My yoga journey is a typical one. I first attended a yoga class, begrudgingly, with my mom. I liked it well enough and attended semi-regularly. Then, I moved around a lot for the next four years while in graduate school and getting my first job. I sometimes used yoga as a way to help destress, but that’s about it. I am in no way a masterful or experienced yogi, but I am someone who has occasionally found solace in yoga. I’d always heard there’s so much more to yoga than posing on a mat, but I never felt like I had the right resources or time to figure out what that meant. Lucky for me, TLC Book Tours was kind enough to send me Do Your Om Thing by Rebecca Pacheco because it is the perfect answer.
Pacheco makes yoga feel approachable, which hasn’t always been my experience. She provides you with the right amount of yoga history, while simultaneously sharing her personal yoga journey with you. It’s a great balance. The book is split into parts that each have a specific focus — the body, the mind, and the spirit. This includes the eight limbs and seven chakras of yoga. Pacheco details each at great length, gives them a modern spin, and provides you with opportunities for practice and reflection.
8 Limbs of Yoga
Yamas: attitude toward the world
Niyamas: attitudes toward self
Asanas: yoga postures (the most practiced and well-known limb)
Pratyhara: withdrawal of the senses or turning inward
I won’t go into each, but basically the eight limbs make up the yoga path, which helps a person reach inner and outer peace. Each person can use the directions and practice prescribed by each limb to help them on their yoga path. It all sounds very granola, doesn’t it?
What I appreciated most was the section on meditation and mindfulness, which I think everyone could benefit from. For me, this section was the most powerful because I could see how being more mindful, of my attitude, breath, and daily actions, could improve my life. I’ve already tried meditation, which is hard! The biggest thing I learned was that meditation is not about totally clearing your mind and thinking nothing…that’s impossible. Meditation teaches you to let your thoughts pass through you while focusing on your breath, a mantra, or an image.
Overall, I loved this book, but I would have preferred to read it in smaller chunks rather than a chapter at a time. Because I was on a timeline for this review I read it faster than I would have chosen. While approachable, it was still overwhelming to try and absorb everything. With more time, I would have used more of the opportunities for practice and reflection and could have slowly incorporated new thing.
After finishing Do Your Om Thing, for the first time, I understand how yoga is more than its popular poses. I no longer need to feel guilty when I miss a class or don’t feel like turning on YouTube’s Yoga with Adriene. I can look inward, close my eyes, and take a deep breath. I am enough. I have enough. I do enough. (My new mantra stolen straight from the pages of this book.)
I highly recommend this book for anyone who does yoga or has an interest in yoga, but more importantly for anyone looking to make small changes that can have a large impact on their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. 5 out of 5 stars!