THE HEART AND SCIENCE OF YOGA
THE AMERICAN MEDITATION INSTITUTE’S
Empowering Self-Care Program for a Happy, Healthy, Joyful Life
by Leonard Perlmutter
with Jenness Cortez Perlmutter
Foreward Magazine Book Review
Reviewed by Angela Woltman
April 17, 2017
Comprehensive, accessible, and eye-opening, The Heart and Science of Yoga is a definitive guide on living an empowered, fulfilled life.
Art dealer turned spiritual teacher Leonard Perlmutter writes with compassion, wisdom, and empathy as he describes his journey along a path of enlightenment in The Heart and Science of Yoga.
First, it’s important to realize that this book is not about the practice of yoga as Westerners think of it, though there is a chapter devoted to the breath-based exercise routine. This book is a full-fledged description of what it takes to live a holistic life free from painful attachments and fear.
Touching on topics as widespread as meditation, chakras, Ayurvedic medicine, and the dangers of the ego, the book provides a self-care program that would transform the way many in Western culture think and act. It encourages incorporation of Eastern thought, allowing those who practice the method to essentially live in today’s busy society without sacrificing health and inner peace.
Perlmutter came from the traditional Western mindset of achievement, wealth accumulation, and stress. It was only later in life that he and his wife, artist Jenness Cortez Perlmutter, began to study yoga and change the way they lived. This journey to enlightenment served them as they dealt with the unpredictable and often insincere world of business.
The book is part textbook, part study guide, and part personal memoir. Chapters are short and well defined, making it easy to read at short intervals and gain knowledge into a specific portion of yoga science. Tips are present in nearly every chapter so that concepts can be experimented with and put into immediate action. Pictures and illustrations help to demonstrate some of the more abstract concepts and constitute nearly the whole section on the easy and gentle yoga program that is recommended.
The personal memoir portion of the book ties in well with the more scholarly and spiritual aspects. Seeing how one couple slowly put this program into action in their own lives and how it transformed them is enlightening and motivating. It also makes the book less about preaching and more about revelation. The tone of the book is consistently empathetic and makes the newcomer to spiritual practices feel at home and comfortable with the topics being discussed. Fables, stories from religious texts, and anecdotes also serve to provide context and deepen the understanding of certain concepts.
The lengthy book is not a light volume that can be taken in all at once. It serves more as a guidebook that can be used for reference. Chapters build on each other to create a full picture yet stand alone well enough to serve as refreshers.
Midwest Book Review
Reviewed by Helen Dumont
Synopsis: “The Heart and Science of Yoga: Empowering Self-Care Program for a Happy, Healthy, Joyful Life” provides an encyclopedic introduction to Yoga Science. The American Meditation Institute founder Leonard Perlmutter shares his extraordinary knowledge of the world’s oldest and most practical mind/body medicine. As one of the West’s foremost guides to understanding the nature of consciousness, Leonard gently leads his readers to a realization of the profound wisdom and power that they already possess.
“The Heart and Science of Yoga” is both the record of a personal journey and a transformational teaching. In its pages the reader will be presented a series of easy-to-learn meditations, prayers, teaching stories from the world’s great spiritual traditions, breathing practices, a user’s guide for the mind, techniques for accessing intuitive wisdom, an introduction to ancient Ayurvedic health principles and a holistic series of easy-gentle yoga exercises.
As modern medicine rediscovers and systematically documents the physical, mental and emotional benefits of Yoga, millions of Americans from all walks of life are incorporating the timeless practices of this ancient science into their lives. Whether a beginner or a long-time student, Leonard provides loving support and valuable insights to advance understanding, deepen practice and nurture Self-transformation. Yoga Science promises that through the process of personal experimentation you too can access an inner reservoir of creativity to make every relationship rewarding no matter what.
“The Heart and Science of Yoga” is the first, comprehensive Yoga Science curriculum accredited by the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association and American Psychological Association for continuing medical education credit.
Critique: An empowering guide to a happy, healthy and joyful life, “The Heart and Science of Yoga” is exceptionally well written, impressively informative, thoroughly ‘reader friendly’ in organization and presentation. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections, “The Heart and Science of Yoga” should be considered fundamentally essential reading for all students and practitioners of yoga.