I was such a nerd growing up. I always had my nose in a book and my head in the clouds and my optometrist reckons the reason I have such poor eyesight is due to the fact that I loved reading in the car on long roadtrips. And while my days of reading Sweet Valley High and Goosebumps are long gone, I still make it a practice to read a little bit every day. In the spirit of the upcoming Book Club Series, I've decided to share 6 of my favourite books that have helped to shape my Yoga practice.
1. MEDITATIONS FROM THE MAT BY ROLF GATES
This book was required reading during Yoga Teacher training- and for good reason. Rolf Gates introduces and explores the many limbed paths of Yoga and how they show up in his life. You know when yoga teachers say "Yoga is more than just the postures"? Rolf breaks it down as to what the heck it is they're talking about. The book is chock full of inspirational nuggets and is written in a format in which you can read a chapter a day over the course of a year. It is easily digestible and is the perfect little pick me up before bed.
2. HAPPY YOGA BY STEVE ROSS
This is a great book to read if you're just starting to get into Yoga. There are postural breakdowns, super rad playlist suggestions, questions to get you thinking and reflecting (similar to what we do at the end of a Social Yoga class), as well as a very matter-of-fact approach to explaining yoga philosophy. The whole book revolves around how we can unearth happiness through Yoga and alleviate suffering.
3. RADICAL ACCEPTANCE BY TARA BRACH
One of my all time favourite books. (Fun fact- don't read this book on an airplane sitting next to a cute person of the opposite gender --> awkward conversations ensue.) Tara Brach weaves anecdotes, guided meditations, and facts to illustrate how meditation can be used as a tool to help us open up to self love and compassion. Through what she calls Radical Acceptance of our whole selves, we can find peace.
4. A NEW EARTH BY ECKHART TOLLE
It wouldn't be a new age book list without some Eckhart Tolle. Ol' Eckhart explains, in great depth, what "ego" looks like and how it rears its head in our lives. When we understand how we live attached to our ego, we are able to break free from unhappiness and rise above.
5. THE ART OF POSSIBILITY BY ROSAMUND STONE ZANDER & BENJAMIN ZANDER
While not exactly a "yoga book", the Zanders are no stranger in helping to transform perspectives- and as a result, lives. Be prepared to be inspired to reach outside of the box- that you didn't know you put yourself in to.
6. HOW YOGA WORKS BY GESHE MICHAEL ROACH
This is a great fictional novel that is able to communicate the deeper beliefs of Yoga through relatable characters and a riveting story. You can follow one young yoga teacher's journey as she is thrown into jail and works to teach and inspire those from behind bars.
BONUS: THINK BY LISA BLOOM
This one is definitely not a yoga book, however it IS a great read for any budding feminists (or even established feminists) out there. I read this in my late teens and it had a huge impact on me- just wanted to share this one if you have any little ladies in your lives. It's a straight-talking novel that just gets it.