Thursday, April 08, 2010

Review: Out of the Cage

Eric Peters is my neighbour. I met him at a BBQ, but really didn't get to know him until I started to develop my own yoga practice. Like some of the people Eric has helped in the past, I have been suffering with back and neck problems for many years. Haunching over computers, anxious about impending deadlines and generally not taking care of my body has been the source of my problems. In Eric's little book he tells a much more serious tale. His book is very readable, I devoured it in a matter of hours. It is quite candid and if you know Eric his voice is clear on every page. Eric's pain led him into a serious narcotics addiction, and I find he is a bit overly concerned about the use of narcotics today (maybe rightly so though). But the real strength of this story is how he describes the yoga practice as a means to truly get to know one's self. I have found this true too. There is something about bringing awareness to the present moment that is liberating - he proposes a strategy for facing the truth of our situation, not hiding from it (such as through narcotics) or pretending it doesn't exist (fantasizing), but really being present to the way we are in that moment. I think this is good advice. And Eric does a much better job explaining it in an accessible and compelling way. This is not a book on how to do yoga, but a testimonial and encouragement to make some of the more important principles of yoga a part of your daily life practice. If you are at all interested in being free from chronic pain, or even in what the possible benefits of yoga might be, then this book is for you.

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