Yoga and the Pursuit of Happiness
A Guide to Finding Joy in Unexpected Places
Published by: New Harbinger Publications
Imprint: New Harbinger Publications
Everyone is looking for happiness, but very few really know where to find it. Maybe it’s that house you’ve been dreaming of buying, or a new car, or the perfect relationship? Or maybe it’s a grand, epic revelation about the meaning of life? But when will that revelation come to you, and how long should you wait? And what if happiness isn’t something you achieve or obtain, but how you respond to the conditions of your life? After all, yogis can find peace and joy even when life is painful and unpleasant.
In Yoga and the Pursuit of Happiness, you’ll discover that lasting happiness is already at your fingertips—in the small, everyday moments inherently infused with purpose and meaning. The philosophy of yoga—rather than the poses and postures—boils down to one fundamental process: overcoming suffering by coming to know ourselves and aligning our actions with our own intrinsic sense of spiritual purpose. And yoga gives us the tools to address two basic existential questions: Who am I? What should I do? Meanwhile, positive psychology and neuroscience show us how our actions are constantly rewiring our brain in helpful ways—which points to happiness as something we must practice and carry out each day. Happiness is, simply put, something we do.
In this unique, lighthearted guide, celebrated yoga instructor Sam Chase blends ancient wisdom from the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras with his own personal journey of enlightenment to show you how to deepen your understanding of yourself and the world around you, end the cycle of materialism and greed that can get in the way of cultivating stillness of mind, and achieve lasting well-being.
“Yoga and the Pursuit of Happiness weaves together philosophy, centuries-old yoga tools, and the modern day sciences of psychology and neurobiology with incredible readability. It takes years of study, lots of deep thinking, and plenty of practice to untangle key threads and weave them together in such a completely accessible, thorough, and totally relevant way. This is a must-read for all yoga practitioners—and anyone who wants to cultivate more happiness.”
—Megan McDonough, CEO of Wholebeing Institute, and author of Infinity in a Box and Radically Receptive Meditation
“This is one of those rare books that can change your life for the better. By bridging yoga and psychology, philosophical discourse and practical tips, and personal stories and rigorous research, Sam Chase takes us on a journey of self-discovery and self-transformation.”
—Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD, best-selling author of Happier and Choose the Life You Want
“In this book, Sam Chase manages to explain deep and complex questions that cut to the core of the human mind, heart, and body with the easy and intimate tone of good friends having a conversation over tea. I laughed out loud. I reached for my pen to underline sentences. I didn’t want to stop reading. The book is filled with so much wisdom, depth, humor, and compassion. Chase takes us on a journey to happiness that begins with an inability to touch his toes and ends with an understanding of ourselves as more vast and precious than we could possibly imagine.”
—Yael Shy, senior director of Global Spiritual Life at New York University, and founder and director of MindfulNYU
“Weaving together ideas from various traditions—including yoga, Buddhism, and positive psychology—Sam Chase gives his readers an enjoyable manual for developing happiness. Yoga and the Pursuit of Happiness contains no pictures or postures, just sound guidance on how to reconnect with your innate joyfulness.”
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness
“Yoga and the Pursuit of Happiness is a comprehensive book that presents the traditional goals of yoga as they are understood by modern neuroscience and positive psychology. Certainly, this is not a book about how to perform yoga poses. Sam Chase offers a heartfelt and genuine account of his discovery of yoga. With numerous personal anecdotes and scientific evidence—many of them written with candor and a great sense of humor—Sam advises us to take yoga as an exploration, and tells us that with open eyes and curiosity we can discover many things that we had not noticed before. From the opening pages, Chase affirms that the ultimate goal of yoga is to achieve happiness. This is a recommended book for all yoga practitioners and curious minds who would like to know and explore the true meaning of yoga.”
—Germán A. Bravo-Casas, president of the Yoga Club at the United Nations (UNSRC)
“Sam Chase’s new book is a delightful and extremely informative examination of the practical genius of yoga. Chase has a particularly good eye for storytelling and illuminating scientific discovery, and he weaves these together in such a compelling way that I guarantee that you won't want to put this book down! Yoga students—beginners as well as advanced—will be very glad, indeed, to have this new book.”
—Stephen Cope, senior scholar in residence at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and author of the best-selling Yoga and the Quest for the True Self