Book Review, Embody Lent

Yoga Scotland’s Kerry Cooper reviews Embody Lent written by Accredited Yoga Scotland Teacher Pauline Steenbergen

While there is a focus on Christianity, from an agnostic perspective, I found this book helped me to access spirituality in my own way, being mindful of my place on the earth and consuming all aspects of life within the context of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. The concepts in this verse affect us all, and they offered me the opportunity to reflect on their meanings for me.

The book is very practical and for each practice there is the opportunity to reflect on a short verse while working in asana (position and movement) and with the breath to allow a greater depth of mindfulness, giving time to reflect on each verse. The practices could be repeated over a period of time, for deeper reflection and study. I was challenged by the references to Jesus and God but feel this would be very accessible to those of the Christian faith or transferable to other faiths and maybe even none. The concepts are definitely accessible to anyone.

The descriptions of moving into poses and practising breathwork and changing from one movement to another are very clear and detailed. Anyone can follow these instructions without a teacher to guide, and one is encouraged to listen to your inner voice and make appropriate adjustments. I loved that there were options to use a chair which makes the postures accessible to anyone. Sketches help to consider a pose s a fluid movement or position that can be played with or explored.

While the book is a guide through lent, it could be used at any time as the concepts are ever-present.

A helpful list of postures with Sanskrit translated is included, and a reference for more information is helpful. Further reference to other related verses in the Bible is also given for guidance, along with a comprehensive list of references to invite the opportunity to ‘expand’ from the experiences offered in Embody Lent.

Pauline Steenbergen is leading workshops for Yoga Scotland online this summer (2024), ‘Spirituality in Your Yoga Class’. Visit our Workshops & CPD page to find out more. 

 You can also listen here to Pauline’s interview with Wild Goose host Ruth Harvey, who explores this book further. If you’re interested in buying this book, please visit eden.co.uk

You can find more information by following the link below.

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