Hi - I'm new to this site but couldn't wait to share my source of inspiration lately. When I studied at the Kripalu Center for my 200 hour certification I was introduced to the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient text of yoga. Recently when I returned to begin my 500 hour training, I was overjoyed that the senior teachers (Ila & Dinabhandu) shared from the text every day after early morning sadhana. It was like story time for adults and I couldn't be happier.
I've since fallen in love with this long poem - a powerful narrative and manual on how to practice yoga and live life in general. It's basically a dialogue between a great warrior, Arjuna, and Krishna who is understood to be God or higher consciousness. This is before asana. There is no talk of postures or alignment - only right "action" and living grace among many other profound observances that can be applied directly to one's life, practice and spirituality. I usually have a copy with me when I teach and regularly share wisdom from it for reflection and inspiration. I believe it helps to cultivate a more internal, spiritual experience of yoga; making us all aware of a higher self and consciousness within (and around) us.
I highly suggest picking up a translation of this time-honored text. My favorite version is by Stephen Mitchell. You can also get it as an audio book with commentary. Look for "The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita" by Stephen Devarshi Hartman, the Dean of the School of Yoga at Kripalu (who also first introduced me to the Gita). I was thinking of starting a book club and so I'm putting that out there by writing this post - eventually I'd like to develop a workshop series so this would be great place to start. Please comment below if you'd be interested and/or know of a good place to gather and talk informally. I'm relatively new to MKE (a recent Chicago transplant) and would love to meet other yogis. :)
I'll leave you with one of my favorite passages of late:
This is the true yoga: the unbinding of the bounds of sorrow.
Practice this yoga with determination and with a courageous heart