Posts In: What I'm Reading

The Upanishads

December 19, 2013

We are starting the New Year with a dive into a classic yoga text: The Upanishads. We will be discussing in Yoga Book Club on Tuesday, January 28 at 8 p.m. We are meeting at the office of Inner Balance in the Southern Dairies complex. This club is open and free to all; please join us!

Among the oldest of India’s spiritual texts, the Upanishads are records of intensive question-and-answer sessions given by illumined sages to their students. Widely featured in philosophy courses, the Upanishads have puzzled and inspired wisdom seekers from Yeats to Schopenhauer. Eknath Easwaran makes this challenging text more accessible by selecting the passages most relevant to readers seeking timeless truths today.

December’s Yoga Book Club Selection: Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence by Matthew Sanford. We are meeting on Tuesday, December 17 at 8 p.m. Book club is always free and open to all! I hope you’ll pick up this book and join us! Our location has moved; if you plan on joining us please email me at for location details.

Matthew Sanford’s life and body were irrevocably changed at age 13 when his family’s car skidded off a snowy Iowa overpass, killing Matt’s father and sister and leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. This pivotal event set Matt on a lifelong journey, from his intensive care experiences at the Mayo Clinic to becoming a paralyzed yoga teacher and founder of a nonprofit organization. Forced to explore what it truly means to live in a body, he emerges with an entirely new view of being a “whole” person. In this searingly candid memoir he delivers a powerful message about the endurance of the human spirit and of the body that houses it.

This month we are reading Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach. Yoga Book is free & open to all; please join us on Tuesday, Nov. 19th at 8 p.m. for discussion, tea and community. Location TBD.



Editorial Review:

In the cloud-washed airspace between the cornfields of Illinois and blue infinity, a man puts his faith in the propeller of his biplane. For disillusioned writer and itinerant barnstormer Richard Bach, belief is as real as a full tank of gas and sparks firing in the cylinders …until he meets Donald Shimoda – former mechanic and self-described messiah who can make wrenches fly and Richard’s imagination soar…In Illusions, the unforgettable follow-up to his phenomenal New York Times bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach takes to the air to discover the ageless truths that give our souls wings: that people don’t need airplanes to soar …that even the darkest clouds have meaning once we lift ourselves above them …and that messiahs can be found in the unlikeliest places – like hay fields, one-traffic-light midwestern towns, and most of all, deep within ourselves.

The Places That Scare You

September 30, 2013

October’s Yoga Book Club selection is The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron.  Please note, that due to a scheduling conflict we have moved the date of book club up by one week.  We will be meeting at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at the Sacred Thread Ashram.  This book club is open to all; feel free to join us!


We always have a choice, Pema Chödrön teaches: We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder. Here Pema provides the tools to deal with the problems and difficulties that life throws our way. This wisdom is always available to us, she teaches, but we usually block it with habitual patterns rooted in fear. Beyond that fear lies a state of openheartedness and tenderness. This book teaches us how to awaken our basic goodness and connect with others, to accept ourselves and others complete with faults and imperfections, and to stay in the present moment by seeing through the strategies of ego that cause us to resist life as it is.

Red Hot & Holy

August 28, 2013

September’s Yoga Book Club is hot, hot, hot.  We are reading Red Hot & Holy by Sera Beak.  Pick up a copy and join us on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. at the Sacred Thread Ashram for what I’m sure will be a smoking hot discussion.

Editorial Review:

When one person dares to speak her truth, it challenges us all to live our own. With Red Hot and Holy, Sera Beak offers a provocative and intimate view of what it means to get up close and personal with the divine in modern times.

With a rare combination of audacious wit, scholarly acumen, and tender vulnerability-vibrantly mixed with red wine, rock songs, tattoos, and erotic encounters-Sera candidly chronicles the highs and lows of her mystical journey. From the innocence of her childhood crush on God; through a whirlwind of torrid liaisons and bitter break-ups with Christianity, Buddhism, Sufism, Hinduism, and the New Age; and finally into committed monogamy with her own red hot and holy Goddess, Sera shares transformative insights, encouraging us all to trust our unique path and ignite our own spiritual love affair.

Sera Beak’s luscious writing and renegade spiritual wisdom that slices through religious and new age dogma made her debut book The Red Book a breakout success. With Red Hot & Holy she offers a far more personal book- an illuminating, hilarious, and above all utterly honest portrait of the heart-opening process of mystical realization. This hot and holy book invites you to embrace your soul, unleash your true Self, and burn, baby, burn with divine love.

This month’s Yoga Book Club selection:  The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.  I know, I know – Oprah is all up on Brene’s bandwagon these days but even so, I thought her Ted Talk was spectacular and I am very excited to read this book!

Join us the last Tuesday of every month at 8 p.m. at Sacred Thread Ashram for snacks, tea and discussion.  We’d love to have you!


Book Description:

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, shares ten guideposts on the power of Wholehearted living—a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, “What if I can’t keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?”

In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough,” and to go to bed at night thinking, “Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.”


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