So many teachings and practices have helped me considerably on my journey. Here are some of my favorites, sorted by topic. I hope they help you, too!
Finding and living your ‘dharma’ (your deepest truth)
“The Four Desires” by Rod Stryker
A guided process for finding and actualizing what brings your life meaning by balancing the four basic desires that the Vedic tradition considered required for a life of fulfillment. Supplemental reading: Elephant Journal has a ‘4D book club’, which can support your 4 Desires work. Also see my take on harnessing the power of intention via sankalpa. Working with a teacher who is familiar with this process can make it much more effective.
“The Great Work of Your Life” by Stephen Cope
The principles of how to live in line with your inner truth, based on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and illustrated with inspirational examples of the real lives of both ‘ordinary’ and ‘extraordinary’ people.
Inner emotional work
“Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach
An introduction to the practice of truly accepting yourself and others, with compassion and intelligence. A must-read for anyone who struggles with self-judgement, judgmentalism, anxiety or negative self-talk.
“The Mirror of Yoga” by Richard Freeman
Richard’s unique description of yoga’s practices and philosophies, their origins and relevance for today. If you prefer to listen, I recommend “The Yoga Matrix” Richard’s 6-CD lecture series largely based on the same concepts.
“The Inner Tradition of Yoga” by Michael Stone
A presentation of the key philosophies of the yoga tradition. A potentially challenging, but fulfilling, read.
“The Science of Yoga” by I.K. Taimni
A translation and very in-depth commentary on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the ultimate yogic text.
“The Heart of Yoga” by TKS Desikachar
A clear presentation of yogic philosophies and practices.
“Moving Inward: The Journey to Meditation” by Rolf Sovik
An in-depth description of the physical and physiological aspects of sitting in meditation, including a great treatment of the breathing apparatus and some yoga postures to prepare the body for meditation
“Ashtanga: The Practice Manual” by David Swenson
A detailed guide to the Ashtanga primary and second series, including transitions, modifications, and clear photos of each asana.
“What a Body Knows: Finding Wisdom in Desire” by Kimerer LaMothe, Ph.D.
An exploration of the deeper meaning of our desires for food, sex and ‘spirit’. LaMothe describes how we can get more in touch with and truly satisfy these needs by listening to our body’s wisdom.
“The Art of Stillness” by Pico Iyer