• Dr. Patty Hlava

Dive Into the New Year With the Best Healing & Wellness Books

Great gift ideas or additions to your to-read list! While we’re big fans of in-person learning, books offer the perfect addition to your wellness practice. These picks offer a pleasurable read as well as specific tips for physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Here are ten awesome ways to continue your journey into the new year:

1. Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

Brene Brown has inspired us once again. In Braving the Wilderness, she helps us understand what it really means to belong. Spoiler alert: it has nothing to do with being part of the “in crowd”. In Braving the Wilderness, she walks with us into the wilderness of ourselves, demonstrating self-care from an interpersonal perspective—how do we best care and nurture ourselves, truly belong, love and accept ourselves in the wilderness of the world in which we live.

2. What to Eat for How You Feel: The New Ayurvedic Kitchen—100 Seasonal Recipes by Divya Alter & William Brinson

Divya Alter offers a beautiful and brief introduction into the principles of Ayurveda and how to use this ancient wisdom to create delicious, balancing, and nourishing meals for each season. She offers guidance on food combinations and preparation methods, as well as how to use spices for healing and balance according to your individual needs. This book includes 100 delicious vegetarian recipes for breakfasts, soups, salads, main dishes, one-pot meals, desserts, and beverages in three seasonal-based chapters as well as chutneys, dressings, and spice blends. She even includes tips for improving digestion!

Some of our favorite recipes?

  • Mixed Vegetable Curry in Cashew Sauce

  • Spinach Risotto

  • Skillet Vegetable Pie

3. Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom: A Complete Prescription to Optimize Your Health, Prevent Disease, and Live with Vitality and Joy by Acharya Shunya

The author states, "To rid ourselves of the suffering that afflicts the body, mind, and soul, what we need is an affirmative knowledge of life and how to live it in alignment with nature." This is exactly what Ayurveda offers—and delivers. Ayurveda, the science of life, is an ancient system of healing that is grounded in an understanding of the elemental principles of nature. In this lovely book, Archarya Shunya shares her understanding of this magnificent science through beautiful examples, sharing of her own learning that was passed down to her from her grandfather. This book offers a great foundation for understanding the principles of Ayurveda, guidelines for morning and evening self-care routines, as well as delicious traditional healing recipes.

4. When Things Fall Apart—20th Anniversary Edition by Pema Chodron

Okay, so this was not published in 2017, but we read it in 2017 (and the first edition in 2009, 2012, 2015…). We are so grateful for this 20th anniversary edition of this life-changing book. In her characteristic, straightforward and compassionate narrative style, Pema guides us to a deeper understanding of the value of our pain and the myriad micro (and macro) traumas we experience in day-to-day living—and how to navigate these mindfully without falling into a pit of despair. Through this collection of 96 talks given between 1987 and 1994, she reminds us that happiness is something that we cultivate internally, not through external means. She guides us down that inward path, helping us discover the value of the full range of human experience—the good, bad, and painful. Thank you, Pema. We love you.

5. Your Body Speaks Your Mind by Deb Shapiro

This book was also not published in 2017, but it speaks so beautifully to the key points of AwakenPeace. Deb Shapiro teaches us how to listen—really listen—to the body and offers gentle suggestions and guidelines on how to reflect and engage with symptoms as a means of communication with the body. This book also includes a lovely CD containing guided meditations to offer additional support in the process of building communication skills between the body, the emotions, and the mind.

6. Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection by Sharon Salzberg

A new book from world-renowned meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg is such a treat for 2017! The quote on the cover says it all: “You are a person worthy of love. You don’t have to do anything to deserve all the love in the world.” With lovely stories and practical exercises, this book has it all to bring you love in 2018.

7. Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems by Kate Coombs

This picture book of mindful verses isn’t just for kids. Gorgeous illustrations accompany these mindfulness poems, which can be read out loud to little ones or to ourselves as a mindful practice. Who says meditation has to be a grown-up endeavor?

8. Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get On the Mat, Love Your Body by Jessamyn Stanley

Jessamyn conquers the trepidation of newcomers to yoga, sharing her own experience as a yogi with a body not typical of those displayed in yoga magazines. The message here? Everybody really can do yoga! It does not require: mind-boggling flexibility, super-thinness, or total zen-like states of mind. Yoga meets us all where we’re at right now, and helps us to be our own best self.

9. Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness

We could preach this forever and still it can be hard to believe: By seriously incorporating rest into your day, you can truly unlock your highest level of productivity. Written by performance experts, this book shows just how powerful reflective practices can be. Check it out, then try AwakenPeace’s meditations to experience these scientifically-supported peak performance benefits!

10. Daring to Rest: Reclaim Your Power with Yoga Nidra Rest Meditation by Karen Brody

Oh how we love yoga nidra meditation! Karen Brody helps us understand why rest can be so elusive in modern life, and gives us practical tips to reclaim it. If you’ve tried and loved our yoga nidra meditations, this book is a perfect next step.

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