Slightly different blog from me today, but as winter is my favourite time for hibernating with a good book or five, I thought I’d share a few recommendations. They’re not necessarily yoga-focused but most are at least leaning in that direction! I’ve linked to Amazon for ease and because I’m a Kindle fan, but obviously you can buy them anywhere.
This book has a special place in my heart as I read it while trekking to Annapurna Base Camp. It kept me calm through tummy bugs, back pain, bitterly cold nights and fears of avalanches. I love Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings and writings anyway, and this one has a beautifully peaceful quality to it. Read it and be comforted.
I think anything written by the incredible Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron is well worth reading, but this book in particular describes a practice known as Tonglen. The concept of Tonglen is basically the opposite of the “inhale the good shit, exhale the bullshit” idea – you imagine breathing in the poison, all the dark, hot, heavy stuff, fully experiencing and absorbing it, then breathing out cool white light. It’s counter-intuititive, but an amazingly powerful practice for transforming anger, rage, frustration and fear. It’s probably best you read the book though, as there’s no way my distorted description of it will have done it justice!
Yes, it’s by the magician/ illusionist guy, but it’s also a fantastic read about stoicism and the philosophy of how to live well. It draws on a different lineage to yogic philosophy but there’s a huge amount that resonates in here. Depressing as it sounds, I found the chapters on death life-changing and regularly remind myself of some of its nuggets of wisdom when I’m feeling anxious. Don’t let that that put you off – it’s great, I promise!
Even if you’re not a fan of Forrest Yoga, or you haven’t had chance to try it yet, there’s loads to get into in this heartfelt book about the power of yoga and connection with your spirit for healing. Ana Forrest’s own personal story is inspirational too, so it’s worth reading for the juicy autobiography alone.
I was going to stick to non-fiction books but I couldn’t resist sharing this one last. I found the writing itself a bit awkward at times, but the whole concept it’s based around is irresistible. I don’t want to spoil the plot, but if, like me, you struggle with questioning your life choices (what if I’d not quit my job, what if I’d learned guitar, what if I’d gone to New Zealand, what if I’d joined the circus etc) it’s super helpful for putting some of those demons to rest.
I hope you enjoy these, and let me know if you have any good recommendations in return – I feel I’m due a few cosy reading days over the next week or two!