Yoga in its original form was created as a science for liberation, but in modern times it is used by many for improving physical and mental health, helping us become more productive at work, more caring in relationships, and more responsible contributors to society and inhabitants of this planet. If yoga does accomplish all that—and many practitioners have experienced this to be true in their own lives—how exactly does yoga do it? How does yoga work?
Believe it or not, there are scientific answers based on 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 scientific perspective how the human nervous system is wired. It describes the mechanics 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.
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 – one that touches on the history, terminology, and forms of modern yoga, and attempts a scientific explanation for why it’s so effective. It is erudite but approachable, and ambitious without overreaching. 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 the parlance of 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, NYU School of Medicine
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., NYT best-selling author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom and Hardwiring Happiness
“In my 50 years of practicing the TM 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. Along the way, Eddie Stern gives us a yoga history lesson, and shows the relevance of yoga practices in today’s world. It fills a void in the world of yoga literature regarding what makes yoga work.”
– Bob Roth, CEO of David Lynch Foundation and author of NYT bestseller Strength in Stillness
“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 bodies and minds.”
– P. Murali Doraiswamy, Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine, Duke University Health System
Writing from broad knowledge and deep practice, Eddie Stern compassionately interweaves contemporary science and ancient yogic wisdoms to give us One Simple Thing. This book should point the way forward equally for aspiring yogis and for practitioners of healing sciences and arts.
-Neil Theise, MD, Diagnostic Liver Pathologist, Adult Stem Cell Researcher, and Zen Buddhist practitioner