Books & Text – some are yoga books and some just have the yoga spirit:
Learning: Yoga & Meditation Books
- “Your Spine Your Yoga” – Bernie Clark
- “Living the Sutras” A guide to Yoga Wisdome beyond the Mat” DiNardo & Pearce-Hyaden
- “Intelligent Yoga” – Peter Blackaby – recently updated not avail yet in US – must order it directly from Peter but easy to do so. He may even sign it! #peterblackaby
- “The Buddha Walks into The Office” – Lordo Rinzler
- “The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga” Bernie Clark #bernieclark
- “Deep Listening” – Jullian Pransky #jullianpransky
- “The Teacher Appears: 108 Prompts to Power Your Yoga Practice” – Brian Leaf – #brianleaf
- “The Here and Now – Habit” Hugh G. Byrne, PHD #hughbyrne
- “Hatha Yoga Pradipika” – Muktibodhananda Swami
- “Yoga and the Quest for the True Self” – Stephen Cope #stephencope
- “Yoga & Ayurveda” – David Frawley
- “Kripalu Yoga” Richard Faulds
- “Pilgrim of Love: The Life and Teachings of Swami Kripalu” – Atma Jo Ann Levitt
- “True Refuge” – Tara Brach #tarabrach
- “Yoga Yajnavalkya” – Translated by A.G. Mohan #agmohan
- “Mindfulness Yoga” Frank Jude Boccio
- “Light On Yoga” – BKS Iyengar #iyengar
- “The 8 Human Talents” – Gurmukh #gurmukh
- “The Heart of Yoga – Dev a personal Practice” by T.K.V. Desikachar #desikachar
- “A New Earth” – Eckhart Tolle #tolle
- “The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali” – many versions but esp fond of Sri Swami Satchidananda
- “Bhagavad Gita” – many versions
- “Yoga as Medicine” -Timothy McCall, M.D.
- “Gandhi on Non-Violence” edited by Thomas Merton
- “A Life Worth Breathing” – Max Strom #maxstrom
- “There is no app for happiness” – Max Strom
- “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda
- “Yoga Mala” – Sri K. Pattabhi Jois #jois
- “Yoga and the Quest for the True Self” – Stephen Cope
- “Soul Friends” – Stephen Cope
- “The Four Desires” – Rod Stryker #rodstryker
- “True Love” Thich Nhat Hanh #thichnhathanh
- “Krishnamacharya” AG Mohan
- “The Secret Power of Yoga” – Nischala Joy Deve
- “Yoga Reminder: Lightened Reflections” by A. G. Mohan and Ganesh Mohan
- “Yoga & the Pursuit of Happiness” Sam Chase
Books with positive thoughts, wisdom, stories, inspiration & Bios:
- “Becoming” by Michelle Obama
- “Salt Water Buddha: A surfers quest to find Zen on the Sea” Jaimal Yogis
- “If I Understood You, Would I have this look on my Face” Alan Alda #AlanAlda
- “May I be happy: A Memoir of love, yoga and chaning my mind” Cyndi Lee #CyndiLee
- “The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West” by Michelle Goldberg
- “Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi” – Brian Leaf
- “Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi” – Brian Leaf – get ready to laugh outloud!
- “The Book of Joy” Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
- “The Buddha Walks int a bar” – Lodro Rinzler
- “Learning to Breathe” – Priscilla Warner
- “Learning to Breathe” – Alison Wright
- “My Year With Eleanor” – Noelle Hancock
- “Art of Racing in the Rain” – Garth Stein
- “The Happiness Project” – Gretchen Rubin
- “A dogs purpose” – Bruce Cameron
- “Estranged” – Jessica Berger Gross
- “Enlightened – Jessica Berger Gross
- “The Journey Home” Radhanath Swami
- “White Lama” Douglas Veenhof
- “Rebel Buddha- on the road to freedom” – Dzogchen Ponlop
- “What makes you not a buddhist” – Dzongsar Khyentse
- “Hand Wash Cold”- Karen Maezen Miller
- “Paradise in Plain Sight” – Karen Maezen Miller
Note – books are not listed in an order of importance or preference. Enjoy!
Patanjali, author of “The Yoga Sutras” is the oldest written text on yoga. The eight parts commonly referred to “asashtanga” meaning “arms” or “limbs” in Sanskrit is in reference to a section in the Sutra’s; the 8 limbs to yoga. These are:
= yamas, niyamas, asanas, pranayama, pratyahara,dharana, dhyana and samadhi.
Yamas – Rules for Living
These are the development and implementation of morals, principles, self-control, considerate social behavior and obligations. Often referred to as the “restraints.”
ahimsa – non-violence
satya – truth and honesty
asteya – non stealing
bramacharya -non-lust/non sexual misconduct
aparigaha – non-hoarding/non-possessiveness.
Niyamas – Observances or Rules of Life
These concern ethics, positive traits to build upon, responsibility, cultivation of inner discipline, behavior towards self and devotional aspects.
shauca – purity
santosh – contentment
tapas – endurance
swadhyaya – self study
ishvara pranidhana – dedications and supernal contemplations.
Asanas – Postures
Interesting enough this word is where many in the West associate the term Yoga and yet Patanjali didn’t write much in the texts at all. The word “asana” means “seat of the soul” and he writes to take any movement. Your movement should be steady – “without strain”.
Pranayama – Breath Control
Cultivation of respiration is the way to infuse the vital force and energy into body. We practice this by enhancing the processes of purification by the “restraint” (yama) of the life energy (Prana).
Pratyahara – Internalized Consciousness
Technique of drawing the senses inward to pay attention to vibrations or sensations. Creating an awareness either while moving (asana) or being still. Listening to the body from the “inside out”
Dharana – Concentration
Naturally, the mind wanders however we draw the mind in to concentrate to tame the mind. Over time the “monkey mind” will slow down and by tapping into other parts of your brain the practitioner over time will become much more intuitive with decisions as well.
Dhyana – Meditation
There are styles and forms of meditation however it is all about training the mind. The mind is just like a muscle and many simply give up as they can’t control their thoughts or they aren’t sure it is being done correctly. Even while moving you are in an active mediation. Focus on one train of thought in the asana. Meditation has wonderful health benefits that is still being discovered here in the West. It slows the heart rate however more importantly over time and with practice, it will create a state of being that allows the inner “guru” in you to tap into your inherit knowledge. You already have all the answers within. Just listen.
Samadhi – Bliss
This is the higher state that contains the larger view of universal consciousness, where dualities melt away, and the fusion of oneness exists.
All of the 8 limbs don’t have to be practiced in an order – many are mixed together. Most important point is that yoga isn’t something contained to a mat. Just that on the mat we create an awareness to our body, mind and use this awareness out in the world 24/7.
Chakras: refers to a wheel or moving circle of energies. The Chakras direct and guide the physical body and nervous system. (Note it is pronounced Cha like chocolate not Sha).
The seven chakras comprise three primary regions. The three lower chakras are located close together at the base of the spine to the navel. (The region of fire). Three higher chakras, the throat, third eye and crown are related and form the region of the head- governing the brain centers.
In between stands the heart chakra as the central chakra – meditating between these two groups of three chakras, connecting both to the navel below and to the throat above.
The Threefold head Chakra – Seat of the Moon:
- Sahasrara – crown or consciousness chakra
- Ajna – Third eye or mind chakra (OM)
- Visshuddha – throat or ether chakra (HAM)
The Central Heart: Seat of the Sun:
- Anahata – Heart or Air chakra (YAM)
The Threefold Kanda or Bulb – Seat or Fire:
- Manipura – Navel or Fire chakra (RAM)
- Svadhishtana – Sex or water chakra (VAM)
- Muladhara – Root or Earth chakra (LAM)
Kosha’s – the layers. Being aware of the subtle influences of the five elements within each kosha – discerns the True Self
- Anamaya Kosha – Physical Sheath
- Pranamaya Kosha – Breath Sheath
- Manomaya Kosha – Mental/Emotional Sheath
- Vijnanamaya Kosha – Witness Sheath
- Anandamaya Kosha – Bliss Sheath
Vayu – directions and flow of energy:
- Apana Vayu – down
- Samana Vayu – In
- Udana Vayu – Out
- Prana Vayu – Up
- Vyana Vayu – Everywhere
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