I love books, I love reading. One of the main intentions for this blog was to review books concerning yoga, meditation and everything around that. I’ve only published one review so far, so my aim is to provide you with more yoga book reviews in the future. Which better way to start this new year on my blog with one of my biggest inspirations and her latest book: Aim True by Kathryn Budig. In this post I’ll let you know why she is so special and what you can expect from her book.
I found out about Kathryn a few years ago while watching a gorgeous yoga documentary called “Why We Breathe”. The way she talked and what she talked about really touched me and I just wanted to be friends with her right away (haha yoga weirdo hello!). Since that was quite unrealistic I satisfied myself with taking her online classes on YogaGlo and discovered that she was also a great teacher.
Kathryn started to practice yoga in her early twenties when she still wanted to become an actress. Teaching yoga was her way of earning money until she would make it in the acting world. But Hollywood only made her feel she was lacking, she wasn’t good enough while yoga showed her she was perfect and she got everything she needs and so that’s the road she took onwards.
“The goal of yoga isn’t to be a trained dolphin, it’s to be fully in tune with your vehicle and use it to its optimal ability.”
The introduction explains how the Mantra aim true became so important to Kathryn: Through her childhood love for greek mythology and a series of unfortunate events she stumbled across a prayer to Artemis which inspired her immensely:
“Artemis, goddess of the moon, make my aim true. Give me goals to seek and the constant means and determination to achieve them.”
The subtitle of the book really nails what it is about and also marks the four main sections of the content:
- Love Your Body
- Eat Without Fear
- Nourish Your Spirit
- Discover True Balance
Love Your Body
In the first part, Kathryn talks openly and honestly about self-love and her own body insecurities. Sure we’ve all heard how important self-love is, but how many of us actually practice it? How many of us loathe the sight of our belly or our thighs? Kathryn offers helpful advice and down-to-earth practical tips to start loving yourself as you are right now.
“It isn’t easy to drop years of preconceived notions of what we look like and how that defines us. All I ask is that you try. Your meat suit is lovely, my dear. Let’s start using it to its full abilities.”
She also asks very profound questions of which my favorite is: “What makes you come alive?” And she also states that it’s okay to not know and just start finding out. Of course yoga plays a big part here, the physical practice that challenges us and makes us feel good in our bodies. Kathryn gives tips on how to create a home practice and an altar to support your practice. Following that you find 6 yoga sequences for different levels of energy.
Eat Without Fear
This second part is all about food and here is probably my favorite quote from the book:
“I love food, and I’m pretty sure it loves me, too.”
It elaborates on how food is the foundation of our health and how it can fuel and nourish ourselves. Eating starts in the mind, how we perceive certain foods as good or bad and also how we eat. Kathryn reminds us to keep a balance, eat healthy and tasty, but don’t beat yourself up if you have ice-cream. Again she delights us with her personal story and connection with food, she offers easy healthy food swaps along with a 5-Day Purification Process.
Then there follows a rich recipe section. This is where Kathryn got some criticism from the yoga world because the recipes also contain chicken, salmon, eggs and shrimps. That being said, the majority of the recipes are vegetarian or even vegan. I will not go into detail now on the controversy of practicing yoga and eating animals. As a vegan, I respect Kathryns choice of food and I think she is a lighthouse in the world of health food crazes, aiming for balance. We could all use a little more of the conscious spark she brings to the (food) world.
Nourish You Spirit
As important as our body is, we are way more than that and Kathryn helps us to explore this big mostly unknown part of ourself. She talks about understanding our history and our patterns and how not to get defined by that.
“It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. You are a bundle of unique talent, and you may get tangled from time to time, but you can always be rewoven into something magnificent.”
Afterwards breathwork and targeted breathing exercises are explained before Kathryn highlights the importance of a meditation practice and outlines the possible pitfalls. She offers 6 steps to creating a daily meditation practice and explains different styles of meditations and rituals.
“Sitting with yourself and your thoughts can be harder than a class full of handstands and constant core work.”
Amen to that, dear Kathryn.
Another section in this part is how to choose loving responses over fearful ones in difficult situations, which I personally found very valuable. As a popular yoga teacher Kathryn knows very well how it feels to be the target of criticism, projections and insults.
Discover True Balance
The last part of the book contains homeopathic self-care and beauty recipes. The range spans from oil pulling, dry brushing, essential oil blends to homemade scrubs. Then Kathryn challenges us to find out which aspects of our life need more balance (body, work/life or relationships) and shows us different ways to get there. She stresses the importance of finding your tribe, your friends, your social network that nurtures, reflects and loves.
The chapter finishes off with the importance of saying yes to challenges and offers fun and challenging yoga (partner-) poses to round it all off in yogi-style.
Aim True is a wonderful collection of accessible self-love tips, motivating yoga sequences, inspiring personal stories and delicious recipes. The book’s overall graphic design is very bright and colorful, just like Kathryn’s sparkling and outgoing personality. The only minor shortcoming for me personally is that some of the recipes contain animals or animal products. Nevertheless I can highly recommend it to anyone interested in developing a more loving connection to one’s self.
Now YOU also have the chance to win one copy of the book: Simply write me a short email why you would like to read the book to firstname.lastname@example.org until January 15th!
Good luck and much love,