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4 Books for Yogis to Read Today

There’s nothing like reading a good book! Plus, studies show its good for you. Adults who read for 30 minutes a week report feeling 20% more satisfied with their lives, according to Quick Reads.

Here at Chasing Nirvana Yoga, we always preach about the importance of self-care, and taking a half hour to read a couple days a week certainly counts! Reading is a form of mindfulness. Being with a book for a bit of time resets the mind and serves as a stress reliever.

If you’re a yogi, wellness practitioner, or individual looking to expand your reading list, be sure to check out the following four books.

 

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1. Wanderlust: A Modern Yogi’s Guide to Discovering Your Best Self by Jeff Krasno

Like the wildly popular festivals that have taken the yoga world by storm, Wanderlust is a road map for the millions of people engaged in cultivating their best selves. For the 20 million people who grab their yoga mats in the United States every week, this book gives a completely unique way to understand "yoga"—not just as something to do in practice, but as a broader principle for living. Wanderlust helps readers navigate their personal path and find their own true north, curating principles that embody the brand and lifestyle—authentic yoga practices, provocative thinking, music, art, good food, eco-friendly activities, and more. Each chapter includes expert yoga instruction by renowned teachers; inspiring music playlists to motivate readers to practice; thought-provoking art; awesome recipes for delicious, healthy foods to sustain a yoga regimen; and fun, unexpected detours. This wide array of ideas and beautiful visuals is designed to be hyper-stimulating—whether a reader follows the arc of the book from beginning to end or dips into chapters at random, she is sure to find something pleasing to the eye, to feel motivated to practice, and to want to reach for her deepest desires and dreams. This book brings the Wanderlust festival experience into any reader's home.

 

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2. Quantum Healing by Deepak Chopra

More than twenty-five years ago, Quantum Healing helped transform Deepak Chopra into a cultural phenomenon. Now Dr. Chopra, hailed by Time as “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine,” returns to this groundbreaking exploration of consciousness and the power of mindfulness, adding the latest scientific research as well as expanded thoughts on the connection between body and mind. Inspired by the unexplained recovery of patients in his own practice who had been given just a few months to live, Dr. Chopra began his search for answers. After returning to his native India to explore humanity’s most ancient healing tradition, Ayurveda, he combined those insights with Western medicine, neuroscience, and physics. What he discovered—a “network of intelligence” in the human body with the potential to defeat cancer, heart disease, even aging itself—forms the basis of Quantum Healing. In this new edition, Dr. Chopra once again offers a fascinating intellectual journey and a deeply moving chronicle of hope and healing.

 

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3. Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace by Sharon Salzberg

Real Happiness at Work brings the profound benefits of meditation to an area where people could use it most―the workplace. And it’s written by one of the world’s leading meditation teachers. A follow-up to Real Happiness, the New York Times bestseller, Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness at Work is a practical guide to improving work life through mindfulness, compassion, and ingenuity. It’s about being committed without being consumed, competitive without being cruel, managing time and emotions to counterbalance stress and frustration. It shows readers how to be more creative, organized, and accomplished in order to do better, more productive work. Dividing the idea of workplace satisfaction into eight pillars, Real Happiness at Work is filled with secular wisdom; core meditations on broad themes like motivation, awareness, and seeing the good in others; and more than a dozen exercises, including Moving From Me to We and When Things Go Wrong. Sprinkled throughout the book are short “stealth” meditations, the kind that are quick, private, and doable anywhere―“Let the phone ring three times, follow your breath, then pick it up” and “For an upcoming one-on-one conversation, resolve to listen more and speak less.” Even the best jobs are filled with stress, tough deadlines, impatient bosses, seemingly endless meetings―all the ills of harried life. But as science increasingly shows, meditation is the antidote.

 

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4. 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works by Dan Harris

After having a nationally televised panic attack, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had propelled him through the ranks of a hypercompetitive business, but had also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out. Finally, Harris stumbled upon an effective way to rein in that voice, something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation, a tool that research suggests can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain. 10% Happier takes readers on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America’s spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.

 

What yogi-friendly books do you recommend? Sound off in the comments!

Chasing Nirvana Yoga offers on-site yoga and wellness classes for employers, tenant-residing buildings, community spaces, events, and more. To schedule your free consultation, visit www.chasingnirvanayoga.com.

Kara Crow Spotlight: CNY Health Coaching

When it comes to reaching your optimum health, it’s important to examine your lifestyle and habits overall. Even if you think you just want to focus on improving your diet, losing excess weight, gaining more muscle or achieving another specific goal, all these aspects of health are connected. With guidance on nutrition, exercise, mindfulness and more, you can more easily get to where you want to be.

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Kara Crow, one of Chasing Nirvana Yoga’s newest team members, is here to help you set and reach goals that will allow you to be the best and healthiest version of yourself with her health coaching skills. Originally from Stowe, VT, Kara attended the University of Vermont before moving to Boston on somewhat of a whim in 2011 to be a personal trainer. Although she planned to race on the U.S. Ski Team and pursue a career as a professional athlete, life happened and circumstances changed. In her senior year of college, her adviser suggested she try an internship that focused on personal training.

Q: How did you get into health coaching?

A: I got sick a few years ago and had to find alternative means for healthcare because the conventional model wasn’t working. No one could tell me what was wrong with me. I was debilitated in terms of mental and physical function. I was tired, wasn’t sleeping, felt miserable, and I wasn’t living my life the way I wanted to. I went through all kinds of testing and functional medicine, and eventually got my life back. I was fully functional with two years of trial and error, but I decided I had to know more about it. Functional medicine led me to health coaching. Health coaching is a little less specific than functional medicine, but both have a lot to do with eating and nutrition. Health coaching and functional medicine both look at the system as a whole. You have symptoms, but what is the underlying cause?

Q: What were your next steps?

Kara Crow finishing her first marathon in October 2018. (instagram.com/karacrow)

Kara Crow finishing her first marathon in October 2018. (instagram.com/karacrow)

I had personal training clients come to me with a host of ailments, and I didn’t feel like I knew exactly what was wrong. There’s so much going on underneath the layers of the onion. I wanted to know what makes people tick and how to help people outside of the fitness aspect. I wanted to be able to do more with my skill set, reach more people and have more education to help my clients. I wanted the tools to help propel them to the next step.


Q: Why Boston?

A: Boston has a relatively young crowd of people ranging from entrepreneurs to corporate people; there are lots of people to get to know. It’s a city, but not one so busy that it’s overwhelming like New York. I love that there’s so much opportunity if you know where to look, especially when it comes to healthcare. Not only do we have one of the best hospitals in the country, but also some of the best holistic practitioners.

Nutrition is key! (instagram.com/karacrow)

Nutrition is key! (instagram.com/karacrow)

Q: What are the health coaching classes like?

A: I’m currently doing health coaching for small groups, in which we go through the basics of behavior change throughout a six-week time period. We start by discussing: why is change so hard? Then, we begin creating a structure to drive the change: SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) Goals.

From there, we dive into nutrition. I keep it simple, breaking down to the types of foods, explaining calories and advising on how to modify dishes at restaurants to make them healthier. The next week we talk about movement including the benefits of exercise and what you’re “supposed to” do in terms of amount and type. People tend to say, “If I can’t do it in full, I’ll do nothing.” Even if Mayo Clinic says do x minutes of exercise, doing y minutes instead of zero minutes is still progress.

Get more insight for how to reach your fitness goals with CNY health coaching in Boston, MA, by Kara Crow. Chasing Nirvana Yoga provides on-site yoga, meditation and other health-focused classes around the country.

How to Practice Mindfulness at Work in a Few Easy Steps

Many people think being stressed comes hand-in-hand with going to work. There are deadlines to meet, projects to take on, and managers to please. There are long meetings, constant emails, and ringing phones. It’s commonplace now to breathe a sigh of relief when the clock strikes 5 pm … but why should it be?

Practicing mindfulness at work can help you make the most of your 9-5 day and keep your worries in perspective. Did you know chronic stress affects your health, your body, and your immune system? Mindfulness has been proven to reduce chronic stress, and you can easily start your practice today.

Mindfulness — paying attention to the present moment in an accepting, nonjudgmental way — is a simple practice available to all. Research has shown it is also a reliable method for reducing stress, including at work.
— New York Times
Mindfulness at Work

New York Times’ “How to Be More Mindful at Work” article is a great place to begin. It explains why a mindfulness practice allows us to improve our focus, and why coming back to the present is a way of attention training that has all sorts of benefits. And it’s not all about meditation, either (though meditation is a great way to practice mindfulness!). 

The article encourages readers to try the following methods:

  • Turn off pop-up notifications and push notifications.

  • Answer email during dedicated periods of time, rather than constantly throughout the day as soon as it pops into your inbox.

  • Finish one task before you begin the next.

  • Try a popular mindfulness exercise known as S.T.O.P.:

    • Stop. Just take a momentary pause, no matter what you’re doing. 

    • Take a breath. Feel the sensation of your own breathing, which brings you back to the present moment. 

    • Observe. Acknowledge what is happening, for good or bad, inside you or out. Just note it. 

    • Proceed. Having briefly checked in with the present moment, continue with whatever it was you were doing. 

  • Have mindful meetings without cellphones and technology.

  • Take a moment to check in with your body.

  • Leave work at work. Don’t take it home with you!

 

The article is a thorough one, so we suggest checking it out for more mindful ideas. How are you staying mindful at work? 

Chasing Nirvana Yoga offers on-site yoga and wellness classes to offices, tenant-residing buildings, community spaces, events, and more. To learn more, or to schedule a free consultation, visit www.chasingnirvanayoga.com.