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An estimated seventeen million people currently practice yoga and spend roughly three billion dollars annually on classes, products, and services in the United States.
On the one hand, yoga’s widespread popularity means that more people are being exposed to the potential benefits yoga has to offer. And yet, yoga has expanded over the decades to become a full-fledged industry of the contemporary marketplace, filled with so many producers, sellers, and consumers that they seem to outnumber the spiritual teachers, healers, devoted adepts, and practitioners. Yoga has become an unusual blend of ancient spiritual path from India and American commercialism, begging the question, “Is yoga merely a fitness industry masquerading as spirituality?” This issue is hotly debated right now at Yoga magazines and studios and centers across the country.
Yoga Beyond Fitness captures the story of American yoga practice today, with special attention given to those who treat it with reverence and wish to explore it as a receptacle of transformative power, for which it was originally intended. Yoga instructor Tom Pilarzyk helps us restore the transformative center at the heart of yoga by showing how to bring greater intention, open-heartedness, and peace into our practice both on and off the mat.
With personal stories and testimonials from students, teachers, and other professionals, Pilarzyk delivers a meaningful guide for staying true to the heart of yoga. A valuable resource for further practice, the book also includes an extensive listing of national yoga centers and a study guide with discussion questions at the back of the book.
For those just discovering yoga or for those who have practiced for a while and feel that there is a deeper meaning readily accessible but not directly evident, this book is both a sober wake-up call about how yoga is being transformed and a hopeful, heartfelt tribute to its highest aspirations.

Yoga beyond Fitness

  • Tom Pilarzyk, Ph.D.
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