Monday, June 16, 2008

Yoga, Power, and Spirit: Patanjali the Shaman

This is a review of the book by Alberto Villoldo

I don’t know why I got this book. I guess because I’m spiritual and into Yoga. At any rate, it was rather an disappointment to me. Clearly it was written for someone who already knew who Patanjali was and how to use the Sutras and that’s not me. I hadn’t a clue. There is some introductory text that talks about how the sacred feminine was once worshipped in India and how the evil Aryans came and tore power away from the Goddess, but there’s no sources provided to back up his assertions. This is followed by a bunch of translated Sutras, or sayings which are supposed to reveal divine truth if meditated upon, but I found most of them too clumsy and long to meditate on properly and, since the text was too busy talking about the divine feminine instead of explaining the Sutras themselves, I’m not sure I was doing it right.

All in all, I’m sorry I bought this book. I’m sure I’ll never pick it up again and I’m not sure it was worth the $10 I paid for it. I had it done in one bathtub reading session and came away feeling like I’d read yet another unsubstantiated ramble about how the evil men stole power from the once female rulers, which, as you know, just gives me a headache. I thought I was going to find information about integrating your Yoga into your spiritual practice, and maybe a little information about this Patanjali guy, but that was also scant.

Maybe this book would be useful for someone else. Someone who doesn’t mind, or enjoys reading rants about the stolen power of the sacred feminine (I personally think it’s been said and there’s nothing we can do about it, even if it is true, and we need to stop harping on it) and who already knows alot about Yoga Sutra. I am not that person. So I didn’t like it.