Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance by Jessamyn Stanley
In Sanskrit, yoga means “yoke”. Mind and body, movement and breath, light and darkness, subjugate good and bad. This broader idea of ”yoke” is what Jessamyn Stanley calls everyday yoga – yoga that is not just about perfecting your downward facing dog, but transforming the hard lessons you learned on the mat into tougher apply daily life project.
In a series of deeply honest, fun autobiographical essays, Jessamyn explores everything from impostor syndrome to cannabis to reasons why loving yourself is a full-time job, all through the lens of the yoke. She invokes an American yoga complex that prefers to discuss the merits of cotton and polyblend leggings rather than facing its overwhelming whiteness. She questions why the Western view of yoga so often misses or abuses the spiritual dimension of tradition. And reveals what she calls her own “whole problem”: growing up a Baháí, loving astrology, learning to meditate, finding prana in music.
And in the end, Jessamyn invites every reader to find the authentic spirit of the yoke – that connects the good and the bad, the light and the dark.
Reasons to read: This is about finding self-acceptance on and off the mat. Your previous book is Every Body Yoga, which I really enjoyed: It’s an introduction to getting started with yoga that involves larger bodies, and it’s also about Stanley’s journey to yoga. In this book she explores the philosophy behind yoga, which she implements in everyday life.