Have you stopped writing 2013 on everything yet? I sure haven't. The other day at work I realized I had been doing it all day. Oops. Well, while that "New Year" feeling is still fresh, I thought I'd harness that energy and share a couple of awesome yoga books that have come my way recently. If getting healthy, finding balance, or making more time for "you" this year are part of your 2014 intentions, then I highly recommend both of these books to kick off your year.
The first isPlus One: Finding God on the Yoga Mat, an inspirational memoir by Cori Martinez. Cori owns and teaches at Asha Yoga , a studio in Sacramento that I had the pleasure of taking class at often when we lived in the area. Her studio is truly one of the most beautiful spaces I have ever practiced in, and it immediately felt like "home" to me. I first got to know her writing through her blog, where she wrote very personal and deeply moving entries about her life, including a miscarriage and the subsequent birth of her daughter. She has taken some of those blog writings and turned them into this book, where she threads together the events of her life with the grace and strength she found on the mat--and ultimately-- with the force that she came to recognize as God in her life. It's a quick read, the kind that you can't put down and are engrossed in for a weekend.
When you finish that and you're feeling all inspired to check out a yoga class, the next book will help you turn that inspiration into a reality. Pick Your Yoga Practice by Meagan McCrary is the perfect book if you are newer to yoga and don't really know where to begin. The world of yoga (especially in the West) has really exploded in the last 20 years, with a new studio and style popping up around nearly every corner. All yoga is not created equal, and there are as many types of yoga as there are personalities in this world. The key to success is finding the right one for you, and that is exactly the intention of this book. It can be really overwhelming to know where to start, but Meagan helps you shortcut all of that and does a great job covering many of the major styles you're likely to come across and what you can expect in a class. One of my favorite things in this book are the first 50 pages, where she explains what yoga is exactly, what it can mean for you, the philosophy and origins of the yoga system, and how yoga has changed and evolved in the West. It took me several years of picking up tidbits here and there plus teacher training to learn all of the awesome context and background information that Meagan provides in this section of the book.
Definitely check out one or both of these books to keep your healthy intentions rolling!