Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review: Anywhere, Anytime, Any Body Yoga

If you've never practiced yoga because you believe it belongs to the realm of the skinny and flexible, then it's time to change your perspective. While yoga is practiced by skinny men and women who can contort themselves into the oddest of positions, yoga bests benefits the rest of the world...you know, us normal people.

"Anywhere, Anytime, Any Body Yoga" by Emily Slonina shows us all that yoga isn't restricted to those who are already fit, but can be practiced by the overweight, the elderly, and even the wheelchair-bound. Using models that represent every body type, except the ultra-thin, Slonina provides extensive pictures of various poses and their alternates that can be performed sitting or standing, on the floor or in the office chair, alone or even with a grandchild.

The book is divided into different sections relaxation, meditation, of course, the poses. It does lack a deeper dive into some of the mental aspects of practicing yoga, but considering it's size and price, this book is hard to beat, especially when considering the target audience.

If you've always wanted to try yoga and gain the benefits of regular practice, but have felt intimiated by stereotypes, then this is the book for you.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Book Review: "Reduce Your Cancer Risk"

I recently reviewed a book I found extremely informative and enlightening. I've posted that review here::

"Reduce Your Cancer Risk" has to be one of the best books I've read on the topic in many years. It exceeded my expectations in so many areas, I don't know where to begin.

I had expected the authors to either bore me with endless statistics that would eventually make my eyes glaze over, or, I expected to be condescended with sentences and vocabulary aimed to the lowest common denominator of reading skill. But instead, I was pleasantly surprised by the intelligent yet common sense tone of the text mixed with a good balance of supporting documentation and facts.

Even though I have considered myself well versed on the topics of health and nutrition, especially for someone not in the medical profession, I learned something new with nearly every page in the book. (I must confess that I skimmed two chapters that did not apply to me: tobacco and 'when you've already had cancer.').

If you read with a highlighter or ink pen, bring more than one, because you'll definite use them up as you read this. I've recommended and shown this to friends, although I won't loan it out for fear of not getting it back. This is worth owning, reading, and referring to time and time again. The information packed within will have you re-examining and evaluating your lifestyle choices and the impacts those choices have on your long-term health.

The only beef I have with this wonderful book is: first, the stance of support for censoring Hollywood to remove smoking from its films, which I believe is naïve; and second, no mention that I noticed about the connection between general oral health and the link to increased risks of other types of cancer. The only other concern I have is in the Obesity and Cancer chapter in which the author passively supports fad diets as a way of initiating weight loss, i.e., Atkins, South Beach, etc. Those short term solutions never have the lasting effect that straight forward exercise and diet-control have, and in some cases have the opposite effect.

All in all, this book belongs on every bookshelf in every home in the country.