I tend to get my yoga inspiration from books rather than pictures. Sure I’ve viewed heaps of yoga online, but the things that have really moved me, resonated or struck a chord with me generally come from books. I’ve also had some inspiring teachers, but like books, they’ve pointed to things inside of me that I needed to learn.
You will have noticed the book collection at the studio as this is a big part of my practice. Each time BookFest is on, I buy as many books as I can carry. I’m usually reading several books at a time and my reading list is about 20 books long at the moment. I let my intuition guide me as to which books I should be reading and will often return to a book I’m half-way through about 6 months later.
Here’s some books that have influenced, inspired or changed me:
1. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho, inspired me to listen to my heart and become a yoga teacher
2. The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle, helped to me to escape the ‘matrix’ of mindlessness and enter the present moment
3. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl helped me to appreciate the suffering in my life and understand how it was shaping me into the person I am becoming
4. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron has helped me to let go of things I can’t control and to be ok with uncertainty
5. The Celestine Prophecy by James Radfield inspired me to find synchronicity and actively raise my energy levels
6. I credit Osho with my approach to meditation. His no-nonsense, in-your-face approach really hits home for me
7. Being Peace and The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hahn for helping me see the beauty and necessity of simplicity
8. A Profound Mind and the Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama. All of his works have helped me to understand the causes of suffering, the role of my ego, the importance of compassion and my samskaras.
9. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. I resisted reading this book until I felt I was ready and it has inspired my meditation practice and has helped me experience bliss.
10. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali has shaped my beliefs about yoga being less about the physical poses and more about cultivating mental stillness.