More than 100,000 copies sold! Millions of Americans know yoga as a superb form of exercise and as a potent source of calm in the midst of our stress-filled lives. Far fewer are aware of the full promise of yoga as "the way of the fully alive human being"--a 4,000-year-old practical path of liberation that fits the needs of modern Western seekers with startling precision. Now one of America's leading scholars of yoga psychology--who is also a Western-trained psychotherapist--offers this marvelously lively and personal account of an ancient tradition that promises "the soul awake in this lifetime." Drawing on the vivid stories of practitioners at the largest yoga center in America, where he has lived and taught for more than ten years, Stephen Cope describes the philosophy, psychology, and practice of yoga--a practical science of development that urges us not to transcend or dissolve the self, but rather to encounter it more deeply. In this irreverent modern-day Pilgrim's Progress, Cope introduces us to an unforgettable cast of contemporary seekers--on the road to enlightenment carrying all the baggage of the human condition: confusion, loss, disappointment, addiction, and the eternal conflicts around sex and relationship. As he describes the subtle shifts of energy and consciousness that happen at each stage of the path, we discover that in yoga, "liberation" does not require us to leave life in the world for some transcendent spiritual plane. Life itself is the path. Above all, Cope shows how yoga can heal the suffering of self-estrangement that pervades our society, leading us to a new sense of purpose and to a deeper, more satisfying life in the world.
An inspiring guide to finding your life’s purpose—what spiritual teachers call dharma—through mindfulness and self-exploration. Stephen Cope says that in order to have a fulfilling life you must discover the deep purpose hidden at the very core of your self. The secret to unlocking this mystery, he asserts, can be found in the pages of a two-thousand-year-old spiritual classic called the Bhagavad Gita—an ancient allegory about the path to dharma, told through a timeless dialogue between the fabled archer, Arjuna, and his divine mentor, Krishna. Cope takes readers on a step-by-step tour of this revered tale and highlights well-known Western lives that embody its central principles—including such luminaries as Jane Goodall, Walt Whitman, Susan B. Anthony, John Keats, and Harriet Tubman, along with stories of ordinary people as well. If you’re feeling lost in your own life’s journey, The Great Work of Your Life may help you to find and to embrace your true calling. Praise for The Great Work of Your Life “Keep a pen and paper handy as you read this remarkable book: It’s like an owner’s manual for the soul.”—Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion “A masterwork . . . You’ll find inspiration in these pages. You’ll gain a better appreciation of divine guidance and perhaps even understand how you might better hear it in your own life.”—Yoga Journal “I am moved and inspired by this book, the clarity and beauty of the lives lived in it, and the timeless dharma it teaches.”—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart “A rich source of contemplation and inspiration [that] encourages readers . . . to discover and fully pursue their inner self’s calling.”—Publishers Weekly “Fabulous . . . If you have ever wondered what your purpose is, this book is a great guide to help you on your path.”—YogaHara
The author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self offers spiritual seekers from all traditions a practical introduction to the wisdom and teachings of the Yogasutra, as he brings together insights from yoga philosophy with modern psychology to offer lessons in ethical living, enhanced creativity, and the discovery of one's higher purpose. 20,000 first printing.
“Most of us will have many friends throughout our lifetimes —friends of all shapes, sizes, and callings. Many of these are wonderful, meaningful friendships. Some are difficult. But some magic few of these are connections that have gone right to our soul. These five or seven or ten friendships have been powerful keys to determining who we have become and who we will become. . . . These are the people I call Soul Friends.” As the Senior Scholar-in-Residence for over 25 years at the renowned Kripalu Center, Stephen Cope has spent decades investigating —and writing about —the integration of body, mind, and spirit and the rich complexity of our relationships with others, and with ourselves. Perhaps the central truth that arises from his work is this: human beings are universally wired for one thing —vital connection with one another. Soul Friends invites us on a compelling journey into the connectivity of the human psyche, the study of which has fascinated scholars, philosophers, and thinkers for centuries. Cope seamlessly blends science, scholarship, and storytelling, drawing on his own life as well as the histories of famous figures —from Eleanor Roosevelt to Charles Darwin to Queen Victoria —whose formative relationships shed light on the nature of friendship itself. In his exploration, he distills human connection into six distinct yet interconnected mechanisms: containment, twinship, adversity, mirroring, identification, and conscious partnership. Then he invites us to reflect on how these forms of connection appear in our own lives, helping us work toward a fuller understanding of “who we have become and who we will become.” Without a doubt, the journey to our most fulfilled selves requires us to look within. But in order to truly thrive, we must make the most of who we are in relation to one another as well. Unsparingly honest, deeply wise, and irresistibly readable, Soul Friends gives us a map to find our way.
Ancient Teachings and Practices for Healing the Body, Mind,and Heart
Author: Gary Kraftsow
Category: Health & Fitness
Go beyond the physical exercise of yoga with the founder of the American Viniyoga Institute While there is no denying yoga's popularity as a form of physical exercise, the other life-enhancing aspects of this tradition remain obscure to many Westerners. In Yoga for Transformation, Gary Kraftsow introduces techniques that treat not only the physical body but also the emotions, mind, heart, and soul of the practitioner-the places where real transformation can take place. There are breathing techniques to control energy levels, exercises to train and sharpen the intellect, and meditative practices to help increase self-awareness. With more than 350 black and white photographs throughout, this unique and accessible book is dedicated to strengthening the whole self-body, mind, and spirit.
My Humble Quest to Heal My Colitis, Calm My ADD, and Find the Key to Happiness
Author: Brian Leaf
Pubpsher: New World Library
Category: Health & Fitness
As a college freshman business major suffering from a variety of anxiety-related maladies, Brian Leaf stumbled into an elective: yoga. It was 1989. All his classmates were female. And men did not yet generally “cry, hug, or do yoga.” But yoga soothed and calmed Leaf as nothing else had. As his hilarious and wise tale shows, Leaf embarked on a quest for health and happiness — visiting yoga studios around the country and consulting Ayurvedic physicians, swamis, and even (accidentally) a prostitute. Twenty-one years later, he teaches yoga and meditation and is the beloved founder of a holistic tutoring center that helps students whose ailments he once shared.
New in paperback (originally published as Soul Friends): Yoga master Stephen Cope explores the essence of human connections through six types of relationships. As the Senior Scholar-in-Residence for over 25 years at the renowned Kripalu Center, Stephen Cope has spent decades investigating--and writing about--the integration of body, mind, and spirit and the rich complexity of our relationships with others, and with ourselves. Perhaps the central truth that arises from his work is this: human beings are universally wired for one thing--vital connection with one another. Now available for the first time in paperback (and originally published as Soul Friends), this book invites us on a compelling journey into the connectivity of the human psyche, the study of which has fascinated scholars, philosophers, and thinkers for centuries. Cope seamlessly blends science, scholarship, and storytelling, drawing on his own life as well as the histories of famous figures--from Eleanor Roosevelt to Charles Darwin to Queen Victoria--whose formative relationships shed light on the nature of friendship itself. In his exploration, he distills human connection into six distinct yet interconnected mechanisms: containment, twinship, adversity, mirroring, identification, and conscious partnership. Then he invites us to reflect on how these forms of connection appear in our own lives, helping us work toward a fuller understanding of "who we have become and who we will become." Without a doubt, the journey to our most fulfilled selves requires us to look within. But in order to truly thrive, we must make the most of who we are in relation to one another as well. Unsparingly honest, deeply wise, and irresistibly readable, Deep Human Connection gives us a map to find our way.
#1 New York Times bestseller “Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impact on society.” —Alexander McFarlane, Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies A pioneering researcher transforms our understanding of trauma and offers a bold new paradigm for healing in this New York Times bestseller Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.
Teaching Yoga is an essential resource for new and experienced teachers as well as a guide for all yoga students interested in refining their skills and knowledge. Addressing 100% of the teacher training curriculum standards set by Yoga Alliance, the world's leading registry and accreditation source for yoga teachers and schools, Teaching Yoga is also ideal for use as a core textbook in yoga teacher training programs. Drawing on a wide spectrum of perspectives, and featuring more than 150 photographs and illustrations, the book covers fundamental topics of yoga philosophy and history, including a historical presentation of classical yoga literature: the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras of Pataljali, and the main historical sources on tantra and early hatha yoga. Each of the eleven major styles of contemporary yoga is described, with a brief history of its development and the distinguishing elements of its teachings. Exploring traditional and modern aspects of anatomy and physiology, the book provides extensive support and tools for teaching 108 yoga poses (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation. Teaching Yoga offers practical advice for classroom setup, planning and sequencing classes, as well as the process involved in becoming a teacher and sustaining oneself in the profession. The book has over 200 bibliographic sources, a comprehensive index, and a useful appendix that lists associations, institutes, organizations, and professional resources for yoga teachers. From the Trade Paperback edition.