Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Tigress and the Yogi by Shelley Schanfield

A talking tigress. A wandering yogi. A young woman’s journey through an ancient land where chaos threatens gods and mortals alike.

A tigress speaks to the outcaste girl Mala, and she flees in terror only to collide with an old yogi. She offers him shelter, and in return he spins wondrous tales and awakens her hunger for forbidden spiritual knowledge.

Thus begins her quest for freedom. On her journey she meets gods and goddesses, outlaws and kings, and the young prince prophesied to become the Buddha, but when she loses everything she loves, her quest goes terribly wrong. She descends into madness, worshipping a dark goddess and mastering occult powers. Yoga’s path could lead her back to the light, but inner demons guard the way, and she must summon the courage to face them or wander in darkness forever.

Love it!

It has been awhile since I've been very engrossed in a story. This one mixes Buddhism, Indian's Mythology and you eagerly turn the pages to know what will happen next.

I've really enjoyed Mala's tale even if her path is not an easy one. She has overcome a lot of pain and suffering, tried a lot of roads to be able to let go of her anger and revenche desire.
As for Kirsa, I can't wait to learn what the author has for her in store. I'm sure I will have to keep the kleenex nearby!

Well written and entertaining, I've really spent a great time with this book.

"The lotus has its roots in the dark mud and opens its pure flower to the infinite sky, the way we all have darkness within and struggle to reach the light"

“Within each of us is understanding of the whole universe. You had the right idea – close your eyes to see better!”
“You can’t pretend what you did as Angulimala didn’t happen.” Asita’s sharp tone stooped the tears of self-pity threatening Mala. “If you try, it will become a dark shadow that follows you. At first, you ight be able to ignore it, but the more you do that, the more power you give it. Then you will try to run from it, but you can never escape. You can only dispel the shadow by entering its darkness, accepting what you’ve done, taking the lessons you’ve learned from it and using them for good.”

“Some sages say that what we call reality is just a shared hallucination.”

About the author
The martial arts awakened Shelley Schanfield's fascination with Buddhism and yoga. It happened fifteen years ago, when she and her son were pursuing black belts in Tae Kwon Do in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Tae Kwon Do, like all the Eastern martial arts, includes techniques developed by Buddhist monks to calm and focus the mind. These techniques gave her a refuge and source of strength when devastating illness struck her family. She set out to learn as much as she could about the Buddha’s methods and how he developed them.

It helped to be a librarian. At first in the dusty stacks of the University of Michigan libraries and later on the internet, Shelley immersed herself in research on the time, place, and spiritual traditions that 2500 years ago produced Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. Yoga, in some form, has a role in all of these traditions. While studying yoga’s history, Shelley was inspired to begin her own practice.

Her research sparked her curiosity about early Buddhist women, including Yasodhara, who became Siddhartha’s wife. Because she loves historical fiction, she conceived the mad idea of writing a novel of the Buddha's time. (If only she'd known what she was getting in to...)

Thus began the Sadhana trilogy.

Shelley hung up her black belt to practice Iyengar yoga. Both disciplines have enriched her world and the world of her books.

*Arc provided by Netgalley
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

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