- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: North Atlantic Books (March 15, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1583943021
- ISBN-13: 978-1583943021
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,868,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Journey to Joyful: Transform Your Life with Pranashama Yoga Paperback – March 15, 2011
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“Dashama is a rising star in the field of mind/body/spiritual health and personal development. She embodies a bright light and is an inspiration to everyone she meets. She has the unique ability to make complex and profound concepts very simple and approachable for everyone to learn, while keeping it light and fun.”
—Sirah Vettese, PhD, author of Spiritual Makeovers: 10 Practices for Falling in Love with Your Life
“Dashama is an exquisite example of beauty, love, integrity, professionalism, health, inquisitiveness, and yearning for learning that all future yoginis can strive for.”
—Mark Becker, yoga pioneer and CEO of NY Yoga Magazine and NewLife Magazine
About the Author
Dashama is a yoga teacher, performing artist, and inspirational speaker. She has practiced hatha yoga since childhood and is now one of a rising generation of young yoga instructors who incorporate life coaching skills in their teaching. Dashama trained with Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, and John Friend, among others. She holds a bachelor's degree in Intercultural Communication and International Relations from Florida Atlantic University and presently travels the world sharing the gift of yoga.
Dashama cofounded the 30 Day Yoga Challenge, a worldwide movement for transforming people's lives, partnering with National Yoga Month (yogamonth.org) to bring yoga to those who have no access to local classes via video and the internet.
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For those who are new to the practice of this centuries-old form of spiritual and corporal affirmation she offers frequent definitions: 'Pranashama Yoga literally translates to 'prana': sacred life force energy and 'shama': calming of the mind. Sacred life force energy that calms the mind and create union with all of existence.' In a very conversational manner she then leads the reader through the various forms of living by yoga, pausing to share aspects like the three emotional prison keepers (expectations, attachment, judgment), and the importance of caring for the body (our temple) by comfortably discussing diet, meditation, exercises, and ways to transform the quiet energy that comes into the body through these practices into life changes. Yes, there are many very fine books dealing with the practice of yoga, but few are as gently seductive as this very well written and designed book.
One aspect of Dashama Konah Gordon's communication of her beliefs is her utter honesty and genuine compassion for the reader. She tackles questions about yoga that many disbelievers have. For instance, she writes 'When people ask me if yoga is a religion, I smile and answer 'not at all'. Although there are certain styles and schools of yoga that embrace and interweave their own religious views, Pranashama Yoga embraces all views while honoring Love and Unity above all else. As you may have noticed, I often quote masters, saints, and enlightened people throughout this book and other teachings. I do this to illustrate the point that they are all brilliant and connected deeply to the Supreme Source. They each have their own spin on this life experience, and much of what they offer is valid and applicable, even after thousands of years. Truth is Timeless. Love is Eternal. Bliss is Infinite. We are All One. United at the Supreme Source.' It is this selfless sharing of information and ideas and experiences that draws the reader to her and engenders the commitment to follow her lead. Grady Harp, April 11
In Journey to the Joyful, Dashama Konah Gordon shares the principles of what she calls Pranashama Yoga. This is her own fusion style of yoga, what she states is a blend of various yogic traditions (including Prana Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Anusara, and Power yoga) infused with martial arts and Thai Yoga Therapy. Her "Golden Rules" of Pranashama yoga integrate some of the yamas from the eight-limbed path of yoga (e.g., non-violence, non-attachment) as well as includes some general life wisdom statements (i.e., "always do your best").
In the first chapter, which focuses on the body, Dashama introduces the reader the reader to several additional Eastern concepts, including the chakra system, or the body's energies centers, and the koshas, the layers of spirit in the body. She emphasizes that the physical yoga practice of asanas is both physical and spiritual. Chapter 2 focuses on emotions. Here Dashama begins to incorporate some specific exercises, starting with pranayama, or breathwork. She mentions several different types of breathing exercises, although she does not go into much detail about them. She does offer a short meditation practice which is designed to help heal the inner child.
The third chapter centers around the mind. Dashama encourages the reader to develop a more observational mind and to witness one's own consciousness. She reviews the three levels of meditation and discusses the concept of karma. In the final chapter, Dashama addresses "Spiritual Liberation"; she talks about reaching enlightenment and discovering your life's purpose. She also emphasizes finding ways to stay inspired. Dashama concludes her book with several appendices, including self-tests (e.g., a chakra quiz and a schedule assessment to find time for yourself), further details on chakras and chanting, a chart on the connections between organs and emotions, energy diet information, an overview of the eight limbs of yoga, and finally, tips on finding a teacher.
This short book (even with the Index, it's less than 165 pages) reads somewhat like a long, detailed magazine article. Dashama is clearly extremely sincere and enthusiastic; my impression of her was similar to that of a life coach. She writes well, and the charts and illustrations included throughout are nicely done. So, if you are lacking direction in your life and are open to a fusion of Eastern principles, you might find this book to be beneficial.
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I was fairly new to yoga and like most other folks I four Dash on YouTube doing her 30 day Yoga...Read more