Book Review: 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off The Mat

by Dec 5, 2017Wellness0 comments

I love books. I have more books than I know what to do with, actually, and I love yoga books. Of course when I heard about this book I had to jump on it.

In 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat: A Year in Hot Yoga (Ixia Press, Nov 15, 2017, Paperback Original), Scott Ginsberg gathers a year’s worth of daily meditations that are inspired by the challenges and graces of a hot yoga system. As a Community Leader at Yoga Tribe Brooklyn and a contributor to the popular yoga site Elephant Journal, Scott clearly grasps the connections between life as experienced both on and off the mat. Plus, as the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! world record holder for the most days wearing a nametag, he also understands the need for a sense of humor.

Written in his tender and often hilarious style, each jewel of wisdom and perspective can be easily applied to everyday life, from “take the leap into trust” to “listen for the voice of change.” Throughout this wonderful book, Scott stresses that the more we practice, the more we learn a new mindset of openness and acceptance, one that we can strive to incorporate into our daily lives outside of the studio.

The format of a daily meditation is complementary to my practice of trying to remain centered and grounded in what’s going on that day. I like having the ability to flip open the book in the morning and find a mediation for the day ahead.

This book pleasantly bridges the gap between the obvious and the esoteric. I like that the mediations require a little bit of thought, but you don’t wonder, “What’s he talking about?” like so many meditation books. Simply meditating on the meditations is enough.

Scott was kind enough to answer some questions for me about the book.

Ysmay: Why this format?

Scott: I have written thirty five books in many formats. But this daily devotional format has proven to be the most enjoyable for me to write and the most accessible for people to read. It also parallels the practice of yoga, which is in fact, a practice. Meaning, anybody can enter, anywhere, at any time. Just like a book itself. Open a chapter and it will reward you from any angle. Walk into hot yoga, and it will nourish you from any posture.

What inspired you to create a daily meditation book instead of a more traditional non-fiction format?

Writing traditional non fiction format books is exhausting, complicated and not the way my brain works. I write the books that I want to read, and most of the books I read are daily devotionals. It’s like my personality on paper. Disciplined. Incremental. Short. Daily. Prolific. Plus, there is less pressure to make every single chapter the greatest chapter ever written in modern literature. There are 366 meditations. If people don’t like 140 of them, then I’m still batting .400 like Ted Williams. I like those odds.

How did you get started in yoga?

I had several stress related illnesses during my twenties, including a collapsed lung. After spending a week in the hospital with a chest tube breathing for me, it seemed like the right time in life to finally confront my workaholism and develop a healthier relationship with my breath. Plus I sweat more than any mammal on the planet, so now I had a healthy outlet for it that didn’t result in embarrassment.

What brought you to the mat?

Stress management is the short answer. But if you want to hear the more ridiculous answer, my best friend told me that after he did hot yoga for the first time, he had the best bowel movement of his life. That pretty much sold me on it.

What has been the biggest transformation he has seen since beginning yoga?

It would be a three-way tie between (a) less body shame, (b) higher pain tolerance and (c) the community I have built at Yoga Tribe Brooklyn.

If you could only share one meditation from the 365, what would it be? 

Every time I write another daily devotional book, one of my great joys is saving the best chapter for my birthday, which is February 14th, Valentine’s Day.

You can buy 365 Daily Meditations on Amazon and wherever books are sold. (It makes a great holiday gift!)


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