December has been a pretty light month for reading for me.  Partly because it’s December and life is busy, and partly because the lure of Christmas TV has been too much to resist!  But there were still a couple…

Creative Schools – Ken Robinson

What the Cover Says:  Ken Robinson is one of the world’s most influential voices in education. In this inspiring, empowering book, he sets out a new vision for how education can be transformed to enable all young people to flourish. Filled with practical examples and groundbreaking research, it will inspire the change our children urgently need.

Why I Picked it Up:  This was December’s Rebel Read on an education theme.  I don’t have a particular interest in education so this wouldn’t have been something I would normally read, exactly the kind of book I joined the Rebel Book Club for.

What I Thought:  A must-read for anyone who cares about how our children are educated – I’ve already recommended this my sister who’s already thinking that conventionally schooling might not be right for her family.  I really liked Ken’s analysis of how modern education developed for an industrialised society and economy and how we now need to move towards a system that is more organic and individually tailored.  He draws on examples of innovation from across the world to bring his points to life.  Our education system is focused on achievements and metrics rather than the journey and joy of learning – perhaps there is a lesson in there for all of us.

The Yoga Mentor – Celest Pereira

What the Cover Says: This book covers everything I share with newly qualified yoga teachers when they come to me for advice on how to get started in their careers.  In addition to having my own successful yoga career I also offer mentoring to yoga teachers who are just starting out. For newly qualified teachers the transition to the world of teaching can be tricky. So it became a desire of mine to see more teachers gain classes, build a solid client base and organise successful workshops and retreats. I have seen many teachers thrive on the advice I gave them, and it inspired me to share my knowledge in this book so more people can experience this progress. In the space of a few short years, I have seen my career as a yoga teacher take off: I run fully booked classes in top yoga studios, have become a brand ambassador for international companies, been flown to exotic locations to teach workshops and privates, and I earn a passive income through online video downloads. I am not telling you this to impress you. I want you to know that if I can do it, so can you! I do not think of myself as a finished product, but what has worked for me, I want YOU to know too. In this book I share everything I did to get to where I am. I can’t wait to see you happy and fulfilled in your yoga teaching career!

Why I Picked it Up: My sister (who is also going to be a yoga teacher @somewhat_rad) recommended this as I start to teach alongside my ongoing training course.

What I Thought: There were lots of great, bite-sized tips on developing a business around teaching yoga, from how to market yourself and what to charge through to how to take of yourself and make sure your teaching is sustainable.  It’s a book I’m sure I will keep dipping into as my teaching practice develops alongside other resources and one I would suggest other budding yoga teachers have on their bookshelf.

The Science of Yoga – William J. Broad

What the Cover Says: The Science of Yoga draws on a hidden wealth of science, history, and surprising facts to cut through the fog that surrounds contemporary yoga and to show – for the first time – what is uplifting and beneficial and what is delusional, flaky, and dangerous. At heart, it illuminates the risks and rewards. The book takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of undiscovered yoga that goes from old libraries in Calcutta to the world capitals of medical research, from little-known archives to spotless laboratories, from sweaty yoga classes with master teachers to the cosy offices of yoga healers. In the process, it shatters myths, lays out unexpected benefits, and offers a compelling vision of how to improve the discipline.

Why I Picked it Up: This was another book recommended to me, this time by one of my fellow trainee yoga teachers.  It seemed like a useful thing to read alongside the work I am doing for the course.

What I Thought:  This book was so interesting and a great complement on my training course.  Broad gets into the history of yoga and how its emphasis has changed over time.  He looks at the risks and benefits of yoga and some of the very poor science around it.  The bottom line is that yoga on its own will not help you get fit – it actually lowers your metabolism – but it can help boost your mood and brings all sorts of positive mental and emotional benefits.

So that brings my total number of books up to 40 for 2016 (I’ll let someone else work out how many pages that was – Sapiens and Homo Deus were big books!).  That number doesn’t really mean much to me as I’ve never kept a record of how much I have been reading before.  What I have noticed is the diversity of books I am reading now, which is largely thanks to the Rebel Book Club influence.  Reading brings me such pleasure and I hope some of these suggestions have brought joy into your lives as well.  We’re kicking off 2017 with Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss so I think it will be another powerful year of reading.