As one of my classmates said, it’s the wikipedia of yoga philosophy. If you want a simple book to break down the eight limbs of yoga, and give practical applications for modern life, this is a good (and quick) read.
This great book breaks down asana and sequencing and is a great resource if you’re just starting out as a yoga teacher or want to deepen your personal practice with strong foundation. I’ve returned to it again and again – it’s one of the few books I kept after my training.
If you’re looking for a unique perspective on yogic philosophy…
This book, by Def Jam Records’s Russel Simmons, totally surprised me by how yoga-focused it is. It’s all about how you living on purpose and contributing your unique gift to the world will lead to fulfillment – spiritual and financial.
If you’re trying to figure out what your unique purpose is…
My dear teachers Chrisandra Fox Walker and Katie Silcox introduced me to this book in an advanced workshop I took with them at Yoga Tree. According to this lineage of yogic philosophy, we are each born with a purpose, and that purpose is part of the the greater purpose of the universe. Our souls have four desires – for purpose, the means to achieve our purpose, pleasure, and connection to spirit. At any time in our life, one desire is stronger than the others in order to continue to achieve our purpose. It’s a little dense and the exercises are deep, but if you can get through them you will learn a lot about your self, why you’re here, and how to fulfill what your soul is longing for. Not small stuff – if you do the hard work.
Katie and Chrisandra are offering an intensive training this spring [enter details and link].
This book stays on my night stand. Every once and a while, I pick it up and read a passage. It’s a beautiful translation of the Sanskrit text Bhairava Tantra by Lorin Roche that is both poetry and yogic teachings and techniques. It is a conversation between the goddess of creation and the god of consciousness. It begins with the goddess asking, “Beloved, tell me, how do I enter more deeply into the reality of the universe?” In reply, the god describes 112 techniques for becoming enlightened through everyday life experience.
For example, Sutra 105: “When you gaze in wonder at the stars, become enthralled with the vast spaciousness between them… Space offers you an infinite arena to play, explore, and experience. Receive this gift of freedom.”
If you’re curious about yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda…
Healthy Happy Sexy
This recently published book by former Yoga Tree teacher Katie Silcox is an easy-to-read primer on the ancient science of Ayurveda and offers practical tips to integrate into your modern life. It reads like a girlfriend having a conversation over tea, but is full of valuable information. I know I’ll keep returning to it again and again, letting my practices deepen over time.
Martine Holston believes the world needs visionaries – they propel our evolution. As a Vision Cartographer (and consultant to visionaries), she’s been featured on The Daily Love, Tiny Buddha, Mind Body Green, Live in the Grey, and Brazen Careerist.
When she’s not creating strategy maps for visionaries, Martine is zipping up and down the California coast running through vineyards, hiking through forests, and doing yoga on the beach.
To learn more about Martine and Vision Cartography, spend some time exploring visioncartography.com.