Book Review: Autobiography of a Yogi

Book Reviews, Features

feature photoImagine transcending all physical laws and entering into the ethereal world. In this sphere, you are able to be at two places at one time, see into people’s minds, and even walk through walls. You may levitate, disappear in one area of the world and reappear in another, or create something from nothing. This only happens in fantastical movies right?

Not according to sage Paramhansa Yogananda. In his timeless autobiography of a yogibook, Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda invites us into an endearing adventure of his life as a yogi. From infancy into his old age, he blesses us with the gift of a spiritual journey so few ever have dreamed of. Not only does he lend us his life’s perspective, but he graciously takes us to the very heart of the some of India’s most enlightened masters.

The Autobiography of a Yogi is a spiritual masterpiece, teaching enlightenment through Kriya yoga meditation; Yogananda blesses us with a candid glimpse into the culture of India, yet quietly and unobtrusively unites the world’s religions into singleness of heart and mind.

Translated into several languages, and world-wide acclaimed, you do not want to miss out on this exceptional read. This book has the potential to open up your heart and mind to unimaginable realms.

Coming to theaters in August, 2014

Review written by Liz Ann


Freedom: A Message from Dashama



“Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.” ~Janis Joplin

1. When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.

A friend of mine from Vienna told me he envied my life. Then he proceeded to say, it was not the things that I chose to do that made him feel this way. It was the fact that I had nothing to lose, so I was free.

Freedom is a concept. We all have a unique definition of what it butterflymeans to us and in our lives. For some, freedom means to have the time they want to enjoy the things that bring them joy. For others freedom is non attachment to things, people, ideas. To others, freedom means not to rely upon anyone for anything – financially, emotionally, physically. And there are those who feel freedom is to become liberated from the physical reality and feel complete union, or oneness with the source. This is the spiritual concept of freedom that we call ‘Moksha’ in yoga. It is the ultimate reward for the sadhana or spiritual practice we embark upon.

When my Venetian friend explained the freedom he envied in my life, it sent me to a deep meditative place. I hadn’t thought about it that way before. Having no mother, no pets, no partner, not being tied to one place to live because my work is all over the world – these things, these have both liberated me and also enprisoned me at times. When I have been selfish, self centered, ungrateful, unkind and unloving even to myself – I have not allowed my freedom to breath within me. When I have been attached to what might be, what could be, what I want and need – I have been trapped by those moments and days. When I had lied, stolen, begged, borrowed – those moments are etched forever in my consciousness for lifetimes. And now, even in this time, I seek to be liberated only so I may liberate others. That altruism can be seen as selfish, I am getting something out of this experience, yet, even altruism is a prison unless you surrender to the truth – we are all here to be of service in some great way. It can be a small way, a beautiful way, a magical miraculous inspiring way. It can be a simple way, a loving way, a generous way, a creative, artistic, collaborative way – our contribution is greatness, simply for showing up and being present here now.

2. The more you give, the more you receive.

When I realized I was a give-aholic, I had already experienced the breakdown effect it can have upon one’s life. It was in the rebuilding phase that I discovered it, through the courageous and beautiful voice of Allanis Morsette. She sat on the stage and shared how she too had gone through the phase of being a workaholic, then a give-aholic now she was in a stage of balance and felt her connection to her family, the earth and her career much more nourishing as a result of this. That talk lead me to contemplate what I was looking for in life. I had dedicated most of my adult life in pursuit of something. I was pursuing a career, financial freedom, the freedom to travel, spiritual freedom. I had given and given until I had nothing left. That was the illusion that I could give it all away and have nothing left. That was simply another limiting belief I had to over come. I had realize that the more I gave, the more I received and it was not always coming in the form I was hoping or expecting, but it was coming in plentifully and in great abundance. It was pouring in on my heard and I was so focused on the form I wanted it to come in that I missed it time and again. When I was not aware of the raining prosperity I was drenched in, I was in a stage of poverty consciousness. The blessings I had in my life were and are unmatched and beyond anything my wildest imagination could dream up. Even the simple things like sharing the morning with my sister swimming in the ocean. These things cost very little and bear fruits of joy that can be tasted long after they are gone from sight. When we give, we always receive, far more then what we gave. It is time to stop playing small and allow the true richness of life to flow through our veins, blood and breath. It all begins with taking a leap of faith. Knowing that on the other side is soft, gracious, joyous, loving kindness – with open arms for you to join the party of life.

3. Take a leap of faith.

Taking a leap of faith is the only way we can grow. We must let go of the old mask and story to be free from who we think we are sometimes to embrace the new self that is waiting to be born. It can be pleasant, easy, graceful, or turbulent, chaotic, painful – these are all our choice. We create the reality we attract based upon what we believe to be our truth -based upon a story we have been told from the moment of our birth.

4. We must unlearn the story.

To be free we must let go of our story, unless it serves us, inspires us and makes us better. The parts of our story that bring sadness or pain, we must let go of those thoughts, memories and beliefs forever. They are the parasites that rob us of our joy and throw us into an unhappy prison of emotion. When we can liberate ourselves from that cycle the Buddhists call Samsara, the cycle of birth and death – the karma loop that keeps us working through old karmic debt, reliving our patterns and attracting exactly what we need to experience in order to grow – we are free.

5. Kill the Governor.

At times we are on the right path, our soul is shining, we are flying or we sit here and discover that we truly do have everything we need within us. And then, something happens. Our mind hits a wall and we suddenly experience a negative thought that sends us into a decline from our elevated mood, energy, progress. We experience this time and again, this I call the governor. Fast cars all have a governor that stops them from going faster then a specific speed. Every time the car hits that speed, it stops the acceleration and send us into a slow decline. If we are lucky, it’s slow enough we can catch it and stop it if we are practicing awareness and observation of our thoughts. This is the practice of managing our limiting beliefs. My thought is: let’s eliminate our living beliefs once and for all. Kill the governor and let us be free. This is an important element that will lead us to attain our freedom in a powerful way. The how will show up when the why is clear. Get clear about why you want to be free and the answer to how it is possible – the bridge – will show up for you like clockwork.

6. Be Courageous!

We are the beacons of hope. The courageous soul who would embark Freedom upon this journey is to be celebrated. It is never popular to pave your own path or take the road less traveled, but those roads and paths lead to the pot of gold. The reward is supreme liberation. That is a place where we are not affected by the happenings of this world. We can experience these, we can give and receive love and appreciation, pleasure and pain – but it does not phase us. We are free from its affects because we are able to be the witness consciousness instead of the puppet being played. When we choose this road, we are shining like a light house out upon those others who may wish to know there is another way. There is a window – a door – a way out of that cycle.

It’s not easy. There may be a misconception about the spiritual path. One may think we have to live a certain way, be a specific way, the clothing you wear, the people you associate with, the food you eat, etc. These are all important, but the interesting thing is that none of that actually matters. To be liberated is to be free from even those judgements about what is spiritual and what is not. To realize the oneness that is our very core essence and that we are extensions of the Supreme Source. We are one with all of that. We are free.

Yet sometimes there is a stage when one is going from one experience to the other, in that transition period one can become very judgmental. The separation from what is ‘not spiritual’ sets in and we tend to magnetize others of the same vibration to associate with. This is the ideal scenario, yet it is to the detriment of past relationships and even family members whom do not carry this vibration or seek the same liberation. That period can be turbulent and confusing to a spiritual seeker, who knows only they must be free at any and all cost. They disassociate and there is distance for some time. Like an addict must do to quit drinking and drugs, everyone must disassociate with what is negatively affecting them and connect more deeply with that which is making them strong, happy and healed. This is not in any way advice to stop associating with family or loved ones. This is quite the opposite, as I feel that connection of time and experience is nourishing and provides the love and support needed in times where the road gets dark and your soul is fighting a battle on the field of growth and change. Yet I simply suggest we can be more selective with where we spend our time.

7. Our time is our greatest asset.

Health is wealth, yes I live by that mantra. Yet something more powerful rules our life as well – TIME. When we realize that our time here in this body, on earth is limited and has an expiration we can never know until it is that time – we must not waste this precious resource. How we spend our time dictates how we spend our life and who we become. Choose something that is inspiring, fun, invigorating, fulfilling, courageous, joyous, challenging, memorable, loving, kind or creative. Let us all be of service in the way we best know how and to align with the highest virtue we can while we pursue our greatest life now. There is no time to waste groveling in low thoughts that keep us depressed, stuck in our limited beliefs or feeling separate from others. The time is now to rise up and experience the greatness of who we are and experience with great resolve the liberation we already are.

8. We are born free.

Never for one moment are we not free. It is our mind that tells us we are not free. The mind is just a crazy monkey servant and we often let it dictate how we feel, what we attract and who we become. Silly silly behavior! Why would we let the monkey tell us who we are? The consciousness within us is much more intelligent and vast then that. We must take back the reins and be the captain of our own thoughts as we progress along on this ship traveling the waters of life. When we can master this one practice – to be in complete control of our own thoughts and mind – we are free.

9. Meditation is the key to liberation.

One who meditates realizes freedom, because we know the prison is self created in our own mind. When we go inside and regain our rightful place on the thrown of our own mind, we are liberated from samsara and the karma loop. We are ready for this shift and many others are now as well. This is not a scary transition, it is one of bold courage and power. It is the path of a leader, a visionary, a spiritual soldier, an emperor or empress. This is the path we are all meant to walk. The time is now to begin. As we approach the coming of the new age – after the Mayan Calendar ends, a new page is turned and a new dawn is upon us. The Dawn of the Golden Age of Satya Yuga is now. Let us celebrate!

I’ll meet you there. Somewhere, beyond all space and time, there is only the divine.

Om Namah Shivaya

Sat Nam


Toa chie



With Agape Love,


dashama utah face

Happy 12/12/12: A Message from Dashama

Features, Meditation

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Numerologically, today is a very special day! And in order to indulge our readers in all the possible meanings, I thought I would share with you a message from my soul sister, Dashama. This is a message Dashama shared in her newsletter today, and it was so beautiful and informative, I just had to pass it on.

Thanks, Dashama!

Aloha Love,

In honor of 12-12-12, I thought it may be interesting for you to  learn a little about the significance of this auspicious date in time. DashamaAs we approach the holidays and gather with friends, family, community and loved ones in communion to celebrate love and connection, let us remember the deeper meanings and intention behind all of these days, so we may experience the richest and most profound blessings from every breath we take collectively and individually. Read on below, as I also share a simple meditation practice for you to soak it all in and allow the richness of each interaction and experience to enhance the fabric of your character and the strength of your soul.


  • According to Chinese Numerology, the number 1 is a yang number which is ruled by the sun and represents independence & individualism. 2 is a yin number which is ruled by the moon and represents symmetry and balance. When placed together, the number 12 brings harmony to the yin and yang, balancing the feminine energy of the moon with the masculine energy of the sun.
  • Twelve is the number of what is completed, which forms a whole, a perfect and harmonious unit. In the ancient civilizations, like Oriental and Judaic, it corresponds to the plenitude, the completion and the integrality of all things.
  • Represents the manifestation of the Trinity to the four corners of the horizon – 3 X 4.
  • It is the creative capacity, and in some religions, it expresses also the Divine Mother.
  • The Buddhists recognize twelve causes of existence or Nidanas.
  • The twelve signs, or constellations, of the zodiac.
  • The twelve animals of the Chinese horoscope: the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Cat, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Goat, the Monkey, the Cock, the Dog and the Pig.
  • The twelve lunar years in the Chinese lunar calendar forming the complete cycle which lasts sixty years.
  • There are twelve principal divinities in the Greek mythology.
  • The twelve names of the Sun in Sanskrit, which are pronounced such as the mantras.
  • The twelve petals of the Anahata Chakra located in the area of the heart and the twelve petals of the corolla of the Sahasrara Chakra located a the top of the head.
  • It is the number of proposals or verses of the Emerald Table, summarizing all the teaching of the Hermetic tradition. It is a document originating from Egypt, attributed to Hermes Trismegist.
  • Twelve is the first number known as “abundant” since the sum of its dividers (aliquot parts) gives a result higher than 12: 1+2+3+4+6=16.

Regardless of your race, religion or cultural background, there is a significance we can all draw from this special day.

Meditation / Action Step: I suggest you take at least 5 minutes, Meditation2 or even longer if you can, and meditate on all of the abundance you have in your own life and breath in gratitude for all of the blessings and gifts, love and support you receive every day in so many ways. Acknowledge the balance, harmony, individuality and independence you feel and experience in your life and recognize the areas you can improve upon.

By doing this, you will be aligning with the highest frequency, love and gratitude, which will attract ever greater and more of the same to your life as long as you hold that space, in your heart and mind. Be careful not to fall back into thoughts of lack or negative patterns, as those will only sabotage your great success and happiness. 

Remember, we are all in this together. When you do something, I feel it, and vice versa. Let us all remember that we affect the world with our thoughts, words and deeds. 

May we all be guided to choose the most eloquent words of compassion and kindness. And not be too hard on ourselves when we make mistakes, but continue to grow, learn and strive for excellence in all areas of ours lives. 

I hope to meet you soon, at one of the events coming up either in Miami, Florida, San Diego, California or Bali next June. 

Infinite blessings to you, 



Dashama Gordon is the CEO of Pranashama Yoga Institute, an innovator in the field of Mind, Body, and Spiritual Fitness. She has worked with Sony Motion Picture Studios, Waldorf Astoria Resorts, Clinton Global Initiatives amongst other world known brands. She has created numerous programs, videos, dvds, & books to spread the healing, blessings of prevention through yoga and healthy lifestyle.

To learn more about Dashama and her global programs, mission and vision, visit her website: ; and; connect with her on FacebookTwitter and read her blog & view her videos onDashama TV