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Book Review: The Eight Human Talents

The Yogis Way to Restore the Balance and Serenity Within You


The Eight Human Talents

The Eight Human Talents

Author: Gurmukh (with Cathryn Michon)
ISBN: 0060195487
Publisher: Cliff Street Books / Harper Collins

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Well organized blend of Kundalini yoga, meditation, and the chakra system are laid out in Gurmukh's book entitled The Eight Human Talents: The Yogis Way to Restore the Balance and Serenity Within You.

The layout of eight individual chapters identifying with our individual energy centers (chakras) is thoughtfully done. Each chapter focuses on our eight energy centers (chakras). Gurmukh has assigned each chakra with a unique human talent.
  1. Acceptance
  2. Creativity
  3. Commitment
  4. Compassion
  5. Truth
  6. Intuition
  7. Boundlessness
  8. Radiance
A shadow emotion corresponds to the first seven chakras.
  1. Resentment
  2. Guilt
  3. Anger
  4. Fear
  5. Denial
  6. Depression
  7. Grief
The eighth Chakra (the auric field) does not have a shadow emotion. Various yoga poses and meditation exercises are given in each chapter that are specific to each chakra.

When reading a good book I will often sit with my body curled up, the whole time deeply entrenched into the cushions of a comfy chaise. While enjoying Gurmukh's inspirational stories of her life and the lives of her yoga students I also did this. Except, that as I turned the pages I would find myself at times unfolding my comfortable body from the chaise only to refold my body into various yoga poses upon the floor. Instructions for different poses designed for balancing each chakra center are given in each chapter with helpful drawings. And well... I couldn't just ignore them. They were merely too tempting not to go ahead and give them a try "Johnny on the Spot" to see how they would feel.

Corpse Pose, Spinal Fles, Crow Pose

For the first chakra I would attempt the corpse pose, the spinal flex, and the crow pose. In the next chapter (chakra 2) I would find myself on my feet doing pelvic thrusts and later crouched to the floor assuming the frog pose (a favorite!), and so on. Along with the yoga poses, meditation exercises are also given to restore health and to bring serenity to each energy center.

What I like very much about this book is that a person who has already acknowledged which Human Talent (and corresponding shadow emotion) needs attention can turn to those pages. They can choose to work on that particular area by devoting themselves to doing those specific poses and meditations for that energy center. Gurmukh suggests a commitment of 40 days once you've found a single pose or sequence of poses/meditations to address a problem. I'm not real sure I'm ready to commit myself to the 40 day celibacy meditation offered for the second chakra (maybe next year), but there are a couple of other areas I'm considering. For anyone not aware of which chakra centers in their bodies are imbalanced, reading the teachings within each chapter will help lead them toward knowing the areas that are crying out for help.

Kundalini Yoga, also known as Awareness Yoga, stimulates the nervous and immune systems, improves strength and flexibility, centers the mind, and opens the spirit.

About the Author: Gurmukh is a pioneer in yoga and the mind-body-spirit connection. Based in Los Angeles, Gurmukh teaches Kundalini Yoga, meditation, and pre-and-post-natal care. She founded the Golden Bridge Yoga Center, where she is the director and senior teacher. Her clientele has included Madonna, Courtney Love, Annette Bening, David Duchovny, Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Lynn Fenn, Tim Burton, Lisa Marie, and Rosanna Arquette. She has been featured in many magazines, including Vogue, W, and InStyle. She teaches all over the world, from India to Europe to the United States. Her kind, compassionate wisdom and counsel touch the life of everyone she meets.
Cathryn Michon is an award-winning actress, writer, and stand-up comic. Her stand-up show, The Grrl Genius Club, at the world-famous Hollywood Improv, has played to sold-out audiences monthly for two and a half years. She also is an accomplished playwright and the coauthor of Jane Austen's Little Advice Book.

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