What to Read This Fall
Maybe it's that back-to-school feeling that's engrained in our DNA, but the arrival of that first cool autumn breeze always envigorates in me an admittedly-nerdy desire to break out a new palette of books for the bedside table. Armed with a thin-tipped pen and mini Sharpie highlighter, I divide the new stash of tomes into subway-sized fare (those with pithy enough pages to digest something worthwhile on even an short F-train commute) and those that require more reflection for bedtime reading (which more often than not have longer, more philosophical passages that can work on my sub-conscious while I'm snoozing).
Here, the five fresh picks that I've recently procured for my fall reading list, followed by the five featured in lululemon's recent book-focused blog post. Your assignment? Tell us your picks for fall in the comments below so that you can tip your fellow yogis to the must-reads of the season.
"Clean Gut" ~ Dr Alejandro Junger
While I have yet to embark on Dr Junger's CLEAN cleansing program, the tenet in "Clean Gut" seems to ring true to me: that an imbalance in your gut can create system-wide shutdown. He claims that all of today's most diagnosed ailments can be traced back to an irritated gut, and that we can pre-emptively attack disease by caring for our guts before disease takes root.
Recently underlined passage: "The intestinal wall selects what to let in and keep out, much like what happens at customs and immigration... Loosening or holes in the wall leads to a condition called hyperpermeability, or leaky gut. This is the beginning of many illnesses."
"The Hormone Cure" ~ Dr. Sara Gottfried
We had the distinct privilege of having Dr. Sara visit us at Wanderlust Colorado this summer, and she absolutely schooled us on all-things-hormones. Among the many, many takeaways I had from that lecture was a reference to telomeres, which I further read about in her book.
Recently underlined passage: "Telomeres [stretches of DNA at the end of our chromosomes that protect our genetic data] are considered the best marker of biological, as opposed to chronological, aging. You want long telomeres; shortened telomeres indicate accelerated aging and are associated with developing cancer of a higher risk of death. You want to increase your telomerase, the enzyme that elongates telomeres. How to do this? Meditation and exercise appear to be the most effective at keeping you young."
Hey, if Gwyneth Paltrow can cop to reading what appeared on the surface to be a schlocky relationship self-help book, then so can I. GP herself says, "The fact that we create and are responsible for the difficulties in our relationships was difficult to digest at first, but as I read on, I realized that Gay and Kate Hendricks' approach was not only groundbreaking, but was changing the way I related to the people I love and also, myself." This made me realize that there was nothing to lose by exploring the Hendricks' dissertation on the steps to a harmonious relationship. And really, what relationship do you have that couldn't use a little improving?
Recently underlined passage: "Co-commitment leads to the ultimate reward: co-creativity. A co-creative relationship is one in which two people access more of their creativity as a result of their loving interaction. Out of their harmony springs an enhanced energy that enables both partners to make a greater contribution that either one could have made alone."
"Breaking Open the Head" ~ Daniel Pinchbeck
On it's surface, it could be described as a book about the exploration of the effects of psychedelic drugs on the mind and sense of self. But it's much deeper than that: Pinchbeck explores shamanism and how sacremental substances of various cultures and eras have been been used to, indeed, "break open the head" and get to the root of the human experience. At once a personal diary and a scientist's notebook.
Recently underlined passage: "Today, we have sacrificed perceptual capabilities for other mental abilities, to concentrate on a computer screen (something those Indians would have found "utterly impossible and incredible) and to shut off levels of awareness. We are brought up within a system that teaches us to postpone, defer, and eliminate most incoming sense data in favor of a future reward. We live in a feedback loop of perpetual postponement. I realized I was trapped in a state of deferred expectation and compulsive self-distancing. I had a neurotic intellectual's habit of constantly trying to observe myself from some imaginary point of objectivity outside myself, and this impossible effort sapped my energy and kept me from connecting to myself."
"Absolute Beauty" ~ Dr. Pratima Raichur
I have only a layman's understanding of Ayurveda, but something recently has been spurring me on to learn more: that it's going to hurt neither my health (nor my complexion) to dig a little deeper to understand what this Pitta dosha of mine means. I opted to dig into how the science of how Ayurveda affects our outer self via Dr. Pratima Raichur's well-regarded bible of natural beauty, for which there is also a line of lovely natural products for you to adopt once you've assessed your dosha.
Recently underlined passage: "In Ayurvedic terms, stress is anything that overloads your innate balance of energies -- that is, the natural 'set point' of your doshas -- with too many 'like' energies. Stress factors may be physical (like overload of the senses, wrong diet or chemical overload), psychological (emotional crises, unsatisfying relationships, and negative behaviors), or spiritual (doubt, lack of purpose or lack of peace of mind) according to Ayurveda."
For more recommendations on your fall reading, check out lululemon's list of five books to help you search your soul, which includes two former Speakeasy guests, Gabrielle Bernstein and Danielle Laporte:
Now, dear readers - tell us what YOU are reading this fall in the comments below, and let your voices become the must-read selections of our wandering yogis far and wide!