Yoga guru and writer Max Strom has published a new book, No App For Happiness: How to Avoid a Near Life Experience, Skyhorse Publishing, 2013. Based on his TED talk in 2010, this important work offers incisive insights into the maladies of New Cambrian life and the isolation and alienation that are fueled by our hypnotic fascination with a virtual world of flat screens and hand held devices.
But as insightful as his social commentary is, it is just a beginning. He offers a description, and what’s more a prescription for a more fulfilling life, based on 3 imperatives:
1. Self awareness
2. Live as if your time and your life span were the same thing
3. Learn and practice a daily regime that heals and illuminates
Numerous exercises take these imperatives off the page and into fullness of being. In the reflective writing exercise ” The Book of Your Life” the reader is encouraged to reflect and write responses to a series of questions such as “how do you define happiness?” and “who are your true friends?”. Other assignments include writing a hand written note to those friends thanking them and mentally showing a traumatized 7 year old girl how to quieten her mind through breath. In these ways this becomes much more than a passive intellectual exercise.
This is not a book about yoga. It is a book about cultivating a more fulfilling life, and as an essential part of that more fulfilling life specific advice is given regarding establishing a practice of breath initiated movement. Hatha yoga and Qi Gong are discussed as specific examples of such programs that serve to heal both the body and spirit.
Through self inquiry and breath-initiated movement, a little bit each day, one breath at a time, we will take the small steps needed to be lead out of our own prisons and back into the sunlight where we were born and where our lives are waiting for us.
Direct, practical and accessible. Profound, transcendent and illuminating. Max has authored an important guide to living a more authentic and meaningful 21st century life.
Thanks for reading,