Originally published in: 2018
What it’s about: A book about “secular” mindfulness meditation and Harris’s work to share his beloved practice with those that want to try but have many excuses not to.
What made me pick it up: As a newbie mindfulness meditator I am curious about all books mediation-related.
My favorite parts: I like this for the reason laid out in the title – this is for fidgety skeptics. If you’ve tried and immediately not achieved enlightenment so you think you’ve failed – it’s for you. If you’d like to try but “just don’t have the time” – it’s also for you. It’s not mystical in any way but it does make it sound accessible by shouting down your excuses, providing strategies to help, and detailing examples of the ongoing struggles from long-term practitioners. You will want to keep trying because they extol how it has helped them. And if you’ve tried even a little bit you’ll know of what they speak. Meditation helps me be quieter in my mind and reactions and I heartily endorse any book that can bring that peace to others. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Who it’s great for: Anyone interested in meditation.
Find this book in your local library or on Amazon (affiliate link).
Originally published in: 2017
What it’s about: An unintimidating guide to getting started with yoga for people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and abilities.
What made me pick it up: Stanley is something of an Instagram star, so I was curious to see what she’d have to say to reluctant would-be yogis.
My favorite things: Part guide for the reluctant yogi, part memoir, Stanley openly shares her own complicated history with yoga to make it more accessible to anybody that’s been afraid to try because they don’t think that they will be capable. She’s so inspiring and encouraging that I, who have always had trouble with the quiet and introspective aspects of yoga, found myself anxious to give it another shot. She also includes several sequences for feelings that it’s easy to identify with, such as I Need To Chill the F Out (pg 206) and I Need to Love Myself (pg 212).
Who it’s great for: Anyone who’s considered practicing yoga but been too intimidated to start.
Find this book at Amazon or in your local library.
Originally published in: 2015
What it’s about: A young girl explains why she does yoga while demonstrating basic poses.
What made me pick it up: It was recommended to me by OverDrive after something I wanted wasn’t available. It’s a weird service that is not nearly close to the mark but does sometimes suggest things that are also of interest. It was a picture book, which I knew I’d go through quickly. It has a very engaging cover and font.
My favorite things: As a yoga fan more than practitioner, I enjoyed the welcoming colors and design of this book. It also offers easy to understand explanations for how yoga can help with stress and health. In the back is a simple guide to basic poses that made me want to stretch for the first time in a while. Or maybe just lay on the ground in corpse pose. That counts too!
Who it’s great for: Parents who want to introduce yoga to their child. Anyone who enjoys bright colors and engaging illustration. Adults who want a brief guide to basic yoga.