Book Reviews

Mindful Living

Miraval

Empowerment, Inspirational, Spirituality

978-1-4019-4200-7

Mindful Living is designed to help you more fully celebrate each moment of your life. Twelve specialists from the Miraval resort-ranging from exercise physiologists to chefs to spiritual healers-bring... More

Oct 05, 2013 lovefitlive
Hi beautiful friends,

How are you?! How does relaxing at the spa, some meditation surrounded by the beautiful stillness of the Arizona desert, and culinary classes led by an executive chef using the finest fresh foods sound to you? Yeah, it sounds pretty fantastic to me too! That's what you get (and so much more!) at the Miraval Resort and Spa in Tucson, Arizona.

Even if you can't jump on a plane to Arizona right now, you can experience a little piece of Miraval at home through their book Mindful Living.

Mindful Living is designed to help you more fully celebrate each moment of your life. Twelve specialists from the Miraval Resort - ranging from exercise physiologists to chefs to spiritual healers-bring their expertise to chapters centered on the key tenets of the Miraval philosophy, such as balance, joy, and developing the ability to overcome obstacles.

The book is created in a calendar format - each chapter represents a different month and includes a recipe and unique tips for wellness and healthy living. September, the "harvest" chapter, focuses on food as nourishment for our bodies and minds. It features a recipe for Butternut Squash Risotto that looks totally to die for! The chapter also has great info on eating with intention, eating organic, and helpful ideas for food substitutes. Oh, and did I mention it has super-relaxing spa and meditation suggestions? These tips are especially helpful for those who are trying to overcome behavior patterns (i.e. compulsive eating, substance abuse, etc.), but are also beneficial for anyone who wants to relieve stress (and let's face it, who doesn't have stress in their life?!).

This book brings Miraval to the reader and is designed to be helpful for both those who have never visited and regular guests of the resort. Through recipes, exercises, meditations, and spa treatments, readers are shown a wide variety of practical ways to implement the changes they desire. While the topics addressed in Mindful Living may seem broad, they are held together through the concept of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to live in the present, using simple tools like the breath to help you remain focused, calm, and capable of making the kind of decisions that will lead to a better life. Just as life is a journey, so is Mindful Living, moving through the months of the year and encouraging you to get the most out of each stage of the cycle.

Last week was a tough week for me in many ways and I found browsing through this book to be very calming and rejuvenating. The photos in the book are beautiful and make you feel like you're actually at the resort. I can only imagine what it must be like in person! Hopefully I'll get the chance to visit soon so I can tell you all about it.

In the meantime, you can check out the book for yourself here! It's a great gift to yourself, or to a loved one who may be going through a difficult, stressful time. They also have a Mindful Eating book that I'd love to check out as well!

Special thanks to the generous people at Hay House, Inc. for providing me with a courtesy copy of Mindful Living. I only share products and companies I believe will be of interest to my readers. All opinions are my own. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do! xoxo
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Sep 28, 2013 CreateWithJoy
When the stresses of life start to overwhelm you, do you dream of melting away your troubles at a world class health resort and spa? I do – so when the opportunity to visit the world class Miraval Resort & Spa through their latest book, Mindful Living by Miraval, presented itself to me, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to see what a visit to their peaceful Tucson spa would be like.

Miraval is all about mindfulness. Miraval defines mindfulness as “a conscious approach to being in the present moment – an elevated awareness of one’s surroundings and also of oneself.” As you’ll see throughout the book, the pursuit of Mindful Living permeates everything Miraval does.

Miraval’s book, Mindful Living, not only shows you what a stay with them would be like – but shows you how to bring mindfulness into your daily life!

Mindful Living is divided into 12 chapters – one for each month. Each month has a theme: January is for Beginnings; February is for Heart; March is for Meditation; and so forth. In each chapter, different aspects of Miraval’s philosophies and treatments are highlighted. You’ll find information on the health, dietary and exercise regimens they prescribe; the exotic spa treatments that they offer; the Eastern spiritual practices they engage in, and a whole lot more!

There are a number of things I liked about this book:

* I enjoyed the beautiful photography and the wide range of interesting topics.

* I appreciated the book’s well-organized structure, which encourages and promotes personal change.

* I especially loved the mouthwatering recipes!

From a publication perspective, Mindful Living by Miraval is a beautifully produced book that will satisfy those interested in alternative health and spirituality topics.

It will make a great souvenir for Miraval spa-goers who hope to extend the practice of mindfulness into their everyday lives.
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Aug 26, 2013 Jeanieber

January through December equals 12 months of pure  bliss. This perfect coffee table book shares more than you can imagine with select themes for every month of the year.  Every month has a recipe to drool over, a spa treatment to crave, exercise to welcome, a meditation to master and a lifestyle to consider. This, in addition to monthly themes, I will share some of this book even though and I won’t come close to including everything it has to offer in these few words.

January is appropriately, Beginnings: weight loss and exercise of the appropriate sort. February is all about Hearts of course, from feeling joyful, to opening your heart. March is Meditation, the real deal, sharing what, how and more. April is Wellness.. Self-healing, lifestyles, wellness plans and creating your wellness team. May is Nutrition with a main focus on the overwhelming need for anti-inflammation diet. June is Nature. A place we should all hang around more. July is Challenge: It’s not a scary word, and challenges of all sorts help create a stronger person whether you hit the mark or not. August is Overcoming Obstacles. How we embrace or respond to them is how we grow. September is Harvest, naturally, and harvest is about fresh, plentiful, nourishing food. Mindful eating and true hunger are explored in this chapter. October is Balance of the things that create a full and happy life. November is appropriately, Gratitude. Thanks giving for what we have, and how it opens not only our heart but our brain. Finally December is Celebration. Finding your life’s mission and purpose, and celebrating you!

This book is one I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. It feels good just opening the pages. The meditations I completed were right on. This woman will surely be adding a Spa Visit to Miraval to my bucket list.

I received this book free from Hay House. Jeanie Beresford, NTP

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Aug 22, 2013 rschechter
Miraval. Just the name alone conjures up feelings of relaxation, indulgence and bliss. This luxury resort, which is set against the Santa Catalina mountains in Tucson, Arizona, isn’t an affordable travel itinerary for everyone. But thanks to Hay House, everyone can now experience a little taste of Miraval at home. In 2012, Hay House published Mindful Eating by Mirival which covered how to prepare nourishing meals. Now, in 2013, Hay House has published Mindful Living by Mirival which is an all-encompassing look at the Miraval experience that guests are treated to during their stay.

Miraval’s mission is to bring more meaningfulness and enjoyment into its guests lives by balancing each person’s physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual life. Mindful Living achieves this by presenting a month-by-month plan for developing these aspects of your life. For example, January is about “Beginnings” and February is about “Heart”. September covers the season of “Harvest” while November stresses “Gratitude”. Each chapter covers basic thoughts on each subject with corresponding recipes, spiritual and mindfulness practices and physical challenges that are part of the Miraval experience.

This book is thoughtfully and beautifully assembled from a design and editorial perspective; think of it as a hardcover magazine. It sits on my coffee table, not as a book to be read from start to finish, but as one that I can leisurely pick up to peruse when I am needing inspiration, wisdom and encouragement. If you know someone who has always wanted to experience Miraval this makes for a terrific gift, tiding them over, until they can get to Miraval itself.

*FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Aug 19, 2013 realmomma
I had to ask myself what Miraval Resort & Spa and a coffee table book had in common, my first thought was this is going to be a big promotional flyer but I was willing to approach it with an open mind. Mindful Living is a fascinating book with an open approach to taking care of YOU and I’m happy it is what I’m reading now!

At first glance Mindful Living is captivating the book sleeve pictures the entrance to the spa and is rather inviting if you ask me! Miraval is situated in the warm shade of the Santa Catalina Mountains in northern Tucson, AZ, on 400 acres of idyllic land, a top-rated all-inclusive destination resort and spa dedicated to helping guests live life in the moment. Inside you will find an amazing collection of images, recipes, meditations, exercises, and spa treatments delivered as a monthly theme giving you the tools to remain calm and focused on what you really want from life! As you practice the theme given each month it will become a habit and allow you to enjoy life one moment at a time!

September is themed around HARVEST and using it as a tool to bring more comfort, pleasure, celebration into our lives. When we change the focus in our lives from the negative things that are happening all around us and start focusing on the positive things in life and appreciating our eyes open up to a whole new world. As we start to celebrate in those things we bring more of them to us! It really is as simple as staying positive and cutting the negative out of our lives. I know it is easier said than done but it will slowly become a habit the more we practice.

If you’re looking for some me time when the kids are going back to school you really need to pick up a copy of Mindful Living!
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Aug 14, 2013 judyshome

This book is a neat little idea that focuses on one self-improvement theme per month. Beautiful, full-colour photography and sections written by various holistic experts make this book a good introduction to living mindfully. It reads almost like a magazine, which plants the seeds of knowledge but lets you research on your own for more information. Some of the ideas I was familiar with and others, like holographic memory resolution, were completely new to me and fascinating to learn about.

With respect to the familiar, my “thing” is obviously food. There were a few recipes throughout the book anddddddd the focus for the month of May was Nutrition! *Judy salivates*. I like the idea of their anti-inflammatory diet, which contains more detailed categories than we see in the Four Basic Food Groups by Health Canada. The anti-inflammatory diet (by Dr. Andrew Weil) separates vegetables into a different category from fruit – and it’s about time someone did! They’re so important that they should be considered separately. He has a section for healthy fats, legumes, etc and also leaves room for the treats.

By far, one of my favourite categories is labelled as “Whole Grains”. While Health Canada has a group for “Grains”, people following them could technically be eating white pasta, white bread, white cereal, white rice, etc and think that they are good. This book informs people to choose healthier grains like steel-cut oats and brown rice. The focus on less-processed grains means that someone following these recommendations will be getting more fibre as well as the vitamins and minerals that are stripped away in the white grains. So, I thought the categories were very well done.

However, in my opinion, I think both Health Canada and Miraval’s food guides have really, really big values for their number of servings needed per day. Mind you, I haven’t actually measured it out, so I could definitely be wrong but the amount of food I estimated that I consume daily compared to these serving sizes: it seems like just a fraction of what I’m “supposed” to need daily. Also…isn’t Dr. Weil overweight?

Anyways, their quinoa salad in radicchio cups from that section looks delicious. I wouldn’t want to eat it though because I find raw radicchio super bitter. That’s just me though, lol. I’ve made salads similar to the one inside of the cups and I can attest that the quinoa stuffing is *awesome*. Recipes approved :D .

With respect to the overall feel of Mindful Living, I like that it touches on so many different topics, their philosophy and I love the images.

However (and this is a fairly big “however”), I found a lot of it seemed like advertisement for the Miraval Resort and Spa. I so badly wanted to skip these parts but didn’t, since I was technically supposed to review the whole book.
Although I appreciate that it is written by the members of their facilities, I was simply bored reading about such-and-such treatments/programs that they offered. At times, I found that it was just a giant brochure. Sounds like it could be a pretty neat (and a beautiful) place to visit, but reading about it and not being about to visit Arizona and their spa, it seemed like a drag for me.

I look forward to having a peek at their next book: Mindful Eating, which should be released around Jan 2014. If, however, it’s anything like this one, I probably won’t care for it. My hunch is that it’ll be more of a cook-book type read (which would be awesome because their meals look fabulous), so I may or may not give it a go.

Check it out yourself, maybe I’m being too harsh?

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

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Jul 10, 2013 cchoward
Mindful Living, the new book compilation by Miraval, the world-renowned resort and spa in Tucson, Arizona, is a sumptuous, insightful and inspiring read and the next best thing to actually being there. Each of the 12 chapters illuminates a quality essential to mindful living such as growth, joy, balance, and meditation. Included are in-depth articles on each subject written by a specialist at Miraval, as well as an exercise, mediation, recipe and spa treatment that you can create or engage in at home.

Everything at Miraval revolves around the practice of mindfulness, a state of awareness and appreciation of the present moment. The book uses the 12 months of the year as a guide and delves deeply into one tenet of mindfulness in each chapter. For example, August is all about overcoming obstacles. Dr. Tim Frank, a Naturopathic MD, says ‘challenges can be a gift, but so often we get stuck, either from the trauma of our past or the challenges of the present, and we need some guidance and healing in order to grow and move forward.’ He has created a treatment called Spirit Flight, one of the unique and most popular healing modalities at Miraval. The treatment incorporates therapeutic massage with the healing practices of Shamanism and drumming, as well as acupuncture and craniosacral therapy which restore the body’s energy back into balance and alignment.

As a practioner of mindfulness, I was delighted to learn some new guided meditations and visualizations to incorporate into my own practice. There are over a dozen different types of meditations described in the book and simply seeing it on my coffee table is a daily reminder for me to use even the simplest tools of mindfulness like connecting with my breath in order to remain focused and relaxed. Just flipping through the pages and gazing at the beautiful photos of the stunning Sonoran desert and grounds of the resort is a treat for the senses.

Mindful Living is truly a tremendous source of insight and inspiration, a catalyst for living your best life and achieving the mental, spiritual, nutritional and physical fitness celebrated at Miraval.

FTC Disclosure: I received this product for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Jun 25, 2013 BethanyG
I have always wanted to go to Miraval Resort & Spa but, never had the chance…yet. I can, however, have a taste of the enlightening luxury they have to offer in their second book Mindful Living.

Mindful Living is a glorious, hardcover, coffee table book that offers you the experience you would have at the resort but, in the comfort of your own home. Each chapter in the book corresponds to a month of the year and a central theme for the chapter. The themes are the “key tenets of Miraval’s philosophy.” The book starts with January and a theme of beginnings for the chapter with each consecutive chapter following the calendar.

Inside the chapters you will find ways to improve all aspects of your life. There are sections on exercise, meditation, and even food and nutrition. You will get strategies, to transform your life, that can be implemented into your life very easily.

Also included are some recipes from there menu that you can make at home. They include mouthwatering items such as Herb-Roasted Rack of Lamb, Vegetarian Black Bean Soup, Fruit Energizer Smoothie, and Baked Apple Tortelli, just to name a few.

I know that this book will never make up for the actually experience that can be had at the resort but, it definitely feels like it comes close. All the wisdom…none of the travel.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hay House for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. *
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Jun 16, 2013 connielivingston
Miraval is a spa resort located in Tucson, Arizona. If you're like me, you haven't yet visited, but this book will make you want to book that trip! Still, this book takes you there via its luscious photography and amazing recipes! The book is organized by month and each chapter is written by a Miraval staff expert. At the end of each is a yummy, healthy recipe straight from Miraval's kitchen with accompanying snapshot. You'll want to follow each chapter's recommendations just to get to its end and the wonderful recipe with which you can reward your efforts! You will also enjoy the home spa ideas available in each chapter as well.

The January chapter capitalizes on our tendency to welcome the new year with a fist full of resolutions. It covers weight loss, myths, beneficial exercise approaches and breathing techniques. February is focused on heart health and discusses stress, joyful living, and exercise. March is about the power of meditation: how to get started, types, and some surprising practices that fall under the category of calming meditation. April is about achieving optimal wellness and touches on the body's ability to heal itself, the importance of lifestyle, and wellness plans.

May focuses on nutrition and how Americans have come to develop weight issues, which foods to eat on a daily basis, and the role of supplements. June focuses on some unusual approaches to good emotional and mental health. July is about stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone. Miraval resort has a whole program based on challenging yourself: Quantum Leap, A Swing And A Prayer, Desert Sky Zip Line, Giant's Ladder, Face-To-Face, Desert Tightrope, and Out On A Limb!

August is about overcoming obstacles with some interesting, alternative ways to approach them! The September chapter is, appropriately, focused on harvesting, or mindful eating. October's topic is balance and how to maintain it in the world we live in today. Gratitude is November's subject and how to incorporate this practice into our daily lives. December is about celebration! It includes finding your purpose, using intuition, and healing ourselves.

What a lovely, inspiring book for any age! I showed the book to my 24-year-old daughter shortly after it arrived, and she, too, was captivated by the energy and aliveness that emanates from its pages!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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May 29, 2013 kauld
Mindful Living, a compilation book authored by staff of the Miraval Resort & Spa located in Tucson, Arizona is a beautiful book. At first glance this small coffee table book is aesthetically pleasing. The cover is graced with an inviting picture of the Miraval entrance to welcome you to the experience of the book. Even the inside cover of blue, green and grey lines creates a soothing pallet for the eye to want to go further in the book.

The beauty of the book continues in the twelve chapters each representing a month of the year. The chapters include a feature written by a Miraval expert, a suggested exercise, meditation, spa treatment, and recipe, all to support “a key tenet of the Miraval philosophy”. January, for example, the tenet is “Beginnings” and December it is “Celebration.” And wait till you see the photography. Stunning pictures of the Miraval Resort really bring forth the feeling of what it would be like to be there. Then there’s the food photography which will make your mouth water. The picture of the Pan-Seared Diver Scallop with Purple Potatoes, Chives and White Truffle Oil on page 20, inspires me to go ingredient shopping now.

But the most beautiful thing about the book is its central message, which happens to also be the title of the book. Mindful Living or mindfulness is something I have been studying for the past few months and is why I wanted to check out this book. For those of you new to the concept, here is an excerpt from the book:

"Mindfulness is a conscious approach to being in the present moment – an elevated awareness of one’s surroundings and also of oneself. It is a vivid perception of one’s choices, strengths, and potential. Mindfulness is empowering yourself and optimizing your energy in order to live a balanced, healthier and better life, each and every day."

Having mindfulness as the theme of the book, the reader is encouraged to ponder everyday choices and be inspired to try something new all with the intention of supporting you to live your best life. And that is a beautiful thing.
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May 21, 2013 ahlmt
This book could be called "A Guide to Living A Beautiful Little Life."

I consider myself to be quite knowledgeable when it comes to living mindfully, eating right, and having a healthy lifestyle. I was completely and pleasantly surprised to learn a TON of new things from this gorgeous book from Miraval - the luxury spa and resort in Tucson, Arizona.

The chapters are set up so that you could "live" a chapter a month and incorporate the recipes, exercises, meditations and spa treatments into your daily life. They guide you through practical ways to go about implementing those changes, which I really appreciated, but what really impressed me the most was how in depth they tackled every topic. From working out with weights to opening your heart; from dealing with self doubt to detoxifying body wraps I found new information at every page turn.

This coffee table book is so much more than a health and fitness guide. It truly is a guide to living a beautiful life and I will definitely go back to this book each month to delve into each chapter and work on integrating some of the changes that they recommend into my life!

I received a promotional copy of "Mindful Living" from Hay House for review and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in being more conscious of living their life every day.
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May 15, 2013 abiolatv
One would think that a coffee table photo book from a spa would either be filled with fluff or serve as just an ad for the center. “Mindful Living” by Miraval is none of those things. Miraval Resort and Spa, for the uninitiated is a spiritual ground zero and healing base with an exemplary group of personal development specialists. This book gives us a front seat to these experts with tips, advice, recipes and step-by-step how-tos on how to live more mindfully. I felt like I was there with them in Tucson, Arizona!

Mindful living has been key to my personal practice for the past couple of years. Warning: this approach to passionate living may cause a soulful revolution! I haven’t had the pleasure and honor of actually visiting the all-inclusive destination retreat but I look forward to doing so in the future, both as an empowerment coach and as a student of joy. Oh — and the book is a lush and gorgeous feast for the senses as well.

Mindful eating helped me “lose” 55 pounds and keep it off. Eating for me is a prayer. I trust that every bite nourishes and enriches my body temple. More on how to do exactly this in the future.
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May 09, 2013 hhreviewer2

Miraval is a luxurious spa retreat in Tuscon Arizona and Mindful Living is the second book they have released. Visually the book is absolutely gorgeous with rich, lush photography on every page. The chapter follows the calendar year where each chapter addresses a topic that corresponds with a particular month. January is about new beginnings, February is about exercise, and so on. In addition, spa treatments, recipes, meditations, and other lovely tidbits can be found in the chapters as well.

I especially enjoyed how mindfulness is brought into the topics not only on meditation but exercise as well. I found Mindful Living to be a simply stunning book that is probably best read slowly. Either by picking a chapter at random, or following the months of the year. That way mindfulness is brought to the act of reading Mindful Living as well.

This is my review of Mindful Living by Miraval. I acknowledge that I received this book free from Hay House Publishing to review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment.

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Apr 27, 2013 The Seeker's Lamp
Miraval, the world famous Tuscon, Arizona resort and spa is poised to release it second book in so many years. Mindful Living, published by Hay House and soon to be released on May 23, is the ultimate keepsake for guests and soon to be guests of the holistic resort. Miraval is host to many special retreats and events by well know spiritual leaders such as Caroline Myss and Andrew Weil (who gives a personally endorses the book.) I was sent a promotional copy of the book by Hay House for review and it is has been a delight doing so.

The book itself is beautiful, from the cover to page after page of stunning photographs from the resort. The book follows a calendar year with a cyclic pattern with each chapter containing a theme, along with a recipe, a meditation instruction, an exercise, and a spa treatment you can try at home. All of which are based on similar group led or prepared activities and meals you can participate in at Miraval. Mindful Living By Miraval, a coffee table book for transforming your home into a personal mini-spa vacation. Recommended.
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