Three Unique Yoga Books
Actively showing up on your yoga mat is only the beginning. Change is a given. You can dwell in a solid place of celebrating the fact that you are taking good care of yourself and be content with that, like a strong Oak tree. Or, at the same time, enhance your current experience. Life is full of parallels, including the idea that you can be content, yet also hold in your thoughts and behaviors room for growth. It’s just like trees growing their branches to get more sunlight.
Nature is the perfect place to look for inspiration to leverage the laws of nature. Nature wants everything in the universe to grow, including you. If you can adapt, add value and share, and be expansive you can grow. But what does this have to do with yoga books? As a writer, I see everything as a metaphor for everything else. Why not yoga? In that way you can take what you learn off your mat into your day and vice versa.
Here’s my definition of the laws of nature:
When you adapt to change, which is natural, you thrive, and if not you grow stagnant.
When you add value (like plants creating oxygen and people creating carbon dioxide) it’s an exchange of energy. It’s sharing.
By expanding, like the universe, you need to create more value (for yourself and others).
I’ve just added three books to my ever-expanding yoga library that fit into this definition:
Adapting to change can be rough for many people in midlife, but in Fearless After Fifty: How to Thrive with Grace, Grit and Yoga by Desiree Rumbaugh and Michelle Marchildon.
The authors challenge you to question most of what you’ve been led to believe about fifty plus. This inspirational book is written in a conversational style that brings a sense of intimacy as if the co-authors have written it just for you. You are not alone. That’s important as the book points out our tendency to pull back as we age, thinking that the upcoming years are going to be daunting – limiting. Instead, the book illuminates a way to cultivate a fearlessness so that you can enjoy working smarter, not harder. It sat next to my favorite chair for quite some time as I would pick it up and dive back into it again and again, underlining my favorite reminders for later. Although I confess there wasn’t something groundbreaking or futurist in its ideas, I highly recommend this book none-the-less for this inspiring reminder that mentally we need new models of behavior midlife and beyond to keep us feeling limitless. Rumbaugh and Marchildon show how you, too, can look to a new level of practice and personal growth. This book is a perfect example of law number one, adapting to (and pushing past) change, thereby thriving.
Adding value, the second law, comes very natural to Elena Brower. A dear friend, Elena continues to teach and bring all who come in contact with her or her work a huge amount of incredibly positive energy. She’s a force of nature with a heart of deep compassion and love. I’m a lifelong blank journal junkie, so I was delighted to see her invitation to become the author of a sacred text of your own design by providing people with her paperback journal Practice You.
While Elena is holding your hand, you discover for yourself new attitudes and fresh perspectives. By utilizing this easy, but incredibly insightful tool for whatever amount of time you want to dedicate to discovering more about yourself and how you want to exist in the world, you certainly will dive deeper into a sacred opportunity for expanding your essence and energy in your life and in the world. This is a perfect gift for yourself when you’re searching for a new tool of self-transformation. And, the good news is Elena continues to share in new and unique ways. I can’t wait to get her Practice You Awakening Deck that is the compliment to the journal.
Looking to the idea of expansion, it’s not a far stretch to see how expansion doesn’t always come easy – in nature or in our human experience. In Sex, Drugs & (mostly) Yoga by my authentic friend from New Zealand, Kara-Leah Grant, the reader is taken through the authors turbulent narrative of intimate, stream of consciousness ride, with vulnerability and newfound clarity – flaws and all.
This deep dive into her challenges and triumphs will keep you turning the page, curious to know more. Our universal need to know more is unique, and valuable. This book is for anyone who is struggling to understand why everyone else seems to have life figured out, that they somehow were absent the day the handbook was handed out at school. In the author sharing her own journey (that real spiritual awakening has little to do with expectations or “rules” society has given us about how you should feel and any currently held notions of self) – then her own journey of transformation could inspire you to use yoga in your ever expanding life. This is a messy ride that might seem unrelatable to read if you’ve never done drugs, but this is so much more about ideas that may be new or unknown to some told through a personal narrative that is raw on the page. Her raw. Her real. What does it all mean? You, the reader, must decide. You’ll go from her self-described “grip on reality” to her “consciousness evolving and her psyche breaking open as a part of her healing and growth process.” This notion fits nicely with my last idea of the law of nature because Grant uses yoga, and her uproarious journey, in a way that shares ideas of suffering and transformation that will illuminate the way for others.
Namaste - Stephanie