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Sharing Wisdom through An Offering of Leaves

offeringofleaves2.jpg

Recently I came across An Offering of Leaves by Jivamukti yoga teacher Ruth Lauer-Manenti. This new book is a collection of "'dharma talks' -- stories from her life that accompany her classes and represent the yogic commitments to ahimsa (non-violence), compassion, and service."

Usually when I pick up books based on yoga philosophy, all full of enthusiasm to absorb some yogic wisdom, I get lost after three pages and end up abandoning ship. Thankfully, this book was a very welcome exception.

Ruth writes with such simplicity, humor and authenticity that I was immediately drawn into each story. It was easy to see the connection to the Sanskrit verse with which the story began. By the end I felt like I had delved into the ancient texts of The Yoga Sutras and The Bhagavad Gita in a way I never had before and in a way that made sense to me. I'm hoping I can bring this new-found knowledge into my days and to my students.

What other books have helped you deepen your understanding of yoga philosophy in an easy and accessible way?

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This sounds like a great book. I'll put in on my Amazon list.

To further explore Yoga philosophy I usually urge people to further explore the ancient texts directly.

Although they have a reputation for being difficult, I personally find them to be exceptionally direct and inspiring, often mind-blowing. It does take a little getting used to the rich metaphorical language they use.

It's important to find an accessible version with great commentary. They are not all the same. These are the best versions I've found:

"Bhagavad Gita A New Translation" by Stephen Mitchell.

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, beautifully translated and explained in Part 3 of "The Heart of Yoga" by T.K.V. Desikachar.

"The Upanishads, lovingly introduced and translated by Eknath Easwaran.

Bob Weisenberg
http://YogaDemystified.com

I have been reading and referring to Judith Lasater's Living Your Yoga : Finding the Spiritual In Everyday Life. Each chapter is a short entry on one of the yamas or niyamas, shareed through her personal experiences which often led her to an aha moment. Very accessible and a wonderful way to not only absorb some wisdom, but also a great format to use in class.

Hi:

I posted a comment a month or so ago; where is it? I wrote that I agreed with Bob W that reading original texts can be the most compelling but that more-accessible books might be better for some (especially beginners). One good all-around book is TKV Desikachar's The Heart of Yoga. (I can't recall all that I wrote in my initial post; hope you find it!)

Please can this book be reviewed in the magazine? Ruth has so many students around the country who probably don't know it exists!


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