This is a rather long review but I posted it here because of the emotion this reader had as a result of my experience in one of the many Ashtanga Yoga workshops I have attended. I completely understand as I, too, have been struck with such emotion whilst listening to other people explain their experiences that were similar to mine but I failed to understand them or relate to them at the time.
Love the book, it tells of healing that the practice brings. Take, for example, how humility is learned:
Specifically a chapter called: 'I Need Help' the time when he had been practicing Ashtanga for two years and recounts the time David came accross Paul Dallaghan (my own TT teacher in Thailand) at a workshop.
He says he started the workshop by asking Paul to help him bind in Mari D. A difficult twisting position for which the binding of the hands looks impossible at first sight.
On the first day he got help but did not bind. On the second day Paul helped him again and he did bind, albeit only the right side. On the third day he got the bind, both sides. He wanted more. Now get this...
After binding he decided to re-set his goal and put a 90 day moratorium on when he should be able to bind by himself. Nice and early he got to the room the fourth (out of five) day and announced this to Paul who gave him a look which was: "a cross between What is wrong with you? and I can't believe you haven't figured this out yet".
Paul said: "David, yoga is not a game or a contest. Yoga is like life. We are supposed to live in the moment [.....] not into a string of self imposed goals which mean very llittle at the end of the day"
On the fourth and fifth day David tried to catch Paul's attention when time for Mari D came. He waited, sat, waited. Nothing. No Paul. He was "busy". David says he got angry about this and confronted Paul at the end of the workshop.
As soon as Paul saw him approach he asked: "I saw you during class today. Didn't get into it, did you?" - David replied with anger that of course he had not because he needed help.
"But I did help" said Paul..."I got you into the asana several times. I did that because I wanted you to see that it was possible. But if I continued to assist you, you would lean on me and the next instructor like a crutch and you'll never be able to do it on your own"
I went silent there. "The best way for me to help you was not to"
There are other stories like this one. Stories that inspire me. A great read.