To people who haven’t tried it, yoga may seem like some mysterious new age religion that is hard to understand. What I mean is that you’ve probably heard people describe all the benefits but you are left to wonder how will it help me in my day-to-day life? Yoga can help you deal with anxiety, depression and help you become stronger but it’s hard to explain how yoga can do that. Yoga is something that has to be experienced in order to find out what it can do for you.
This being said, if you are looking to learn more about what yoga is all about it’s a good idea to hear it from the experts in the field. Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body is edited by Melanie C Klein and describes the practice like it hasn’t been done before. Included here are 30 essays from yoga teachers telling you exactly what they got out of the practice of yoga and why it is so important.
A lot of times when you read articles on yoga you hear about how it will lead you to a deeper understanding of yourself and help you focus but it doesn’t tell you how you get from point A to point B. Yoga Rising gives you stories on how many of these instructors found meaning in yoga Many of them tell how they have dealt with issues like body shaming, eating disorders, race issues, anxiety and how yoga helped them to work through these issues. They also describe how yoga changed them in a way that I’ve never seen described before.
One of my favorite essays in this book speaks about how doing yoga got her past the negative self talk in her head. It was no magic pill, she achieved this by continuing her practice and eventually all of the self-hatred faded away. Yoga may be hard work but it leads to great results. One of the messages I saw in this book a lot was how yoga is accepting how there will be suffering but if you don’t fight it and act mindful the suffering will be less intense. and lead to growth. I see this as an important lesson to learn.
Many of the writers in Yoga Rising also take a look at how the media sends the wrong message about yoga. When you see people in the media who practice yoga they are usually thin white athletic women who make regular looking people feel intimidated. That’s what’s beautiful about this book. A lot of the instructors in it have different shaped bodies, come from different ethical backgrounds and most of all show that they are not perfect people like the media would portray. This is one of the best books on yoga that I’ve read because it gives you stories you can relate too.