A remarkable investigation into the world of Bikram Yoga, by turns shocking, hilarious and enlightening.
Hell-Bent explores the fascinating, often surreal world of Bikram Yoga, a style taught to millions by a very living guru, Bikram Choudhury. Bikram Yoga is distinguished from more 'conventional' forms by the extreme heat it is practised in, an overt, almost masochistic focus on pain, and the rabid materialism of its founder. It is also distinguished by impressive results - sport stars such as David Beckham and Andy Murray swear by it, while body-conscious supermodels rave about its benefits, and even Prince Harry is rumoured to be a fan.
Benjamin Lorr walked into his first yoga studio on a whim, overweight and curious, and quickly found the yoga reinventing his life. He was content to slim down and tone up until a run-in with a competitive yoga champion convinced him to take his practice to the next level : to train for the national championship.
So begins a journey into the strange, amazing world of competitive yoga. Populated by athletic prodigies, wide-eyed celebrities, medical miracles, and predatory hucksters, Hell-Bent follows Lorr as he grapples with his new obsession : researching the health claims and history, humanising its maniacal guru, and eventually stepping on stage at the National Asana Championship to compete for glory.
The culmination of two years of research, 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 and corruption, and a mind-bending tale of personal transformation, it is a book that will not only challenge your conception of yoga, but change the way you view the fragile, inspirational potential of the human body.
About the Author
Benjamin Lorr graduated from Columbia University with a degree in creative writing. He is certified to teach Bikram Yoga and lives in New York.
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Comments about Hell-Bent:
I have been practising bikram for almost 3 years on and off. I always wondered who Bikram was. This well written, funny, insightful and incredibly honest book answers a lot of my questions. It delves into the Bikram yoga world and shows the blemishes and inspirations behind the scenes of all the dedicated Bikram community. It would probably put a lot of people off even starting Bikram but as most people know who even try one session, it is addictive, meditational, sweaty, transformational stuff. The book gave me new found respect for all the teachers who have done the training course described in the book. A great read regardless of your yogic leaning
Comments about Hell-Bent:
GREAT READ WITH INFORMATIVE AND INSPIRATIONAL WORDS
Extraordinarily thoughtful ... It is as once a searching act of self-examination, a fascinating scientific investigation, a brave spiritual endeavor, and a fair-minded look at one of yoga's most controversial icons. All in all, reading Hell-Bent makes for a wonderful, inspiring, maddening, complicated, edifying journey - and one that I was very happy to take Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love Just when you thought yoga couldn't get any hotter ... Here comes a New York insider's guide to the practice that is causing devotees to think again Daily Telegraph Hell Bent is witty and wise. If you don't practice yoga, read it anyway - you may learn something about the impulse for self-transcendence. And if you do practice yoga, you will laugh and cry with recognition New York Times Among the archness is an interesting debate about the interplay of the mental and physical in life - and sport - and how learning to use mind over body can achieve startling results Book of the Week, Independent Fascinating ... Hell-Bent is an inspiring, well-researched and hilarious account of one man's transformation into a postural yoga champ Australian Men's Fitness Didn't get into barefoot running after reading Christopher McDougall's best-selling Born to Run? You'll be inspired to strip down into your intimates for hot yoga after devouring this read Marie Claire
Number Of Pages: 312
Published: 1st November 2012
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.4 x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.479