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• Shares a series of simple, practical, and profound conscious breathing, movement, and meditation exercises that help you bypass the ego-centered mind, open your heart, and live in the present moment
• Developed through the author’s decades of work with cancer patients
When we face death, we learn to release the small anxieties and insecurities that can afflict us in daily life and live life fully in the present moment. Without the ego-shattering blow of a terminal diagnosis, these life-giving practices usually only come about after decades of spiritual practice. However, it is possible to embrace these lessons from the dying and discover our own gentle confidence, inner stillness, and heart-centered way of being long before we face the end of life.
Through decades of teaching yoga and meditation to cancer patients, William Yang witnessed hundreds of breakthroughs into radical presence and open-heartedness. In many ways, his patients taught him more than he taught them. From this collaboration with the sick and dying, Yang developed a series of simple, practical, and profound conscious breathing, movement, and meditation exercises that help to bypass the ego-centered mind, open the heart, and live fearlessly in the present moment. Yang’s exercises begin with an invitation to rediscover a natural and unforced way of breathing, so we can let go of our anxious ego and let life in again. From there, enlarging the sequence step by step, the author focuses on grounding and connecting with Mother Earth, working with the spine to develop a new sense of self-confidence, and opening the heart to love again.
As we shed elements of the stressed, anxious person we once were, we are able to be more attuned to the world around us in a loving and caring way. Through the lessons learned from his cancer patients, Yang shows how, with courage and compassion, we can live and love without reservation at any time in our lives.
“William Yang takes you on a profound journey of awakening through a step-by-step program that anyone can understand, explore, and benefit hugely from. Dive into these teachings wholeheartedly, and you will transform your relationship with life and death both.”
Will Johnson, author of Breathing through the Whole Body
“This is a brave and passionate book that should be in every yoga lover’s backpack. It shows that yoga is far more than the beneficial physical exercise it has often been reduced to in our materialist culture, and it demonstrates with precise verve how doing yoga can provide a foundation of galvanized yet peaceful energy for the courageous work of sacred activism and for rising gracefully to the brutal challenges of our time.”
Andrew Harvey, coauthor of Heart Yoga
“There is more to yoga than staying limber, youthful, and healthy. The confrontation with the vulnerability of the body and the finite nature of life is an essential moment of spiritual learning. William has collected precious lessons about courage, compassion, and love in the years he has worked with people who have cancer. He has brought these lessons together in this book, opening up a deeper dimension in yoga. His exercises are simple, yet profound and very energetic. They help you embrace the totality of life and enjoy the depth of the moment. William Yang’s work has become a source of inspiration for many yoga teachers and their students. I can heartily recommend this book.”
Lea Vos, former director of Zweiersdal, center for yoga and continuing education of yoga teachers
“William Yang invites people to take the journey into the depth of their own being. If people are willing to investigate their life in the face of death, all false solutions will be destroyed. This book is not only for the sick but for all those affected by the incurable disease of life. Yoga of Courage and Compassion is remarkable.”
Drs. Nol Hogema, OP, former director of the Han Fortman Center