Today’s posting is dedicated to my favourite yoga books. It’s a long one, but I love love love talking about my books. The ones in particular, are a must read that will inspire and motivate you, especially if you are a yoga beginner who is having a lot of questions about yoga.
These books helped me a lot to get understanding of the nature of yoga and its philosophy, considering the modern world we live in and our busy lifestyles. We can’t just all of us suddenly change our lives completely accordingly to the yoga recommendations, but we can live better and more fulfilled lives, if we slowly and persistently embrace different practices and thinking approaches. No matter what we are dealing with in our lives right now, remember that it’s all in our heads and it’s up to us to choose the positive or negative approach, when facing difficult and challenging situations. And sometimes changing your perspective can be the easiest or the most difficult part of change.
I read these books in the summer of 2016, when I was having hard time dealing with some insecurities and anxieties. I still get back to them from time to time, especially when I need inner peace and inspiration or when I just need a reminder that life shouldn't be taken too seriously. They helped me a lot and I hope they will give you a new perspective too.
Yoga Girl & Yoga For Life
The common in these two books is the fact that they are autobiographies of two internationally know yoga teachers (or should I say real yoga celebrities). I love both of the books because they are honest and raw, but also inspiring and motivational. Both Rachel Brathen and Colleen Saidman Yee open and share about their past and what really stroke me is the lack of sugar-coating. Both of them had real difficulties and experiences that they are not proud of and they both talk about it openly in their books. Their stories resonated deeply with me because no matter how hard life can be, it can all be healed through yoga. Because yoga is not about self-improvement, but more about self-acceptance. And once you accept and embrace yourself, that’s when the real improvement starts – from the approach of loving yourself, not from hating yourself.
Probably you know very well both Rachel and Colleen, having in mind that they are such a big yoga stars! If you are following them already, it will be great if you share with a comment if you have read their books and what you think about them! ;)
Yoga Girl a.k.a. Rachel Brathen is a top influencer according to Time magazine, an Instagram yoga star who launched the trending hashtag #yogaeverydamnday. She is from Sweden, but lives in Aruba and has her own yoga studio Island Yoga, she is a mom and a wife, and also a very successful entrepreneur handling several different businesses. I am a big fan of her, love her inspiring Instagram content, her podcast "From the heart", and can't wait for her second book, which is expected in 2018! Well, her life didn’t seem so nice and successful 15 years ago when she had problems with alcohol, drugs, destructive behaviours and her mom who had a suicide attempt and was dealing with severe depression. Her story has a difficult start and is a hard one in the beginning, full with painful and sad events, but it gets really inspiring and uplifting. Hard times are here to shape us, not to break us!
Yoga for Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom is written by Colleen Saidman Yee and apart from being named by New York Times as the First Lady of Yoga, her background is really surprising and interesting! Actually she is a top ex-model, who believe it or not had a lot of body and beauty perception issues. She honestly talks about her most embarrassing, sad and difficult moments in her life and how she discovered yoga and her path in embracing it and practicing it for more than 30 years now. I love following her and her husband Rodney Yee (also a famous yoga teacher) on social media, because they seem like the ultimate #yogacouplegoals :) Coleen and Rodney have taken part in the World Yoga Day celebrations at New York for the last several years and it’s in my bucket list to take part in their yoga practice at Times Square. In her book Colleen shares she has also done boxing, and while I was reading her book I was also just starting boxing for the very first time and it was encouraging to keep doing it because of the strength it gave me for some yoga poses later, but I will share my thoughts on this in a separate posting. Again, I really love Yoga for Life book because it’s a story of a now 60 y.o. woman who looks back at her life and how yoga influenced her day to day living for good and for better.
Reluctant Yogi by Carla McKay
One of the funniest and wittiest yoga books I have read so far! Carla's English sense of humour and irony is just mesmerising. She shares her struggles in embracing yoga, her doubts and also the reasons she chose yoga after her divorce. She speaks a lot about ageing and the effect of yoga on her body, face, skin. It’s a hilariously written story with lots of good and practical tips on why yoga is helpful for our bodies. Through her doubt in yoga and her questioning whether it works for her or not, she tells a light-hearted story about her retreat adventures, belly fat struggles, wrinkles issues, eating challenges, etc. It’s more like a novel on yoga and I really really love it. It’s a great easy book to read on a holiday!
Wanderlust: A Modern Yogi's Guide to Discovering Your Best Self
Last but not least! Wanderlust is a beautiful bed table or coffee table book that is worthy to be opened every damn day! It’s just such a wonderful book with great design, beautiful visuals and inspiring content. The power of the visuals and the words is what makes the book so hyper-stimulating and such a soothing remedy for bad days. You can read the book from beginning to end or dip into different chapters at random. The book covers different topics in each chapter, with information from a variety of yoga teachers, who deepen on asanas, yoga way of living, personal growth, motivational content, thought-provoking ideas on anything a modern yogi might be interested in! I am sure you will find something for yourself from this book – it can be something pleasing to the eye, encouragement to practice, inspiration to take care of yourself and motivation to want to reach your bravest desires and dreams… It can be anything! J
That’s from me for now. I am sure I will write again about books :) In another blog post I will share more about some classic writings about yoga – e.g. Light on Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar, Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, and others.