This is a guest author post by Suzan Colón, the author of ten books, including the women’s fiction/romance novel Beach Glass, and she’s been a yoga instructor since 2002. She knows her yoga books—and the need for good beach reads.
My idea of heaven: reading, going to the beach at the Jersey Shore, and yoga. Add a handsome man (in my case, my husband) and a scoop of Brownie Fudge Chunk from Nagle’s ice cream shoppe, and OM-MG, we have nirvana.
Surf, sand, and sun salutations are at the heart of Beach Glass, my novel about a writer who goes on a yoga retreat in Costa Rica and falls in love with two people: a man with a thrill for living unlike anyone she’s ever met, and a new, gutsy version of herself. On the beach at sunrise, she does yoga and watches him surf and thinks, for the first time in her life, that she might just be brave enough to be happy. Yoga does that to you.
If you’re into yoga or just curious about why everyone seems to love it so much, here are a few books for everyone from beginners to OM-tattooed yoginis.
The One Plan by Yogi Cameron Alborzian. Remember Madonna’s “Express Yourself” video, the one with the rather hot male model with the man bob? In a “whatever happened to” story that sounds more like the plot of a novel, supermodel Cameron Alborzian became an expert in yoga and ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of health. In The One Plan, Yogi Cameron is your own personal yoga guru, outlining a program for inner and outer beauty. (It definitely seems to be working for him.) The book also has photos of YC doing an easy-to-follow yoga sequence on the beach. For those new to yoga, it’s okay if you have to meditate on the photos of YC for a very, very long time to get the subtle nuances of the poses.
EnLIGHTened: How I Lost 40 Pounds With a Yoga Mat, Fresh Pineapples, and a Beagle-Pointer by Jessica Berger Gross. The title alone will tell you that this book has everything an aspiring yoga person could want, but there’s more. Gross speaks lovingly of her own real-life romance with her husband; honestly about her family issues; and with candid humor about her weight and how yoga brought her to serenity (and slenderness). With illustrations and instructions on simple yoga poses you can do right on the sand—if you can put this sweet book aside long enough.
Yoga Bitch by Suzanne Morrison. Yoga had a reputation for being uber-serene and taking itself a bit too seriously… Until Suzanne Morrison wrote this hilarious book about going on a yoga retreat in Bali. There, she struggled to find her own inner equilibrium, avoid drinking an unmentionable substance to keep the infamous “Bali Belly” syndrome at bay, and most important, stop herself from becoming yogier-than-thou. Smart and so funny at times you may perform a yoga breathing exercise called “snorting out loud.”
Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope. A combination of compelling personal drama, examination of yoga philosophy, and consideration of the science behind yoga and why it makes us feel so good. As a therapist who had his own personal crisis, yoga retreat attendee who never left, and yoga student and eventually teacher, Cope has the credentials and experiences that make this a wise and substantive book to be read over and over.