Author: Sabrina Mesko
Trade Paperback, 137 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Wellspring
Publication date: February 2000
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I anticipated working with this book for quite some
time. While I still think there are things to look
forward to in working with it, I must admit that I am
largely disappointed with it.
Mudras are hand asanas or postures that have specific
meanings and uses. The idea is that there is
significance to how these positions affect the nadis
or energy channels in the physical and energetic body.
The author refers to the difficulty she had in
finding information on the art of mudra, and sadly has
chosen to boil it down to single-page instructions
with no suggestions for further research.
Even more of a concern to me, however, is that the
book specifically states that no prior experience with
yoga is necessary. While for about 95% of what she
presents, I agree, though certainly the deeper one’s
understanding of yoga the more one is likely to get
out of the practice of mudras, there is one specific
practice that concerns me. That is called the “breath
of fire.” As a lay person with only about a year and
a half of experience as a student of yoga, I am very
concerned that anyone would be encouraged to try this
breathing practice on their own with about a paragraph
of instruction. At best, they simply would not get
it. At worst, they might get just enough of it to end
up hyperventilating. I really do not think it is wise
to attempt this practice without first having some
in-person instruction, and believe it is quite
irresponsible to present it as something one can
easily attempt with the minimal instruction given.
With this concern in mind, I do still think the book
has value as an introduction to the art of mudra.
However, for more in-depth research, the reader is
left on their own to find either print or live
Reviewed by Diane DancingFirefly