These four books are written by inspirational female yoga teachers, who not only teach yoga but are also philanthropic businesswomen who’ve founded organizations or movements centered on encouraging positive change in this world. Each woman is grateful for Yoga for teaching them how to cultivate balance, harmony, integrity and kindness towards themselves, the people they meet and the world. We all know that yoga awakens in us a feeling of true love and a love that we want to share with others. We also know that there is more to Yoga than the asanas (poses), there is such a thing as “Seva Yoga” which is the art of selfless service, giving your time and energy to the greater good and this is exactly what these four amazing women do and I wanted to write a book review about their empowering message, to spread the love and also because I love yoga and reading books so fusing the two together over a cup of tea sounded like a brilliant idea!
These four books are beautiful, inspirational and gentle reads.
Fierce Kindness: Be a Positive Force for Change by Melanie Salvatore-August
“Train to shift any moment to one of appreciation and watch it bloom into more abundance.”
Melanie Salvatore-August is a San Francisco based yoga teacher, author and creator of the Fierce Kindness movement for non-violence. Her latest book Fierce Kindness is published with a delightful, independent boutique publisher named Yellow Pear Press (do check them out!). Fierce Kindness is exceedingly refreshing and exuberant, it reminds us of our power of choice, that we are in charge of how we engage in every day life scenarios and Melanie teaches us little tips on how to be mindful and kind towards ourselves and those around us. Its pages are filled with deliciously, empowering affirmations for you to devour with zeal; motivating you to be proactive. Within the pages, Melanie suggests the reader to doodle and make notes as it encourages the individual to take action rather than passively read the content. This is a gorgeous book and the design is sumptuous, with lovely yet simple illustrations dotted throughout, complimented by charming typography thus making it a feast for the eyes and fits beautifully in your hands.
My favorite pages in this little gold nugget of a book is the “Daily actions and affirmations for one month” calendar. In which Melanie gives examples of simple daily acts of kindness we can do for ourselves and for others such as, Day 1: Join an organization that is making positive change in the world: This has inspired me to write poems for a local charity who make poetry pamphlets for hospital wards and Day 25: Plant a tree or plant to help the environment. This has inspired me to include Bee friendly plants in our garden, which in turn helps the ecosystem.
Melanie also includes short stories of events (and people) she encountered and how she deals with it in a loving and kind way. She teaches that being present and mindful is key to having empathy and that the positive change starts with you. This book proves that simple and genuine acts of kindness can have a profound impact on those and ourselves we are helping. Kindness is the soil in which love can grow and blossom. In a world so turbulent, where hate is constantly regurgitated in the media, it is so important, now more than ever to be a positive force for change.
Small yet hearty, with bundles of soul and brimming with love, take this anywhere with you, this book is brilliantly travel friendly and for every copy of Fierce Kindness purchased, Yellow Pear Press and the Fierce Kindness Organization will donate 10% of the book profits to charities supporting nonviolence & people in need.
Also check out Kitchen Yoga by the same author!
Buy the book Fierce Kindness
Aim True: Love Your Body, Eat Without Fear; Nourish Your Spirit, Discover True Balance! By Kathryn Budig
This is a delightful, very pretty coffee table book jam packed full of delicious goodness including simple yoga sequences to put into practice, an introduction to meditation, homeopathic self care, beauty tips and over 85 mouth watering recipes that are simple and nutritional. Kathryn Budig is a renowned yoga teacher, inspirational speaker and founder of her animal project, ‘Poses for Paws’ whose ‘Aim True’ book encourages readers to live an empowering and authentic life on and off the mat. This book is accessible to everyone and has a gentle holistic approach to becoming the best you. Each page in this book is so pretty and feminine with gorgeous illustrations throughout and Kathryn’s down to earth advice guides you through each section with love and integrity, helping you along your journey of self-love and nourishing yourself from within.
The title ‘Aim True’ is inspired by Artemis, Goddess of the hunt and the moon. Kathryn mentions that she resonates with Artemis because this particular goddess goes against the grain of what society expects of a woman.
Kathryn states, “She’s the epitome of female courage. She’s the protector of women and provider of strength. At this point I was looking for the dotted line to sign up. I wanted to become a huntress and run with Artemis. I was sick of failed relationships and letting them determine my worth. I wanted to get back to my core. I needed to remember my worth and revive my soul.”
Artemis is depicted as a ‘tomboy’, wearing a smock (instead of a gown) in Greek Mythology and strives to be a brilliant warrior and huntress in her own right. Artemis is a symbol of a wild femininity, a force of nature and Aiming True to what she desires.
And this energy is very present in Budig’s book as she encourages readers to love and appreciate themselves and their bodies and to discovering whom they really are. It’s about self-acceptance and self love, just like Artemis, we are encouraged to aim true towards manifesting the life we want.
Buy the book Aim True.
Check out Poses for Paws Facebook.
Yoga Girl: Finding Happiness, Cultivating Balance and living with your heart wide open. by Rachel Brathen
“I wanted to do something real, something substantial, something that was going to change the world- I just hadn’t sat down to figure out exactly what it was yet.”
Renowned yoga teacher, instagram yoga celebrity and founder of the 108 website & 109 campaign Rachel Brathen, gifts us with this uplifting and vivacious book. I read this book a couple of years ago whilst in Bulgaria and it was during a time in my life where I felt lost and misunderstood. Reading this book gave me clarity and peace of mind. Rachel offers readers personal stories about how yoga found her, how she became a yoga teacher and how she discovered peace within herself to ultimately be a part of something bigger to cultivate healing in this world. The photography is beautiful and there are helpful pointers for yoga as well as some delicious recipes and meditation tips. More than anything, the book made me realize that behind each fairly joyful instagram there is a woman who has worked hard to get to know her true self through doing and teaching yoga, and so the whole vibe of this book gives the impression that Rachel is very authentic and honest. What I love about Rachel is that despite everything she has been through, she has rebelled and forged her own way. She is the epitome of courageous vulnerability and following the heart to be of service to global issues.
Her book, is predominantly about her life journey and the lessons she has learned, giving us hope, to listen to our gut feelings and take that leap of faith, chase that dream you’ve always wanted to do or set intentions to create the life you want but at the same time we must remember to slow down, remember that things change, there will be difficult times, and to think about how we can impact the world in a positive way, through random acts of kindness and being of service to others, isn’t that what yoga is all about?
This is a great book to start your morning practice with, over a cup of hot tea.
Buy the book Yoga Girl.
Check out her 108 website.
And the 109 movement.
The Art of attention: A Yoga Practice Workbook for Movement as Meditation by Elena Brower
“In order to be seen, we must see and acknowledge others. To whom can we express gratitude?”
This is a gorgeous, elegant book with some thoughtful sequences, photography and graphic design throughout. Elena Brower, designed this book for contemplation and creative practice for students and yoga teachers to use alike.
This was created as a study guide, which encourages yogis to make notes and jot down ideas, affirmations and thoughts; inviting you to craft your own practice and navigate a yoga that is yours, alone.
Elena has been a practicing yoga teacher since 1998 and she is known for being the embodiment of love, gratitude, and grace. Her teachings are holistic and her commitment to bring us closer to our bodies and hearts are ever present within her classes and in this book; this book accomplishes her objective so beautifully with her words and the visually stunning images. Art of Attention is an instructive, healing guide to the practice of yoga and I just love that it’s not just a book you read but a workbook you can use as a diary.
Brower focuses heavily on Eastern philosophy, mindfulness and meditation so this is a great book for those wishing to deepen their meditation practice also.
What I love about Elena and her book is that her teachings are accessible and she has a lovely gentle vibe to her that makes you feel at ease instantly.
Her book, classes, workshops and retreats aim to teach us to slow down and listen to our hearts, that in order to save the world we need to look within, to rediscover ourselves, heal what is broken and just breathe. Elena’s message is that devoting ourselves to a daily meditation practice is the most healing daily habit we can gift to ourselves. Imagine, if everyone all over the world had a meditation practice, how peaceful would the planet be?
Elena teaches online at Yogaglo, has directed a documentary film about the healing benefits of a meditation practice and facilitates the ‘Elevate’ mentorship program, which is designed for teachers who wish to develop a creative teaching practice.
The book Art of attention is an exquisite workbook that gently guides you to cultivate your own movement meditation and live a peaceful life.
Buy the book Art of Attention.
You can also purchase the Art of attention card deck, which is useful for your personal practice or if you are a yoga teacher you can incorporate them into your lesson.
All four books have a gentle uplifting, sweetness to them. Enjoy over a cold beverage, perhaps a fruit smoothie; during those long summer nights, whilst wearing your favorite maxi dress and gazing up at the moon & stars.
Do you have any favorite yoga books? Share with us in the comments!