Only two weeks left until Christmas. Do you have all your Christmas presents already or are you still looking for inspiration? If so, I might have some tips for you: My top three books I read in 2018. And the best thing is, these books are not only for Yoga nerds but still contain a lot of wisdom for Yogis and Non-Yogis.
But let’s have a closer look.

  1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
    I loved this book and basically made my whole family read it. In our Western world it has become so normal that being loud also means being strong. If you are called “shy” it is nearly like an insult. Susan Cain dismantles our concept of strong extroverts and weak introverts in a brilliant way. I came across this book through a Yoga podcast. Many yoga teachers are calm and more introverted. So teaching and being in front of a lot of people talking for 60-90 minutes is not the favorite thing to do. Same applies for me. I wonder in the first seconds of nearly every class, “what I am doing here?” But teaching Yoga and sharing my passion makes being in front of 20 people satisfying and not scary. A concept she explains well in her book, with a lot of examples of very famous, successful and surprisingly introverted people.  A very helpful book for all introverts to feel less like an alien, for all extroverts to understand your calm coworkers, family members and friends better, as well as for parents with “shy” kids.

  2. When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection, by Gabor Maté
    This was one of the most eye-opening books I read this year. We are familiar to a certain degree how stress can influence our health. Getting a cold on vacation after a stressful time at work for example. Most people would not be surprised and see the main cause in the high intensity of the weeks before the holiday. But Gabor Maté goes way further in his book. We often have much deeper stress in our lives than just a full email inbox or tough deadlines. Maté talks about connections between auto-immune diseases and emotional suppression – of which we are not even aware in many cases. It’s not about blaming the patient but becoming aware of subconscious behavior.  Talking about emotions is so important for a healthy body. We cannot continue to treat diseases only by looking at the body. Body and mind are two sides of the same coin.

  3. Thinking, Fast and  Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
    We talk a lot in Yoga about how we only see the world through our eyes and therefore in a pretty one-sided way.  Our main goal is to overcome this and see clearly. Daniel Kahneman probably has not much to do with Yoga but his book shows drastically how our mind and thoughts can trick us. We are not only seeing everything from our perspective, colored with our experiences, but also our mind often just doesn’t work very logically. How much can you really trust your intuition, how often are you led by a lazy mind?
    I had moments throughout this book where I actually wanted to stop and put it down because I found it frustrating how limited our mind is and how much this influences our attitudes, emotions, choices, and behaviors. Thankfully I didn’t. And I can only recommend to buy this book fast and then read it slowly.

    Namaste
    Mareike