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Patricia Walden

A renowned yogini shares her favorite reads.

By Claudia Cummins

Anyone who's taken yoga classes with Patricia Walden knows she's an insatiable reader who often sprinkles her instruction with heartfelt quotes. Walden's recent picks include Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield's After the Ecstasy, the Laundry and Ani Pachen's Sorrow Mountain, an autobiographical account of this Tibetan nun's remarkable life, including 21 years of imprisonment by the Chinese. Whether making her annual pilgrimage to India or jaunting around the country to lead workshops, Walden always takes along her copy of Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar and at least one commentary on the sutras—recently The Textbook of Yoga Psychology by Ramamurti Mishra. She also carries a book of poetry, ranging from Mary Oliver to Galway Kinnell to Rumi. Walden, cofounder of the B.K.S. Iyengar Center of Greater Boston, is especially interested in holistic approaches to both women's issues and treating depression. She gives an enthusiastic thumbs-up to several recent books that touch upon the topic: Women's Moods, A Woman's Best Medicine, and Ayurveda: Self-Healing and Self-Realization.

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