Our Yoga Book Club is meeting February 3 via Zoom to discuss Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. This was such an eye-opening book that really helped me better understand the issues going on in our country right now. Even if you can’t join us for our book club discussion, I strongly encourage you to read it.
Considering how important of a book this is got me thinking about which of the other books we’ve read for Yoga Book Club have had a lot of meaning to me and been personal favorites. I went through the ‘Some of Our Favorites’ list I’ve compiled on the book club page of my website over the years and looked for the books that really stood out for me. Here they are (in no particular order):
The Heart of Yoga & The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (TKV Desikachar translation) by TKV Desikachar – This is the only real yoga book on the list. I found it to be so comprehensive yet easy to read that I’ve included it as required reading for my Yoga Immersions. The section on The Yoga Sutras was the first translation that was easy enough for me to get through, and finally understanding it made me wonder if Patanjali was the world’s first therapist! ;)
Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach – She had me at ‘the trance of unworthiness.’ “To liberate ourselves from the trance, we must practice the two ‘wings’ of radical acceptance–mindfulness (seeing situations clearly without the story line) and compassion toward ourself.”
Waking Up by John Earle – I’m not just picking this one because he’s my friend and spiritual counselor! Even though I might cherish it more than some because I have a personal connection to the author, I think anyone would appreciate the personal stories he shares about his life, and be inspired by his spiritual path.
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown – Really, any book by Brene Brown is on my recommended list but, as a recovering perfectionist, this one stands out for me.
What the Eyes Don’t See by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha – I admit to not being super-excited about the idea of reading this book when someone first suggested it for book club, but that is exactly why I liked it so much. I ended up being pleasantly surprised by how good it was – suspenseful, historical, cultural, inspirational, well-written – plus, the events happened right here in our own state. Dr. Mona is a rock star as far as I’m concerned.
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff, PhD – I wish this book was required reading in every high school in America (or the world for that matter). I think if people were taught self-compassion at a young age, the world would be a very different place.
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle – I half-jokingly, half-seriously have called this book my Bible since reading it over a dozen years ago. I only own books that I have read and know that I will want to go back and refer to again and again. This is one of those books.
Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett – Not really being a radio or podcast listener, when one of her earlier books was suggested for our book club I wasn’t too excited about reading it. But I’m so glad I did, and I was totally on board to read this one when it was suggested a few years later. I can tell she’s a deep thinker like me.
World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle – This is the book that made me go from vegetarianism to veganism. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t an easy read. But if you don’t want to delude yourself about where your food comes from, it’s a must-read.
The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson – A good friend suggested this book to me right at the perfect time. And the author is a Highly Sensitive Person like me (you can take the sensitivity quiz here to find out if you are too), which made it all the more validating.
It was challenging to limit myself to just ten selections. Really, there were so many more that could’ve been included. (I’m looking at you Elizabeth Lesser, Thich Nhat Hanh, Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield, Mark Nepo and Pema Chodron!) As I mentioned above, you can find a list of about three dozen of our yoga book club favorites here. But I calculate that through our now twelve years of existence we’ve read over 70 books (and yes, I do actually have a master list of all of them someplace)! How many on this list have you read?