Mariana Caplan—a yogic and Western psychology scholar, psychotherapist, and student of renowned modern-day mystics—explores how yoga and contemporary psychology can transform and complement each other to create a new discipline that gives us insights and practices applicable in the yoga studio, therapy room, or amid the rush of daily life. Through original research, clinical findings, Caplan's own experiences, and many practices, Yoga & Psyche takes us on an in-depth exploration of this emerging new terrain.
“As we gain greater understanding about the body’s response to psychological wounding, the integration of psychotherapy with body-based introspective wisdom traditions is producing new, more effective pathways to healing from trauma. This book is an important contribution to that endeavor. It is clearly written and comprehensively researched, providing a valuable resource of information and insight.” —Judith Blackstone, PhD, founder of the Realization Process and author of Belonging Here, The Intimate Life, and The Self-Acceptance Project
“Seamlessly weaving yoga, neuroscience, somatics, and psychotherapy with the latest research, Mariana's work is accessible, practical, and intelligent. She integrates yoga and psychology through personal stories and hands-on practices to generate the possibility for clear transformation.” —Elena Brower, author of Art of Attention and Practice You
“Mariana Caplan is a highly integrative thinker and writer, and in her new book, Yoga and Psyche, she has given us an extremely useful, detailed, and much needed look at the current interface between the worlds of psychotherapy and yoga. These two worlds—and their oft-differing views about the nature of human possibility—have been interacting much more frequently over the past several decades, but not always with clarity. Dr. Caplan brings this much-needed clarity in her very comprehensive new book. She skillfully examines the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience, trauma theory, and physiology in ways that shed tremendous light on the real challenges that face the contemporary practitioner of yoga, meditation, and the contemplative arts. All of us in the field should be most grateful for this book, which will certainly become a must-read in the field.” —Stephen Cope, Senior Scholar-in-Residence at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self and The Wisdom of Yoga
“I now keep this book beside my mat in my yoga room for reference, as these exercises can be repeated to deepen my practice over time.” —Hilary Wiltshire, Bad Yogi Magazine
“In this clear, comprehensive, and touchingly personal guide, Mariana Caplan unites ancient and contemporary maps to the journey into full humanity. Through rigorous research and unflinching personal inquiry, she has created an indispensable resource for yoga teachers and students, psychotherapists and clients, and any spiritual seeker who wants to illuminate the shadows of their chosen path.” —Anne Cushman, author of Enlightenment for Idiots: A Novel and Moving into Meditation
“To claim our genuine inheritance as fully integrated human beings, capable of navigating the intricacies of everyday life, we must achieve both spiritual and psychological competency. Unfortunately, the two paths of spiritual awakening and psychological integration have often been viewed as separate undertakings. Too often yoga has emphasized spiritual competency while neglecting psychological integration, and psychological exploration has left spiritual self-realization by the wayside. Yoga & Psyche, Mariana Caplan’s latest book, strikes a resonant chord for our modern era by recognizing the necessity of embracing both psychological and spiritual realization in order for us to embody our true potential as fully awake human beings. Caplan offers us a comprehensive view that includes both path and means for attaining true spiritual realization and in-depth psychological integration that respects all aspects of our body, mind, cognitions, emotions, and spirit. Yoga & Psyche shows us how to truly embrace and embody our true potential as fully awake and alive human beings.” —Richard Miller, PhD, author of iRest Meditation: Restorative Practices for Health, Resiliency, and Well-Being
“Asian spirituality—in particular yoga and meditation—has been accepted into Western culture long enough for us to evaluate some of the results. Mostly these have been positive, but nonetheless the psychological problems engendered by our modern lifestyle, with its unique stresses and challenges, is not always completely resolved by yogic methods alone. Therefore there has arisen the alliance between psychotherapy and Asian spiritual disciplines, with each side offering a balance and enhancement to complete the healing process. As the title indicates, this book celebrates and explores the growing synthesis between psychology, neuroscience, and yoga on all levels. Their mutual contributions deepen, enrich, and complete our journey of spiritual regeneration. There is a special emphasis, both theoretical and highly practical, on the somatic approach to trauma through yogic awareness. Dr. Caplan shares the knowledge from her many years of experience in this field so this is a must-read for all engaged in the field of psychology and yoga.” —Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, founder of the Dongyu Gatsal Ling nunnery in India and author of Into the Heart of Life and Reflection on a Mountain Lake: Teachings on Practical Buddhism
“Mariana and her book are a wonderful life coach, guide, and resource for all those in search of peace, love, and healing. She brings together both mind and body and helps us to find and treat the cause and not just the result as many doctors do. We are all one entity and not made up of separate parts as mechanical objects are. Consciousness unifies us, and Mariana can help us all to find the way to a quiet mind free of turbulence—and at that moment, be able to see the truth just as the ugly duckling realized he was a swan when he saw his reflection in the water of the still pond. Only the quiet mind finds its way to healing, transformation, and joy.” —Bernie Siegel, MD, author of The Art of Healing and Love, Medicine & Miracles
“In order for yoga to remain a living, viable practice, it must simultaneously evolve while deeply bowing to the technologies of the past. Mariana Caplan's book, Yoga & Psyche, is an incredible offering from someone who has deeply dedicated her life to that delicate merging. It clearly emanates both her personal and scholarly journey, offering the best possible fusion of the ancient and modern methodologies of human evolution.” —Katie Silcox,New York Times bestselling author of Healthy, Happy, Sexy: Ayurveda Wisdom for Modern Women
“Mariana Caplan has written an important book bringing together the transformational wisdom of East and West, yoga and psychology. Well-researched and grounded in many years of practice, she shows how these two schools balance and enrich each other. The marriage of psyche and spirit can heal our wounds and bring human intimacy into our spiritual practice. A valuable resource for every yoga practitioner, teacher, and therapist.” —Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, PhD, author of Sufism: The Transformation of the Heart
“Mariana Caplan’s work has always inspired me and this, her most mature work, has the authenticity of someone who has explored the territory. Dr. Caplan reports back from the highest peaks of spiritual expansion and the dark interior valley of the psyche about how yoga and psychology can work in tandem to heal the wounds of trauma and loss. She knows firsthand that neither taken alone are enough. She has followed her passion to integrate the wisdom of yoga and psychology, mining the depths of each tradition, exploring every available resource from current neuroscience to body psychology to the ancient teachings of nondual Advaita Vedanta. I love this book. I consider it required reading for anyone interested in the body, the mind, and the spirit. This is a book to avoid the spiritual bypass, the premature transcendence, and the unexamined life. This is a book to nourish the soul.” —Amy Weintraub, founder of LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute and author of Yoga for Depression and Yoga Skills for Therapists
“Thorough, reader-friendly, and comprehensive!” —John Welwood, PhD, author of Journey of the Heart and Toward a Psychology of Awakening
About the Author:
Mariana Caplan, PhD, MFT, E-RTY 500, is a psychotherapist, yoga teacher, and author of eight books in the fields of psychology, spirituality, and yoga. She has been teaching workshops and trainings online, in yoga studios and universities, and at major retreat centers throughout the world since 1997. She is the founder of Yoga & Psyche International, an organization created to integrate the fields of yoga and psychology globally, and lives in Fairfax, California. Learn more at realspirituality.com and yogaandpsyche.com.