4 yoga media picks for end-of-summer fun

4 yoga media picks for end-of-summer fun

Ahhh, August. The dog days of summer, as the calendar year is at the height of abundance (here in the Northern hemisphere, at least) and the season starts to wind down. The start of the school year, work and yoga teacher training is on the horizon.

But before we step back into the routine and reality of our everyday lives, enjoy the last of the summertime sweetness from the comfort of your hammock. Who wants to read dense yoga philosophy or study anatomy when summer is starting to fade away?

Here are some ways to feel like you’re keeping up your yoga studies, without making too much of an effort. Find the nearest hammock and stretch out with one of these recommended books or audio practices.

For the backyard…

downward-facing-deathDownward-Facing Death, Neal Pollack [book]

The wonderful Neal Pollack has created a new literary genre: the yoga murder mystery. This hard-boiled detective story is a thoroughly entertaining romp through LA yoga culture as we follow the adventures of detective Matt Bolster, a pot smoking former cop turned yoga teacher. The appropriately named Bolster has been hired to solve the mystery of the death of Ajoy Chaterjee, a hot yoga franchise founder millionaire yoga entrepreneur. Not only is this murder mystery well-written and fun, it’s a brilliant satire of North American yoga culture. The novel was originally released week-by-week as an old school serial on Kindle. Pollack’s second serialized yoga murder mystery, Open Your Heart (which, as the title indicates, satirizes John Friend and Anusara yoga) just finished and will be available in book form soon.

For hot summer nights…


iRest in Serenity, Finding Peace in a Chaotic World: Yoga Nidra, Jeanne Dillion 

In summer, it can be heard to move. Do you really want to practice asana on hot humid nights? Sometimes you just want to lay on the floor and get talked through a body sensing meditation. Jeanne Dillon‘s iRest yoga nidra session does the job. Set yourself up on the floor with a bolster, eye pillow and whatever other restorative props you need, and let Dillon guide you through a deep relaxation with affirmations mixed in. Jeanne has a comforting voice that also instills a sense of confidence and relaxation. This lovely practice is available on iTunes and CD Baby.

For mobile meditation…


The Meditation App with Michael Stone [app]

Students of Michael Stone, and techies who are looking to start a meditation practice, will appreciate his new meditation app. Given that he’s now teaching all over the place and has students around the world who may not be able to access him all the time, it makes sense that he’d provide something to support their practices. The app is simple and well-organized, with a 10-minute introduction, six guided meditations, six silent meditations of different lengths and other features. Stone is a strong and competent meditation teacher, with a soothing and deep presence. Downloadable to your iPhone, iPad or iPod, the app is a great tool to maintain your sitting practice during summer travels, or while staying in cramped quarters with family members.

For family visits with nieces & nephews you don’t really know…

happiness-headstandsHappiness Doesn’t Come From Headstands, Tamara Levitt [book]

Failure is one of my favourite things. I mean, I don’t actually like it, but I’m a little bit obsessed with it and I have a complicated relationship with it. However, if I’d learned how to accept and make peace with failure as a child, I would probably have a better relationship with it as an adult. Tamara Levitt‘s book, Happiness Doesn’t Come From Headstands, provides a realistic look at failure and is a gentle opposite to the Little Engine That Could story. This sweet book (with absolutely adorable illustrations) is a valuable lesson that many adults (especially in the yoga world) could learn. And it’s perfect for awkward visits with nieces and nephews you see once every year or two.

  1. Someone give that man a prize for coming up with DOWNWARD FACING DEATH!