Summer Yoga Reading List

self study yogaAs a kid one of my favorite things about Summer was participating in Summer Reading Challenges through my hometown library. You remember the sorts of incentive programs where the more hours you spent reading, the bigger the prizes you qualified for at the end of the Summer. I loved it!

I come from a family of readers. One of my Mom’s greatest gifts to me, was teaching me a love of reading. And from both my parents I’ve been inspired to be a Life Long Learner. (Full disclosure: My mother was both a public librarian and Director of Library services at Barat College and my Father was a Teacher.)

Well why not set our intention for having a Summer Yoga Reading Challenge? What do you win? Self-knowledge, mindfulness, humor and love. (*If you are a high vibe company looking to donate prizes email me

“Ancora Imparo” – Michaelengelo

As you prepare your Summer Yoga Reading List here are a few things to consider:

  1. This Summer what are you going to read? I have great Summer plans to read….
  2. There are many beautiful places to read from. I plan to read from the following places…
  3. How often do you plan to read? I plan to read…. (eg once per day)

Suggested Summer Reading List:

• The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell
• The Heroine’s Journey by Maureen Murdock

• The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele
• The Four Desires by Rod Stryker
• The Wisdom of Yoga by Stephen Cope
• A Path With Heart: A Guide through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life by Jack Kornfield
• The Heart of Yoga: Developing A Personal Practice by T.K.V. Desikachar
• The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi or The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
• Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann
• Wheels of Light or Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith
• The Breathing Book by Donna Farhi
• Light on Life by B.K.S. Iyengar
• Anatomy of the Spirit by Carolyn Myss

• Yogi Bare by Philip Self
• Wherever You Go There You Are by Jack Kornfield
• Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life by Judith Lasater
• Yoga & the Path of the Urban Mystic by Darren Main

• Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa PInkola Estes
• Women Code by Alisa Vitti

• How We Choose To Be Happy: The 9 Choices of Extremely Happy People by Rick Foster + Greg Hicks
• The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace by Jack Kornfield
• Healing Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Ferrand
• It’s Easier Than You Think by Sylvia Boorstein
• Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
• The Way of the Happy Woman by Sara Stover
• Be Happy by William Holden
• Sweat Your Prayers by Gabrielle Roth

MORE? What other books do you suggest I read, having read all of these already?

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BTW These are also part of my Alchemy of Yoga RYT200 Teacher Training Program.


Alchemy of Yoga 200-Hour Teacher Training Application

Alchemy of Yoga 200-Hour Teacher Training Intake Form: ALL ARE WELCOMED.

If you feel inspired by the Alchemy of Yoga vision to Teach Peace, we would love to listen to your story and learn more about the heart of your yoga.

Please send completed materials to: and

Background Information: Name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and emergency contact information

Please tell us about your yoga practice.
− How long have you been taking yoga classes and/or practicing yoga?
− What style(s) of yoga do you practice?
− How often and how long do you practice? Do you have a home practice?
− Do you currently have a meditation practice?
− Who have been your most influential teachers and why?
− Have you attended any trainings, intensives, or retreats? What inspired you to attend and what did you learn?

What has inspired you to pursue yoga teacher training?
− What are your expectations for the training? What do you hope to gain, learn, or improve?
− Do you teach yoga now? If so, please share with us the details of your teaching path.
− If you plan on teaching after completing the program, why do you want to teach yoga?

What does yoga mean to you?
− Describe how your life has been impacted by practicing yoga.
− Tell us about your hobbies, interests, community service, etc. outside of yoga.
− Describe your physical health (e.g., any major illnesses, surgeries, or physical conditions)., emotional health, and mental health.
− Do you have a support network of friends or a therapist?
− Does your family support this journey you’ve decided to take?
− This program requires a significant investment in yourself. Do you have any other major commitments (e.g., school, two jobs, etc.) that would prevent you from participating fully?

E-mail and if Alchemy of Yoga aligns with the heart of your yoga. Click here to learn more about joining our tribe.


Alchemy of Soul Bhakti Vinyasa Playlist

Name Time Album Artist
1 Invocation (Instrumental Meditatio… 6:18 Call Within Manose
2 Om Sarve 4:14 Bridge to Vallabha Tina Malia
3 Hanumanji (feat. Eddie Young) 4:57 Dreaming in Sanskrit Marti Nikko & DJ Drez
4 Samba Sadashiva 4:54 Echoes of Devotion Janet Stone & DJ Drez
5 Sita Ram (feat. Gaura Mani) 4:46 Bhakti Without Borders Madi Das
6 Krishna’s Dub Remix (feat. Domon… 7:17 Dreaming in Sanskrit Marti Nikko & DJ Drez
7 It’s Peaceful (feat. Domonic Dean… 3:46 Dreaming in Sanskrit Marti Nikko & DJ Drez
8 Ganapati Mantra / Strong My Root… 7:20 Songs for the Sangha (feat. Manose) Deva Premal & Miten
9 Slow, Hot & Sweaty 4:37 Georgia Warhorse JJ Grey & Mofro
10 Stoned On Shiva 4:21 Let Your Heart Be Known Steve Gold
11 After The Storm 4:08 Sigh No More Mumford and Sons
12 Upward Over the Mountain 5:58 The Creek Drank the Cradle Iron & Wine
13 Way Down Low/Om Namo Bhagav… 7:55 My Heart Bows Down To You Brenda McMorrow
14 Shiva’s Piano (feat. Marty Williams… 4:03 Dreaming in Sanskrit Marti Nikko & DJ Drez
15 Land of the Medicine Buddha (Inst… 7:13 Call Within Manose

manose photo

Love Alchemy Drinking the Lotus Yoga Playlist

    Name Time Album Artist

1 Embrace 5:40 The Rise of Downtempo Dub Sutra
2 Anandoham 5:34 Echoes of Devotion Janet Stone & DJ Drez
3 So High 4:46 4am: Plum Mood DJ Drez
4 Flip Ya Lid 5:24 In a Space Outta Sound Nightmares On Wax
5 Memphis Happiness 3:53 The Dub Revolutionaries (Sly & Ro… Sly & Robbie & The Mad Professor
6 Om Mani Padme Hum (feat. Eddie… 7:07 Dreaming in Sanskrit Marti Nikko & DJ Drez
7 High Low (feat. Zap Mama) [Acous… 4:03 All Rebel Rockers (Bonus Track V… Michael Franti & Spearhead
8 This is the Day 8:43 Kirtronica (with Ananda) Jaya Lakshmi
9 But I Feel Good 5:19 Lovebox Groove Armada
10 its your thing (Out of Sight) 2:49 Chick Flicks The Sequel The Isley Brothers
11 Harvest Moon 6:09 Pacific Standard Time Poolside
12 Maha Devi (feat. Domonic Dean Br… 4:00 Dreaming in Sanskrit Marti Nikko & DJ Drez
13 Lakshmi Mantra 8:20 Saraswati Dreams Jaya Lakshmi & Ananda
14 Wahine ‘Ilikea 4:33 Dave to Jen Dennis Kamakahi
15 Om Tare Crazy 8:42 Lovelution Jim Beckwith
16 Calm 2:15 Music For Yoga Jim Beckwith

Happiness Advice at Divinitree Santa Cruz

Yoga frees you
from the drama,
the tragedy, the saga
your mind creates and allows you to
experience your True Joyful Self
-Book 1 Verses. 2 & 3 of the Yoga Sutras, Alberto Villoldo author of Yoga Power and Spirit

“At times I have felt defeated by life.

All I ever wanted was to be peaceful, happy, and free. I went about attaining it by deconstructing myself and my life and seeking spirituality to bring about peace and happiness. With spirituality figured out and practiced daily I waited for the immediate result that failed to appear. It wasn’t until some years later that I realized I was attempting to cheat the system. I was trying to become enlightened to see the light. Unfortunately that’s not how life works, you cannot get the answers to life’s challenges in advance. The act of waiting for happiness to be happy, or “happiness procrastination” as I refer to it, can be paralyzing. If we have a prerequisite of a certain condition taking place to facilitate happiness then we’ll always be waiting as opposed to being happy in the moment. If we fool ourselves into believing that we have to understand the reasons why we’re unhappy, the result will be getting stuck in that state of unhappiness. Instead focus on forgiving the past without over intellectualizing it and bypass your way into the present.”


Be Present. Live from the heart of compassion. The Alchemy of Love.


Bring your hands to prayer. Keep the heels of your hands together along with the thumbs and little fingers; blossom open the three middle fingers of each hand. Lotus (Padma) Mudra invokes a feeling of expansiveness and love in the heart. Repeat three times.


In the early dawn of happiness
you gave me three kisses
so that I would wake up
to this moment of love

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Divinitree and Why Yoga Studios Are Important

I wrote an article “Why Yoga Studios are Important.” Every class at ‪#‎Divinitree‬ in Santa Cruz is an amazing reminder, but yesterday with Jim BeckwithAnn Averbach and Emily Perry was an especially Magical ‪#‎Alchemy‬!

“Yoga studios are essential for both the student and the teacher. In this digital, social, media-energized virtual world, it is evident to me that people still crave human connection.

The most important contribution studios offer is community. Community defined simply is a place for gathering. A place where hearts can connect. A place where interaction and relationships develop in personal face-to-face relationships. 

What Yoga Studios Can Provide:
Yoga studios provide that space where we can connect, learn, support, and celebrate each other. For students, this is critical in fostering personal growth and highest self-study, or svadhyaya. As students, we need teachers who can actually be with us.

For the teacher, it provides a consistent platform to offer their special gifts and unique styles. It fosters deeper, more intimate, and long-lasting relationships with the student. It also offers a place to call home.” Published by…/

divinitree jim ann emily me lakshmi