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Of mythology that nurtured yoga, follow 4 women who turned Silicon Valley on its head, sharpen your vocabulary (IANS Books This Weekend)

Friday - July 12, 2019 6:04 pm , Category : ART & LITERATURE
New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) Fear of yoga being culturally appropriated by the West has prompted many teachers to disassociate it from its heritage, focusing more on the body and less on the mind - a misconception that this primer seeks to reverse; then, read the story about four gusty women who took on Silicon Valley and made deals of a lifetime; and finally a handy guide to improving your linguistic skills.
There's plenty on the IANS bookshelf to keep you occupied this weekend.
1. Book: Yoga Mythology - 64 Asanas And Their Stories; Author: Devdutt Pattanaik with Mathew Rulli; Publisher: Harper Collins; Pages: 326; Price: Rs 499
"Yoga Mythology" begins with a caveat: "This is not a book on the practice of yoga. This is about the mythology that nurtured the idea of yoga.
With the ground rules being this set, it goes on to examine through line drawings, images and text the complete 64 asanas of yoga in four sections - Devi, Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. This is something rarely found in one volume.
The book uses various yoga postures as inspiration to lead into the world of Hindu mythology with occasional detours into Jain and Buddhist mythology. "These three mythologies that emerged from the Indian subcontinent are all based on the concept of rebirth, and all three of them value yoga as a technology that prepares the body to realise its highest physical, psychological, emotional, intellectual, mystical and occult potential," the book says.
2. Book: Alpha Girls; Author: Julian Guthrie; Publisher: Piatcus; Pages: 288; Price: Rs 599
Remember these names: Magdalena Yesil, Mary Jane Elmore, Theresia Gouw and Sonja Hoel.
Yesil arrived in the US with $43 to her name and would go on to help Marc Benioff build Salesforce, one of the world's largest cloud-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) firms; Elmore went from the cornfields of Indiana to Stanford and on to the storied venture capital firm IVP where she was one of the first women in the US to make partner; Gouw, a first generation Asian American, helped companies including Facebook, Trulia, Imperva and ForeScout; Hoel, the first woman investing partner at Menlo Ventures, invested in McAffe, Hotmail, Acme Packet and F5 Networks.
"They would be betrayed when they least expected it. Silicon valley, temming with youthful testosterone, is a deceptively rough arena, where bullying, bias, dysfunction and subjugation are part of the rules of engagement. But in the end...these resilient daughters of merchants, teachers, dentists and immigrants would come to realise there was only one way to shake up the industry they loved: by breaking and remaking its rules," award winning journalist Guthrie writes.
3. Book: Improve Your Word Power - Test and Build Your Vocabulary; Author: Caroline Taggart; Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books Limited; Pages: 192; Price: Rs 250
The book begins with 20 questions under the broad head "Animal, Vegetable or Mineral" and I must confess it had me floored.
There's no formal scoring system for the 35 themed quizzes, and a score of 15 is "not bad, while a score of under 10 is not great", Taggart writes.
"It's up to how competitive you make it, with friends and family or with yourself. The important thing is to enjoy yourself. If you learn something along the way, so much the better," she adds.

--IANS vm/bc