Tuesday, December 4, 2012

THE MANY FACES OF HATHA YOGA by Joan Dobbie & Verna Reidy

In fall of 2011 Maria Bermudez, Kendall-Hunt acquisitions manager, came to the University of Oregon, from which I have an MFA in Creative Writing and where I have been teaching Hatha Yoga for about a dozen years, asking if any of us yoga teachers would be interested in creating a yoga "textbook." Since yoga is the very core of my life, and has been for nearly 40 years, and since I love writing, besides poetry, creative nonfiction and oral history, I decided to jump at the offer. I asked my friend and fellow yoga teacher, Lane Community College's Verna Reidy, if she would like to join me in this venture... which she did.

Interspersing interviews of (and articles by) seventeen Eugene, Oregon, yoga teachers of several styles with illustrated guides to yoga practice, suggested yoga activities, informative chapters on yoga philosophy and history and even a "Simple Lesson in Sanskrit, " a glossary of yogic terms and many, many photographs, we created The Many Faces of Hatha Yoga.

In her foreword to The Many Faces of Hatha Yoga, Sri Swamini Svatmavidyananda Saraswati wrote:
I am very happy that a book on the various schools of yoga is being created by Joan Dobbie and Verna Reidy, who are themselves dedicated yoginis. The book offers a useful compendium of the various kinds of yoga practiced in Eugene, Oregon, along with detailed descriptions of various styles, and biographies of their practitioners. What distinguishes this book from other books on the subject is its acknowledgement of its background in ancient Vedic culture of India, and the emphasis on its spiritual purpose. The editors and the contributors take particular care to emphasize the vast contribution of yoga in an individual's spiritual growth. I see this book as a refreshing and salient intervention to the current trends in the West to despiritualize yoga and deal with it, at best, as an exercise program devoid of Vedic background, and spiritual intentions. I congratulate the editors and contributors for taking yoga seriously in their lives, and also inspiring others in the area. I pray that this book helps all seekers in Eugene and elsewhere, in their spiritual practice and growth, no matter where they are in their life's journey. I also pray that the book helps networking among like-minded practitioners and people, and fosters a spirit of harmony and appreciation for the diverse ways in which yoga is practiced in the contemporary world.

I hope this will give you a taste of what you may expect to find in this book, and wish you all the best as you embark on your yogic journey.

Namaste (I salute you),
Joan Dobbie


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