Starting a Meditation & Yoga Practice
Meditation and yoga are good for your body and mind! According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health, the benefits of meditation can include reduced stress, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. It can also improve your self-awareness and tolerance for negative emotions and situations. Furthermore, you can combine meditation with yoga to help increase your strength and flexibility and foster mindfulness. Learn more about kick-starting your meditation and yoga practice with book recommendations and resources available at the library!
In addition to the recommended titles below, you can find more information about health and wellness through the library’s Research and Learning databases. Visit resources like Gale Health and Wellness to browse over 300 topics including pediatric health, mental health, drug facts, and more, or browse beginner yoga and meditation courses through Universal Class. You can also try a variety of yoga workouts at home through Hoopla, a media-streaming platform available through the library!
- Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg
- Author Sharon Salzberg has more than 50 years of meditation experience. Real Happiness is a step-by-step course to learning meditation and nurturing your own practice. Salzberg teaches the reader mindfulness meditation from the ground up. In addition to the basics, lessons include advice on dealing with difficult feelings, and lovingkindness meditation.
- The Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga by Marlynn Wei and James Groves
- Stress and aging can take a toll on our balance and flexibility. If practiced regularly, yoga can help increase your flexibility and strengthen your body and mind. The Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga presents an eight week program to help you start your practice. If you’re not sure about jumping into yoga but are still interested in improving your balance, try Better Balance for Life by Carol Clements.
- Radical Compassion by Tara Brach
- Radical Compassion is a guide to the mindfulness practice called RAIN. RAIN can help you check in with whatever is going on in your mind at the moment. RAIN can be beneficial for those who do not enjoy or have time for a traditional practice because you can do it anytime, anywhere—no cushion or quiet room needed! RAIN has four parts: Recognize what is happening; Allow the experience to be there as it is; Investigate with interest and care; and Nurture with self-compassion. RAIN can be a meditation practice in itself, or used to work through difficult thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
- Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana
- Written in 1994, Mindfulness in Plain English is a classic guide to the basics of meditation and mindfulness. Bhante G, as his students call him, became a monk at the age of 12 and started his West Virginia meditation center, the Bhavana Society, in 1968. His book aims to dispel myths about meditation and give the new meditator tools to develop a sustained practice in their daily life. This 20th anniversary edition includes chapters on lovingkindness meditation—a great alternative practice for those who do not enjoy standard mindfulness meditation.
- Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get on the Mat, Love Your Body by Jessamyn Stanley
- Think you need a certain body type to practice yoga? Think again! Jessamyn Stanley invites you to practice yoga with the body you have. Stanley loved practicing yoga, but as a full-bodied Black woman, she often felt marginalized in classes—not thin, or small, or white enough. In response, Stanley presents an inclusive vision of yoga that welcomes all body types and abilities. If you’d like to read more from Jessamyn Stanley, we recommend Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance.
Here are some additional titles that highlight adaptive yoga practices:
- Gentle Yoga for Beginners by Sarah Starr
- Gentle Yoga for Arthritis by Laurie Sanford
- Curvy Yoga: Love Yourself and Your Body a Little More Each Day by Anna Guest-Jelley
- Accessible Yoga: Poses and Practices for Every Body by Jivana Heyman
- Yoga Where You Are: Customize Your Practice For Your Body + Your Life by Dianne Bondy
Plus, be sure to check out upcoming programs that coincide with Mental Health Awareness Month:
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