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Review of "Eastern Body, Western Mind"

By Anodea Judith
Celestial Arts, 2004
Review by S. V. Swamy on Mar 14th 2006
Eastern Body, Western Mind

The title is rather intriguing and invites the reader who is interested in exploring his/her self. The author is a trained psychologist with additional qualifications in health and human services. She is also trained in bioenergetics, trauma recovery, yoga therapy etc.

The book starts with an introductory chapter that deals with human body, mind etc. and gives an introduction to the seven chakras. Each chakra is then dealt with in a separate chapter. The layout of the chapter on chakra one is given below:

·        Shades of Red

·        Unfolding the Petals

·        Growing the Lotus

·        Traumas and Abuses

·        Character Structure

·        Excess and Deficiency

·        Restoring the Lotus

·        Conclusion

 A similar structure is maintained for all the chapters on the chakras, which are followed by a concluding chapter.

Since an imbalance of any one chakra leads to imbalance of the other chakras too, a tabular presentation is given in each chapter relating the attributes associated with excess and deficiency of

each chakra in respect of some typical personalities (for example the first chakra has a table connecting it to the Schizoid  Character Structure).

As a layman with a good interest in and a moderate exposure to psychology, I found the author's discussions of the various examples of personalities and the real life examples interesting and educational.  As an Easterner with some background, I found her discussion of the chakras accurate. However, I felt that the attempt at an integration of these two aspects needs some more fine tuning, especially with respect to the style of presentation. I found the author's style rather heavy going at places.  

The book is rather exhaustive in its approach and is serious reading. Thus it may be difficult for the prospective buyer to decide whether to go for it or not after a cursory examination in a bookstore. I would however recommend the book to those who have a serious interest in the subject.

I would have liked to see photographs, not line drawings of different psychological profiles listed, and I would have also preferred to see some before-and-after photographs of the same people after chakra work.

Since the book requires multiple readings to be really understood and appreciated, it would have been a good idea to go in for hard-bound edition instead of a soft cover.

© 2006 S. V. Swamy


S. V. Swamy, India.

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