Top 6 Yoga Reads for Summer!

IMG_1584Sunny Summer reading days have arrived!
Of course Newfoundlanders know that we could just as easily spend July and August basking in rain, wind or fog (possibly all in the same day), but that is just all the more reason to have a good book on hand.

Here are my top choices from the past year of book club picks. Maybe one of these is the book you are meant to be curled up with this Summer!

IMG_15871. A New Earth by Ekhart Tolle This book of great insight sat on my book shelf, unread, for a number of years before it was chosen last Fall as our book club pick. Wow, so much wasted time! I know now why it is internationally loved. A New Earth is a guide to a deeper understanding of our true selves. It is complete with clear and simple tips on how to move toward the attainment of our highest potential, while aiding the evolution of those around us. I felt an outpouring of compassion and tolerance for those I interacted with in my daily life as I was reading. While the lofty goal of awakening to your life’s purpose is a life-long process, I can’t think of a better book to help you begin this practice, or to clarify the path you are already on.  The tattered condition of the copies of some of my book club members is testament to the life-changing nature of this book. But really, I should have known better than to doubt Oprah in the first place!

IMG_15862. The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz Are you looking for a book with a powerful message that gets right to the point and does not digress at all? This is the pocket book for you. Memorize the four agreements, put them into action and watch your life change! These four simple but powerful concepts are an ancient Toltec gift to the world. Short, concise and life-changing. If you love it as much as I did, there is also a work book and a beautiful deck of cards that you can get to stretch out your immersion in these rules to live by.

IMG_15893. The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer A pleasurable read that provides profound but simple insights into the true nature of our inner space. Simple techniques  are provided to help you change habitual thoughts, emotions and energy patterns. This book will have you taking a very deep look at your daily interactions. The result is a clearer understanding of your responses and how you can tailor them to improve every moment of your life. A beautiful book that will enhance your ability to live and love joyfully.

IMG_15954. A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield This is a dense book of wisdom. Jack Kornfield writes with the joy and insight of a long-time student of meditation. The book begins with his personal experience as a monk of many years returning home from exotic locales only to discover that the world of daily routine is a whole new kind of practice. This perspective makes the book particularly relevant to the Western reader. A comprehensive and practical book that is deeply rooted in Buddhist teachings while also succeeding in incorporating the viewpoints of many different traditions. It describes the nature of the spiritual journey, it’s ups and it’s downs, in a beautifully integrative way. This is a book for the real world spiritual seeker. I’d suggest reading it in bits to give you time to fully digest each message. It is punctuated with meditations and teaching stories that make it a joyful read interspersed with a wealth of practice information. You may want to read it again and again. It is that kind of a soul guide.

5. IMG_2848Buddha’s Brain This is a book of meditation for those who enjoy an understanding of the biological and neurological processes of mindfulness and meditation. The scientific explanations are clear, concise and very readable for those without a science background. The beauty of Buddha’s teachings are skillfully woven into descriptions of our physiological response to meditative thought. Understand how you can create health, wellness, and joyfulness by knowing how the brain responds to your thoughts (and vice versa). Guided meditations at the end of each chapter are designed to teach meditation techniques that take advantage of what you have learned about your brain in the preceding chapter. A must read for the science loving yogi.

IMG_15886. The Essential Rumi is a book of sufi poetry that has been inspiring mystics and yogis for over a thousand years. It is not a book of lyrical joyful prose but one of profound and often difficult insights. He writes of joyfulness, of grief, and every other state in between. It surprises some to find a racy story littered here and there amidst higher musings. Rumi does not shy away from any aspect of the divine experience of love. This is a book of longing as well as a giddy dance of joy that will sweep you off your feet. If you are a yogi, chances are your yoga teacher has thrown out a Rumi quote or two during your final savasana. Every time I pick this it up I find a new favourite or have a new experience with an old joy. It is a book for the seeker rather than a light poetry read. A little surrender may be required, after all “A thousand half loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”~Rumi

Happy Summer Reading Yogis!




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