As I browsed the library shelves a couple of weeks ago, i couldn’t pass up a book titled Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi, and I’m so glad I didn’t! Brian Leaf’s wonderful book, subtitled My Humble Quest to heal my Colitis, Calm my ADD and Find the Key to Happiness has become Book 19 for 2013. As I read the back cover of the book a quote from Kathryn Buid, author of The Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga pretty much sums it up!
Brian Leaf is like the Bill Cosby of Yoga – recounting common emotions and situations on a yogi’s path in a way that makes you laugh with acknowledgment. His story is so graphic I felt like I was practically holding his hand!
His eight simple keys to happiness sprinkled throughout the book follow an experience in his life that led him to discover that key. Most of the time the experience is quite funny and I would frequently laugh out loud and then like Kathryn said – nod my head with acknowledgment!
I have over the last forty years been an on and off again self-taught student of yoga. First through Richard Hittleman, then books on Ivengar yoga, and finally Kundalini yoga. I spent one year meat free and several doing kriyas and chanting Sikh mantras and for the most part it was great. But somehow it all slipped away. For the last year or so, I’ve done an exercise routine that includes some Kundalini movements coupled with weights and resistance bands and some Hatha yoga on off days. Any time that I do yoga on a consistent basis, I catch myself zipping through work, being more organized and feeling great ( especially when I do a kriya called Master of Your Domain) and then I think to myself, oh yeah, you’ve been doing yoga!! So after reading Brian’s book, and Happiness Rule #1, which is: Do you, and if you do yoga do more yoga! I am making a commitment to do just that!! More yoga, maybe I’ll even check out a book on Kripalu yoga, which is the yoga that Brian finally committed to, and see how I like it!!
Anyway, I you want to read a wonderfully funny memoir with great insight in the search for Happiness, read Brian’s book. As for me, I’m going to do more yoga and try to apply Brian’s Keys to my life. I’ve already looked up some websites on Ayurveda , so that I can apply Rule # 3, which is: Apply at least three pieces of Ayurvedic wisdom to your daily schedule! I’ll let you know what happens!!