The Yoga Institute Team Recommends: Our Top Picks Over Recent Months!

As the weather turns cooler, we may be tuning into the instinct to slow down and consciously spend time with books and other thought-provoking media that serve and nourish us. A good book, podcast or film can be one that delights, sparks imagination, feeds our curiosity, or even challenges us to consider something new.

And who doesn’t love a word-of-mouth recommendation? Here are some top picks that our staff and faculty have been loving recently. We hope you feel inspired to take some time to nourish yourself, relax, learn and enjoy!


Phosphorescence – by Julia Baird

Part-memoir, part-self-help, Phosphorescence aims to help us see how we can nurture and sustain a sense of contentment, especially when rough times hit and the ‘darkness’ threatens to diminish the light in our life.

No Mud, No Lotus – by Thich Nhat Hanh

While the beloved Vietnamese monk and peace activist has sadly passed, one way his legacy lives on is in the poetic words of his books. In No Mud, No Lotus he teaches that when we distract ourselves from suffering, we can’t genuinely learn how to suffer. When we embrace the suffering, we have a chance to calm it, so we can stop running.

Atlas of The Heart – by Brené Brown

Acknowledging that sometimes we are swimming in a sea of emotions, challenged to distinguish them clearly, let alone understand what they mean – both our own emotions and others’ – Brene Brown compiles 87 emotions and experiences that define us as humans, and maps out how we can be more precise in our self-awareness, and engage more meaningful relationships with others.

Sorrow & Bliss – by Meg Mason

A sad and funny novel about Martha’s attempts to understand the twists and turns her life has taken and to understand who she really is.

The Hidden Life of Trees – by Peter Wohlleben

Drawing on new scientific discoveries – including trees’ ability to communicate, share nutrients and regulate extremes like heat and cold – we’re not only left with a new sense of awe, Wohlleben skilfully illustrates how eco-friendly practices are not just beneficial for economies, but for physical and mental health of all living things.

The Biology of Belief- by Bruce Lipton

The 10th anniversary edition of Lipton’s seminal work, integrates the exponential growth in scientific research in the last decade. In this book, cell biology collides with quantum physics to show more powerfully than ever, that our destinies are not shaped by our genes and DNA. Rather, cell components are responding to energetic signals from elsewhere…..including our own thoughts! If you’ve ever struggled to unite science and energetics, get ready to shift your beliefs.

The Way of Integrity – by Martha Beck

This book invites us to consider what makes us feel whole, and gives small, manageable steps in the process of attaining a sense of harmony with ourselves. Doing so helps us lean towards what we truly yearn for, and not just what our culture and other externalities sell us.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat – Mastering The Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat

Wth science, personal stories, cooking and visuals, Nosrat explains how mastering the four elements of salt, fat, acid and heat can totally change the way you cook anything, producing precision in texture and flavour. Many yogis are interested in integrative dietetics, which allows them to blend modern food science with chosen traditional food practices. Indeed, characteristics such as taste, texture and temperature are foundational in ayurvedic diet practices, making space for modern science in our chosen home-cooking.

Scattered Minds – by Dr Gabor Maté

With a physician background, Gabor Maté is a sought-after speaker and writer on addiction, trauma and mental wellbeing. Scattered Minds is Maté’s in-depth look at Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD). Coupling the science of ADD (contrary to misconception, it is a reversible development disorder, not an inherited trait) with practical help for how parents with ADD-affected children and adults with ADD themselves, can gain insights into their behaviour.

Braiding Sweetgrass – by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Blending botanical science, academia and indigenous wisdom of her Potawatomi heritage, and described as “poetic instruction”, this book examines the connections that bind all living things, and the evolution of ecological consciousness. A moving and provocative book with gorgeous quotes such as, “Plants know how to make food and medicine from light and water, and then they give it away“.

Guided Relaxation – by Katie Brown

In a world where many people will look puzzled at the notion of a difference between downtime and conscious relaxation, let alone know how to relax, senior yoga teacher Katie Brown guides people how to access the benefits of true relaxation. With tips around postures, props, breathing, and over 30 guided relaxation scripts, the book is as practical as it is beautiful to look at and leaf through. We love that it needn’t be read from front to back necessarily, but can also be dipped into as needed, and can be used by individuals for personal benefit, or equally by yoga teachers with their students.

YouTube Video

The Near-Death Experience of Ingrid Honkala

PhD scientist Ingrid Honkala describes her childhood near-death experience in Colombia, and the injection of knowing installed in her. But when life distracts her away from her authentic self, she recounts bottoming out at a place where only two choices exist: the path of suffering or the path of light, and what she did to find the light again, offering hope that answers can come when we need them.

Honkala describes the purpose of time and experience is to help you remember who you truly are, to bring you back to Source: “It was the realisation that there was nothing to forgive. Because nothing had ever been done to me, to hurt me.  It had been done for me, to bring me to wake up [sic]”.


#214 Powerful Daily Habits to Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Feel Better, Live More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee

This episode is a special compilation of other episodes of Dr Chatterjee’s much-loved podcast, themed specifically around the stress response, looking at how a useful evolutionary response can become unhelpful and downright dangerous when its unrelenting. With nearly a dozen special guests, including psychologist Dr Kelly McGonigal, founder and CEO of Calm Michael Acton-Smith, and author of bestseller ‘Breath’ James Nestor, the podcast acknowledges that stress is part of life, but offers tools and tips that can help reduce stress’ harmful impacts.

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