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Living Love, The Yoga of Yama & Niyama: Timeless Teachings for Transformation and Awakening Paperback – November 20, 2016
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"... In Living Love: The Yoga of Yama and Niyama, author Maetreyii Ma takes readers on a journey through the self, blending yogic philosophy with practical techniques to help increase happiness, energy and personal power.
... Ma ... does an excellent job sharing stories and experiences, as well as expounding wisdom in poetic and therapeutic ways, without browbeating readers with overly heady or intangible metaphors. The ability to transform spiritual or celestial concepts into tangible practices and useful wisdom is a powerful skill for a writer, but given that Ma doubles as a psychologist and a yogic philosophy teacher, her mastery of the right language comes as no surprise.
This is also a book that extends far beyond yogic practice, spreading the mindfulness and awareness from yoga to the rest of your life. It advises on how to handle negative thought patterns and energy, suggests things to do to gradually transform your life in a healthy way, and holds up a mirror to personal failings so readers can honestly assess themselves.
It is easy to forget that yoga is also a belief and a lifestyle, not just a fitness fad, and this book reminds readers of that in a myriad of insightful ways. It is never too late to establish a code of ethics, or begin to live your life based on simpler disciplines and idols.
Purely as a writer, Ma also shines, expressing her ideas with passion, without ever pushing into the realm of zealotry. Her extensive experience as a yoga professional is clear, and her thoughts are confidently expressed and logical. This book celebrates a way of thinking that she herself has clearly practiced for a long time, and that familiarity is wildly apparent in the text.
The order of the sections, stories and anecdotes makes perfect sense, gradually moving from basic instruction and broad philosophy to complex thought processes and unique strategies to unlock happiness on a long-term basis. If you want to approach this book as an academic, to study the practices and sutras, or meditate on the prayers and mantras, it is an easily digestible and functional guidebook. However, if you want to loosen the strictures of your mind and free your spirit, you can also read the book slowly, like poetry, and it can have a similarly enlightening effect.
This is a great read for someone looking to unlock a new side of themselves, or tap into an energetic new perspective on life. Written with love and supported by a lifetime of knowledge and personal experience, Living Love: The Yoga of Yama and Niyama is one of those special books that will stay with you, occasionally nudging your mind and behavior in certain ways, and bringing you inevitably closer to lightness and joy, if you're willing to take the journey." Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★½
A spiritual guidebook explains basic tenets of yogic philosophy and how they can be integrated into everyday routines.
... The text explores the qualities of love, mercy, appreciation, and empathy. It offers insights such as "Having compassion for living being, their pain and the harsh actions that come from their pain, is the root of forgiveness" and "Loving yourself is essential because it is by loving your own self that you become able to love others." Understanding the causes of conflict and violence, reconciling clashes between instincts and ethics, and learning how to deal with negative judgments are other topics, along with behavioral exercises to help readers incorporate the instructions into their lives.
In this well-written guide, Ma (Feminine Mysticism, 2014 etc.) a licensed clinical psychologist as well as a teacher, deftly examines the structure of society, including how survival-based fears drive many of humanities most destructive deeds against itself. The concepts she lucidly explains have a universal quality, with echoes in the ideological principles of major religions like Christianity and Islam.
Getting the most out of this valuable guide requires personal self-examination and a willingness to consider fundamental yet simple lifestyle changes, such as showing gratitude and committing to performing a daily selfless act of service to another.
Kind, wise, and reflective of timeless truths, this yoga manual merits careful reading and rereading. --Kirkus Reviews
From the Author
Writing Living Love, the Yoga of Yama and Niyama, was a deeply moving experience for me personally. This material is drawn from oral talks which come through from Baba, my guru or spiritual source. It includes ideas that were really transformative for me. As I was editing the talks for the book the powerful energy of these teachings just sank into me and I began to grasp their deeper meaning for my own attitudes and life experience.
I felt as if the teachings had a life of their own and were unfolding in my mind and healing deep wounds within me, showing me how to be in a positive and wonderful relationship to my own life, no matter what the struggles life presents. I am so happy to share these teachings with others and hope that you too experience the profound life transforming potential these teachings hold within them.
blessings and best wishes,
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This quote summed it up for me:
"Compassion is an attitude, a feeling, a reflection of all embracing, unconditional love. It holds nothing back and doesn’t run."
In the Introduction, the author declares that “the teachings in the book can be of value to anyone seeking spiritual wisdom and self-development.” She believes that “the truths held within these pages are universal and not limited to those engaged in yoga.” After reading the book, I believe she is absolutely right.
The book particularly focuses of the practices of Yama and Niyama which are practical guidelines for self-development. A chapter in the book is devoted to each. The practice of Yama is looking at the practices you should avoid. The practice of Niyama is about the practices one should embrace.
In the Preface, the author writes: “A few Sanskrit terms important to yogic philosophy and practice are used, as their meaning is more precise in Sanskrit. They are usually defined immediately after the word.” In addition, the author provided a Glossary of Sanskrit terms. Despite the author’s best efforts, I found the use of so many Sanskrit terms throughout the book a major distraction to my reading of the book.
Even with the use of so many Sanskrit words, I found the book to be very well written and an enjoyable read. I particularly enjoyed the later chapters where the author showed how Yama and Niyama might actually be put into practice. It is clear the author is well versed in yogic philosophy. She also did a great job integrating yogic philosophy with her background as a psychologist.
If you are interested in yoga, yogic philosophy and self-development, this book should be on your reading list. And even if you are only interested in self-development, this book should be on your reading list as well.
In our times, we cannot imagine ten years of apprenticeship in ethical practices but then, there are many more of us and time seems accelerated.
Not many teachings of these precepts go beyond their ethical significance to their powers of attunement. Certainly, the ancient sages wanted something more for their chelas than to spend ten years learning to be good and do right. This depth of meaning is what Maetreyii Ma explores here and her presentation is astonishingly beautiful, inspiring, moving and impactful.
The impact of reading her breath-taking insights is to lift the heart, raise the consciousness, attune the perceptions, strengthen confidence and, not last, teach love and loving perception.
I cannot recommend this work enough. There are a few books I keep nearby just to take a reminder now and then of the essence, the essential truth of being human and responding to the sacred truths of living and loving. This one I will own in that form, since I read so much in Kindle. I want the book I can refer to anytime the shadows gather or forgetting sets in.
My heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to Maetreyii Ma for this work. I know it well, since I was fortunate to help with editing her copy.
Even inspired writings seem to need a copy editor.
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This book is written in such an accessible way that knowing “who you really are” is easily revealed.Read more