University City Yoga
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say,
and what you do are in harmony."
-- Mahatma Gandhi
 



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Meaningful Reads

I have read many books over the years that influenced my practice and my life. Here are a few of the books that I found helpful as I embarked on my Eastern path. Unlike my formal Western training, most of my Eastern training has been focused on experiential learning guided by a trusted teacher. When I began my Eastern pursuits in the 90's my tai chi teacher pointed out that the journey can be lonely at times and suggested I seek companionship in books. While I'm probably not paraphrasing him correctly, I did often find a lack of people around me able to understand what I was experiencing or relate to my new perspectives. Hence the books I found most helpful were less about the techniques of any specific Eastern practice and more about the journey.

    Autobiography of a Yoga by Yogananda
    The story of Yogananda and his experience coming to the US. It's a very easy read and parts resonated with me when I was coming to understand the Eastern arts.

    Zen in the Martial Arts by Hyams
    Another easy read that speaks about a martial artists' entry into the Eastern Arts.

    Journey to Ixtlan by Carlos Castaneda
    I found this book (series) to be somewhat obtuse and also very helpful for my journey. This is an autobiography of a UCLA anthropology student studying with a Native American Indian sorcerer. It's one book in a series where the student (Carlos Castaneda) describes his journey to become a Native American Indian Sorcerer. Critics claim he just went into the desert and did drugs with his "teacher." While others really believe in what he wrote and the experience he describes. I see his journey as consistent with my Eastern belief systems and I found it helpful to read about Carlos' struggles when I was beginning my practice.

    Musashi: An Epic Novel of the Samurai Era by Eiji Yoshikawa
    A book about a famous samurai in Japan in 1600. Musashi is known for his "Book of Five Rings" which I'm told is commonly required reading in business schools. As with Yogananda, Hyams, and Carlos I found Musashi's journey inspiring, informative, and helpful as I was trying to find my way and make sense of my experiences.

    Tao Te Ching by S Mitchell
    There are lots of books on the Tao Te Ching, the foundation of Taoism. This book I found particularly easy to read and has helped to inform my world view.

    Touching Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh
    I found this book to be a good introduction to Zen, which similarly informs both my spiritual and emotional practice.

    Light On Yoga by Iyengar
    Anyone who practices yoga outside of a class should have a copy of this on hand.



"For years I suffered from chronic back pain. I tried working with chiropractors and taking medication to manage the pain before trying Stephen's yoga class. Practicing weekly with Stephen not only helped me eliminate my back problems, it reduced my level of anxiety and increased my self confidence." -- John, Public Radio Producer


"Stephen Fisher is an excellent yoga practitioner and teacher. He demonstrates an acute intelligence of the human form, and a calm patience with helping his students achieve a better asana. Beyond his yoga roots, Stephen brings a unique perspective to his teaching with his vast experience and academic knowledge." --Tracy, Speed & Movement Specialist

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