5 Reasons Why Every Yogi Should Read Siddhartha

Meredith Osborne
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As spiritual books go, Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha is a classic. Siddhartha is named after the main character, and follows the course of his life. The book is fairly short, running less than 200 pages, but for many the message resonates far beyond the last page. Siddhartha is a story about indulgence, discovery and ultimately, enlightenment.
 

Below are five reasons why every yogi should read Siddhartha:

 

1. Siddhartha helps you recognize the importance of the journey

Although Siddhartha is on a journey toward enlightenment when we meet him in the beginning of the book, it takes the entire book for him to reach it.
 
Siddhartha must overcome many obstacles and challenges before obtaining what he’s been searching for all along. Every one of us is on a unique journey, and it’s impossible to have the good without the bad. The experiences he has are timeless and relatable – you will see yourself mirrored in the text, and learn ways to apply the book’s wisdom to your own journey.
 

2. Siddhartha is an easy, quick read – you won’t want to put it down!

Even for those who don’t like to read, Siddhartha is not intimidating. The themes the book explores are important and universal, but the language itself is easy to understand. The book is short and the story is mesmerizing – you’ll be hooked! A good alternative to reading the book is listening to it on tape – great for adding a positive, inspiring twist to road trips or even your daily commute.
 

3. An introduction to Buddhist philosophy

Herman Hesse, the author of Siddhartha, was German, but was fascinated by Buddhist and Hindu scripture. In order to write Siddhartha, Hesse had to experience his own transformation and study Eastern texts extensively. Siddhartha carries themes that relate to Buddhist teaching – the importance of letting go in order to reach peace, finding meaning in simple moments, and gaining self-awareness through introspection.
 

4. The words will stay with you

The moment you crack open Siddhartha, get out your highlighter. The book is full of quotable wisdom. Some of my personal favorite quotes:
 

“They were all interwoven and interlocked, entwined in a thousand ways. And all the voices, all the goals, all the yearnings, all the sorrows, all the pleasures, all the good and evil, all of them together was the world.”

 
“When someone is seeking . . . it happens quite easily that he only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing he is seeking, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal.”

 
“I learned through my body and soul that it was necessary for me to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property and experience nausea and the depths of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world, and no longer compare it with some kind of desired imaginary world, some imaginary vision of perfection, but to leave it as it is, to love it and be glad to belong to it.”

Beautiful stuff, right?
 

 

5. Om

There is a chapter of Siddhartha called “Om.” This chapter contains the moment when Siddhartha realizes what the river has been trying to tell him. He realizes that everything is connected, and all the voices he hears in the river consist of Om – the perfect sound. When we end our yoga practice with a collective round of Om, we can hear the power in that sound – how connected we are, and how we can release our own frequency out into the world.
 
There are many aspects of Siddhartha that you can integrate into your yoga practice and also your daily life. When you stand at the top of the mat and set your intention that day, focus on the completeness of your journey – how far you’ve come since you started practicing, how you wouldn’t be able to balance steadily on one foot if you hadn’t fallen so many times before. Siddhartha is a book that forever alters your perception of the world – dive in and enjoy the journey! You can find it here.
 

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Meredith Osborne

Meredith is a writer training to be a yoga instructor in the American Midwest. A self-described ‘word nerd,’ she will read (almost) anything she can get her hands on. She’s passionate about holistic health, empowering women & radical love.

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