When I teach, I seem to amass a library of books by my side. They are staring back at me on the floor, almost coaxing me into a sense of focus or joy - whichever is needed most.
I always have a new book in my bag, I am always studying and reading about yoga or being in the moment and trying to create some good from it!
Lots of my students want to learn more about Yoga - but it can be overwhelming for some with so many books, websites and videos out there. I have found through discussions with those who regularly attend my classes that everyone wants to understand more about yoga. Maybe they want to know why they are feeling better from yoga, perhaps why they aren't getting quite so angry anymore, or why they can sleep or concentrate better. So, I thought I would put down some book titles here to give those who want it, more information.
At this moment in time, I would recommend:
"To Teach you About the Postures"
1. Art of Attention by Elena Brower and Erica Jago
Despite its size, this book has been poking out of my handbag for the last two weeks. Its' beautiful pictures depicting two inspirational yoga teachers have been like a blessing to each of my practises. This book is not only great coffee table material, it is also a good practise handbook. It shows many of the main yoga poses and talks you gently through them. There are quotes throughout to inspire your self practise as well as pictures which would be well suited framed on a wall.
"To Let You Know What It's Like to Devote Yourself to Yoga in India"
2.Hatha Yoga by Theos. Bernard
This is a very subjective and personal account of one man's discovery of hatha yoga practises. Theos goes into great detail about his discoveries. He explains how he was given instruction in various yoga techniques from learning simple Asanas (postures) to Purification, Breath Control, Mudras (Hand Postures) and Samadhi (Enlightenment).
There are some pretty graphic descriptions and pictures in this book, many people can't finish it as they find it quite incredible. One part of his book describe Purification....
'Begin with a small piece of cloth about three feet long. I found that an ordinary four-inch surgeon's gauze met every requirement. First put the cloth in a basin of water, and after it is thoroughly saturated insert one end of it as far back in the throat as possible and go through the motions of eating and swallowing. This will encourage the throat to take hold. There may be some spasms, but they will soon pass...."
This book is not for the faint-hearted.
I haven't done this myself, may I add, but it's a good read!
"To Find Your Artist"
3. The Artists Way by Julia Cameron
There are lots of books, which you can read in this life. Many you will pick up and begin, some you will hold fondly to the end, but The Artists Way, you will hold fondly to the end and then lament the fact that it has finished!
This book invites you to see the art in the world around you. You are suggested to go on daily 'Artist' missions. One of my most memorable missions was to 'not read anything all day', this was almost impossible, and made you think about how many times you are influenced by the words around you. From Road signs to road maps.
Probably the most exciting journeys you could ever go on. This book gives you interesting missions. If you feel stuck in a wheel of repetitive work, or you just need to create a change in your life, this is the book for you.
How can going on Artist Missions change your life? An alternative perspective is all you need to improve your viewpoint on life!
"Discover More About Meditation and Birth"
4. Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful by Gurmukh
If you ever really wanted to connect with a living guru, (who lives in LA), Gurmukh is for you. She is open and honest. She talks about her own experiences, she enters a great state of connection. She gives open and honest teaching on kundalini postures in a beautiful way. This is good for any woman wanting to iron out emotional ties and creases and for anyone looking to get pregnant or pregnant who wants to find further yogic practises.
"To Scientifically Study Yoga"
5. How God Changes your Brain, Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman
If you were looking for any scientific proof on the marvels of meditation and indeed prayer. This book provides it all. Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman, leading neuro-scientists who have studied the brains of meditating yogis have found some amazing results!
Their studies draw hundreds of conclusions, a study in 2007 in students at a public school, showed " decreased test anxiety, nervousness, self-doubt, and concentration loss".
Oprah says this book 'May just change the way you think about God.'
I think I have given enough reading for now... now for me is the time to practise and move....