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A Peak into my Library....
by Michelle Pietrzak Wegner



Editor's Note from Vasilena Toneva: Autumn is a wonderful time to curl up with a great book. This article gives some great suggestions that can deepen your journey along the path of yoga.

Many of my students, clients and colleagues have been asking more and more about books and resources to help quench their thirst for knowledge and help propel their spiritual journey forward.  This is just scratching the surface, but here are a few books that have helped me along the way...I hope in some way they speak to some of you.
If you are interested in adding some of these books to your own library, please consider your local independent bookstore first, they are sadly a dying breed. If that path is unsuccessful, you can buy used books on Amazon....many of those sellers happen to be independent booksellers from around the country. Buy with integrity. 

Inspirational & Growth...

Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope.  A yogi and a psychologist who shares his journey of yoga at Kripalu while embracing the philosophies of yoga.

Yoga Beyond Belief by Ganga White.  A great beginners guide to the philosophy of yoga in modern life.

A Gradual Awakening by Stephen Levine.  A simple and gentle book on meditation...one you will come to again and again.

Unintended Sorrow by Stephen Levine.  Beautiful book on how to work through sorrow, sadness, and grief. A must for everyone in finding peace and ease.

Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser.  A series of stories and insights and lessons on the transitions and changes through life.

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.  Steeped in Zen, Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity this is a book on how to live in the present moment in modern society.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.  More in depth than the above listed New Earth...Tolle goes deeply into presence of mind and it’s obstacles.

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron.  Perfect for extreme life transitions, buddhist thoughts in wading life’s turbulent waters.

Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron.  Similar to the book listed above, Pema guides us into a place of peace during times of unknown and uncertainty allowing us to let go of control.

Waking: A Journey of Trauma & Transcendence by Matthew Sanford.  Matt’s autobiography outlining the journey of a spinal cord injury at age 13 and finding a practice of yoga that allows him to live and be in his whole body. Beautifully written, and life changing for all who read!

Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor.  A Neuroanatomist’s journey through having a stroke and her rehabilitation back into life.

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind by Jon Kabat-Zinn.  This is a book of using mindfulness meditation to move through stress, illness, and chronic pain.

Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child by Thich Naht Hahn.  Title speaks for itself.

Anger: Cooling the Inner Flames by Thich Nhat Hahn.  Title speaks for itself.

The Hidden Messages of Water by Dr. Masaru Emoto.  This book has the potential to profoundly transform your world view. Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. This is significant in how you relate to water in your body and in the world through your thoughts, words, and intentions. 

On Classical Yoga Texts...

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras by Sri Swami Satchidananda

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: With Great Respect and Love by Mukunda Stiles

Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by B.K.S. Iyengar

The Principal Upanishads: The Essential Philosophical Foundation of Hinduism(Sacred Wisdom)

The Upanishads by Alistair Shearer (Translator), Peter Russell (Translator)

Paths to God: Living the Bhagavad Gita by Ram Dass

Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation by Stephen Mitchell

Autobiography of a Yogi  by Paramahansa Yogananda. Classic read.

Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater.  Easy to approach book on the concepts of the yamas and niyamas. Judith shares stories and insights from her own life.

Yoga Masters: How Theory can Deepen Your Practice  by Mark Forstater.  This is a great book that covers many of the classical texts in yoga and approaches the basic philosophy of yoga in layman's terms.

Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar. Classic read no matter what style of yoga you practice.

The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living by Stephen Cope.Cope rises out of Kripalu and is an informed writer with a psychology background. This is a great book for approaching the classic philosophy of yoga through the lens of practical life. 

On Yin Yoga and Taoism....

Yin Yoga: Outline of a Quiet Practice by Paul Grilley.  Small thorough reference book on the yin postures and theory.

Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers.  Sarah Powers philosophy combining Yin, traditional yoga, and Mindful Buddhism. Includes specialized and very useful sequences.

YinSights by Bernie Clark.  Comprehensive book into the philosophy and practice of yin yoga.

The Yin Yoga Kit (book & DVD) by Biff Mithoefer.  Approachable book with DVD - focuses quite a bit on the meridian system.

Tao Te Ching: New English Version by Lao Tzu translated by Stephen Mitchell. Basic translation of the Tao.

A Path and Practice: Using Lao Tzu’s Tao as a Guide to Awakened Spiritual Life by William Martin. Great useful book for putting the Tao into practice in life and on the mat.

The Tao of Inner Peace by Diane Dreher.  Another practical book with useful exercises for incorporating Taoist philosophy into life.

Living the Wisdom of the Tao by Wayne Dyer.  Beautiful book of Taoist thought & affirmations applicable to life. Dyer has 3-4 books using the basic Tao.

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff.  Simple book on Taoist philosophy through the eyes of the Winnie the Pooh and his friends. This is a fun a simple way to become connected to the basic ideas of the Tao. 

On Chakras....

Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith, Ph.D.  Anodea Judith is probably one of the most reknown experts on the chakra system and it’s link to social and psychological behavior today. This is a very solid, well-rounded book to have on hand regarding the chakras.

East Body Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self by Anodea Judith, Ph.D.  A very in-depth read of the chakra system and it’s link to behavioral patterns and the psyche.

The Seven Healing Chakras by Brenda Davies, MD.  Covers all major chakras but spends most of her time discussing the root chakra.  Excellent meditations.

The Seven Healing Chakras Workbook:  Exercises and Meditations for Unlocking Your Body’s Energy Centers by Brenda Davies, MD.  Excellent workbook with meditations and opportunities to journal emotions, feelings, and issues.

The Chakra Workbook by Anna Voigt.  Well-rounded little book on chakra system, yoga, and self-exploration through your own chakra balancing.

Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing by Caroline Myss, Ph.D. A reknown medical intuitive known as an authority on the chakras. This book is practical knowledge of the chakra system explaining why we create the behavioral patterns we do and how to break from them.  Dr. Myss also explains deeply how the chakras relate directly to the the sacraments of Christianity and the branches of Judaism.

Wheels of Light by Rosalyn L. Bruyere.  Standard text on chakras, auras and healing energy.   

On Rumi....

Rumi: Bridge to the Soul translation by Coleman Barks.  Small sweet little book of newly translated poems marking the 800th Birthday or Rumi.

Rumi, The Big Red Book translation by Coleman Barks.  Large collection of Rumi poems.

Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved translation by Jonathan Star.  Sweet and meaningful translations.

A Year with Rumi by Coleman Barks.  365 days of Rumi quotes and poems accompanied by a written exerpt that invites you into more pondering.

The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems by Coleman Barks.  Contains some of the more obscure and hidden works of Rumi.

Love Poems from God by Daniel Landinsky.  Twelve Sacred Mystic Poets from East to West. Included Rumi as well as his contemporary Hafiz.

Me and Rumi: The Autobiography of Shams-I Tabrizi by Shams Tabriz.  A more in depth guide to the relationship between Shams and Rumi.


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About the Author

Michelle Pietrzak-Wegner is an E-RYT 500, a certified registered Yoga Instructor of Yoga Alliance with 950+ hours of yoga training and over 2000 hours of teaching experience. She is also a certified Yoga Therapist in the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy tradition working with clients one on one to help create emotional, mental and physical release through yoga. You can find her on the web at www.omwithmichelle.com.





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