[Review] On yoga and grief and disappointment.

yoga Title: Yoga for Grief Relief: Simple Practices for Transforming Your Grieving Mind and Body
Author: Antonio Sausys
Source: Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review
Tl;dr: Woo. Woo, woo, woo. More woo. Did I mention this book had woo? And some yoga.

Add it to your goodreads

We don’t get over our losses, we transform our relationship to them

My way of working through things in life, is to read about them. Right now, I’m grieving because my father passed away a few months ago. This means I’m reading about loss and grief a lot. I also really enjoy yoga, so when I saw this book on Netgalley, I was really interested. Sadly, it turned out this book was not the right book for me.

First, this book does have some strong points. I really liked the normalizing of grief (however you experience it, is completely fine and normal) and the diverse cultural outlook the books shows. The writing itself was very easily readable, which is quite an accomplishment, espcially about such a potentially difficult topic. Although I would have preferred more extensive yoga routines, I think the breathing excercises and a routine that seems like some sort of extensive body scan can be really nice and soothing.

However, I am incredibly allergic to woo, and this book had a lot of it. I am a sceptic and a scientist (a social scientist, with a MSc in Behavioural Science/Psychology), and one of the bigger crimes you can commit in my eyes, is placing science on the same level as superstition and pseudoscience. The author writes about certain exercises doing stuff to certain hormones, and the influence on your emotions with scientific references. And then suddenly, he talks about chakra’s and asking things from the universe (“the secret” territory), seemingly placing them on the same level as the science he just mentioned. And the science that he uses, is dubious as well. I looked at the sources, and most are books (which means it is potentially not peer reviewed, which means it might not be sound science) and the scientific papers come from magazines that do not seem familiar to me at all, so they might not be the best as well. Yes, this is speculative from my side, but it makes me doubt all the claims he makes about the benefits of his program.

So: don’t read this (when it comes out on June 1 this year). Maybe do the routines, if you feel like it’s up your alley, but despite the nice readability, the wading through woo is not worth it.


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