The Art of Living Yoga: Honoring Yoga’s Roots in Philosophy and Practice

Christine Lily Kessler

Publisher: Christine Lily Kessler Pages: 528 Price: (paperback) $79.00 ISBN: 9798836627195 Reviewed: July, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

In this oversized, well-informed book, experienced yoga teacher Christine Lily Kessler draws from multiple lineages to highlight the philosophical and spiritual precepts of yoga. Kessler’s discussions, which go well beyond the asana (physical posture) of yoga, help explain what yoga is truly about: “tools for you to witness and then understand your conditioned patterns…[and] dismantle the effects of your conditioning…”

The author offers a cursory overview of major yogic texts, including the Vedas and Upanishads, and explores various approaches to yogic spiritual practice, including Buddhism, Tantra and Bhakti yoga. She spends a significant portion of her book exploring the historical lineage of yoga, including a timeline and major schools of thought, as well as discussing yoga’s evolution and how it has led to modern yoga.

Written in a personal style incorporating the author’s own journey as a practitioner and teacher, this book is accessible and thought provoking. It’s also visually appealing—peppered with vibrant images (mostly photographs and including some skilled paintings by Kessler) and quotations—and offers clear practical instructions for how to integrate yogic practices into multiple aspects of life, including meals, meditation and mantra (spoken or sung sound vibration).

Kessler is ambitious in the breadth of content she attempts to summarize; thousands of pages have been written by others on the subjects she covers in a chapter. However, her book serves well as an introduction to inspire Western readers to seek more in-depth learning about Eastern spiritual practices.

This book will most interest readers already familiar with yoga who are seeking to integrate more spiritual forms of meditation and mindfulness into their practice or who are interested in gaining a historical perspective on the subject. Aspects of the yoga practice, such as how to sit comfortably for meditation or pronounce and intone a specific mantra, are difficult to integrate without direct teaching; the author encourages the use of this book within a context of “teacher-guidance in a group discussion format.”

Also available in paperback.

Author's Current Residence
Carmel, Indiana
Available to buy at: