For most Americans, yoga is seen as alternative to hitting the gym. While the therapeutic value of yoga exercises is acknowledged, the American concept of yoga misses the traditions of yoga’s spiritual aspects.
Frank Jude Boccio’s “Mindfulness Yoga” is a delightful introduction to the Buddhist spirituality which enhanced yoga through the centuries. Learning how the Buddha influenced yoga puts the practice into a context that will surprise and intrigue those who are open to learning.
Boccio’s text cites several sutras (which he calls suttas, keeping the Pali form of the Sanskrit language) to explain Buddhist theory and its relation to the physical and meditative nature of yoga. The meditative nature is actually emphasized at great length and depth, as Boccio is strongly insistent that one cannot fully practice yoga unless one’s mind is in sync with the spiritual foundations on which yoga has been created.
For the body conscious, Boccio offers a surplus of illustrated exercises, along with instructions regarding breathing and tips for modifying the exercises in the event they prove to be too stressful.
Throughout “Mindfulness Yoga,” the focus is on establishing a combination of mental, physical and spiritual considerations. Boccio is not seeking to build a better body, but to help build a better person. His lessons are clear, cogent and precise, and “Mindfulness Yoga” is a highly recommended guide to self-empowerment.
by Frank Jude Boccio
Wisdom Publications, $19.95, 352 pages