Escape Velocity

Escape Velocity

Escape Velocity

Review by: Donna Amrita Davidge


A book of Poems by Cate Mcnider
Published by Atmosphere Press 
Release July 18,2023

Some years ago my ex husband and I were in Cate’s small New York City apartment. She had invited us to view her paintings, and her very aged dog sticks in my memory. Cate is someone I have known in passing from the yoga community of New York City. We both have been with the same Iyengar teacher for many years and she is also an Alexander Technique practitioner.

In 2005 I brought her first book of poetry, and initially it was to show my support of artists in the city who do not get the recognition as some of the more “famous ones” do. I can relate, owning a small yoga retreat in Maine since 1997, and also being among the “small businesses or artists of the world.” I cannot say exactly how, but somehow I was led to keeping the book in the yoga studio at Sewall House during our summer season, finding myself opening to a page at the end of yoga class to repeatedly find a most perfect introspection to end the class.

Cates’ new book of poetry is chock full of chronological poems, dating from 2011 to 2022 and she shares “reading progressively through it does give a passage of the deepening of letting go. In general, though, poetry allows any page to be entered as the perfect page, as serendipity often reveals what one needs to hear/read in that moment, as you did for your yoga students.”

When I asked Yoga Love Magazine if I could offer a review, I decided I had better read all of the poems and there are many, 98 in all! The poems range from 3-4 lines to a few pages long. Some I find fabulous as meditations for students at the end of class, like this one on page 80:

To see what  it IS
You have to see what it is not
Then you’re free to live

In this world where so many think their message is so important and so much information is available to us it is refreshing to read the chronicle of this poet’s thoughts through time. Some of the poems are quite abstract while others, like Black is a Feeling on page 66, are wonderful offerings for contemplation, even suggesting subtle instruction for our life journey. 

This book is for yoga teachers to share readings from, as well as spiritual seekers who ask the questions about the mystery of existence living and loving. As writing often is, we wonder if pieces of Cate’s life are here. The title poem Escape Velocity, one of her longer poems I really like (as well as By Interior Design and Captivating Bling, all toward the end of the book) says “the beating not to have happened, the abuse not to have happened.” Whether her story is in her poems (and some are more clearly so) her insights are universal. 

Donna Amrita Davidge has been teaching yoga in NYC since 1985 and at Sewall House summers since 1997. Cate’s work is available for purchase on 

108 Awesome Yoga Poses For Kids

108 Awesome Yoga Poses For Kids

108 Awesome Yoga Poses For Kids

Book by Laura & Brian Chaitoff

Review by: Tashya Knight


As a kid’s yoga instructor, I’m always searching for resources that will help me enhance my classes. So, I was very happy when 108 Awesome Yoga Poses for Kids landed in my mailbox. This book is designed to be used by kids themselves who want to practice yoga or adults who teach them.

Bright colorful pictures fill each page showcasing different poses along with directions on how to complete the pose, age recommendations, and a value to focus on. This book is divided into several themed sections to help with planning out classes. If a teacher is stuck on time, they can pull out this book and use it as a reference when planning fun classes for their students, such as a trip to the farm, blasting off to outer space, taking a wild safari ride or going under the sea. I find that most helpful as teachers are always searching for innovative ways to expand their classes. Children are encouraged to use their imaginations and their bodies in these adventures. Giving children choice of where they would like to go allows them some flexibility and builds their independence. It also builds their love of yoga as they begin to explore more. 

Children can use this book on their own as well to practice one pose each day or choose a new theme each week. They can practice alone, with a partner or with their whole family! This allows them time to warm up to creating their own yoga practice and finding ways to share with a friend. They can explore the poses, make mistakes, try different ways to express themselves all without needing to be in a class. The hope is that this will eventually lead to a daily practice of their own. 

Why 108 poses? Is that all there is available to children? Of course not! But Lauren explains the significance of the number 108 in different cultures and traditions. And I think it’s a wonderful way to give children choice but not overwhelming them all while connecting back to spiritual and significant meanings. 

Teachers, I highly recommend bringing this book into your next class and who knows maybe you will even inspire the next set of yoga teachers! 

Tashya Knight is the founder of Wellness 13, a Wellness Lifestyle Coach, Yoga Teacher and member of the Yoga Love Magazine team. Learn more about Tashya here

Discovering Your Luminous Self with Tracee Stanley

Discovering Your Luminous Self with Tracee Stanley

Discovering Your Luminous Self with Tracee Stanley

By: Stephanie Jade Wong


I sit indoors on a rainy day, safe from the elements, enjoying bestselling author Tracee Stanley’s new book, “The Luminous Self.” I exhale and down a refreshing glass of ice water, trying to relax in the northeast humidity. Instrumental music plays lightly in the background, as I type into my notes app—a blank canvas ready for new thoughts to appear. And Tracee wasn’t lying when she recommended having a notebook or notes app open while you’re reading!

This book came to me at the perfect time. You see, there were moments of my life where yoga appeared daily, and others where my yoga practice was non-existent for years. Yet my body, mind, and soul turned back to yoga whenever I sought it. When I wanted to learn more about myself. When I wanted to learn more about the universe. If you, like me, are struggling to get back into your yoga practice, then perhaps picking up this book is a great first step.

You’re hooked from the beginning just from Tracee’s personal story. Relatable language and exercises that are easy to get into really help you get in touch with yourself for some grounding or me-time to self-reflect. 

“How are you abandoning your Self to fit in?”

This is a question Tracee mentioned in the book that made me pause. There are so many similar moments that allow you to truly hone in on certain aspects of yourself and your life.

Getting in tune with yourself and whatever you’re working on in this season of your life is difficult, and while I can’t promise you that all your concerns will be solved after reading this book and completing all the exercises, you will be more connected to yourself as you continue to grow.

We had the opportunity to chat with Tracee about this magical book she’s sharing with the world this fall:

Yoga Love Magazine: Why is self-remembrance so important?
Tracee Stanley: Self-remembrance is essential because it holds the seed of light, the inner guidance we need to support us through life. So often, we are guided by the external influences of mainstream culture, trends, and what others want us to do and be. We begin to conform and shape ourselves to fit into the box of those external pressures and forget who we truly are. When we finally have a moment of insight or inspiration to follow our truth, we can feel like an impostor because we have been separated from our knowing for so long. Practices of self-remembrance lead us to our birthright to reclaim our inherent beauty, worthiness, and wholeness. 


What inspired you to share your knowledge through this book?
I have been a student of yoga for over 28 years and teaching for 23 years. I have been fortunate to study and receive teachings and practices that have helped me to navigate the ebbs and flows with presence and resilience. 

During the height of the pandemic, I observed that some people felt their yoga practices were not supportive enough during such a turbulent time. They needed the kind of practices that were not easily accessible in commercial Western yoga classes. It felt important for me to gather the most potent practices of transformation that I had been gifted in a way that was accessible and relatable. I wanted to move away from the masculine energy of gatekeeping and share the healing practices needed for our times.

Did you discover anything new about your Self as you wrote this book? 
Because I share so many personal stories in the book to help support the understanding of the philosophy, I found myself in a place of deep remembrance and gratitude for having these practices pull me through the hard times and support me as I continue to grow and expand. Any time I am in remembrance, I feel connected, loved, and whole. 

What rituals do you have that are part of your daily routine that are healing for you? 
My rituals are abhyanga, mantra, yoga nidra, daily connection with nature, meditation, and dream work. I weave rituals throughout the day. I view life as a sacred ritual, so by creating a tapestry of life and ritual, even the mundane becomes sacred, and every action becomes life-affirming and sustaining. 

You took what was once a symbol of shame for you (an egg) and turned it into a symbol of power instead. Can you elaborate a little about how you made that massive transition into reclaiming your power from a traumatic experience?
You really will have to read the book to understand how that happened. However, the understanding that our wounds and discomforts are portals to our healing and expansion was the first step on my journey.

What inspires you? 
I am inspired by nature—her resiliency, fierceness, unconditional holding, and how she thrives in biodiversity and community. We have a lot to learn from the natural world around us. 

How do you currently answer the question, “Who am I?” 
I am pure, light, awareness. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Yoga Love Magazine community?  
Please remember to cherish yourself. You are worthy.  

As I completed this book, the rain had settled and the sun started shining through the dark rain clouds, pushing them further and further away. What a light this book is in the dark times we face internally and perhaps also within our communities.

Pre-order Tracee Stanley’s book, “The Luminous Self” here. You can also join the free book club with your pre-order here.




By iana velez


Have an idea for a great book? Don’t know where to start? We reached out to Beth Frankl, Executive Editor at Shambhala Publications, an independent, family-owned company on what advice she had for getting your book published. Since 1969, Shambhala has published titles on everything from meditation and a wide range of spiritual traditions, as well as health, wellness, yoga, and martial arts.

Someone has an idea for a book. Now what? 

First, congratulate yourself! Appreciate that your yoga practice has inspired you to explore and create. Start looking online and in stores for books that are comparable to yours, particularly those that have been published in the past five years. These “comps” may share the same theme or explore a similar concept through a different lens. Become familiar with them and their differences and similarities to your project. For example, if you want to write a book that explores the Yoga Sutras, consider the comps and identify what makes your view distinctive and compelling. Comps play a vital role in how publishers will conceive of your book editorially, design-wise, and from a marketing and publicity standpoint. Even if you plan to self-publish or use a hybrid publishing platform, it’s super important that you have a good sense of the comps on the market.

Next, start crafting an “elevator pitch” for your book. This one concise sentence needs to communicate what the book is and why it is distinctive and needed. This is essential for publishers, and it will also help keep you focused as you write.

When you approach a publisher, you usually need to present a proposal, a table of contents, and some sample material. Submission guidelines are generally available on the publishing house’s website.

Do people need extensive previous writing experience to get a book published?

They do not. However, it’s important to honestly assess your own strengths and challenges as a writer. Writing a book is tough—and even if you regularly write blog posts, academic papers, or other types of content, those skills don’t always translate into an acceptable book manuscript.

Writing a book also requires a lot of organization, a detailed plan (creating an annotated table of contents, I think, is crucial), and an ability to stay focused on that plan. If organization is not your area of strength, or if you have a more improvisational nature, it’s important to consider ways to ground your book writing process.

Skillful freelance editorial professionals are, to my mind, worth their weight in gold. For many authors, hiring an editor to work with you on your proposal and manuscript can make a huge difference in the quality of the material. Sadly, most publishers don’t provide that level of editorial support anymore—it’s just not cost-effective for them. I very often recommend that aspiring authors hire someone to at least cast a critical eye over their work.

How does Shambhala select from all the submissions/pitch proposals? What are you looking for?

We receive a huge number of proposals—and we really do consider them all. We’re a small publisher, and we’re very careful and intentional about what we take on. Shambhala specializes in books that are rooted in wisdom traditions, systems, and practices that encourage deep inner transformation and enlightened living. Our authors need to be established, recognized teachers of, experts in, or longtime practitioners of the tradition they are writing on.

We want authors that have a platform, and that it is as robust as possible. A website, blog or newsletter, a regular teaching schedule, connections to institutions and organizations, an active social media presence—these all lay the groundwork for our marketing and publicity campaigns. If you don’t have at least some of these in place, you’ll want to start putting energy towards building your platform before you approach a publisher. There are a number of good books on the market on how to do that.

In terms of our yoga list, we’re looking for fresh insights into the classic teachings and practices that make them particularly relevant and compelling for a contemporary audience. Which essentially means the sky’s the limit!

I will say that people often come to us with their yoga memoir, and sadly, that’s the type of project that we almost always have to reject. It’s very tough to publish a memoir successfully. That’s not to say that an author shouldn’t offer their personal experience and insights from their practice; in fact, they absolutely should. But if a book is primarily a memoir, it’s not usually a good fit for us.

What makes Shambhala Publications unique?

For more than 50 years, we’ve had an unwavering commitment to publishing books that are timeless and truly beneficial. Because we are a small staff of book lovers and in most cases also practitioners of the traditions that we publish, I feel that we’re unusually invested in the books we produce. You could say that for many of us, our work is an extension of our practice.

Years ago, when we’d discuss a project in our editorial committee meetings, we’d debate if the project was worth cutting down a tree for. That’s a pretty high bar! Our books have to stand the test of time and be true to the tradition that they represent; nothing ersatz or faddish for us. And our books have to be beautiful objects. Our production team works very hard to create books that are aesthetically designed.

Learn more:




Review by: Tashya Knight


We Heal Together Rituals and Practices for Building Community and Connection By Michelle Cassandra Johnson
We Heal Together
Rituals and Practices for Building Community and Connection
By Michelle Cassandra Johnson


Healing is an arduous journey, but when taken together in community, it can be sweeter. As Michelle Cassandra Johnson says in the first chapter of her book, “I have leaned into grief-permitted it to move through my entire being and, as a result, I felt less suffering and more freedom.” We all want to find this freedom, but to do so, we must take on the work and then share what we learn with others. We find our unity amongst the community. Michelle says “As we build from what has been uncovered, we cannot do it alone.”

In We Heal Together, we are led through eight chapters exploring how we create communion and ritual, uncovering our lineage and legacy, finding moments of joy, and how to use our dreams as messengers for how to move forward.

Each chapter contains useful journal prompts allowing the reader to dive deeper into concepts taught and explore their own thinking and awareness. This is combined with practices to be done individually and/or with community so that we may help each other find the healing and transformation we are seeking. We learn to hold space for one another and invite each other in for learning and ritual. Through understanding the collective unresolved trauma we inherited from our ancestors we move into honoring each other and not leaving others behind as we commit to taking action for the collective good and the healing of all beings. 

As we are reminded in the last chapter, “The belief that we are separate is a dangerous myth that arrests our ability to see how truly interdependent we are.The myth of separation makes us believe we can live our lives on our own and that we should be able to do everything without help.” We must instead recognize our interconnectedness with all beings and strive to heal this separation and suffering. And we are guided in doing just that through the practices, rituals, and teachings in this book.

Tashya Knight is the founder of Wellness 13, a Wellness Lifestyle Coach, Yoga Teacher and member of the Yoga Love Magazine team. Learn more about Tashya here



The Essential Guide to Trauma Sensitive Yoga

Book by: Lara Land
Review by: Tashya Knight


Trauma Sensitive Yoga

Trauma affects many of us in a variety of ways. It can often live in our bodies for years without getting the help it needs or given the space to heal. When we enter a room at any given time, we never know the stories behind the faces looking at us and this applies to the yoga classroom as well. Yoga can be a space for connection between the body, mind, and spirit along with a place to heal if we allow it. Or it can be another mindfield to navigate. The difference can come from the teacher at the front of the room.

Lara Land understands this and with her new book, The Essential Guide to Trauma Sensitive Yoga, she has created a manual for yoga teachers to be more mindful in creating the environment in their classrooms and their teaching.

The first part of this book deals with defining an understanding of trauma and how it can show up, encouraging us to build an awareness for what we might see and how we can use yoga to soften the trauma response. “The way that yoga aids a trauma survivor in self understanding and rebuilds the foundation for trusting personal instincts cannot be overstated. Once the nervous system is slowed down and much of the stress is released from the body, students become conscious of their thoughts and disentangling the misleading stories their minds are telling them. They begin to get more trustworthy information from the mind-body system. Survivors begin to trust themselves again.” 

She then goes on to say,“Only when a student can trust the information they are receiving from their own mind-body system can they reestablish and trust new, healthy boundaries. Boundaries are the best form of self care. They allow us to focus on what the body and mind need to flourish, rather than what other people think we need or what other people need from us”

After this insightful explanation, the next couple chapters focus on building a trauma informed classroom, and becoming a skilled trauma informed teacher. Lara uses practical knowledge and supplies a list of techniques yoga teachers can add to their toolbox around language and environment including how to structure the rhythm of the class. She addresses avoiding triggering poses and how to manage silence and meditation. We are also provided with a helpful list of the ten key factors that ensure security in a yoga class and how we can ensure each one on the list is built in.

We then move into the second part of the book which includes detailed descriptions with pictures of 4 trauma informed yoga sequences using a chair and other props. This section includes reasoning for certain poses and how to layer the class. This is a comprehensive section taking up half of the book and is vital to understanding how a trauma informed class can be planned and come together. 

After reading this guide, the teacher is left with a better understanding of trauma, encouraged to explore and do their own work, plus sequences and poses they can work with to build their own class that is welcoming and open to all students no matter the level or trauma they may be dealing with in their lives.