I stumbled across The Reluctant Yogi: A quirky guide to the practice that can  change your life when Amazon were doing a big Kindle book sale and offering lots of titles for a lower than usual price. (Kindles are lethal for this – I buy far too many books in one go because it’s so easy…) I fancied something light and entertaining that might resonate with me and The Reluctant Yogi seemed to tick all the boxes, not least because the cover image suggests it’s not going to take itself too seriously…

The author, Carla McKay,is a novelist and former editor at the Daily Mail and this book charts her journey (sorry for X Factor-esque terminology) from yoga skeptic to  yoga convert. There’s no messing about with her initial views; she opens the book with the line “Yoga has been hijacked by celebrities, new-age nuts and airhead fashionistas as a hip tool for modern living.”

Kindle, mat and yogi toes!

Kindle, mat and yogi toes!

But McKay has written the book because, despite having these views, on taking up yoga herself, she quickly realised that it’s a practice that can (and should!) be undertaken by anyone, whatever their age and fitness levels. It’s the equivalent of a yogi friend telling you not to worry about any new-age nonsense, you should come to a class with them.

In fact, McKay’s skepticism is what makes the book interesting for a reader – while she doesn’t hold with much of the commercialisation of yoga and some of the alternative thinking that can go with it, she is evangelical on the difference that practicing yoga can make to your life and the book includes the results of scientific studies on the effects of yoga on the brain.

If you’re a very experienced yoga practitioner who fell into scorpion pose in your first class, then The Reluctant Yogi probably isn’t the book for you. But if you’ve ever felt a bit baffled or overwhelmed by the yoga world (no matter how long ago) or know someone who is, then it’s well worth a read.

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