N.p.: Smashwords, 2021. 48 pp., ebook. Available for download from https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1112319, $5.99.
The world is awash with self-help books purporting to improve or transform our lives. Some are deeply insightful; others are mediocre and in some cases irrelevant.
Occasionally an outstanding gem emerges, and this new offering from Teresa Keast firmly falls into this special category. Clearly written, engaging, and extremely easy to read, it offers deep, specific, and uncomplicated insights into our inner bodily and psychological workings and a highly practical approach to improving well-being. More than that, it can be applied by just about everyone.
In Hinduism, Makara is the crocodile creature guarding the gateways to places of spiritual worship and wisdom. Makarasana is a yoga technique designed to bridge the heart and mind in order to restore natural balance.
Negative emotions create barriers to the natural flow of subtle energies, which affects not only our vitality but our minds and bodies. These blockages play out as mental and physical problems, which can have a hugely detrimental effect on our lives.
These imbalances often lead to a bewildering array of negative emotions, such as feeling at odds with life, irrational anger, tension, resentment, frustration, and overreacting to other people and situations, which undermine our ability to deal with life’s thorny issues. Imbalances can also often manifest as unexplained aches and pains, fatigue, a loss of joy, and a general feeling of purposelessness and malaise.
The Makarasana yoga healing technique is all about restoring harmony. When successfully applied, it prevents us from being trapped in the difficult emotional maelstrom which dominates and indeed ruins so many people’s lives. In a nutshell, it involves accessing and applying intuitive wisdom.
Unlike some other methods, this technique is essentially very simple and easy to use. Requiring only between five and ten minutes a day, it’s suitable for people of all ages and backgrounds. It simply involves lying down on your front in a relaxed and comfortable crocodile position, which assists yogic deep breathing, that is, breathing from deep in the diaphragm rather than from just the chest. The breath itself is the key to opening blocked energy channels and relaxes the nervous system.
The tangible benefits of Makarasana are extensive but hinge on restoring equilibrium, balance, and vitality as well as promoting mindfulness, self-awareness, better sleep, and improved sexual and creative energies. But this is a far from exhaustive list of the many positives this easy-to-use technique offers.
None of this is dry or dead theory but is based on many years of hard-earned experience. Teresa Keast has spent her life exploring the Ageless Wisdom, along with thirty years working in stress management. For the past sixteen years, she has been teaching yoga and meditation as well as running self-development workshops and retreats. She also has degrees in both physical education and nutrition.
As an added bonus, the book comes complete with background guided audio and video meditations to help those who are newcomers to yoga techniques. Its real beauty lies not only in its straightforward approach but in the fact that it can be used by virtually anyone, whatever their age and state of health—from Olympic athletes to aging reviewers.
In an age of increasing complexity, something as astonishingly simple as this makes a very refreshing change and proves that we all have the inner resources to transform our lives if we choose to do so. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.
Tim Wyatt is an international lecturer for the Theosophical Society and founder of the School of Applied Wisdom in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. His book Everyone’s Book of the Dead was reviewed in Quest, summer 2021.