Got some down time over the Christmas and New Year’s break? Curl up in a sunny spot and wrap your eyes around these reads.

A few students have asked me recently what I recommend so here they are. These are my all time faves that have changed the way I play, dream, create, love, live and work. 

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.
I remember reading this when I was a kid with a baby sitter. We’d stay up late and read this over a mid night snack of chocolate. It reminds me to believe in magic, be curious, have adventures and play. Kind of similar to the way I feel about The Lord of The Rings and Twighlight.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Succesby Deepak Chopra.
LOVE it and have read it more times that I can count on two hands. The Laws are simple, gentle and applicable ways of living that inspire the way I live and love. One of my favourite laws is The Law of Least Effort which teaches me to practice acceptance, take responsibility for my situation and for events I see as ‘problems’ as well as relinquish the need to always have my opinion or be right.

Daring Greatly and Rising Strong by Brene Brown
The first because it inspires me to be brave with my life, no matter what the ‘critics’ or ‘hater’s say and the second because it reminds me that anyone who has ever done anything brilliant and successful with their lives has failed. When you put yourself out there and ‘create’ something you’re going to fail – not maybe – definitely. It doesn’t matter that you fail, it matters that you pick yourself back up and try again.

The Desire Map by Danielle La Porte
Given to me by a student after Saturday afternoon yoga, she said, “I listen to you talk in class and I just think you’ll like this book.” I got home, planning to go out with friends that night and thought, “I’ll just read a chapter.” Three hours later I’d read it all and didm’t go out at all. Instead my heart was full of spirit and I was encouraged to change the way I set goals and intentions for myself. In a world where it’s about what you can get next, achieve next and tick off your TO DO list, this asks us to look at how you want to ‘feel’ when you get there and every day in the lead up. Read it! Every page is dripping with poetry and power. Thank you to my yoga student, Ozlem and to Danielle for creating something so beautiful and inspiring.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Another one a student and good friend gave me. It reminds me that at our deepest core we’re all creative – magicians, mathematicians, scientists, accountants, yoga teachers, mums, painters, designers – all of us. When we feel inspired by something, it’s our job to ‘follow the charm’ and bring that inspiration to life – not only for our own good but for the good of everyone around me. One thing I’ve learnt is that when we don’t use our creativity is turns into painful and harmful things like resentment, illness and sadness. This book reminds me to be creative in the way I teach yoga and communicate with people around me.

The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
Truth be told – I’m only half way through this and it’s my summer reading. But only three pages in and I knew it had me. Given to me by someone close who recently taught me more about my heart than I can imagine, it teaches me that we’re al limitless beings if we can just get out of our own way, away from ego and of the incessant thoughts that create pain and boundaries. Read this if you want to create a path of freedom and intense self awareness. Once you start, there’s no going back.