My favorite yoga book right now is 1,001 Pearls of Yoga Wisdom: Take Your Practice Beyond the Mat by Liz Lark. This chunky little reference book is my go-to book for quick inspiration and random yoga facts. Plus, it’s a steal at $9.95 because it’s one of those books that you’ll refer to thousands of times.
The book is divided into seven sections:
- Starting Your Day Well
- Throughout Your Working Day
- Time for Yourself
- Relating to Others
- In Times of Trouble
- Winding Down
- Ending Your Day Well
Each of the 1,001 yoga pearls of wisdom in this handy-dandy guide are numbered and highlighted with cute illustrations and modern colors. I often grab it and open it to a random page; sometimes I land on an illustrated yoga pose with a description and sometimes I land on an inspirational quote or a factoid about yoga history. Here are some of my recent favs:
- #137 – Morning blessing Before leaving the house or beginning your daily yoga practice, open yourself up to what this day can bring you by repeating the following Sanskrit blessing for peace: Loka samasta sukhino bhavantu – “May happiness be unto the world.” (p. 82)
- #192 – Simply be yourself “When you are content to be simply yourself, And don’t compete or contend, You will gain true respect.” Lao Tzu (c.604-c.531BCE), China (p. 99)
- #907 – Lengthening the out-breath To induce a tranquil mind, watch the flow of your breath through your body. Notice how this diverts your mind from other distractions. Then, gradually lengthen each out-breath, or recaka, until it becomes twice the duration of the inhalation, or puraka. After a few minutes, notice how much more relaxed you feel. (p. 340)
I have found that if I allow my mind to go on and on with its own thinking, it will obsess on unfruitful thoughts. When I replace those thoughts with something interesting or inspirational like those found in this book, my mind takes off on a lighter path and my whole day is better.
P.S. While you’re ordering one for yourself, you may want to add a few to use as hostess gifts this holiday season. It’s a fun and affordable little gift that is sure to please.