In addition to the physical benefits of a regular yoga practice, this 5000-year-old tradition offers a treasuretrove of spiritual and psychological insights. Editor Georg Feuerstein has gathered some of these in this consistently illuminating collection of quotations from ancient and modern yoga masters. He is the founder-president of Yoga Research and Education Center and the author of numerous books including The Yoga Tradition, Tantra, and Lucid Waking.
He observes: "However much we may be able to increase our physical strength and flexibility, augment our body's health and beauty, or extend our lifespan, we still have to face the fact that the wellspring of happiness lies not in the material realm but in the spiritual dimension of our being. It is the realization of who we truly are that infuses everything else with meaning."
Yoga Gems contains 17 chapters and ample sources of wisdom on mind, the maker of destiny; challenging the ego; taming the emotions; embodying the spirit; great realizations in small things; freedom and happiness; and more. Feuerstein introduces us to a variety of Buddhist and Hindu spiritual teachers including Tarthang Tulku, Meher Baba, Swami Akhandananda, Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, Sri Aurobindo, Brother Achalananda, and many others. Here's a sample from Swami Jyotir Maya Nanda: "Beautify yourself with actions that are generous and sublime. Deck the subtle body with the flowers of truthfulness, compassion, humility, and cosmic love. Let your heart be a fountainsource of bliss. Thus, you will become truly beautiful."