The Warrior’s Path: Living Yoga’s Ten Codes
By Derek Beres
Derek Beres has yanked yoga’s ethical mandates out of the museums of academia and orientalist romance to squarely look at their meaning and value in the here and now. In this well-referenced and pragmatic gem of a book, Beres holds the yamas and niyamas to the light of recent discoveries in neuroscience and biomedicine, and to the fire of our thorniest ethical dilemmas. His deft writing thrusts and parries towards a lucidity that is neither overdetermined nor abstract, empowering the earnest reader at every turn to think critically, independently, and in resistance to the same old normative crap. This is an essential volume of moral philosophy for yoga students everywhere. I’ll be strongly recommending it to every training director I work with worldwide, because it proves that through the doorway of asana, a vibrant heritage of dignity through discourse still awaits us.”—Matthew Remski, author of Threads of Yoga and the WAWADIA project
In The Warrior’s Path, veteran author and yoga instructor Derek Beres explores these ten yogic codes by looking into what these disciplines once entailed as well as, more broadly, investigating their role in modern culture through the lens of neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and moral/developmental psychology. The creator of Flow Play, a national program at Equinox Fitness spotlighting the intersection of yoga, music and neuroscience, Beres uses his research as a springboard for looking into how our brains and bodies operate and what that means for yoga today. An inquisitive and insightful work, The Warrior’s Path not only aids us in understanding the roots of yoga better, it helps the modern yogi practice the ethical and moral sentiments in this millennia-old practice while teaching us how to relate to others and deal with our own emotions, subsequently strengthening our relationship to the planet itself.
“Beres uses the Yoga Sutras’ yamas & niyamas as a jumping off point for a rich and varied discussion of evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, ethics, social systems, and self-transformation…. A well written and a stimulating read. Patanjali made relevant as a way of organizing some key areas of modern inquiry! His style is neither pedantic nor tinged with religiosity, and certainly not prey to the usual idealizing of ancient otherworldly claims and the mysteries of the East. It rather has a journalistic tone that surveys current thinking from a dizzying number of research-based sources to make fresh again the contemplation of central questions that should be part of any considered life.”—Julian Walker, author of Devil in the Details and Awakened Heart, Embodied Mind