My last read was the second edition of Judith Hanson Lasater’s Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life. The first edition of Living Your Yoga was originally published in 2000, with the second edition coming out 15 years later. However, from what I can tell, there is not much difference between the two versions other than an updated cover, new acknowledgements, and a new introduction. Living Your Yoga aims to make the practices of yoga- beyond asana (poses) and breathing techniques- accessible to all by indicating ways in which the reader can include them in their daily lives. She blends her personal experiences with wisdom from the Yoga Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita, to provide a practical guide for helping the reader find the spiritual in everyday life.
Living Your Yoga is divided into three parts, the first of which taps into the relationship you have with yourself and encourages you to cultivate an awareness of your own inner dialogue, as it is a reflection of your thoughts. The second explores your relationships with others, and the third explores your relationship with the world, emphasizing the fact that we are all on one path. Each of these three parts are further broken up into chapters, and within each chapter Lasater includes a verse from either the Yoga Sutra or Bhagavad Gita, an essay that describes Lasater’s personal experiences related to the chapter’s topic, a practical guided practice, additional practice suggestions, and mantras for daily living. Lasater encourages the reader to use Living Your Yoga in whatever manner serves them most.
“To practice yoga in the deepest sense is to commit to developing awareness by observing our lives: our thoughts, our words, and our actions,” Lasater wrote. This is just one of the many ways Lasater encourages the reader to see the spiritual in everyday life, rather than reserving it for time spent on a yoga mat or meditation cushion.
I took much longer with this read than I initially intended to. As I read each chapter and attempted to relate to the personal experiences Lasater presents, while also mulling over her interpretation of the Yoga Sutra or Bhagavad Gita, I found I had to take time for her words to digest and I had to determine how they integrated into my personal life. That’s not to say that it was a difficult read. In fact quite the opposite, as Lasater provides a very relatable and practical approach to incorporating the practice of yoga into your daily life. Instead, Lasater’s words often resonated so much that I wanted to hold onto them just a bit longer before rushing onto the next chapter.
She also includes a practice with each chapter that is accessible to everybody, not just yoga teachers or even those that have yoga experience, but truly everybody. As I read, I engaged in these practices, further allowing her words and the wisdom of the Yoga Sutra and Bhagavad Gita to be felt on a physical and spiritual level. I also spent time exploring some of the additional suggested practices she offers as part of each chapter, and I would frequently return to her daily mantras to incorporate them into my mediation, self-practice, and yoga class sequences.
Living Your Yoga is a book that I truly feel you can pick up at any point in your life, flip to any chapter, and the words you read will resonate with you on a profound level. It is not a book that I suggest you rush through, but instead take your time with. Explore the practices and suggested practices, incorporate the daily mantras, and take your time with the practical wisdom Lasater provides. Personally, I know this is a book I will return to time and time again, and I truly feel it should have a place on everyone’s bookshelf, regardless of the level of yoga experience you may have.
Have you read Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life? What were your thoughts?
For my next read, I have chosen When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.
Feel free to read along with me or choose your own book and let me know what it is in the comments! You can also share your reads on Twitter or Instagram using #vcyogareads.
Happy reading, loves!