Spiritual Tools for Conscious Living
There is so much information available these days about taking care of our bodies. At times it can seem overwhelming, not to mention contradictory. How do we recognize what is useful, what is coherent with our own unique biological system, and what will fit into our lifestyle?
With intention we can attune our awareness to the various elements of our body, which will provide feedback to support our particular health needs. With intention we can notice the innate intelligence within our body, expand our knowledge and understanding through outside information, and take responsive action.
As a new consciousness book and film reviewer, I read hundreds of books each year. Below I highlight one book for our physical, mental and spiritual “bodies” that I have found particularly useful. It just happens that these are mostly contemporary books, but there are many, many books, old and new, which can inform, inspire, and invigorate our intentions.
Beth Shaw’s Yogafit: The program for a more powerful, flexible and defined physique
Human Kinetics, 2009
Over the years I have been both a student and teacher of yoga, and like so many of us, my commitment to yoga goes in cycles of intensity according to my life circumstances. But what I always give myself is fifteen minutes of yoga stretches each morning, just to keep my joints loosened, my muscles stretched and worked, and to assure my body that I haven’t forsaken it. Beth Shaw’s Yogafit is a practical book suited for novice and experienced yogis alike. It has enough background information about yoga poses to satisfy our intellectual understanding, and specific experiential instructions to get us into each pose, hold it, and modify it, along with a photograph of someone in the pose. The last section of this book has ready-made workouts for fitness and specific sports activities, along with a chapter on diet and nutrition, and meditation. You can follow her workouts, make up your own, or just choose poses that resonate for you. Remember to take your time and breathe. And be sure to quiet the inner critic: yoga is not a competition, even with yourself. It’s a journey.
The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy
Sound True, 2009
Brain research has demonstrated that our mind can’t tell the difference between something real or imagined. So, for those who may be skeptical about energetic healing, I propose that it doesn’t matter if it is “true” or not. If, in our collective psyche, we have imagined and “experienced” it to be so, then it is so. Every health issue has a physical and energetic component and every organism has numerous energy bodies within it (think acupuncture meridians, chakras, light, electric frequencies, and so on). Ancient systems mapping these energetic bodies and “information highways” have stood the test of time; more modern research of our energetic nature permeates many related fields, including quantum physics.
Although Subtle Body does not present anything new in holistic healing, it is an outstanding compendium of subtle energy anatomy, where mechanism and mysticism find common ground in whole being consciousness. More so, it is marks a milestone in the merging of science and subtle energy healing traditions, without getting too esoteric. It is visually pleasing with outstanding color photographs and overall is an extraordinary body of work and reference book for subtle energy healing.