In my opinion, this is the best and most important book on yoga to be released in a long time. Why? Because the ten yamas and niyamas -as specified by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras- are at the core of yoga and (I believe) essential for real personal growth. And yet they are given cursory treatment by many if not most yoga teachers in the west, who seem unaware of the subtle facets and profound qualities of these "jewels." And they are ignored by many of today's mental health professionals, who seem unaware that modern psychotherapeutic approaches are embedded in yoga's prescriptions for "ethical" practice of restraints and observances. Somebody really needed to write a book on this! And I must say, Deborah Adele really delivers the goods.
Take for instance, Adele's chapter on Satya (truthfulness, honesty). It is a work of art in its own right, offering the wisdom and clarity one needs to liberate powerful forces within oneself. In this chapter, Adele includes the sensible yet unusual insights of Carl Jung, Yogiraj Achala, and Mahatma Gandhi, among others, along with her own hands-on understanding. In the process, Adele addresses, for all of us, the fear (dangerousness) involved with being completely truthful, the differences between "Nice" and "Real," the epic partnership between truth (satya) and nonviolence (ahimsa), and the value of conducting our own Gandhi-esque "experiments" in truth.
There is so much more to this chapter than the glimpse I've given here, but I hope I've communicated the fact that this chapter (and the book as a whole) has great depth and breadth. It is evident that Adele has immersed herself in the yamas and niyamas, emerging with lessons, teachings, and insights that could be of value to anyone. Highly recommended. I learned plenty.
The author's website provides lots of useful supplementary material, including some excellent video overviews, radio interviews and discussions. I liked the fact that Adele SOUNDED like a gentle, wise, effective person.
I confess that I have a bias here. I believe that my own life has been influenced, and even transformed, whenever I've aligned with the yamas and niyamas over the last 15+ years. And as a result, I was in the process of writing my own (first) book on this long-neglected topic, emphasizing how it relates to progress in psychotherapy. Well, I still think there's a future in that book! Suffice it to say that I share the author's enthusiasm for her topic.