Yoga and the Quest for the True Self

Yoga and the Quest for the True Self

More than 100,000 copies sold! Millions of Americans know yoga as a superb form of exercise and as a potent source of calm in the midst of our stress-filled lives. Far fewer are aware of the full promise of yoga as "the way of the fully alive human being"--a 4,000-year-old practical path of liberation that fits the needs of modern Western seekers with startling precision. Now one of America's leading scholars of yoga psychology--who is also a Western-trained psychotherapist--offers this marvelously lively and personal account of an ancient tradition that promises "the soul awake in this lifetime." Drawing on the vivid stories of practitioners at the largest yoga center in America, where he has lived and taught for more than ten years, Stephen Cope describes the philosophy, psychology, and practice of yoga--a practical science of development that urges us not to transcend or dissolve the self, but rather to encounter it more deeply. In this irreverent modern-day Pilgrim's Progress, Cope introduces us to an unforgettable cast of contemporary seekers--on the road to enlightenment carrying all the baggage of the human condition: confusion, loss, disappointment, addiction, and the eternal conflicts around sex and relationship. As he describes the subtle shifts of energy and consciousness that happen at each stage of the path, we discover that in yoga, "liberation" does not require us to leave life in the world for some transcendent spiritual plane. Life itself is the path. Above all, Cope shows how yoga can heal the suffering of self-estrangement that pervades our society, leading us to a new sense of purpose and to a deeper, more satisfying life in the world.

The Great Work of Your Life

A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling

The Great Work of Your Life

An inspiring guide to finding your life’s purpose—what spiritual teachers call dharma—through mindfulness and self-exploration. Stephen Cope says that in order to have a fulfilling life you must discover the deep purpose hidden at the very core of your self. The secret to unlocking this mystery, he asserts, can be found in the pages of a two-thousand-year-old spiritual classic called the Bhagavad Gita—an ancient allegory about the path to dharma, told through a timeless dialogue between the fabled archer, Arjuna, and his divine mentor, Krishna. Cope takes readers on a step-by-step tour of this revered tale and highlights well-known Western lives that embody its central principles—including such luminaries as Jane Goodall, Walt Whitman, Susan B. Anthony, John Keats, and Harriet Tubman, along with stories of ordinary people as well. If you’re feeling lost in your own life’s journey, The Great Work of Your Life may help you to find and to embrace your true calling. Praise for The Great Work of Your Life “Keep a pen and paper handy as you read this remarkable book: It’s like an owner’s manual for the soul.”—Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion “A masterwork . . . You’ll find inspiration in these pages. You’ll gain a better appreciation of divine guidance and perhaps even understand how you might better hear it in your own life.”—Yoga Journal “I am moved and inspired by this book, the clarity and beauty of the lives lived in it, and the timeless dharma it teaches.”—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart “A rich source of contemplation and inspiration [that] encourages readers . . . to discover and fully pursue their inner self’s calling.”—Publishers Weekly “Fabulous . . . If you have ever wondered what your purpose is, this book is a great guide to help you on your path.”—YogaHara

The Wisdom of Yoga

A Seeker's Guide to Extraordinary Living

The Wisdom of Yoga

The author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self offers spiritual seekers from all traditions a practical introduction to the wisdom and teachings of the Yogasutra, as he brings together insights from yoga philosophy with modern psychology to offer lessons in ethical living, enhanced creativity, and the discovery of one's higher purpose. 20,000 first printing.

Soul Friends

The Transforming Power of Deep Human Connection

Soul Friends

“Most of us will have many friends throughout our lifetimes —friends of all shapes, sizes, and callings. Many of these are wonderful, meaningful friendships. Some are difficult. But some magic few of these are connections that have gone right to our soul. These five or seven or ten friendships have been powerful keys to determining who we have become and who we will become. . . . These are the people I call Soul Friends.” As the Senior Scholar-in-Residence for over 25 years at the renowned Kripalu Center, Stephen Cope has spent decades investigating —and writing about —the integration of body, mind, and spirit and the rich complexity of our relationships with others, and with ourselves. Perhaps the central truth that arises from his work is this: human beings are universally wired for one thing —vital connection with one another. Soul Friends invites us on a compelling journey into the connectivity of the human psyche, the study of which has fascinated scholars, philosophers, and thinkers for centuries. Cope seamlessly blends science, scholarship, and storytelling, drawing on his own life as well as the histories of famous figures —from Eleanor Roosevelt to Charles Darwin to Queen Victoria —whose formative relationships shed light on the nature of friendship itself. In his exploration, he distills human connection into six distinct yet interconnected mechanisms: containment, twinship, adversity, mirroring, identification, and conscious partnership. Then he invites us to reflect on how these forms of connection appear in our own lives, helping us work toward a fuller understanding of “who we have become and who we will become.” Without a doubt, the journey to our most fulfilled selves requires us to look within. But in order to truly thrive, we must make the most of who we are in relation to one another as well. Unsparingly honest, deeply wise, and irresistibly readable, Soul Friends gives us a map to find our way.

The Spiritual Quest and the Way of Yoga

The Goal, the Journey and the Milestones

The Spiritual Quest and the Way of Yoga

Provides a detailed discussion of the place of the human individual in the universe and an illuminating overview of important practices of living according to the path of Yoga. $15,000 ad/promo.

Yoga for Transformation

Ancient Teachings and Practices for Healing the Body, Mind,and Heart

Yoga for Transformation

Go beyond the physical exercise of yoga with the founder of the American Viniyoga Institute While there is no denying yoga's popularity as a form of physical exercise, the other life-enhancing aspects of this tradition remain obscure to many Westerners. In Yoga for Transformation, Gary Kraftsow introduces techniques that treat not only the physical body but also the emotions, mind, heart, and soul of the practitioner-the places where real transformation can take place. There are breathing techniques to control energy levels, exercises to train and sharpen the intellect, and meditative practices to help increase self-awareness. With more than 350 black and white photographs throughout, this unique and accessible book is dedicated to strengthening the whole self-body, mind, and spirit.

Deep Human Connection

Why We Need It More than Anything Else

Deep Human Connection

New in paperback (originally published as Soul Friends): Yoga master Stephen Cope explores the essence of human connections through six types of relationships. As the Senior Scholar-in-Residence for over 25 years at the renowned Kripalu Center, Stephen Cope has spent decades investigating--and writing about--the integration of body, mind, and spirit and the rich complexity of our relationships with others, and with ourselves. Perhaps the central truth that arises from his work is this: human beings are universally wired for one thing--vital connection with one another. Now available for the first time in paperback (and originally published as Soul Friends), this book invites us on a compelling journey into the connectivity of the human psyche, the study of which has fascinated scholars, philosophers, and thinkers for centuries. Cope seamlessly blends science, scholarship, and storytelling, drawing on his own life as well as the histories of famous figures--from Eleanor Roosevelt to Charles Darwin to Queen Victoria--whose formative relationships shed light on the nature of friendship itself. In his exploration, he distills human connection into six distinct yet interconnected mechanisms: containment, twinship, adversity, mirroring, identification, and conscious partnership. Then he invites us to reflect on how these forms of connection appear in our own lives, helping us work toward a fuller understanding of "who we have become and who we will become." Without a doubt, the journey to our most fulfilled selves requires us to look within. But in order to truly thrive, we must make the most of who we are in relation to one another as well. Unsparingly honest, deeply wise, and irresistibly readable, Deep Human Connection gives us a map to find our way.

Lilias! Yoga

Your Guide to Enhancing Body, Mind, and Spirit in Midlife and Beyond

Lilias! Yoga

Introduces "yin" techniques for older or less flexible practitioners that focus on safe and creative ways to stretch and improve strength.

Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

My Humble Quest to Heal My Colitis, Calm My ADD, and Find the Key to Happiness

Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

As a college freshman business major suffering from a variety of anxiety-related maladies, Brian Leaf stumbled into an elective: yoga. It was 1989. All his classmates were female. And men did not yet generally “cry, hug, or do yoga.” But yoga soothed and calmed Leaf as nothing else had. As his hilarious and wise tale shows, Leaf embarked on a quest for health and happiness — visiting yoga studios around the country and consulting Ayurvedic physicians, swamis, and even (accidentally) a prostitute. Twenty-one years later, he teaches yoga and meditation and is the beloved founder of a holistic tutoring center that helps students whose ailments he once shared.

The Cloud of Unknowing

and The Book of Privy Counseling

The Cloud of Unknowing

THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING and THE BOOK OF PRIVY COUNSELING are the first explorations in the English language of the soul’s quest for God. Written in Middle English by an unknown fourteenth-century mystic, THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING expresses with beauty a message that has inspired such great religious thinkers as St. John of the Cross and Teilhard de Chardin, as well as countless others in search of God. Offering a practical guide to the life of contemplation, the author explains that ordinary thoughts and earthly concepts must be buried beneath a “cloud of forgetting,” while our love must rise toward a God hidden in the “cloud of unknowing.” THE BOOK OF PRIVY COUNSELING, also included in this volume, is a short and moving text on the way to enlightenment through a total loss of self and a consciousness only of the divine. William Johnston, an authority on fourteenth-century mysticism and spirituality, provides an accessible discussion of the works, detailing what is known about the history of the texts and their author. In a new foreword, Huston Smith draws on his extensive knowledge of the varieties of religious experience to illuminate the relevance of these works for contemporary readers.