Books That I Love and Highly Recommend

November 21, 2017

Listed below are some of my faves that I keep going back to. Take my advice, pick up one or all of these to inspire you along your yoga journey!

The Bhagavad Gita

As translated by Jack Hawley

A five thousand-year-old scripture adopted by millions in the East translated for Westerners. This version was (and remains) one of my favourite texts from my teacher training. We often lost ourselves in discussion in search of a deeper meaning or an alternate truth in the story.

“The whole and sole purpose of the Bhagavad Gita, the only reason it was originally given to humanity, is to help people rid themselves of their worldly suffering, find true happiness and achieve Self-realisation.” - Sathya Sai Baba

The Universe Has Your Back 

Gabrielle Bernstein

Gabrielle’s persona/social media presence is not quite my cup of chai but I gave the book a go anyway. Wow! Straight up, no B.S. Short and sharp (I read it in two days). A great reminder of where our faith and joy be on the priority list. Some great meditations and writing practises you can come back to at any time.

Fierce Medicine 

Ana T Forrest

I have attended one of Ana’s workshops in Newcastle, and this book is another recommendation from my Soul Sista Cass. My interest in healing trauma through yoga is deepening. This book shares all that and more.

Asana, Pranayama Mudra Bandha

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Essentially a Yoga Manual, which has been in print since 1969. Based on the Hatha yoga system, this book is not for the faint-hearted. A science based approach to all yogic practices. A great handbook for teachers and serious practitioners.

The Body Keeps the Score 

BesselVan Der Kolk M.D

Three words – CHANGED MY LIFE.

This book should be on some sort of compulsory reading list for every single human. Although media stories around PTSD and war veterans prevail, the real story is that trauma (on so many levels) affects almost all of us – either directly or indirectly. Understanding the science behind the physical presentation is nothing short of astounding.

Autobiography of a Yogi

Parahansa Yogananda

This book has been named “one of the 100 best spiritual books of the 20th century.” Personally I have struggled with it. This may be a reflection of where I was at spiritually at the time. I have promised myself to revisit it – how can all those people be wrong?

The Sacred Tradition of Yoga

Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois

This book is very close to my heart. In the December before I started my teacher training my partner bought this for me as a Christmas gift. It was the beginning of this feeling that all of this knowledge was somehow familiar to me. It was the beginning of feeling that I had come home.

The Great Work of Your Life

Stephen Cope

Dhama – your calling, your service. This book beautifully explores people’s evolution as they seek to find their dharma through many colourful stories. I couldn’t put this down.

Kundalini Yoga 

Swami Sivananda

This book is quite a dry read, more of a manual for teaching Kundalini or deepening your practice.

Yoga and the Quest for the True Self 

Stephen Cope

I love this book – it’s a keeper. Stephen Cope demystifies the philosophy, psychology and practice of yoga and shows us how following ‘the path’ doesn’t mean we need to leave our everyday lives and run off to live in an ashram.

Overcoming Trauma though Yoga

Emerson and Hopper

My beautiful daughter bought me this book with a gift voucher she won (proud mum moment).

I am just a few chapters in but so far so good. It does draw on the research from Bessel Van Der Kolk’s book, which is always worth a re-read. There are practical suggestions for class sequences and up to date information on science based tools for teaching and practising trauma sensitive yoga.

Yoga Anatomy 

Kaminoff and Matthews

We studied this text accompanied by video tutorials from Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews. I love these two! The fact that they didn’t agree on everything gave us all permission to enquire about how poses/sequences etc felt in bodies, and if this was the case, then how much can it vary in a class of twenty people! This one is also a keeper.

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