Top teachers share the yoga and meditation books that impacted them the most.
There are some books that stick with us long after we’ve finished turning the pages. These are the books that become a part of who we are— a fabric of our being, so to speak. They influence us when we think about our practice (and our lives as a whole, really), and they affect our headspace and outlook every time we step on our mats and sit on our meditation cushions.
They’re the kind of books that are worth reading again and again.
To dig into the power that the best yoga and meditation books can have to change our lives, we asked top teachers which yoga and meditation books have changed theirs. Teachers cited books that were favorites because they were easy to return to again and again, as well as books that made a difference at a pivotal moment in their lives.
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Read on for the 10 best yoga and meditation books, according to 10 top teachers around the country.
About the Author
Gina Tomaine is a Philadelphia-based writer and editor. She is currently Deputy Lifestyle Editor of Philadelphia magazine, and previously served as Associate Deputy Editor of Rodale’s Organic Life. Her work can be seen in Women’s Health, Runner’s World, Prevention, Good Housekeeping, and elsewhere. Learn more at ginatomaine.com.
These Photos of Famous Yogis will Inspire You to Find Your Light
Photographer and world traveler Francesco Mastalia trains his lens on four renowned yogis to reveal their inner light.
Francesco Mastalia focuses his lens on world-renowned yogis to explore how the ancient practice has transformed their minds, bodies, and spirits. The resulting images, taken on glass plates (using a photographic technique from the 1850s) reveal each yogi’s embodiment of what he calls “divine inner light.”
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This Simple Meditation Will Help You Get in Touch with Your True Self
New York Times bestselling author Lissa Rankin’s forthcoming book features daily letters to help you tap into what she calls “your inner pilot light”—your natural guiding intuition and wisdom. Here’s one to get you started.
Every life begins when a small spark of the eternal flame of cosmic consciousness splits off like a glowing ember of a universal bonfire. This unique spark ignites as the organizing intelligence that creates your organs, divides your cells, and develops you perfectly into a precious being decorated with thoughts, preferences, gifts, talents, emotions, and eccentricities.
The inner pilot light, or true Self, begins in every baby as the untainted, radiant, buoyant light of the divine but often gets filmed over by trauma, conditioning, and the illusion of separation from the eternal flame from which this unique spark arises. Although your Inner Pilot Light may grow dim as life’s inevitable challenges threaten to snuff out the full brilliance of this luminous fire, rest assured that your inner pilot light never burns out.
What if you can’t feel your inner pilot light? Does it ever burn out? No, my darling. Rest assured that although your connection to this divine spark may sometimes feel tenuous or even absent, your inner pilot light still fires away, even at the darkest times of your life.
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So, sit back and get ready for a magical ride. Your beloved inner pilot light is waiting to welcome you back to the home that’s always been your true sanctuary.
Read this letter to yourself when you need to get grounded, find your own way, or simply tap into the divine that lives in you.
Do you realize that no matter what else is going on in your life—no matter how much stress you’re under, how much heartbreak you’re experiencing, how much pain you feel in your body or mind, or how much your life is full of fabulousness—I am always here for you?
I’m like your heartbeat. You may not always notice me, but I’m always present, doing my job, just beating away—thump, thump, thump—waiting for you to tap in.
You can access me anytime. And I don’t even charge overtime.
Having trouble finding me? Close your eyes. Imagine me as a golden light in your heart, expanding to fill your chest. Now see me filling your whole torso with my light and dropping down through your body
like an extension cord made of my light. Ground me into the soil. See me going through the water table and the rock, all the way into the magma at the center of Mama Earth. Now plug me in, sugarplum!
Let Mama’s Earth energy come back up that cord of my light. Let me fill you to the brim until my light shoots out the top of your head and connects you to the cosmos. See me like a spotlight flashing to the stars as one giant firestick of golden light connecting you to all that is.
Huzzah! Hoorah! Snap, crackle, pop!
Now take a few breaths. Abide in me, darling. Know that I am here. I’m that sparkly, effervescent, 100 percent authentic spark within you that never gets extinguished, no matter how rough life gets. I’m that pilot light that holds the Eternal Flame of your divine radiance, even when the main burners aren’t ignited fully. I’m the presence of unconditional love and acceptance inside of you, always here to help you heal that which is in need of healing.
See also 10 Best Yoga and Meditation Books, According to 10 Top Yoga and Meditation Teachers
Right now I’m here with a very important invitation. Just as an experiment, will you let me light the way for a while?
Will you let me take the wheel in your life so we can journey together?
I know you’re accustomed to listening to other voices inside your head, and you may not have spent much time listening to mine. You’re so accustomed to listening to your adorably protective monkey mind, which is always working 24/7 just to try to keep you safe, rehashing the past and trying to control
the future, grasping for what it wants and resisting what it doesn’t like.
Let’s see if that precious monkey mind would be willing to trust me enough to give us some space so you can experiment with how things might go if you listen to me for a bit.
Can you ask the parts inside you that may object to you and me becoming intimate if they’d be willing to grant us just this little experiment? Let them know I’m just going to start by writing you a few love letters. No pressure. No Holy-Roller hellfire and brimstone. Just love and radical acceptance of even the parts you might judge as unlovable. Are you up for a love that big?
Think back for a minute to a time in your life when you were at your most powerful. Maybe you won the elementary school science fair with that revolutionary idea. Maybe you were a young stallion teenager bucking with passion. Maybe you were just rewarded your first raise for a job well done. Maybe you completed that marathon. Maybe something mystical happened and you felt at one with the Universe. You were in flow and synchronicity was on your side, and everything just felt so . . . magical. You remember the time . . .
That day, you let me take over so I could shine my light all the way through your whole being.
Well, I’m still here, baby. Can you feel me?
Close your eyes and feel me. Let me love you up right now. Let’s make magic together.
YOUR INNER PILOT LIGHT
Adapted from the forthcoming book, THE DAILY FLAME: 365 Love Letters from Your Inner Pilot Light, by New York Times bestselling author Lissa Rankin, MD. Sounds True, February 2019. Printed with permission.
About the Author
Lissa Rankin, MD, is the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine, The Fear Cure, and The Anatomy of a Calling. She is a physician, speaker, and the founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute. Learn more at LissaRankin.com.
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