Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater
Reviewed by Alana @myyogiheart
Let me preface this by suggesting you buy stickie note tabs prior to reading this book. In every passage Judith Lasater offers daily mantras to set up a yogi’s day, as well as moving stories from her life or folk tales that make you want to sit back and read them every day. I felt I needed to mark the especially poignant passages for later reading. Whether it be after a cleansing savasana on my mat or before bed I have made an effort to revisit her words daily. This book is that moving, her words are nourishing to the soul.
Lasater begins Part One by telling a story about feeling anxiety while looking for an important bill in her office. While searching, her young daughter asked, “Have you found yourself yet, Mommy?” Lasater describes feeling humbled by her children, then proceeds to share her views on the unique spirituality of a yogi. She quotes from foundational yogis and the readings like Patanjali, Bhagavad-Gita and Yoga-Sutras. Getting deeper into the yoga practice can be overwhelming, but Lasater’s gentle introductions of main principles and her wise words will inspire you to crave more.
In a tech world filled with depressing and upsetting daily news reports, Lasater provides helpful words to navigate our beautiful but difficult society. Lasater says that we cannot control anything beyond ourselves, and that “learning to observe and eventually let go of our own violent thoughts is the catalyst for change.” She quotes her peer Marshall Rosenberg who says “violence in any form is a tragic expression of our unmet needs.” Wise words spoken years ago but still so effective today.
You can find solace in this yogi’s guide to spirituality, compassion, but also fear and suffering. We feel anger, fear, we struggle with mental health and confused internal compasses. Judith Lasater tells us it is okay to feel these emotions, on and off the mat, and then send them on their way with an exhale. As a yogi young in the practice but also young in life, this book is like a mother yogi guiding you in your practice and through the hurdles in life. Navigating the world with a yogi’s perspective is going to be a work in progress but with Living Your Yoga you will always have wise words to go home to.
A note: If you are interested in reading this book, please check your local resale book store, or Amazon will sell used books for less. I strongly believe in recycling things when possible and passing one book to another person to read means less waste. Also, it costs you less money. If you read this book, let us know your thoughts on @karmayogadenton on Instagram! Is it now a staple in your day or library? Would you recommend this to other yogis? Let us know!