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One Simple Thing

A New Look at the Science of Yoga and How It Can Transform Your Life

Eddie Stern; Foreword by Deepak Chopra

North Point Press

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ISBN10: 0865477809
ISBN13: 9780865477803

Trade Paperback

320 Pages



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Yoga was created as a science for liberation, but in modern times it is used by many to improve physical and mental health, helping us become more productive at work, more caring in relationships, more responsible contributors to society, and better inhabitants of this planet. If yoga does accomplish all that—as many practitioners report—how exactly does yoga do it? How does yoga work?

Believe it or not, the answers lie in how the human body and mind function. Eddie Stern’s One Simple Thing: A New Look at the Science of Yoga and How It Can Transform Your Life explains from both a yogic and a scientific perspective how the human nervous system is wired. It describes the mechanics taking place beneath the surface of our bodies and shows how we can consciously use yogic practices to direct and change our lives in positive ways.

Drawing on modern neuroscience, ancient wisdom, and decades of practice and teaching, Eddie Stern reveals how what we do—from diet to chanting, from postures to meditation, from ethical practices to breathing techniques—affects who we become, and how a steady routine of activities and attitudes can transform our bodies, our brain functions, our emotions, and our experience of life.


Praise for One Simple Thing

"You can feel Eddie's compassion shining through every page of this book. His genuine wish that we could all be optimally happy, healthy, strong and more at peace in our lives is coupled with his direct knowledge of and skill in transmitting the heart of yoga. Covering yoga's transformative potential for body, mind and spirit, Eddie clearly knows of which he speaks. The book, therefore, is an ideal combination of inspiration and practical tools all at once."—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

“This is a formidable book. Mr. Stern is not a scientist, but he has made convincing scientific arguments for why yoga works—often highlighting how foundational yoga principles have parallels in traditional science. This book is a welcome addition to the growing body of work attempting to establish a unifying theory of modern medicine through the intermingling of Eastern and Western traditions.”—Erich Anderer, MD, neurosurgeon, New York University School of Medicine

“In my fifty years of practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique, I’ve come to see that simplicity in practice is the one thing that helps people access the deepest levels of their own being. One Simple Thing captures the perfect balance between yoga and science, and shows the mechanisms that allow yoga to be such an effective practice for so many people. It fills a void in the world of yoga literature.”—Bob Roth, CEO of David Lynch Foundation and author of New York Times bestseller Strength in Stillness

“An insightful and accessible synthesis of the science of yoga from an expert at the top of his game. A must-read for anyone looking to transform their body and mind.”—P. Murali Doraiswamy, professor of psychiatry and medicine, Duke University Health System

“Written from broad knowledge and deep practice, One Simple Thing should point the way forward equally for aspiring yogis and for practitioners in the healing sciences and arts.”—Neil Theise, MD, diagnostic liver pathologist, adult stem cell researcher, and Zen Buddhist practitioner

"This lovely book shows how ancient wisdom and modern science can enrich each other. Eddie Stern is both deeply trained in yoga and highly informed about psychology and the brain. He puts it all together in very practical ways, showing how to develop lasting calm, love, and inner peace."—Rick Hanson, Ph.D., author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt



IF THERE IS A SPIRITUAL practice that has been mocked, lampooned, and stereotyped in the West, it’s yoga. And why not? Western yogis are easy to make fun of. With our top-knots, expensive leggings, chia...

About the author

Eddie Stern; Foreword by Deepak Chopra

Eddie Stern and his wife, Jocelyn, are the cofounders of Ashtanga Yoga New York, the Brooklyn Yoga Club, and the Brooklyn Ganesha Temple. They studied under the Ashtanga yoga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois from 1991 until his passing in 2009. Stern has published several books on Pattabhi Jois and Ashtanga yoga, including a translation of Pattabhi Jois’s 1960 treatise, Yoga Mala. He is the coauthor, with Guy Donahaye, of Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Through the Eyes of His Students and the coeditor/copublisher of Namarupa magazine.

(c) Michael Halsband

Eddie Stern

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