5 books to start your Yoga Journey
Secret time: I love to read!:) When it comes to starting to know and understand yourself better, reading plays an important role. And to understand ourselves, to get to the bottom of all those "why's" and "how's", we need to understand how we function, how our mind works, how our energy works...This is a theme that I can not get enough of reading about! And doesn't the saying go something like: the more you read, the more you want to know? Well, once you start asking yourself questions, you will want to keep searching for answers.
When I started my "yoga journey", I started by reading a lot...and I still do! Because I want to understand. I like to know where certain knowledge comes from, why we do the things we do, the way we do it; I like to connect all the dots and experience those "aha" moments.
I believe in a greater purpose of life. We're not here merely to live day by day, between happiness and suffering, and eventually die. Our soul knows more than we do, we just need to start figuring things out. And if you have just embarked on your "spiritual journey", here are five books which will help with your understanding, and will definitely kick start your appetite for more:
Yes, my first recommendation is this best seller! It's the first book I read that really pushed me to seek more. If you already read it and didn't totally get it, read it again. You might reach a different understanding now. It's a great guide to understand our human essence better, to see life from a different perspective; it kind of "resets" your mind. This book is a great first step towards self knowledge.
This may be the best book on yoga I read! It's well structured, well explained and easy to understand. You will learn about the history of yoga, how it started, how it developed through time and how it came to the West. You will also learn about the yoga philosophy; terms are clearly explained, while the author's way of writing is very joyful, making this book a very pleasant read.
Paramhansa Yogananda was a yogi and guru who impacted the lives of millions with his teachings. He writes from his own knowledge and experience. This book is a great first read about karma and reincarnation, to help you embrace these concepts. It is brief and easy to understand, explaining death, karma, reincarnation and the purpose of the soul. Fascinating and inspiring!
It's said to be the most "influential and significant book on chakras ever written". It explains what each chakra means and how our energy centers work, taking them one by one. It also offers insights on how to balance and strengthen them. When I read this book, I set a goal to read every day about a different chakra. And you can always reach back to it, according to your needs, for a deeper understanding.
This book is very dear to me, as I have first discovered it during my teacher training in the Sivananda Ashram. I carried many books back home from India, and this is one of them.
Swami Vishnudevananda was a disciple of Swami Sivananda Saraswati; he established the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres and Ashrams on every continent and pursued a mission of world peace. The book contains extracts of his talks on the teachings of yoga, shared with wisdom and humor, stories and anecdotes. Very reader friendly, each page is a different paragraph on many different topics, such as : yoga, karma, mind, peace and more. You can read one page daily, while you enjoy your morning coffee:)
"The words he speaks are timeless and relate to the human
condition wherever and whenever it is to be found. He offers
solace, hope and guidance and above all joy and love to all
who listen to him."