Book Reviews: The Hot (Yoga) List,New Things to Inspire You! Like 0 Twitter Jennica B. Follow Oct. 17, 2016, 6:03 p.m. in Life and Styles Views: 1239 Like us on facebook Yoga is an ancient health & wellness technique, developed in India, around fifth or sixth Century, B.C., and it is deeply rooted in spirituality. The word yoga means unity, and the practice is created to help you connect your body with your mind and soul. We love this practice as a health & wellness focus because it’s also wonderful for self-development. Yoga helps to make your body feel and function better physically, while releasing tension and stress from your body, guiding you along a journey to becoming a more enlightened human being. Here are some of the specific benefits of yoga, and all of the reasons that we love it, as a leisure activity. Yoga for stress relief – Yoga controls your breathing, and the poses relax your body, and help to clear your mind, while you’re stretching. Getting into a pose can give you a sense of satisfaction with being able to take the stretch deeper, improving your confidence and self-esteem. Although not necessarily synonymous with meditation, it does involve clearing negative thoughts from your mind. You inevitably feel more calm as a result Yoga for pain – Stretching helps you to lengthen your muscles which prevents injury and relieves muscle tension. Deep, albeit, gentle stretches are very effective in releasing any pain that you feel from your body. You will also rest better following yoga, and limber muscles are less prone to strain, reducing the chance of further injury. Yoga promotes more effective sleep, which can prevent the onset of physical conditions and disease. Not getting enough sleep puts you at risk for a number of ailments, and doing yoga, right before bed, will leave your body feeling completely relaxed, for a deeper, more restful sleep. Your body will feel better in the morning too! Yoga for spirituality – Forget about your ego, especially if you are together in a class. You should be clearing your mind, and connecting with spirit. Yoga focusses on the energy in the room and is a very positive practice. It should leave you with a feeling of interconnectedness, not only in your body and soul, but also within the world around you. When you are calm, you are more receptive. You will also have a more pleasant disposition toward others, after irritation and stress are released; this can help you become more aware of what’s happening around you, and promote better engagement between yourself and others. Yoga can help bring new meaning and soulfulness to your life. We believe that you should find things to inspire you in your health and wellness journey, so we have put together some much needed ideas, to give you inspiration along your path. Check out these great, new, yoga finds to help keep you motivated with your wellness goals! Products for Yogis Fitness Yoga Chair Inversion Benches You can perform all of your poses using this apparatus, if you are having trouble with deep stretches, or if you are uncomfortable holding the poses. It also helps if you can’t get up once you’re down on the floor in a deep stretch! (Happens to everyone) The Inversion Bench will help support your muscles and make it easier for you to complete all of the moves in a series. This is a very helpful tool for beginners or for people who have joint or mobility limits, but it can be used for people of all ages and abilities, depending on how deep you want your stretches to be. Most of all, though, we love it for the assistance it gives you with poses. This is a great way to learn to do a headstand, if you are not strong or skilled enough to get into this one yet. It also serves as a major support for your entire body, and makes this pose a lot safer. We highly recommend having one of these on hand. No matter what your fitness level, this can help you to improve your yoga form. These go for around $120, and they are a good investment. We think everyone should have one. Yoga Mat Bags A yoga mat bag is a stylish accessory that’s very practical too. It can become difficult, carrying your yoga mat around everywhere, or trying to make it stay rolled up in the corner of the room somewhere. They get dropped; they magically unroll themselves and fall down in the middle of the night; they are a giveaway as to your whereabouts in the next 15 min., in the midst of your promenade. These carrying bags are unique and fun! Another thing everyone should have because they only cost $10 – Now you just look like you have a really stylish, oblong, handbag – or people will think you’re going hiking. Either way, it’s better than the alternative, and it’s practical too because it features a zipper, for easy closure and easy access. Score! Yoga Pillows or Meditation Cushions Seriously, we can’t get enough of this idea. You can shop for a variety of patterns and styles, but it’s definitely another must have, Yoga Essential. How many times are you sitting on the floor in lotus position, feeling like either the floor is too hard, or you need a better mat? You put your awesome yoga blanket over your mat, but still, it’s not quite enough some days, especially if you’re sore because a pilates workout kicked your booty. You should treat yourself to the good stuff – go big or go home! Yoga is intended to relieve any pain or discomfort you may have, so you should totally get one to cushion your seated pose. Not to mention, the patterns on these works of art are really creative and intriguing, so it’s a feel good kind of product. For less than $50, you can be sitting pretty, and you deserve it! That should inspire you for your workouts. Here is a list of the Top 7 Yoga Books Ever Written – in our humble opinion. The Yoga Bible Focusing on the 8 limbs of yoga and the Asanas, this book talks about your breathing, like taking deep, cleansing and warming breaths. The types of yoga explored include Ivenger, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Bikram. Written by Australian yoga instructor, Christina Brown, this book will help you to improve or refine your practice and makes poses easier. Including step by step instructions for each pose, the author explains preparation, body positioning and controlling your breath, in order to balance your body for better technique. Special topics include yoga for back pain, healing, pregnancy and stress. This is an illustrated book with really nice, full color illustrations of people practicing yoga in their everyday lives, not the typical black and white figures that you are used to. You won’t get bored with this one. Retail Price: approximately $25 CAD, $19 USD, £15 GBP Goldsfield Press (2003). [Review of the book The Yoga Bible, by Christina Brown]. ISBN 13: 978-1-58297-242-8, ISBN 10-1-58297-242-7 Perfectly Imperfect: The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice The successor to the original book , Journey to Power, this book explores the Baptiste Method using the author’s own approach to yoga, and takes you a step further along the process, focusing less on the practice and more on the internal workings of its effects.Thebook is written to motivate and inspire the reader in the art of yoga and become a more confident yogi and/or yoga instructor. Calling on the knowledge and expertise of the Masters, this book aims to transform your Yoga practice and your life. This book can help you to invigorate your yoga classes, and the author also offers once weekly sessions for teachers looking to expand their skills – something to take a look at once you’re finished reading the book. The author uses humor to engage the reader, and he speaks about the shift that takes place in your body, resulting in improved spiritual, emotional health and well-being. The author is a well-established voice in the field, with 5 books and 6 CDs. He is also very active online with a great presence in social media. The book references his Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram, and also a Youtube channel where you can try out classes for free. Online, you can check out a free workout - a 1 hour and 20 minute yoga class - recorded live from Kenya. Retail Price: approximately $14 USD, $18 CAD, £11 GBP Hay House (2016). [Review of the book The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice, by Baron Baptiste].ISBN 978-1-4109-4753-8 The Yoga Body Diet: Slim and Sexy in Four Weeks This is a book about healthy eating, it’s not a diet! There is no restricting calories, no eliminating food groups; it’s just a plan for general, overall health & wellness. The book integrates yoga into your plan for workouts, which is a great, stress-free, gentle way to condition your body. Yoga strengthens and tones muscles, rather than building or bulking them. We like it because it’s a healthy lifestyle book, focused on stress relief, challenging your body and making you feel good and emotionally well. The Rundown: This is a four-week plan, based on a test that you take about your body, skin type, etc. The test divides readers into 3 body types and includes recipes, created specifically for your body type, with foods that agree with your body and how you function. Basically, it aligns diet with spirit. There’s nothing fancy or difficult to follow, it’s just three meals a day – no staggering your meals throughout the day, and eating in miniscule portions – It’s practical, for everyday life. Retail Price: approximately $20 CAD, $15 USD, £12 GBP Rodeale Inc (2010). [Review of the book The Yoga Body Diet: Slim and Sexy in Four Weeks, by Dollard Doulliard]. ISBN 13-978-1-60529-648-7 Bon Bons to Yoga Pants So basically we just love the chocolates on the cover of this book! And that it’s referred to as the Health & Happiness Society because yoga is all about balance: Relax with a book; Eat some chocolate; and learn something new. You don’t need to be clad in yoga pants to participate. P.S. This is a storybook, not a yoga practice guide. It’s a good read about a Mom telling her daughter that she needs to lose weight – all about the balance of food and fitness. With chapters titled, “Bloated Flamingo,” “Operation Meet Bradley,” “Old Fashioned Bradley,” “Gym Gazelles…er…Hippos,” it’s a must read, in between all of your yoga classes and poses. You can read it chapter by chapter in Savasana pose, after you get back from the gym! – For those who love yoga. If you like chocolate and/or yoga, you’ll probably pick up this book the second you see it – It’s an Award Winning Book. A 20 something girl who is struggling with confidence about the dating scene and weight, meaning beauty, rather than personality or personal qualities, she joins a gym to meets new friends. The moral of the story is inner beauty. It doesn’t matter what you weigh, it’s about who you are as a person. This is a good message, if you’re caught up in gym mode, and you need a good ‘cool down’ at the end of the day. Fill your mind with good literature – another type of spiritual cleanse. Final Thoughts: A good read that’s good for your soul too. (So is chocolate) Retail Price: approximately $17 CAD, $12 USD, £10 GBP Antbellum Publishing (2015). [Review of the book Bon Bons to Yoga Pants, by Katie Cross]. ISBN 978-0-9966249-0-9 Yoga for Age 60+: A Guide to a New Journey for Safe Yoga Practice at Home There’s lots of illustrations in this book. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you can take control of your body and health at any time. Yoga is a very safe, gentle workout that promotes overall health and well-being, leaving you feeling like a million bucks! Using the analogy of your body as a computer with different storage folders and different drives, everyone who practices yoga is different, and it takes some work to figure out the intricate details of each person’s system to see how it responds to different approaches and techniques. This book will help you to get to know yourself better, especially through spirit. The book serves as a step-by-step guide for implementing yoga into your daily life, starting with small sessions at a time. Rather than focusing on chronological age, the sessions are designed for you, based on your mental age, and the feeling of your body in response to this practice. For modern men and women, we think this is a good read. Sixty and up means young at heart and healthy, for Balanced, Beautiful People. Retail Price: approximately $20 CAD, $15 USD, £12 GBP Austin Ashram (2011). [Review of the book Yoga for Age 60+: A Guide to a New Journey for Safe Yoga Practice at Home, by Meena Vad]. ISBN-10: 0984532420 ISBN-13: 978-0984532421 Eastern Body Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self This is a more in depth read that Integrates the two principles, Jungian psychology (the Western Mind) and the Chakras (the Eastern Body). This book focuses on the Chakras in relation to psychology, and blends it with spirituality. An exploration of yourself through somatic therapy, childhood development and the metaphysical world, you will learn about balancing chakras, to rid your body and soul of negative energy. Eastern Body, Western Mind focuses on the healing quality of yoga, for example, yoga for stress relief and yoga for traumatic experiences. Covering topics such as childhood abuse, the book explains how the Chakras are manifested in birth, childhood, etc. Retail Price: approximately $23 CAD, $17 USD, £14 GBP Random House (2004). [Review of the book Eastern Body Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self, by Judith Anodea]. ISBN 978-1-58761-225-1 Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy Ashtanga Yoga – That’s the one with all the fascinating poses! This yoga practice focuses on synchronizing the breath with a series of poses, and the poses are something to see! For advanced yogis and yoginis anyone who’s been practicing yoga for an extended length of time, this is the style that’s fun to work up to because eventually, everyone wants to learn some of the more difficult poses. This is a great way to keep you motivated and inspired – Learn new things, and you never get bored. After about a year, you will probably stumble onto this one, or become curious about Ashtanga; this is a good book to read, when that happens. Ashtanga can serve as a challenge as you work to learn new poses, and these aren’t your simple poses that you can just learn and do. It takes a lot of balance and practice, but it’s a huge accomplishment. The moment you feel your body lifting off the floor, with perfect balance, you will be surprised at what your body can do! Ashtanga Yoga is one of the most intriguing forms of yoga for the more experienced, and this book teaches you how to perform the poses, safely and with great technique. An in depth look at muscles, anatomy and their roles in achieving each pose, the book content is categorized very clearly; While the postures are complicated, the book is not. There are four sections, including: Fundamentals, Asana (i.e. Postures and Positions), History and Sutra (i.e. Philosophy). A beautiful book. Retail Price: $27 CAD, $20 USD, £16 GBP Kaivalya Publications (2007). [Review of the book Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy, by Gregor Maehle]. ISBN: 978-1-57731-606-0 Hopefully you will find something that motivates you from our list. A good book is another great way to contribute to your overall health & wellness, providing you with a few hours or so of calm each day, until you finish reading. Expand your yoga knowledge, and put your new yoga ideas as well as your new yoga finds, into motion. Published by Jennica B. Share Mail Messenger Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Comments Related Article Life and Styles DEAR WOMEN Life and Styles Escape from the BS Life and Styles It Is Still August Right?