Yoga for Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom by Colleen Saidman Yee

In the last few years, I’ve had a lot to thank for helping me become less anxious, more confident, and less tied to the past. One of them, of course, was books and bibliotherapy.

But there were other things at work too.

I loved reading A Pukka Life by Sebastian Pole and finding ways to rebalance myself naturally. Healing Without Freud or Prozac by Dr Servan-Schreiber (brilliant book title) convinced me to try EMDR therapy to deal with trauma.

 

I also fell in love with yoga.

 

Sometimes I attend a yoga class, but usually I just sit on the mat I have in my house and do my own thing.

Reading Yoga for Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom by Colleen Saidman Yee was one of the best tools I’ve found so far in helping with my little home yoga practice.

It also got me thinking about many other areas of my life and where I was treating myself unfairly.

 

“I had spent most of my life thinking, I’ll be content when I have all A+s. Or, I’ll be content when Robin proposes to me. Or, I’ll be content when I have no bags under my eyes. Or, I’ll be content when I have enough money. You can wait your whole life and never happen upon contentment. The key is to accept what is and not allow yourself to be jerked between likes and dislikes, attachments and aversions. Accept what is, right now, whether it’s comfortable or painful.”

– Colleen Saidman Yee

 

(If you like that quote, you might also like my review of Matt Haig’s Notes on a Nervous Planet).

The thing is: Yoga for Life isn’t just about yoga at all. Yoga is rather an add-on to the book’s much bigger picture, which covers Colleen’s journey away from addiction, self-doubt and anxiety, and even brain damage following a car accident.

 

It’s about Colleen’s life – with yoga – and it shows how we can make it a part of our own lives too.

 

“I’m grateful for the mirror yoga gives me to see my ridiculousness; when I find myself wasting energy on trying to prove something or get external validation, I call myself on it.”

– Colleen Saidman Yee

 

I love how there doesn’t need to be any pressure with yoga: you can just sit, breathe, and be.

One of my favourite types is Yin restorative yoga, which I discovered when I was in Bali this August.

I was trying to learn how to dive, but my fear of water got in the way slightly. That was one good reason to attend the daily yoga classes held at the dive and yoga centre I was staying at.

Another reason was the 7.1 earthquake that hit Indonesia when I was there, followed by several aftershocks and a tsunami warning. I could really do with something grounding.

But even when I’m not going through elevated stress, I try and make time for yoga.

Yoga for Life was a perfect reminder of how beneficial yoga and slowing down is for me – as well as an ideal guidebook to making it happen.

If you’ve already done some yoga and know it can help you, I’d recommend looking to the book to inspire you to get back to the mat.

If you haven’t tried yoga before, I think it could be a good introduction for you – especially if you’re drawn to Colleen and want to hear more about her story.

 

“For me, “know you’re enough” answers yoga’s core question, Who am I? It’s these words that inspire me to be courageous on and off the mat. They make me feel I can do anything because I have nothing to lose or gain. I am already enough. I can stop struggling and simply see the person who spent a good part of her lifetime hiding behind feelings of inadequacy, fear, overcompensation, and perfectionism.”

– Colleen Saidman Yee

 

“You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you—no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself.”

Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke

 

 

You can get a copy of Yoga for Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom by Colleen Saidman Yee here.

Lucy
It's good to meet you! I started Tolstoy Therapy back in 2012 to share my healing journey through anxiety and PTSD with books. I also climb mountains, go on solo adventures, and write over at livewildly.co.

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