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Inner Engineering- A Yogi’s Guide to Joy - Book Summary Part 2

A freelance writer and certified NLP Coach, I believe that the most meaningful conquest is the conquest over self.


The first installment in this series was a brief on the author’s childhood and the unusual experience in his youth that changed his life forever and also gave him access to a much higher dimension.

Concepts related to responsibility and Yoga (not be mistaken with just the physical exercises) were also dealt with.

In the second section of the book, the author explores the Mind-Body-Energy trio through concepts, practices, and self-observation practices. The author urges the readers to experiment and not to take anything on pure faith.

The physical body is a fantastic stepping-stone for higher possibilities. But it requires an intrinsic understanding of a few elementals.

What if someone is simply not interested in the divine or the highest possibilities of life. Even then, it has its uses. Enhanced perception can enhance well-being and make you more successful and effective in whatever profession and other roles you play in life.

1. The body is a pretty complete and self-contained instrument with the most sophisticated machinery. A banana that you eat in the morning,has become you by afternoon. There is a deep intelligence at work. No wonder the body has been eulogized by mystic poets as ‘the moving temple’.

2. There are two forces within one.

The instinct of self-preservation - Roots one to the planet but also creates barriers

Desire to expand - takes one beyond

To use an analogy, it is the play of Gravity vs Grace. One trying to hold you down and one is trying to lift you. Both are active, while we are always available to one, we need to become available to Grace.

3. We perceive the world through sense-organs but they are limited in that

  • Can perceive only the physical
  • Can perceive only in relation to something else e.g. hot in comparison to..
  • Are instruments primarily meant for human survival

There is an entire world of activity happening inside the body. Just turning inwards and paying attention to your inner nature can transform life remarkably.

4. That brings one to the science of Hatha Yoga – Ha denoting Sun and tha denoting moon- a way of working with the body to discipline, purify and prepare it for higher levels of energy and greater possibilities.

5. If you know how to read the body, it can tell your potential, your limitations, your past, present, and future. If we get the geometry of the human body right, it becomes capable of reflecting the larger geometry of the cosmos within.

Dispelling the wrong notions that some hold about effort, lethargy, meditation, the author states that the very essence of meditativeness is that you push yourself to the highest possible intensity where there seems to be no effort. He gives the example of the ballet dancer Nijinsky who would leap to heights believed to be impossible. When questioned, he would say ‘When Nijinsky is not there, only then it happens.’ When someone is constantly giving a hundred percent, a point comes when one surpasses all limits and reaches total effortlessness.

6. If the body is maintained a certain way, one can become aware of the subtle changes that happen in the planet and the cosmos. Part of enhancing this sensitivity is to view the ingredients which constitute our body, like earth, water, air, and food, as an organic part of the life process and not as commodities.

7. The Surya Namaskar builds a dimension within where the bodily cycles are in sync with the sun’s cycles. Remember all life on earth is solar powered. This practice helps in balancing one’s inner energies and produces an innate physical and psychological equilibrium. Women have an added advantage- though misunderstood- of also being in sync with the lunar cycle.

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Sadhguru gives the example of his Yoga teacher who was known to do 108 Surya namaskars a day in his nineties. He lived to be 106 and taught yoga, and served as an Ayurvedic physician until his very end.

‘It is important not to turn into a food freak. The human problem is not enough attention but too much information.’


8. Life is a game of five elements- fire, earth, air, water, and ether, whether it be the human body or the cosmos. Every spiritual practice tries to organize these 5 elements. Yogic practices like the Bhuta Shuddhi are aimed at cleansing the elements of the compulsive tendencies that percolate into the individual as a result of genetic, mental, evolutionary, and karmic memory and bring a sense of absolute harmony between the individual and the cosmos.

9. The yogic system places a lot of importance on the food we eat. For the body to function at its optimum capacity and maximize its longevity, Sadhguru recommends that at least some part of the diet should include natural foods, in their uncooked condition, when cells are still alive.

10. As regards the debate regarding vegetarianism/non-vegetarianism, the author clarifies that in the yogic system, there is nothing moral or religious or philosophical about food.

Is the food compatible with your aspirations? And suitable for this body-engine Is the question.

One can draw conclusions based on the design of the human body – the design of the teeth and jaw, length of the alimentary canal, the time it takes different food items to pass through the system. The human body,by design and construction, is primarily an herbivore.

If one must eat non-vegetarian, the best would be fish, as being an earlier life-form, have the easiest software code for the human system to break and integrate.

11. With regard to sleep, Sadhguru says that the body needs more restfulness than sleep. Restfulness essentially defines the replenishing and rejuvenating capability of the human body. If simple yogic practices are practiced for 3-4 months, the pulse rate drops, the body becomes more efficient, relaxed and the sleep quota comes down naturally.

Stress is not because of work; it is a certain level of internal friction caused by our compulsive reaction to the situations we are placed in. One can easily lubricate the inner mechanism with some amount of inner work and awareness.



  • Sit comfortably with the spine erect. Remain still and allow your attention to grow still as well. Do this for 5-7 minutes a day. You will notice that your breath will, slow down.
  • If the breath slows down from the average of 12-15 times per minute, one achieves a certain alignment and ease, and evolves to a state where one perceives higher dimensions without static or crackle.
  • When one is in touch with the Earth – sitting on the ground, walking barefoot, gardening, farming – the human capacity for rejuvenation is enhanced and stability is restored. If one tends to fall ill easily, you could try sleeping on the floor or sit closer to the ground or spend time around a tree.
  • The consumption of a spoonful of clarified butter (ghee) daily, a few minutes before a meal does wonders for the digestive system.
  • Don’t eat throughout the day. If you are over 30, best to have two meals a day.
  • The simplest thing that one can do to change the health and structure of the body is to treat the five elements with devotion and dedication – the water you drink, the food you eat, the air you breathe, the land you walk on, and the very space that holds you.

The Yogic system has an elaborate understanding of the mind and energy system. Read Part 3 and Part 4 of this series to explore the territory in greater detail.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 28, 2020:

Hi Devika, firstly a big thank you for being a consistent supporter.

His books make for a racy read while also being full of wisdom. So definitely worth a read and some of these practices can do be done right where you are.

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 27, 2020:

Hi Danny, Sadhguru's books are both entertaining and oozing with wisdom.

All cultures and religions have several common elements conveyed differently.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Much appreciated.

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 27, 2020:

Namaste Vanithaji, am utterly delighted with your comments as it comes from someone who has already read the book.

Even I enjoy his books and talks and find a lot of transformational content in there. Glad to find a kindred soul!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 23, 2020:

The book is knowledge and you covered it so well in detail. I am more informed about Sadhguru.

sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 22, 2020:

Singh ji, it is a pleasure to gave you visit and comment. All of Sadhguru’s books make for enjoyable reading.You will never believe that it is a metaphysical book.

Danny from India on September 20, 2020:

I have never read Sadgurus books but after reading the review here, I will definitely plan to read one. I liked the concept of Hatha Yoga. It reminds me of one more spiritual concept that is Yin Yang where we are in constant duel between two opposite forces.

Vanita Thakkar on September 20, 2020:

I have read a couple of books by Sadhguru, including Inner Engineering and have very high regards for Him. His writings and videos are excellent.

Enjoyed your review - well organised and good coverage of contents. Compliments and thanks to you for your good work.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on September 19, 2020:

I have seen a few of Sadhguru's videos' on the net. Good to know about this book

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