Sunshine and summertime – trips to the beach, long days in the sun, yoga on beach towels on the sand… And plenty of time for a good book!
Many people who haven’t practiced yoga fail to realize the mental toughness of the activity, the stamina required to practice well. When you do yoga, it’s not just your physical body getting a workout – your mind does just as much, if not more, work. That’s why reading books related to the yoga field is so important if you have decided to pursue a healthier mind.
Here are our top books related to the world of yoga that will help you channel a sense of self-discovery and connection to the pieces of the universe inside of you.
“Love Letter to the Earth” by Thich Nhat Hanh
This book is beautifully written by an incredibly well-known Buddhist teacher and peace activist, and its zen-like passages illustrate a passion for the earth that is awe-inspiring. Filled with mantras to repeat in your head as you go throughout the day, Love Letter to the Earth becomes a place to learn how to remind yourself to love your surroundings. One of his techniques, called “Mindful Walking,” shows us how to grace the earth with our every footstep. In his literal letters to Mother Earth, Nhat Hanh teaches us to respect the world around us for more than simply what it can give us.
“With each step, I come home to the earth.
With each step, I return to my source.
With each step, I take refuge in Mother Earth.”
“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
This book by Paulo Coelho has received a wide range of feedback since it was published, making it a great summer read to start conversations. The novel follows the spiritual journey of a shepherd boy named Santiago and his adventures across a desert. As he explores, he meets new people who challenge his ideas of the world’s treasures and what wealth actually means.
“Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” by Annie Dillard
Everything by Annie Dillard is full of wisdom, attention to detail, and challenges to make readers better humans. This, her first collection, focuses on natural elements and how to connect more fully with what is around you. This book helped me to focus more directly on each individual detail in my life as I try to figure out how to tackle each moment.
“The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World” by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
If you’re looking for a book to change your perspective on happiness and how to find it, this is the book for you. Two of our generation’s wisest men Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu share their insights into how to find lasting joy in the midst of tragedy, confusion, and materialism. Despite their stark religious differences, the men share a desire to see humankind love each other better, and that passion shows through in their words.
This summer, plan a reading group to discuss one or all of these texts, or just read them by yourself to embrace what the authors are trying to communicate. Whatever you decide to read, allow it to soak into somewhere deep inside of you. Allow it to change you. Happy reading!