Author Benjamin Lorr wandered into a yoga studio - and fell down a rabbit hole. Hell-Bent explores a fascinating, often surreal world at the extremes of American yoga. Benjamin Lorr walked into his first yoga studio on a whim, overweight and curious, and quickly found the yoga reinventing his life. He was studying Bikram Yoga (or "hot yoga") when a run-in with a master and competitive yoga champion led him into an obsessive subculture - a group of yogis for whom eight hours of practice a day in 110-degree heat was just the beginning. So begins a journey.
Populated by athletic prodigies, wide-eyed celebrities, legitimate medical miracles, and predatory hucksters, it's a nation-spanning trip - from the jam-packed studios of New York to the athletic performance labs of the University of Oregon to the stage at the National Yoga Asana Championship, where Lorr competes for glory.
The culmination of two years of research, and featuring hundreds of interviews with yogis, scientists, doctors, and scholars, Hell-Bent is a wild exploration. A look at the science behind a controversial practice, a story of greed, narcissism, and corruption, and a mind-bending tale of personal transformation, it is an audiobook that will not only challenge your conception of yoga, but will change the way you view the fragile, inspirational limits of the human body itself.
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Yes, and not just someone interested in yoga. It was absolutely fascinating and really well written. I don't think I'll personally be trying Bikram, I think I'll stick to a calmer practice, but a lot of what is said re pain, and physical effects of the yoga are very interesting for other yogas or for anyone with chronic pain.
It wasn't really the sort of book where you would have a favourite character.
No, some of the information is quite dense so I did actually find myself turning it off to digest at times and returning to it later.
The further shore of the West's Modern Yoga
This is a personal and passionate look at the crazy world swirling around Bikram Chauderey and the crazy level of denial amongst many of his followers. The book also skilfully places Bikram's life and teachings in context of the Guru tradition as well as modern psychology.