I’ve always been a big fan of words. And I think it’s so fascinating how words, and creative combinations of words, have the overwhelming power to evoke certain feelings and even certain memories. And whether it’s read, spoken, sung or chanted, I also think it’s pretty amazing how words have the ability to shape the way we see ourselves and the world in which we live. I love words, and I have a deep admiration for those who possess the art of eloquence.

If you’ve taken one of my yoga classes, you’d know that I love incorporating quotes and inspirational passages, and this past Sunday, during the Rincon #commUNITY Yoga Class, a regular student of mine requested that I share some of my favorite inspirational books. A lightbulb went off and I thought to myself, “Duh!!! Why hadn’t I thought about sharing this before?”

Grateful for the request, it made me think and begin to write this... So thanks to you, Veronica, here are my (current) Top 5 Favorite Books that feed me inspiration and remind me of my strength… Because words do hold power, and the words within these pages, to me, seem to be extra potent.

1. The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz

I credit The Four Agreements to jump starting my journey towards self-love and growth. A fairly easy read, I found this one shortly before my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2013 (thanks to Callie!), and I don’t know if I would have gone down the path that I have if it wasn’t for this book. Don Miguel Ruiz, a master of the Toltec lineage, shares time-tested tools that can help us all to drop limiting beliefs, put an end to our internal suffering, and create a life of abundance and freedom.

2. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

I think this book may be #1 on many people’s lists, and it has a right to be. I found and read this book right before my move to Puerto Rico. It is both inspirational and eye-opening… But if I’m going to be totally honest, when I first started reading it I had a hard time getting into it. At first, the language and concepts seemed to be a little bit over my head. So if you feel the same way, stick with it. Read little bits at a time and don’t rush through it. Allow yourself time to let the words soak in. I find myself returning to this book often, sometimes just to randomly pick a page and read it. It is full of juicy little nuggets!

3. The Fear Project by Jaimal Yogis

This book is a great read and Jaimal Yogis is one of my favorite writers. The Fear Project is part research, part real-life experience, where Yogis explores one of the oldest human emotions: Fear… And not just the scared shitless kind of fear, although that is discussed, but the kind of fear that can hold us back from really living a fulfilling life. From surfing 40-foot Mavericks, to cage diving with sharks, to anxiety surrounding serious relationships and raising children, this book has something for everyone. We all experience fear in one way or another, so why not learn how to transform that fear into motivation to do something great?

4. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

I had been wanting to read this book for a while, but it wasn’t until this past summer that I actually made the effort to buy it and read it. And of course, I’m so thankful that I did. The words within these pages are full of gems that pierce straight through to the heart. These seven spiritual “laws” are spelled out in order to help you create the life of your dreams. They serve as a powerful reminder that, sometimes, less is more, and that you can’t get to the top unless you practice compassion and patience with yourself and others along the way. I actually have the 7 Laws written down in my notebook that I carry with me (along with my Deepest Intentions and Desires that resonate with 5th Spiritual Law of Success).

5. Being of Power by Baron Baptiste

Ok, this might sound weird but I’m a little embarrassed to say that I just started reading this book. As a trained Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga Instructor, I find myself thinking, “Shame on you! You should have read all of Baron’s books multiple times through!” But as I write this now, I gotta laugh, because I know that that’s my old way of being - beating myself up and getting stuck in the chatter between my ears - so I choose to let that shit go and step into the moment that is right now. Ok, so moving along… Basically Baron is an incredible teacher and a super powerful writer. He knows how to lead you straight to that “ah-ha” moment. Journey Into Power was pretty much my textbook in my 200-hour training and Being of Power takes these concepts and applies them to life off the mat… Like the idea of really living YOUR yoga. We are all powerful beings and when we recognize that power, incredible things begin to happen.

Hope you enjoy. Have any of ya'll read one or more of these books?? What are your personal favorite books that spark inspiration and leave you feeling empowered?? Let me know in the comments below!