Saturday, April 1, 2017

ready for some of that inner & outer beauty

My March favorites are all about self improvement, though I didn't plan it that way.  I read a handful of decent books with narrative, but the books that made me the happiest were these:

Anatomy, Stretching and Training for Yoga by Amy Auman and Lisa Purcell

Because of this book I now know about the side crow pose, which sadly, hasn't come up in my 10+ years of exploring yoga classes, videos and books. But rather humorously, this is perfect timing, because I’m just now getting the hang of the regular crow pose. This book also has super easy instructions and two different pictures of each pose (one anatomy, one real-life person). My favorite part, however, is the side panel for each pose, listing both benefits and cautions. There are days when I have small injuries or minor aches and pains from the sports I play and it’s nice to know what yoga poses to stay away from on those days. And in the back of the book are a handful of routines that are easy to modify based on whether the ol' knees can take it that day or not.

There Is No Right Way to Meditate by Yumi Sakugawa

I can’t get enough of the lessons and illustrations in this book! There’s no doubt in my mind I will copy and enlarge at least one page to hang somewhere in my office. This book clicked with me on multiple levels. Many of Sakugawa's lessons breathed fresh air into stale and wordy concepts with simple language and clever, poignant illustrations. For example, “breathe out your bad mood and watch it disappear into the sky.” And thanks to her fitting portrayal of negativity through the use of dark and chaotic illustrations I can visualize the grievances I breathe out. Other lessons gave me words and pictures for unnamed meditation already happening in my life. For example, when I read about taking a walk in the woods so my bad mood doesn’t find me, I thought, ‘Yes! That’s exactly what I’ve been doing for years without realizing it.’ Sakugawa's depiction of Eckhart Tolle's pain-body concept is eerily similar to how I’ve always pictured it, and it definitely makes me want to kick its butt even harder (which actually translates to ignoring it harder) after seeing it come to life in her powerful interpretation of it. Thanks to Sakugawa I am eager (but in a centered, quiet way) to continue my meditation journey. 

100 Perfect Hair Days by Jenny Strebe

Though the illustrated step-by-step guide isn't great, this book has two other awesome things going for it that more than outweigh the unhelpful illustrated pictures. Not only is the name of the hairstyle provided for easy lookup on YouTube; also listed are variations for many of the hairstyles and the hair type that the style works best on.

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