Lit from Within: Yoga, Teachings, and Practices to Illuminate Our Inner Lives (Paperback)
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Build an integrated, deeply personal practice to cultivate transformation, self-trust, and awakening with insights and techniques from beloved teacher Sarah Powers.
More than just physical poses on a mat, yoga can be a profound path of self-realization. Lit from Within encourages readers to pursue yoga in its fullness, examining conscious and unconscious habits, connecting to our inner landscapes, and freeing us to relate to ourselves and our world with a sacred outlook.
Sarah Powers helps readers relate to five levels of our human experience--physical, energetic, emotional, mental, and interpersonal. Each section offers an opportunity for self-inquiry and practices to fuel our growth, including yin yoga, meditation, emotional intelligence exercises like creating connection with an inner critic, and interpersonal dynamics drawn from the Internal Family Systems approach. Learning to recognize, reflect on, and at times re-direct these different levels of experience adds a vital dimension to the practice. The book draws on Sarah's many years of practice and teaching, influenced by the rich tapestries of yin yoga, Buddhism, Taoism, and psychology.
In these challenging times, Lit from Within offers a path to health, wholeness, and connection--from the inside out.
About the Author
SARAH POWERS is the founder and author of Insight Yoga, which brings together the insights and practices of yoga (yin and yang), Buddhism, Taoism, and transpersonal psychology into an integral practice to discover and enliven the body, heart, and mind. Sarah began teaching in 1987 and leads training workshops around the world. Sarah has completed level 3 of Family Systems Therapy training and has been a student of transpersonal psychology for more than 30 years. She also draws from her in-depth training in the Vipassana, Tantric, and Dzogchen practices of Buddhism.
“Lit from Within is a guidebook to living a resourceful, resilient, and skillful life, employing the tools of asana, breath work, postures, movement, and mindfulness, along with the latest understandings of depth psychology and personal therapy.”—Bernie Clark, author of The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga
“With characteristic lucidity and elegance, Sarah Powers has charted a multidimensional atlas for exploring the layered terrain of human incarnation. Drawing on her lifetime of passionate dedication to somatic and psychospiritual inquiry, Lit from Within illuminates a path of awakening that honors every aspect of the personal, transpersonal, and interpersonal journey—from fostering healthy gut bacteria to awakening the luminous heart of compassion—as interconnected and attainable. If you’re looking for a guide to take your practice of yoga, dharma, or mindfulness to a new level of depth, subtlety, and holistic integration, this is the wise companion you need.”—Anne Cushman, author of Moving into Meditation
“Sarah Powers writes with clarity and precision about the intimate and complex journey of awakening. With her deep knowledge of Yin Yoga, Internal Family Systems, and meditative traditions, Sarah guides readers systematically on how to awaken through the body, heart, mind, and relationships. This is an excellent guide for anyone who wishes to live with an embodied presence and an alive, compassionate wakefulness in life.”—Mark Coleman, author of From Suffering to Peace
“Lit from Within is a rich and engaging journey into the multidimensional terrain of our human experience—a journey that is fueled by our longing for well-being and liberation. Sarah Powers offers a lucid synthesis of the many wisdom traditions that have mapped this journey, and she consolidates it into an accessible and inspiring path to integration. Her compassionate, wise voice speaks directly to the heart and guides us skillfully down the path that she has so exquisitely traversed herself.”—Dorje Lopön Chandra Easton, Tibetan Buddhist teacher and translator, lead teacher for Tara Mandala Retreat Center
“Sarah Powers’s Lit from Within is a book that you will refer to repeatedly as you continue growing in your practice. It is a compendium of insights, practices, and systems of understanding across an array of Eastern and Western core teachings. Both practical and inspiring, it offers a map for an integral practice.”—Phillip Moffitt, author of Dancing with Life: Buddhist Insights for Finding Meaning and Joy in the Face of Suffering
“Starting from the academic study of psychology, Sarah Powers has studied with teachers from various traditions of Buddhism, Taoism, and yoga. She embodies the best of a modern spiritual practitioner: she respects all traditions but is not slavishly bound to any of them. She has adopted the tenets of Chinese medicine and modern anatomy as guiding principles of her practice. She also integrates modern psychological theories with ancient Buddhist principles. This healthy integration is present throughout the book. Lit from Within is Sarah’s faithful presentation of the techniques of introspection that have enriched her life. The book is organized to address the various levels of our human embodiment, from the physical to the spiritual. This makes it especially useful as a resource for those looking to explore their inner life.”—Paul Grilley, author of Yin Yoga
“In her book Lit from Within, Sarah Powers offers a beautiful and harmonious blend of the multiple facets of physical, emotional, and spiritual practices that a human being requires to be whole, healthy, and at peace. She dives into the depths of the traditions of yoga, Taoism, Buddhism, and Western psychology and presents the heart of what, in her own experience, has been most beneficial in each. Clearly, Sarah’s teachings are a product of her personal practice and the dedication, discipline, and integrity she applies to her own self-cultivation. We are blessed to have her share her experience and wisdom with us.”—Bhikkhuni Jaguang Sunim, Zen Buddhist teacher, Five Element Sasang nutritional consultant
“Sarah Powers’s brilliant Lit from Within gives us all the opportunity to look with new eyes at our direct experience of love and joy in the tapestry of relationships, suffering, death, Mother Nature, and the amazing play of language and intelligence. Sarah interweaves the closely related traditions of yoga, Buddhism, and the embodiment practices of many diverse cultures. This gives us all the practical tools to live and contribute to everyone in today’s quickly evolving world.”—Richard Freeman, author of The Mirror of Yoga
“In Lit from Within, Sarah Powers details the human journey of awakening from the view of the physical body, the energy body, the emotional body, the mental body, and the interpersonal realm based on her studies and her own experiences. She also lists practical methods to enhance the quality of each realm, with suggestions for living with awareness and integrating our multidimensional beings. I am convinced that Lit from Within will be a guidepost for humans to live in harmony, transcending racial, religious, political, cultural, and other differences.”—Kiyomi Kuratani, Hon. Ph.D., longtime disciple of Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama, author of Motoyama Meridian Exercises for Ki Practice
“Lit From Within is not only the title of this special book, it is also a description of its author. The book is full of intriguing ideas, comforting practices, and natural wisdom about practicing yoga deeply and living an integrated life. I especially liked Part 3, entitled The Emotional Body. Here Powers integrates her understanding of the functioning of the psychological self with the practices of yoga—something that is rarely done so well. Highly recommended, especially for yoga teachers.”—Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., PT, author of Teaching Yoga with Intention
“Lit from Within offers us the fruits of Sarah Powers’ lifelong commitment to transformative practices and the depth and subtlety of her accumulated wisdom. This book's uniqueness is in how she interweaves and integrates core teachings from different wisdom traditions, with love for and skill with the material which suffuses her writing, as it does her life.”—Martin Aylward, author of Awake Where You Are
“With Lit from Within, Sarah Powers brings us an exceptionally comprehensive, in-depth overview of embodied spiritual practice through a mindful and integrative path that weaves together the disciplines of yoga, meditation, and contemporary psychological wisdom. This masterpiece, emerging from a lifetime dedicated to translating ancient lineages and their practical application for these times, is a trustworthy and insightful guide for empowering our contribution to collective awakening.”—Thanissara, author of Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth
“It is rare to find a book that is equal parts practical and profound. In Lit from Within, Sarah Powers generously offers her decades of mastery working with the body-mind in a text that clarifies, stretches, and deepens how to wake up as embodied consciousness. Step-by-step, the book reveals teachings and practices to engage our physical, energetic, emotional, and relational being with skill and compassion. This gem of a book is for anyone wishing to live with greater well-being and deeper connection—with ourselves, with each other and with all of life.”—Pamela Weiss, author of A Bigger Sky: Awakening a Fierce Feminine Buddhism
“Sarah Powers has done a fantastic job linking the Internal Family Systems model in a holistic and practical approach to mind and body awareness. She draws from some of the key principles and aspects of the IFS model and connects them in a holistic approach for wellness and a deeper state of well-being. Anyone who has met or studied with Sarah knows that the topics she writes about are not just theoretical but deeply lived and practiced. This is an extremely valuable resource for yoga and meditation teachers as well as anyone seeking spiritual direction through mind-body wholeness and health.”—Chris Burris, LMFT, senior lead trainer, Internal Family Systems Institute