Book Review – Your Middle Years

Your Middle Years
Your Middle Years

Not every woman’s favorite topic, I know, but the menopause (eek! there, I said it) is an inevitable phase of any woman’s life.


Culturally, here in the West, we are so conditioned to value youth and beauty above everything else that the menopause is considered a taboo subject not to be discussed in polite conversation.

Have you every looked for a book on the topic of the menopause?  If you have then there is a good chance you are familiar with the array of lackluster choices out there.  The covers for many are jam-packed with too many words in a dull font and accompanied by the stilted photo of a menopause expert or flower.  (What is it with the flowers?)  So many of them have the same kind of text book appeal you get from a computer programming manual.

Not that the content isn’t relevant and probably very helpful but does it really have to be presented in such an uninspiring way?

Each topic is discussed in a fun and informative way with a bunch of contemporary colorful illustrations, lots of easy to read bullet points and simple to understand charts.

So, in my desperate search I resorted to some internet digging and unearthed ‘Your Middle Years’ written by the author partnership of Paula Mee and Kate O’Brien.

Paula, from a health, beauty and spa background and Paula from a nutrition background have partnered up together to create a book about menopause that is unlike any book on the topic I’ve seen so far.

Broken down into 12 chapters it delves into topics from food to bone & heart health to beauty, sleep, stress and sex issues.

Each topic is discussed in a fun and informative way with a bunch of contemporary colorful illustrations, lots of easy to read bullet points and simple to understand charts.

If you’re looking for well researched information presented in an easily digestible and upbeat way, I can’t recommend this book enough.

Embrace the changes and “love them, live them, own them”.

It approaches the topic of menopause in a very ‘self care’ oriented way.  All of those important things we already know about including diet, exercise, mindfulness and sleep.  Full of sensible, down to earth and achievable tips that will help with the myriad of menopausal symptoms that arise, Your Middle Years also includes a bunch of easy to create recipes – even for the non cook like me.

I love this book.  What else can I say?  It is a down to earth, practical and fun read covering a big topic in a very positive way.

As Paula and Kate say in the book – embrace the changes and “love them, live them, own them”.


You’ll find the book at in printed and digital format at all of the usual online booksellers!

Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar

 

Light on Yoga - the classic yoga textbook
Light on Yoga – the classic yoga textbook

Light on Yoga is one of the most universally recognized books about yoga and the textbook of choice for many a teacher training’s reading list.  A must have for any yoga student’s bookshelf.


A yoga instructor once said to me that ‘the only book you will ever need for yoga is Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar’ (admittedly, it was an Iyengar yoga instructor 😉 ) But there must be some truth to this comment as, despite first being published in 1966, it is still in print today and one of the go to references for many a yogi.

BKS Iyengar is one of the most recognized names in contemporary yoga and the ‘Iyengar’ style of yoga one of the most established and popular today.

Light on Yoga is one of the most universally recognized books about yoga and the textbook of choice for many a teacher training’s reading list. 

The book is broken down into three parts……..

  • Part 1 Introduction – What is yoga?

An introduction with references to other important yogic text books including The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (another important yogic text)

A large section is dedicated to the  ‘8 limbs of yoga’ from The Yoga Sutras which are often referred to in a class setting and certainly in a teacher training program.

  • Part 2 – Yogasanas

Asanas, or poses, make up the biggest chunk of this book.  Each pose is broken down into its Sanskrit name with translation and the effects of the pose – physical benefits, anatomical breakdown and mental/emotional benefits.

This is the section where you’ll know you’re reading a book that dates back to the 60’s simply because of the photos but each photo clearly demonstrates the pose.

  • Part 3  – Pranayama

Pranayama, or breath work. Each technique is described, along with the effects and cautionary information.

The back of the book offers three sections of asana sequences for different levels of student – primary, intermediate and advanced.  There is also a section describing weekly practices incorporating all of the poses.

A further useful section also gives a comprehensive list of health conditions with appropriate poses.

Light on Yoga is always available on the shelves of Barnes & Noble and other large booksellers as well as the online option.

Hatha Yoga Illustrated

Hatha Yoga Illustrated
Hatha Yoga Illustrated
Looking for an easy to understand yoga book?

Hatha Yoga Illustrated is a great book for any new student looking to find out a little more about yoga poses.  I was gifted my copy many years ago and have often referred to it since.

It is a great visual reference with clear photos of many of the poses, or asanas, you will discover in a class setting. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific group of poses like standing, twists and balances making it an easy to use yoga pose reference.

It is a great visual reference with clear photos of many of the poses you will discover in a class setting.

If you want to know more about yoga in a broader sense, chapter one outlines its history alongside other aspects of yoga such as breathing techniques and meditation.  All of the information in this first chapter is easy to dip in to if you’re interested but not critical to enjoy practicing the physical aspect of yoga

Here are some of the great things about this book…..

  • clear photos of several poses for beginning students to advanced
  • photos demonstrate the use of props i.e. blankets, blocks & straps to assist in poses and also illustrate alternative variations
  • each pose is accompanied by a list of its physical and mental benefits along with any contraindications (when to avoid or adapt the pose according to any injuries or conditions you may have)
  • at the back of the book you’ll find some easy to follow yoga routines
  • the index shows a small photograph of the pose along with the pose name in English and the yogic description in Sanskrit (the ancient language used in yoga).

Whether it is your first yoga book purchase or you are expanding your collection, Hatha Yoga Illustrated makes a great addition to your bookshelf.

Yoga Mind & Body

Yoga Mind & Body is a great book if you are interested in yoga and would like to learn a little more about the subject in an easily understandable way.

This is one of the first Yoga books I ever owned and I often refer back to it.

Despite the image on the front cover.  There is another more up to date copy which also shows an advanced pose on the cover but please don’t let it put you off!  This is a book for all levels of student offering something for beginners and advanced yogis alike.  As well as covering many poses there are also brief sections that describe some of the other aspects of yoga such as yogic breathing, relaxation, meditation and the origins of yoga.  There is also a section of recipes (all vegetarian) and some interesting nutritional information, again, small

Published by the Dorling Kindersley publishing house, more commonly known as DK, they have a reputation for publishing high quality, educational books and this one is no exception.