the 21rst C. self can do"!

A pure and wondrous book that would luminate the library of those who already have a remarkable collections of the texts from the Satyananda Yoga School. In short I would recommend it as a must read for the serious practitioner of classical Yoga, interesting in getting to the essence of Yoga's promise for divinizing our human potential.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars yoga as psychology and therapy 28 Feb 2011
By Mahasri Yoga - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As we collectively get saturated with the anatomy of hatha yoga, it is helpful to look at the anatomy of the mind and yoga psychology. The more in-depth look is a natural progression from yoga physiology to the philosophy and psychology of a more encompassing yoga. Going under the surface shows us how all aspects of being are tied together and the effect of the various practices at every level of being. Through the increasing popular use of Yoga Nidra and various other meditation practices, understanding yoga psychology gains increasing importance.

Before going into Practical Yoga Psychology by Dr. Rishi Vivekananda, a quick look at the definition of philosophy and psychology connects the dots between the two. Yoga is considered one of seven Indian philosophies. How is it also psychology? We looked at various dictionaries and online sources and have chosen to quote Wikipedia:

"Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and language. It is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. The word 'philosophy' comes from the Greek philosophia, which literally means 'love of wisdom.'"

"The word psychology literally means 'study of the soul' (psukhe, meaning 'breath', 'spirit', or 'soul' and logia translated as 'study of' or 'research')... The earliest known reference to the word psychology in English was by Steven Blankaar tin 1693 in The Physical Dictionary, which refers to 'Anatomy, which treats of the Body, and Psychology which treats of the Soul.'"

Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is a philosophy of yoga through the medium of yoga psychology: wisdom gained through the study of the soul. It systematically studies timeless, universal fundamental issues through logical observation of the mind: the mind through which the soul undergoes the experience of human being. So it is not a case of the human trying to have a spiritual experience but the spirit having a human experience.

Practical Yoga Psychology is mainly about the seven concentrated energy centers or chakras, and their effect on human psychology. Each chakra is associated with certain behaviors and personalities. The behaviors result in, or can be due to, certain actions, reactions, and viewpoints that determine the quality of that person's human experience. Practical Yoga Psychology discusses the chakras in conjunction with gunas. Gunas are described as "qualities of all creative nature." There are three of them: tamas is inertia, rajas is passion/activity, and sattwa is purity/balance. The book gives a detailed analysis of all the possible combinations of these underlying core qualities in the chakras. So the reader can determine the dominant chakra in his personality and the specific quality, or combination of qualities, that is active in it. The author states that the degree of evolution in the chakras is determined by the dominant quality (inertia, activity, purity/balance) in each of them. The quality of the chakra is a critical factor in the individual's evolution in yoga psychology. The most desirable quality is purity.

The book goes on to briefly say how various Satyananda Yoga practices (accompanied by cross-pollination with their other publications) can be used therapeutically to elevate or transform the quality and hence the personality or disorder. In addition, the psychological relevance of fundamental yogic principles and practices is also explained. The therapeutic aspects of karma yoga, bhakti yoga, jnana yoga are also addressed briefly.

Dr. Rishi Vivekananda is an Australian physician and consultant therapist. There is a good amount of interesting, useful content in the book. In our opinion, the book suffers because it is not well planned. The information is unnecessarily repetitive.

The process of reading, checking, rewriting, and doing it over and over again, can be an important exercise in seeing, clarifying, organizing, and shaping our thoughts and concepts. It is a process of reprogramming the mind. Thinking, when crystallized objectively in black-and-white can look quite different from abstractions in the mind. Witnessing the content of our minds projected in writing is a form of meditation. The process of reviewing books in depth is also a meditation sadhana and a form of jnana yoga!
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must For the Evolving Human Being 6 April 2010
By Nik - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read only the first seven chapters as of yet and I recommend this book wholeheartedly to every human being. This is the most true of psychology books on the entire being of we humans. I have taken psychology and sociology and philosophy in college but those classes and all of those psychology books, etc., pale in comparison with this more complete text on the human self.

Not only does this book derive from a spiritual source but a scientific one. A more pure science than that of any western doctors or philosphers. Vivekananda writes about the Human from all aspects, The Good, The Bad and The Inbetween, noting that although humans do bad things or are of a lower vibrational standing, this does not make them inhuman or lost. We are creatures of adaptation and evolution. We can take steps via this wonderful and life giving world of yoga, but first we must look at ourselves, write down the wrong and move toward the light (not meaning what I think, you think this means) We can reach Yoga while still here and enjoy it.

To get to the point, the book is superb. With this book, one can more fully understand the whole self ie. physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, etc., whether it is one self or the community at large. This is one of Bihar Scool of Yoga's pwerhouse books necessary for every ones library. Without the knowledge of change, how can we? At the rate we are going without it, world suffering can only be prolonged.... The book is well written and although it may be tough in a few spots since we must adapt out brains to this language, if you take your time, like I, you will get a grasp on it. Enjoy...
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High-Caliber 26 Dec 2011
By ArmchairPuddy - Published on
This is by far the best introduction to yogic thought I have read. For anyone that is looking for a readable, contemporary, and ceaselessly down-to-earth analysis of what yoga is about on a level deeper than the stretches you do at the gym, this is the book to get. Note well, it belongs to a particular 'school' of yogic thought. However, this book can serve as the perfect introduction that will allow you to diverge or extrapolate with a legitimate and insightful frame of reference. Highly recommended for the especially-interested yoga-junkie.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The right book for serious western sadakas 18 April 2014
By Michel Swornik - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The western mind needs explanations that the "Practical Yoga Psychology" needs to be satisfied. If you have ever wanted to understand the energetic level of your being, this book will give you new meanings to the standard fare we are given. D. Rishi Vivekanada has managed to make the ideas of the koshas and of the chakras clear and exciting.

It is not a book to race through: the concepts have to be understood and "tasted" at an existential level to truly bring us beyond the limitations of our daily mind. It has help me transcend the tethers of my old ideas and allowed fresh views to enter. Thank you for writing this nice work.
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