There are 3 books I am supposed to read before even beginning my first day of “class” which include:  Food Revolution by John Robbins (heir to the Baskin Robbins cone but fled that life to live one of health and promotion of green living and eating), Yoga Mind and Body by the Sivananda Yoga Centers, and The Sivananda Companion to Meditation. 

Following the pre-program protocols for reading I am meant to read only literature and materials that benefit and enhance my yogic lifestyle so I have begun compiling my own Fall Teacher Training Reading List.  It’s like Summer Reading in Elementary School and is giving me the reminscent tingles similar to those I had as a fledging book nerd in my formative years.  I was, I can proudly say, winner of “The Summer Reading” Award three years running which was awarded to the unsportsmanlike soul who spent their summer hours reading more books than any other child. 

Funnily enough I came across my poster card award certificates this past month when purging through old paperwork in my parents’ attic in anticipation of our Florida move.  I was, as a terminal literary geek, still as fluttery and proud even decades later looking at the brightly colored paper with the promises of my prize written on the front: “One ice cream cone from ‘Do Me a Flavor'”.  Those were the days.  But I digress. 

So I have begun cataloging my “TO Read” book list for the two months of my abstinence from the chaos and ADD-inducing elements of the world like television, music, and hormone-laden meats (oh meats, I love you so).  I have also broken them down into a few subcategories such as: Yoga, Contemplative Thought and Spirituality, and Body-Oriented Psychotherapy and Trauma (some may overlap in area of study).  My list so far follows accordingly :

Yoga:

Kundalini Yoga Meditation: Techniques Specific for Psychiatric Disorders, Couples Therapy, and Personal Growth by David Shannahoff-Khasla (an interesting read as it covers a yogic method but comes from a base of study, statistics, and empirical data)

Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Trancendence by Matthew Sanford (autobiography of a man paralyzed in his childhood who was reinvigorated in adulthood by a yoga teacher and led him to create a yoga methodology for disabilities)

Contemplative Thought and Spirituality:

Open Mind, Open Heart by Father Thomas Keating (on the reinvigoration of Christian Contemplative practice and a guide to the practice itself; I am rereading it for inspiration)

Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions by Wayne Teasdale (a book I have read in pieces but never comprehensively which universalizes the search for meaning and the root of contemplative practices in world faiths and includes references to yoga)

Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hahn (about the contemplative traditions across two different faiths and their essence and universality; a book I am rereading)

Body-Oriented Psychotherapy and Trauma:

Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy by Pat Ogden and others (Pat Ogden is a well known body-oriented therapist who has worked for years in the space between mind and body, accessing both…a book I am very excited to explore)

Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences by Peter Levine (another well known body-oriented therapist and a book I am interested to explore and contrast the approaches of himself and Pat Ogden)

As I go through this literary feast I plan to write on each of the books, both here and through more in-depth reviews on my website www.embodymentalheath.com.  I look forward to the endeavor and a return to my youth where I can give myself the time, freedom, and leisure of pouring over books, one after another, without any other form of distraction. 

*More books may be added as I go.  Dependent on my literary stamina.*

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