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Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life Paperback – April 28, 2015
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Judith Lasater has taught yoga since 1971. She holds a doctorate in East-West psychology and is a physical therapist. Dr. Lasater is the president of the California Yoga Teachers Association and serves on the advisory boards of Yoga Journal and the Yoga Research and Education Center.
Her yoga training includes study with B. K. S. Iyengar in India and the United States. She teaches ongoing yoga classes and trains yoga teachers in kinesiology, yoga therapeutics, and the Yoga Sutra at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. In addition, she leads workshops and retreats throughout the United States and abroad.
Dr. Lasater writes extensively about yoga. Her feature articles, columns, and essays appear in numerous books, magazines, and anthologies. She is the author of Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times, the first book devoted to the supported yoga poses and breathing techniques called restorative yoga.
Judith Lasater lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children.
From the Inside Flap
"In this easy-to-read, inspiring book, Judith Lasater generously shares delightfully funny and poignant stories from her very American life, to show how we all can use the simple problems of daily living as a springboard for spiritual practice. Reading Living Your Yoga is like moving in with Lasater and her family for awhile. I enjoyed my visit immensely. She reminds us that yoga practice is primarily about mindfulness and is a twenty-four-hour-a-day activity. Take this book to bed, every night for a couple of months. Open it anywhere. Read a few pages. Reflect. Relax. Breathe. Smile. And have a good night1s sleep." --Beryl Bender Birch, author of Power Yoga
"Judith Lasater's new book is a down-to-earth discussion of how we can use the age-old wisdom of yoga in order to reconnect with the sacred in everyday life." --Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., Founder-Director of the Yoga Research and Education Center and author of The Yoga Tradition
"Yes! Living Your Yoga is what it1s all about. Here is a clear and friendly book that will help anyone embody the wisdom of yoga by consciously bringing it into daily life. The exercises are fun. They can help you learn how to do yoga all the time--now and now and now--when you are in the yoga room and when you are not. Take this book to heart." --Erich Schiffmann, author of Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness
"In her heartfelt and gently humorous manner, Judith Lasater shares her profound understanding of ancient yoga teachings, and translates the Yoga Sutra and Bhagavad Gita into a simple prescription for daily living. Whether you're a yoga student, yoga teacher, or yoga scholar, you'll be informed and inspired by Living Your Yoga." --Kathryn Arnold, editor in chief of Yoga Journal
"In this delightful and practical book on yoga philosophy, Judith Lasater presents timeless wisdom with clarity and insight. She is a well-seasoned yogini, who writes from personal experience on how to use the events of daily life as yoga poses for the mind and the heart." --Patricia Walden, featured in Yoga Journal's Yoga Practice for Beginners
"Judith Lasater explains how her practice has helped her to sort through life's tangles, clarify her values, and renew her commitment to her ideals. She bares her soul so that we can see our own." --Suza Francina, author of The New Yoga for People Over 50 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lasater's book is aimed at the latter group or people who plan to one day be in that group. You will not find out how to do a single posture (asana), and you won't learn how to do breathing exercises or meditation. So, the book might sound like one of those navel-gazing, pie-in-the-sky, philosophical tomes. But it's not. On the contrary, the chapters are short and readable, and each one ends with exercises to put that chapter's lesson into practice. Now, it probably sounds more like a how-to workbook. It is, but the exercises can only be carried out in everyday life.
Admittedly, I don't know that much about yoga, but I suspect such a book is much needed. I do know that in the martial arts there is also a rich and well-defined moral, philosophical, and--for lack of a better term--spiritual component, and that it gets lost much of the time by a large percentage of students as soon as they step out the door of the dōjō. I suspect this is true of yoga practitioners as well. I imagine that as yoga has spread globally many of the less visible and tangible aspects of the system get left behind. I know this happens in the realm of martial arts--sometimes these elements even get lost in the homeland. It’s a natural side-effect of busy lives; people take on what they can grasp and don’t go looking for the rest.
Living Your Yoga is divided into three parts of seven chapters each (21 chapters in total.) The social circle widens as one goes through the parts. Part I deals with the yoga practitioner as an individual. Part II considers the practitioner’s relationships with others in their immediate domain--family, friends, co-workers, etc. The final part looks at the practitioner in the global context.
Each chapter focuses on a particular virtue or vice and how to cultivate it or mitigate against it, respectively. All of the chapters begin with a quote, most from the “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” or the “Bhagavad Gita”, then there is the body of the chapter, followed by a practice on that particular theme, supplementary practices, and a few mantras.
The chapters in the first part are: spiritual seeking, discipline, letting go, self-judgment, faith, perspective, and courage. The second part deals with compassion, control, fear, patience, attachment / aversion, suffering, and impermanence. And the final part considers greed, service, connection, truth, success, nonviolence, and love.
While I suggested this book is for the hardcore yogi/yogini, it has value for a more general readership than that. It’s really for anybody interested in working on self-improvement on a daily basis, as opposed to those who restrict their development pursuits to inside the yoga studio (or dōjō or ashram.) The advice is sound, regardless of whether one ever practices an asana or not.
It's full of gems. It's true that it would strike a special chord with people with children, so many of the examples are from the author's experiences with her family.
One quibble I have is with the very frequent quotations in Sanskrit from Patanjali. She translates, but I have to wonder a couple of things:
1. Does she understand the Sansrit herself? Howso, she makes no mention of that.
2. Does she really expect me to gain anything from seeing/reading the Sanskrit? What benefit is it for me to mouth the words? Should I just skip over that and just read the English interpretations?
That's a minor annoyance, I won't dock a star.
I do get the feeling at times that the book was a little light on material and that some of it is there to flesh it out. The exercises and suggestions give it a kind of text book feeling, a formatted characteristic that contrasts with the author's personal approach. In any case, the messages are strong and meaningful. I just bought a 2nd copy as a gift.