"Steps to Yoga and Yoga Initiation Papers" by Swami Satyananda Saraswati is an extraordinary book. It's a collection of inspiring letters written by Swami Satyananda to two of his disciples, with detailed instructions on yoga. These letters gives us a rare opportunity to witness how a real guru guides and instructs his disciples in the deepest aspects of the yoga path and the spiritual life.
Swami Satyananda writes these letters as a motivational speaker, encouraging his disciples to continue with their sadhana (spiritual practice), to work hard, to abandon any limiting believes, to remember their real nature and to become real yogis. The letters give instructions on what practices the disciple needs to perform, like yoga asanas and meditation, but Swami Satyananda's main intention is to transform the disciple mentally and to awaken him by constantly reminding him of his real nature.
Every time that I read any of these letters I feel inspired and encouraged to keep up with my own practice, be it meditation, contemplation, asanas or study of sacred texts. They are like a constant reminder of the divine presence within. To give you a taste of how inspiring these letters are let me share with you some of my favourite quotes.
Swami Satyananda's Quotes Froem Steps to Yoga and Yoga Initiation Papers
"You should not allow the mind to sit idle even for a minute. The first step to spiritual life is to keep the mind ever busy. Every work is sadhana if done with concentration..... Become the master of your mind by applying it to various jobs from morning till night. Do your work efficiently and with full concentration" (page 6)
"The most difficult of all yogic practices is that practice wherein the aspirant realizes and sees His mysterious role behind all trials and discomforts. Trials and tribulations are but the forms of his grace. They serve as a barometer to indicate the seriousness and grossness of imperfect personality" (page 73)
"Mental detachment will redouble the force of your sadhana. Try to practice impartial spectatorship. This will make your mind steady enough to receive and maintain the light of concentration. Let the body live in the world. Let the mind rest in consciousness. Dedicate the actions to Him. Develop a spiritual smile within the recesses of your Atma, experience immense joy and bliss within and without." (page 68)
"Ever minute is precious for a yogi. Every second is precious for a real sadhu. Time is fleeting; therefore, let us stop unyogic thinking. Maintain yogic introversion all throughout. No holiday from sadhana; no reserved hours for sadhana; regular, constant, unceasing and in various way. No reflection on the past. No anticipation of the future. Always in the present, immediate present." (page 76)
If you want to find some inspiration for your sadhana, not only for your yoga asanas practice but also to know more about the deepest aspects of the spiritual life of a yogi then I strongly recommend this book.
This book is a continuation of a previous book called "Taming the Kundalini" which is also a collections of letters written by Swami Satyananda to another disciple. If you like either of these books then you'll like both for sure.
You can find this book in amazon.com at Steps to Yoga: And Yoga Initiation Papers. Once you get the book don't forget to read the Yoga Initiation Papers section. They are powerful, highest form of affirmations.