More than 100,000 copies sold! Millions of Americans know yoga as a superb form of exercise and as a potent source of calm in the midst of our stress-filled lives. Far fewer are aware of the full promise of yoga as "the way of the fully alive human being"--a 4,000-year-old practical path of liberation that fits the needs of modern Western seekers with startling precision. Now one of America's leading scholars of yoga psychology--who is also a Western-trained psychotherapist--offers this marvelously lively and personal account of an ancient tradition that promises "the soul awake in this lifetime." Drawing on the vivid stories of practitioners at the largest yoga center in America, where he has lived and taught for more than ten years, Stephen Cope describes the philosophy, psychology, and practice of yoga--a practical science of development that urges us not to transcend or dissolve the self, but rather to encounter it more deeply. In this irreverent modern-day Pilgrim's Progress, Cope introduces us to an unforgettable cast of contemporary seekers--on the road to enlightenment carrying all the baggage of the human condition: confusion, loss, disappointment, addiction, and the eternal conflicts around sex and relationship. As he describes the subtle shifts of energy and consciousness that happen at each stage of the path, we discover that in yoga, "liberation" does not require us to leave life in the world for some transcendent spiritual plane. Life itself is the path. Above all, Cope shows how yoga can heal the suffering of self-estrangement that pervades our society, leading us to a new sense of purpose and to a deeper, more satisfying life in the world.
One of the nation's leading Yoga instructors and teachers reveals the spiritual wisdom and health benefits underpinning this ancient practice, which has been adopted by more than eight million Americans.
Focusing on the spiritual benefits of hatha yoga, the author looks past the "how-two" approach to explore the more subtle, less physical effects of this ancient meditation practice. Reprint.
The Wisdom of Yoga
Author: Stephen Cope
For modern spiritual seekers and yoga students alike, here is an irreverent yet profound guide to the most sophisticated teachings of the yoga wisdom tradition–now brought to contemporary life by a celebrated author, psychotherapist, and leading American yoga instructor. While many Westerners still think of yoga as an invigorating series of postures and breathing exercises, these physical practices are only part of a vast and ancient spiritual science. For more than three millennia, yoga sages systematically explored the essential questions of our human existence: What are the root causes of suffering, and how can we achieve freedom and happiness? What would it be like to function at the maximum potential of our minds, bodies, and spirits? What is an optimal human life? Nowhere have their discoveries been more brilliantly distilled than in a short–but famously difficult–treatise called the Yogasutra. This revered text lays out the entire path of inner development in remarkable detail–ranging from practices that build character and mental power to the highest reaches of spiritual realization. Now Stephen Cope unlocks the teachings of the Yogasutra by showing them at work in the lives of a group of friends and fellow yoga students who are confronting the full modern catastrophe of careers, relationships, and dysfunctional family dynamics. Interweaving their daily dilemmas with insights from modern psychology, neuroscience, religion, and philosophy, he shows the astonishing relevance and practicality of this timeless psychology of awakening. Leavened with wit and passion, The Wisdom of Yoga is a superb companion and guide for anyone seeking enhanced creativity, better relationships, and a more ethical and graceful way of living in the world.
An inspiring meditation on living a purposeful life by the director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health draws on the wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita to present the spiritually relevant story of a young warrior in crisis and God in disguise.
Author: Stephen Cope
Publisher: Hay House, Inc
“Most of us will have many friends throughout our lifetimes —friends of all shapes, sizes, and callings. Many of these are wonderful, meaningful friendships. Some are difficult. But some magic few of these are connections that have gone right to our soul. These five or seven or ten friendships have been powerful keys to determining who we have become and who we will become. . . . These are the people I call Soul Friends.” As the Senior Scholar-in-Residence for over 25 years at the renowned Kripalu Center, Stephen Cope has spent decades investigating —and writing about —the integration of body, mind, and spirit and the rich complexity of our relationships with others, and with ourselves. Perhaps the central truth that arises from his work is this: human beings are universally wired for one thing —vital connection with one another. Soul Friends invites us on a compelling journey into the connectivity of the human psyche, the study of which has fascinated scholars, philosophers, and thinkers for centuries. Cope seamlessly blends science, scholarship, and storytelling, drawing on his own life as well as the histories of famous figures —from Eleanor Roosevelt to Charles Darwin to Queen Victoria —whose formative relationships shed light on the nature of friendship itself. In his exploration, he distills human connection into six distinct yet interconnected mechanisms: containment, twinship, adversity, mirroring, identification, and conscious partnership. Then he invites us to reflect on how these forms of connection appear in our own lives, helping us work toward a fuller understanding of “who we have become and who we will become.” Without a doubt, the journey to our most fulfilled selves requires us to look within. But in order to truly thrive, we must make the most of who we are in relation to one another as well. Unsparingly honest, deeply wise, and irresistibly readable, Soul Friends gives us a map to find our way.
Stephen Cope asked 25 yoga and meditation teachers to share their "tales from the path" – their thoughts on how the long-term practice of yoga and meditation has changed their lives. The result is a unique collection of stories offering insight and inspiration for everyone seeking a more satisfying life.
Overcoming Trauma through Yoga
Author: David Emerson, Elizabeth Hopper, Ph.D.
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Survivors of trauma—whether abuse, accidents, or war—can end up profoundly wounded, betrayed by their bodies that failed to get them to safety and that are a source of pain. In order to fully heal from trauma, a connection must be made with oneself, including one’s body. The trauma-sensitive yoga described in this book moves beyond traditional talk therapies that focus on the mind, by bringing the body actively into the healing process. This allows trauma survivors to cultivate a more positive relationship to their body through gentle breath, mindfulness, and movement practices. Overcoming Trauma through Yoga is a book for survivors, clinicians, and yoga instructors who are interested in mind/body healing. It introduces trauma-sensitive yoga, a modified approach to yoga developed in collaboration between yoga teachers and clinicians at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute, led by yoga teacher David Emerson, along with medical doctor Bessel van der Kolk. The book begins with an in-depth description of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including a description of how trauma is held in the body and the need for body-based treatment. It offers a brief history of yoga, describes various styles of yoga commonly found in Western practice, and identifies four key themes of trauma-sensitive yoga. Chair-based exercises are described that can be incorporated into individual or group therapy, targeting specific treatment goals, and modifications are offered for mat-based yoga classes. Each exercise includes trauma-sensitive language to introduce the practice, as well as photographs to illustrate the poses. The practices have been offered to a wide range of individuals and groups, including men and women, teens, returning veterans, and others. Rounded out by valuable quotes and case stories, the book presents mindfulness, breathing, and yoga exercises that can be used by home practitioners, yoga teachers, and therapists as a way to cultivate awareness, tolerance, and an increased acceptance of the self. From the Trade Paperback edition.
As a college freshman business major suffering from a variety of anxiety-related maladies, Brian Leaf stumbled into an elective: yoga. It was 1989. All his classmates were female. And men did not yet generally “cry, hug, or do yoga.” But yoga soothed and calmed Leaf as nothing else had. As his hilarious and wise tale shows, Leaf embarked on a quest for health and happiness — visiting yoga studios around the country and consulting Ayurvedic physicians, swamis, and even (accidentally) a prostitute. Twenty-one years later, he teaches yoga and meditation and is the beloved founder of a holistic tutoring center that helps students whose ailments he once shared.
Introduces the concept of meditation, offers advice on meditating, and describes various types of meditation and how they can influence one's life
The roots of Amrit Yoga are firmly planted in Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga. Novices and experienced practitioners alike will benefit from this clear presentation of Amrit Yoga practices and philosophies. The ancient threads of Patanjali’s eight-limbed yoga are woven into vibrant relevancy in the yoga system developed by Yogi Desai.
Enlightenment isn’t a strange, mystical, or faraway place. It’s a fundamental human experience available to us all in different ways and in different moments.Learn how the ancient philosophy of yoga, modern neuroscience, and positive psychology can help you discover your life’s meaning and purpose, rewire your brain, and uncover lasting happiness and joy. Everyone is looking for happiness, but very few really know where to find it. Maybe it’s that house you’ve been dreaming of buying, or a new car, or the perfect relationship? Or maybe it’s a grand, epic revelation about the meaning of life? But when will that revelation come to you, and how long should you wait? And what if happiness isn’t something you achieve or obtain, but how you respond to the conditions of your life? After all, yogis can find peace and joy even when life is painful and unpleasant. In Yoga and the Pursuit of Happiness, you’ll discover that lasting happiness is already at your fingertips—in the small, everyday moments inherently infused with purpose and meaning. The philosophy of yoga—rather than the poses and postures—boils down to one fundamental process: overcoming suffering by coming to know ourselves and aligning our actions with our own intrinsic sense of spiritual purpose. And yoga gives us the tools to address two basic existential questions: Who am I? What should I do? Meanwhile, positive psychology and neuroscience show us how our actions are constantly rewiring our brain in helpful ways—which points to happiness as something we must practice and carry out each day. Happiness is, simply put, something we do. In this unique, light-hearted guide, celebrated yoga instructor Sam Chase blends ancient wisdom from the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras with his own personal journey of enlightenment to show you how to deepen your understanding of yourself and the world around you, end the cycle of materialism and greed that can get in the way of cultivating stillness of mind, and achieve lasting well-being.
Author: Andrea R. Jain
Publisher: OUP Us
Premodern and early modern yoga comprise techniques with a wide range of aims, from turning inward in quest of the true self, to turning outward for divine union, to channeling bodily energy in pursuit of sexual pleasure. Early modern yoga also encompassed countercultural beliefs and practices. In contrast, today, modern yoga aims at the enhancement of the mind-body complex but does so according to contemporary dominant metaphysical, health, and fitness paradigms. Consequently, yoga is now a part of popular culture. In Selling Yoga, Andrea R. Jain explores the popularization of yoga in the context of late-twentieth-century consumer culture. She departs from conventional approaches by undermining essentialist definitions of yoga as well as assumptions that yoga underwent a linear trajectory of increasing popularization. While some studies trivialize popularized yoga systems by reducing them to the mere commodification or corruption of what is perceived as an otherwise fixed, authentic system, Jain suggests that this dichotomy oversimplifies the history of yoga as well as its meanings for contemporary practitioners. By discussing a wide array of modern yoga types, from Iyengar Yoga to Bikram Yoga, Jain argues that popularized yoga cannot be dismissed--that it has a variety of religious meanings and functions. Yoga brands destabilize the basic utility of yoga commodities and assign to them new meanings that represent the fulfillment of self-developmental needs often deemed sacred in contemporary consumer culture.
Author: Sarah Powers
Publisher: Shambhala Publications
Integrating traditional yoga techniques with the principles of Chinese medicine and meditation, a yoga teacher introduces a series of sequences designed to promote a lifetime of good health and mental and emotional clarity. Original. 30,000 first printing.
Provides a detailed discussion of the place of the human individual in the universe and an illuminating overview of important practices of living according to the path of Yoga. $15,000 ad/promo.