Ten Books Every Yoga Practitioner Must Read

There are so many good Yoga books out there and most people who are serious about their practice, or who teach Yoga have quite a collection of books. Most Yoga teacher trainings also have a requirement of reading some books during the training but I have found as time goes on the collection grows into more personal choices.

These are the top ten books I believe anyone who practices or teaches Yoga needs to have on their bookshelf.

  1. The Inspired Yoga Teacher. This gem of a book is a must for all people who love to practice, even if you aren’t a teacher. It is packed with great suggestions for how to take Yoga off the mat (or the chair) and live the principles and philosophies that make this discipline so good.
  2. Polishing the Mirror-How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart. This book is not a “Yoga” book but instead of beautiful collection of wisdom that will help you live from the heart. It is just a must.
  3. The Yoga Mind. This is the book that I believe will change your mind the most that Yoga is not just a physical practice, or worse and exercise. This will help you see that Yoga is a way of living and is suitable for ALL people.
  4. Anatomy of the Spirit-The Seven Stages of Power and Healing. Another choice that is not per se a “Yoga” book but instead a book that can easily become a manual or guide for living your best life. This read will dive deep into parts of you that you may not even knew existed. The audio version is amazing, too.
  5. The Practice is the Path. This book will help anyone with the mind-body connection that Yoga helps to encourage. This book will depend your spirituality and learn how the practice plays a critical part in the journey of the spirit.
  6. Living the Sutras-A Guide to Yoga Wisdom beyond the Mat. Most books that attempt to make easy sense of the Sutras are still hard to apply to everyday life. This little book is the perfect tool for applying the Yoga principles to everyday life.
  7. Living Your Yoga-Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life. This book will stretche the meaning of yoga beyond its familiar poses and breathing techniques to include the events of daily life as ways to practice. A must for taking Yoga into every aspect of your life.
  8. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. One of the hardest parts of personal growth is accepting who you are. When it comes to teaching, or even practicing Yoga, we tend to live in a space of comparison. This is such a great book to stop that and start living authentically.
  9. Wheels Of Life – A User’s Guide To The Chakra System. This in-depth book will help you understand the powerful energy that exists as part of every human being. Not only will you learn about yourself, you will be more aware others and develop a deeper understanding of differences.
  10. Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom. This book brings readers this new and more complete understanding of the yogic journey. In reading this you may learn how to  integrate the different parts of the self (body, emotions, mind, and soul), the role that the yoga postures and how breathing techniques play in our search for wholeness.
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About Stacie

Stacie believes that it is her life purpose to share the gift of Yoga with anyone who is willing to say yes. In addition to raising a family and being an advocate for those with disabilities, Stacie is founder of Embracing Spirit Yoga which specializes in bringing adaptive Yoga into community centers and rehabilitation clinics. Bringing her depth of compassion to the mat–or the chair–she offers students the opportunity to grow as an individual in all aspects of their life.

With over sixteen years experience, Stacie Wyatt is an experienced 500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Certified Trauma Informed Coach, Life Wellness Coach, Senior YogaFit Instructor, Mind/Body Personal trainer, Stress Reduction and Meditation Instructor, Pilates Instructor, and Barre Instructor. Stacie is also certified in Integrative Movement Therapy™and is also a believer in the power and application of essential oils for health and wellness and proudly shares doTERRA essential oils.

Stacie brings her personal life experience of raising a daughter with a disability and over 12 years working in special education to her everyday Yoga classes.

The Final Quarter

Self-reflection is a humbling process. It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things…. then better yourself.

It’s been a little quiet on here since I have been swamped with teaching, gardening, and I also completed a 30 days of yoga series this month.

We are headed into the final quarter of the year and I find it’s a good time to reflect on your beginning of the year visions and see how they have evolved and what I can do in the final stretch to reach them.

I set out the year with a quest to be more vulnerable. Part of me starting an online yoga yea her forum group was to open my self up to not only questions and connection, but also to open myself up to criticism and accountability. My teaching style in assisted living settings, may be much different than what one might think of when we think of adaptive Yoga.

Just this week alone some of the time I spent in assisted living was holding hands with a lonely 92-year-old woman, and helping her take her hands down to her toes for a stretch. I also rubbed the feet of a 57-year-old man with a terminal disease.

Is that yoga? I believe with 100% certainty that it is.

This year I also opened to myself up to finding someone to partner with me and shadow me to learn how to apply the principles of yoga, without such a strong focus on asana, to those unique settings. As I wait for that person to arrive in my life, I continue to serve and love each day doing it.

What will you do in these final few months of 2023 to come closer to your vision?

How can I support you?

Seeking Yoga Teachers

There are some awesome heart centered Yoga teachers out there that are tired of the high focus on the physical form that our western culture emphasizes. They also have the heart to touch the lives of unique individuals.

I am seeking those Yoga teachers.

When I began my own personal practice of yoga I was doing it for all the reasons many of us do–increase flexibility, get leaner and stronger, and stretch the tight muscles. What I discovered in the process of learning and doing all of that is the true essence of Yoga–which is union; with myself and with others.

It was also at this time that I was embarking on a self-discovery quest that lead me down many paths, and ultimately opened some amazing doors for my own personal growth.

I had dove deep into my soul and realized that I am here to do great things and in order to do that, I had A LOT of healing in my heart to do. (A recent podcast explains it all). When I found the space in my heart that anger no longer was consuming, I filled it with life changing love.

Hustling

I have been hustling in and out of assisted living, rehab centers and group homes for over thirteen years, specializing in people with brain injuries. It is the most rewarding work I can ever imagine. It is SO needed in every community.

Let’s team up

I want to share this very special population with YOU so that you can go into your communities and feel confident teaching Yoga to individuals with disabilities.

I am currently taking applications for adaptive yoga teacher mentorship. Learn more!

Together we can do so much more.

Embracing Spirit Yoga

Essential Yoga–Connection

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. ~Brene Brown

This workshop uses oils designed to help us open the heart, forgive, let go and greet the world from a place of emotional & physical balance. February is the month of the heart where we open to a new view and move ahead with love and trust. The oils in this workshop are a wonderful combination of aromas. If you need essential oils samples to work with this class, please reach out to me.

Essential Oils

YLANG YLANG (AROMATIC/DIFFUSE):

PHYSICAL: Helps equalize or balance key body functions such as our respiratory and circulatory systems. Popular oil in perfumery. Aphrodisiac qualities assist with sex drive and impotence as it helps with hormone balancing—allowing us to connect with others. Helps promote restful sleep as it assists with anxious feelings and balancing our emotions. Calming, lessening stress and tension –“cools down” agitation, helping the nervous system to bring itself into balance.

EMOTIONAL: The Oil of the Inner Child. Ylang ylang is known as a powerful remedy and connector to our heart. It reconnects us to our childlike nature, innocence and our intuition. Opens up our sexuality when fear or anxiousness has created a block. Helps release past emotional trauma, in a natural, nurturing & gentle way. Used in today’s workshop to set the stage of a calming, approachable nature within so we can begin connecting from a place of balance.

WILD ORANGE (INTERNAL/DRINKING):

PHYSICAL: Powerful cleanser and purifying agent for surfaces. Protects against seasonal and environmental threats –as it is high in antioxidants and supportive to the immune system. Uplifting aroma lifts the mind and therefore, the body as we take in a sip. Taken internally or applied topically, this oil can provide relief from occasional digestive discomfort

EMOTIONAL: Oil of Abundance. Helps reduces anxious feelings, and calm emotions. Inspires creativity, a positive mood and brings joy & peace, happiness and FUN into your day. Encourages creative thinking and fearlessness. Used in today’s workshop to help us recognize that there is an abundance of love that surrounds us and when we tap into it –it can help lift us up.

FRANKINCENSE

PHYSICAL: Powerful and rare oil that is very diverse in its use on/in/around the body. The “one” oil you want if you can only have one! Known historically as a holy oil used for anointing and sacred ceremonies when spiritual awareness is desired. Distilled from frankincense tree resin harvested from a small region in the Middle East & Northern Africa. Highly researched for its ability to helps build and maintain a healthy immune system and function. Known to support the rejuvenation of skin and other epithelial tissue.

EMOTIONAL: The Oil of Truth. Connects us to our spiritual selves creating a healthy attachment to our actual father or the father figure in our lives. Reminds us we are loved and protected with a gentle, loving Divine spirit (God). Helps release us to break free from our past, making it an ideal oil to use for those seeking spiritual awakening and evolution. Used in today’s workshop to open our heart from a place of peace, love and support that comes from deep within us and connects us to our highest self.

AROMATOUCH BLEND

PHYSICAL: Blend includes: Basil/Marjoram/Lavender/Peppermint/Cypress/Grapefruit. Referred to by doTERRA as the Massage Blend. Relaxes, calms and soothe muscles and joints –great choice to apply after a rigorous workout. Promotes circulation in the tissue to which it is applied. Oils in the blend support the healthy function of the respiratory system as well.

EMOTIONAL: The Oil of Relaxation. Opens the heart and mind –relaxing as it provides comfort in times of grief or sorrow. Calms and slows the body, therefore the mind as well as it releases tension. When muscles release tension and we slow down, we reconnect with our heart and it opens, allowing us to move in harmony with our body. Used in today’s workshop to connect with our spirit and ask where our path will lead.

GERANIUM

PHYSICAL: Helps support clear, healthy skin. Used to balance emotions. Assist with blood flow and circulation–a gentle oil used to calm nerves and lessen anxious feelings.

EMOTIONAL: The Oil of Love and Trust. Helps us restore our confidence in the goodness that surrounds us and in our world. Assists our desire to establish trust when trust has been broken by others. Reopens the heart –softening anger and helping heal emotional wounds. Instills unconditional love and trust with those who are stuck in the mind so they can begin focusing on their heart. Used in today’s workshop to help all of us connect with our true emotions. 

BALANCE BLEND

PHYSICAL–Blend of Spruce, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, HoWood and Blue Chamomile. Designed to help us ground our emotional and physical body –to keep us centered or balanced about whatever challenges cross our life’s path. Soothes and relaxes sore muscles and joints. Assists the nervous system to remain healthy and balanced. Harmonizing blend –connecting body, mind and spirit together and calming anxious feelings. Frankincense in the blend is known to support cellular health and overall well being.

EMOTIONAL— The Oil of Grounding. Calming tree and flower oils that brings tranquility to our spirit. Helps us reconnect or settle into our “roots”–very important to help those who spend a lot of time thinking, speaking or in spiritual activity.Good for those who tend to avoid long-term commitments to root down like a tree rather than finding themselves drifting on to the next thing, with the wind. Applying it helps us stay present in the moment to achieve our longer term goals –as a tree grows slowly over time. Used in today’s workshop to help us take the emotions we experience through the layering of these oils, and reconnect them into our heart as a way of “grounding” ourselves at the close of this gathering

You can purchase the essential oils here and that will give you exclusive access to education, mentoring and a free personal wellness coaching session. Plus I will teach you all the ways that you can also use these essential oils that you purchase for this class. The uses are endless! To learn more about the basics of essential oils and how to use them safely and effectively, check out this gorgeous ebook.

The yoga practice that compliments these essential oils and the theme of connection, just click here.

Personal Yoga Practice

I get asked a lot about my personal practice. The assumption might be that I am always on my mat in my gorgeous studio.I do practice Yoga everyday. But, the Truth is I unroll my mat mostly when I feel a disconnection.

I come to my mat to feel…to nurture my body…to connect with my sensations. I don’t practice asana (postures) everyday. Having a Yoga practice doesn’t have to be physical.

So yes…I practice everyday, but I come to my mat when I need to plug into my soul, and connect my physical body to that beautiful place inside.

You don’t “do yoga”. You are Yoga….Become Yoga…leave the “doing” for something else.

If you are wanted to learn the deeper aspects the practice of Yoga, I would love to chat with you. Send me a message and we will connect.

Yoga Teacher Mentoring Program

Are you a yoga teacher (or soon to be) and have a desire to take your teaching a different direction? Perhaps teach to a population that is often overlooked and underserved?

I am currently looking to mentor two yoga teachers on adaptive yoga and traditional hatha yoga. With over 13 years of experience and thousands of hours teaching to typical and disabled students, I would love to share my knowledge and guidance with you. This is an opportunity for yoga teachers to develop their skills and deepen their knowledge of yoga through personal study under the guidance of an experienced mentor.

My mentoring program includes:

•reading and studying
•weekly discussion
•observation time
•questions and answer time
•support and guidance

You will leave with:

• An understanding of your WHY as a yoga teacher
•Absolute confidence in your voice as a yoga teacher
•Clarity around your offerings as a yoga teacher
•Excitement around sharing your offerings your way
•Ability to shed comparison and instead embrace your unique gifts
•How to develop offerings that are intrinsically linked to your Why, your niche as a teacher
•A road map of where you’d like to go from here

The ideal teacher must be open to learning the methods of adaptive yoga, proper safety and precautions, how to engage those with limited cognitive function, and much more. You must also be spirited and have a positive outlook.

Message me for more details and to apply.

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Home Yoga Practice

One of the most common things I hear from people who really want to start yoga is that they feel they have no discipline when it comes to a home practice. Believe me, I get it. I have struggled my whole time as a yogi and yoga teacher to have a consistent home practice. It seems we can come up with a zillion reasons/excuses as to why it’s impossible–no real place to practice, too many distractions, no privacy, and most common is lack of motivation.

Truth is all of those things can be overcome with some simple steps to hold yourself accountable.

After all, we all know how valuable a consistent yoga and meditation practice is, otherwise we wouldn’t be dying to get back to the studio for the classes that were on the schedule, right? Many of us are now working from home and our practice is suffering when instead, there are a few simple things to do to get back to the mat, at home.

Here are five ways to overcome the excuses and develop a solid home practice.

  1. Set a schedule. If you are used to heading to the gym or studio for a Tuesday morning yoga class at 10am, then carve out the same time slot. Block it out in your calendar, set a timer, tell your family that hour is off-limits, and stick to it. Show up on time just as you would for the class at the gym but without the commute! Try for twice a week and watch what begins to happen.
  2. Choose a space. Let’s face it, not everyone is going to have a perfectly zen area in their home dedicated to yoga. No worries! You just need a space that is open enough to feel comfortable on your mat and perhaps a door to close. Light a candle, burn some incense or diffuse your favorite essential oils, and unroll your mat. Keep this space free of clutter, work items, and household chores like laundry to fold. Create a place that feels good, but let go of the idea that in order to practice it has to be perfect.
  3. Set boundaries. I love that yoga is called a practice because it truly does help us to see how we can apply the things we learn on the mat to our everyday life. Like boundaries. Decide first and foremost that you are worth it and then let your family know that you are giving yourself one precious hour. Feed your dogs and cats prior to practice and lock them out of the space or put them in a kennel–they will survive an hour without you. Turn off your phone. Yes, turn OFF your phone. If these things are hard for you, then revisit your worthiness and try again.
  4. Commit. Remember the first few times after you started to “get” this practice? You know, when your mind and your body came together into harmony and you started to feel something shift? Revisit that. Feel it. Does it really take a class on a schedule, in a germy gym with a bunch of strangers to motivate you? How about instead the physical health that you are developing? The reduction of stress your body is receiving? The peaceful state of being that your spirit feels? That should be plenty of motivation.
  5. It’s a practice. Remember, yoga is a practice not a perfection. Give your self some grace and try again. Any habit takes time to develop. Some say a new habit takes 21 days. How about trying 4-weeks of coming to the mat twice a week and see if you don’t develop a solid home practice that is based on self-love and cultivating a sense of self without the need to leave the sanctuary of your home.

The added bonus to all of this is that you will teach others around you the value of self-love and they just might see the peacefulness in you and make some changes themselves. It is after all a practice for the self, but it becomes selfless in how it enhances the lives of others as well. That is the ripple effect that we love to discover while on the mat.

Follow me for more goodness!

Preparing Our Soil

I think of early March as a time to prepare for growth. To toil the ground and prepare ourselves for deep growth.  I also love spring and the symbolism it represents.  It is during the spring time that we often think of beginnings, newness, and growth.  For some, this is a great time to begin to cultivate your “soil” to soon plant seeds of intention. One way to do this is to write down anything in your life you wish to increase–friendships, health, abundance or joy, are just a few ideas.  Be clear with your visions as this brings life to your “seeds”.

Next, it is so important to prepare your inner “soil” by eliminating and removing the old and now transpired blossoms of last year.  The memories of past that have come and go and no longer as vibrant as they were just a few short months ago. When we invest time in preparing ourselves for a season of growth (no matter what time of year, really) we must start with cleaning up the areas so that we are open to allow space for growth. When we spend time doing this we are investing time into right now.  We are dirtying our hands with the fertile soil that awaits.

As you do this, become aware of the subtle changes in Nature during this time of the year.  You might see the peeking of crocus bulbs emerging from the hardened winter ground.  Watch as the trees begin to grow tiny nubs that will soon break into full leaves.  Listen as the birds start to make song in the early mornings and the air has a scent of newness.  Use all of your senses to experience what is happening around you.

As we connect with Nature we also connect with ourselves. We realize that we too, are ever-changing and growing beings.  We can set the seeds of intention and begin to nurture and cultivate what we wish to have grown in our lives.

This week in my classes we will be exploring cleansing postures to eliminate the old and make space for new.  We will also be looking at ways our bodies can twist and unwind to come fully into the now.

Here is to growing, less pain, more joy and flourishing!  Happy Spring and while you are preparing your soul for growth it is never a bad idea to get your hands dirty in Mother Earth, either.

Deep Sustenance

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom

you have studied, 

I want to know what sustains, 

from the inside, 

when all else falls away.

Tell me of a time when hope and faith wasn’t enough.  Tell me what sustains you when all that you have known, or relied on, falls away.  Tell me what you do to find your way back when you are lost?

When all that we have relied on falls away we have nothing to do but wait. How we wait is up to us.  Whether we wait with openness, or we close off, the choice is ours.  We either choose to LIVE or we move towards a death.

To choose life, we have to be willing to wait.  To ride the waves of life even when it seems impossible.  To wait for the waves to subside.

What sustains us when all else falls away are the things that we do that make waiting and staying open to life possible. These things are our practices that fill up the space when hope and faith are waiting to find us again.

For me, my practices are my foundation.  Without them, I am lost in life.  I know that these are the rituals that I must do while I lean towards faith and hope with anticipation that they are around the corner during the hard times of my life.  Without these practices, I know I would not be able to show up in life the way that I do.

  • daily power hour; setting my intention for the day, journal meditation, plan my day and review my commitments, create tasks to complete that support my dreams, read a motivational/spiritual passage.
  • walk in nature; rain, snow, shine.  No matter what I get at least one 30 minute walk each and everyday.   No matter the temperature because after all that is what hats and gloves are for.
  • bubble bath; beyond the practical reasons, I self-care soak at least once per day to get grounded and connected, to wash off the day’s experiences and energy, and to savor my body.

These daily practices sustain me and keep me from being lost in a big world with often big experiences while I wait for hope and faith to find me.

This week we will explore this on the mat (or chair) as we dive into our practices of movement and breath with the idea of deep sustenance.  We will wait out postures by following our breath and coming back into the moment of now.

Join me!

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Yoga=Union

The definition of yoga is essentially ‘union’. At the foundation it is to be in union with yourself, and then others through kindness and compassion.

I know that for many yoga is a form of gymnastic-like contortions with their very flexible body. It is also another place to compete and to improve. I get it.

My practice used to consist of every inversion I could achieve and I strived for “perfection” in my pose. I sought out yoga to get more flexible physically and to perfect something that at that time I felt needed perfecting. What I did not realize was that I could achieve all of that physical/external stuff in the gym or in a fitness class.

Over time though I realized that while I can stretch, build strength, achieve amazing results and impress myself I was no where near union with my Self. I was destroying my body. I was seeking the wow factor impressing others ego based external affirmations. But mostly I was lost.

And then I found the true essence of yoga.

Union.

Oneness.

And this had nothing to do with how deep my back could bend.

This gentleman has been practicing yoga with me for two years. He could care less about a handstand because his yoga is union. It is allowing me to move his mostly paralyzed body. To look into his beautiful green eyes and wonder what he would like to say if his mouth would just speak the words.

True union.

Despite his limitation from a traumatic brain injury, this man shows up. He is present.

After our session, he insists on “walking” me to the door to lift his hand for a handshake.

That is yoga at its core.

Union.