Cracked the cover and wondered when I had gotten the book wet. Did I take it to the pool? I was so relieved when I saw H20 dmg of 1st 80 pgs. Now, if I can only locate the two copies of Cooking Light that are hiding from me...
Benjamin Lorr arrives at a Bikram yoga studio fat fat. His words not mine.
One evening at a party, I overheard a good friend say, "It looks a lot like Ben ate Ben." (14)
Early on in the book, Lorr gives feeback from Dr. Yeargin, a sweat scientist who studies heat. I like what she says about fainting.
When you faint, your body is essentially commanding you to lie down fast. The new orientation makes it easier to get blood to the brain. (35)Don't ask me why I like information like that...
There are several stories in Hell-Bent (and elsewhere) about yoga working for people with debilitating knee and back pain or addiction but what will draw a lot of people to this book is a look into the world of Bikram yoga founder, Bikram Choudhury, who has multiple lawsuits against him. When I saw part of a deposition with Choudhury responding to a suit, he came off as petulant and dishonest. After reading Lorr's book, I'm pretty sure that those lawsuits have merit.
There has long been talk about the absurdity of letting Bikram copyright yoga postures and how he doesn't embody the true spirit of yoga. I like how Lorr addresses narcissism and charisma in his book. Lorr talks to Eleanor Payson, a therapist, about narcissism:
"A narcissistic relationship is a one-way street," Eleanor explains, "Once you engage the narcissist, the dynamic increasingly takes place on his terms -- each encounter dictated by his moods and whims, and inevitably serving his agenda..." (208)There are times when I'm in yoga class and get frustrated by eagle pose or the fact that I can barely lift my arms when my hands are clasped behind my back and I know it's because strength training has made my body rigid to a certain degree so what Tony Sanchez, an "excommunicated" Bikram teacher, said resonated with me:
..."Most yogis believe yoga is a total solution -- that yoga will cure all their problems. If you tell them that you run or lift weights, they'll act like you are betraying them...This is utter nonsense...Actually, it is worse, it is fraud and will end up harming people. Yoga is a system for maintaining one aspect of your health..." (263)