Erich Schiffman's First Book on Yoga Highly Recommended
“Stillness is dynamic. It is unconflicted movement, life in harmony with itself, skill in action... "uninhibited, unconflicted participation in the moment you are in.”- Erich Schiffmann
This quote comes from the first chapter of an inspiring book on yoga by Erich Schiffmann called Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness. He completes this thought by saying “When you experience the peace within you, you will spontaneously undergo a fundamental transformation in the way you think about yourself and how you see the world.”
Those two quotes set the tone for a journey that I, and many others, truly loved. In fact, I enjoyed every moment. I found it difficult to put the book down. He is such a beautiful writer and thinker and his perspective is thought provoking, as he encourages in every moment to contemplate how you experience yoga, and life, in your own body.
He begins in Chapter One by discussing what stillness means to him, then suggests ways that you can explore this within yourself. In chapter two, he talks about what he calls ‘The Core of Goodness’. ‘As you sit quietly’, he says, ‘and immerse yourself in the peace and stillness of your own centered being, you will gradually begin to experience yourself in an undistorted manner.’ He then talks further about what the experience may be like for you and what to do with what arises. He has a direct, honest approach that is refreshing and encouraging for anyone, regardless of your experience with meditation or yoga.
The rest of the book moves on to answer questions like ‘Why Yoga?’, ‘What Does It Feel Like?’, as well as detailed analysis of Asana Fundamentals. My two favorite chapters were ‘Wind Through the Instrument’, a beautifully written examination of the Ujayi Breath, and ‘Playing the Edge’, which opened my eyes to a different way of looking at and feeling the asanas.
Whether you are a beginner to yoga or well-experienced, this book helps you understand the fundamentals of yoga practice, and instill a renewed intention of meditative awareness in your Yoga practice. Erich Schiffman is a gifted teacher who understands the essence of yoga and can convey that essence in a heartfelt, succinct and joyful manner.