The Bodymind Ballwork Method

The Bodymind Ballwork Method is a self-healing method that utilizes affordable rubber balls that range from walnut- to melon-sized. Providing self-massage, the balls can be applied to any area of the body including the spine, head, neck, abdomen, shoulders and feet, offering targeted muscle release and relaxation. Ellen Saltonstall has been teaching ballwork for more than 40 years and offers people of any age an important resource, useful for everything from relieving chronic shoulder pain, to lubricating muscles before a yoga practice, sport or gym workout. In addition to being an accessible “how-to” guide, this book presents somatic-informed theory of the mind-body connection, making it a resource not just for those looking to jumpstart a workout, but also for anyone coping with emotional or physical trauma. Included are tips and practices for reducing stress and increasing embodied self-awareness. The book includes step-by-step directions for 40 exercises along with photos and drawings that illustrate the different techniques.

Excerpt from the book:
Imagine your spine as supple and strong, enabling you to stand tall and to move through your day with ease. Though “good” posture may have previously been arduous or unattainable, you begin to feel your posture improving without effort as your muscles release unnecessary tension. Your hips move fluidly, and your feet are solidly on the ground. Imagine your breath as expansive and nourishing, your ribs moving easily as your lungs fill and empty. With a steady and satisfying breath, your mind stays calm and alert, and you can focus on whatever you need to attend to, with full attention and clarity.

Does that scenario seem possible to you? It might seem like a distant goal if you are accustomed to chronic neck, shoulder, or lower back pain, as so many people are. You will find, though, that you can reduce or even eliminate that pain with the help of the balls. If you have certain spots in your back that are always nagging at your awareness with a “hot spot” or a dull ache, you have the chance to change that pattern, target those spots, and provide yourself with relief. Sore feet? Relief could be just ten minutes away.

About the Author: Ellen Saltonstall is a certified bodywork teacher and yoga therapist with over forty years of experience. Her commitment to bodywork comes out of her early professional experience in modern dance performance and massage therapy. At the Saltonstall Studio in Manhattan, she teaches students who are physical therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, yoga teachers, psychotherapists, dance teachers, visual artists, and writers, among others. She has offered teacher training in Bodymind Ballwork for the past ten years.

The Bodymind Ballwork Method by Ellen Saltonstall
•   174 pages • $21.95 • ISBN 978-1-62317-290-9
Book Release from North Atlantic Books

Radical Joy for Hard Times
Finding Meaning and Making Beauty in Earth’s Broken Places

When the places we love are devastated by human interaction, natural disaster or a combination of the two, how do we mourn what we’ve lost? How do we say goodbye? And how do we find hope, and even beauty, in what remains?

Trebbe Johnson invites readers to reconsider what constitutes “worthwhile” action in a world affected by human interaction and natural disaster. When a beloved place is decimated by physical damage, what do we do? Donate money? Call our congress person? Ignore the damage entirely? According to Johnson, these cannot be our sole methods for coping with our losses. Instead, she argues that the creation of art, ritual and even joy to honor these lost or “wounded” places is not just possible, but is in fact crucial to our collective healing.

Radical Joy for Hard Times offers stories and best practices from Johnson’s experience leading workshops and retreats focused on the relationship between people and nature. Also included are expert interviews on the same subject. She discusses real wounded places ranging from Ground Zero days after September 11th, to Appalachian mountain tops destroyed by mining. These stories are paired with clear tools for community engagement with these places, including the practice of “guerilla beauty,” or the creation of art with on-site materials. One ritual recalled in the book includes a walk in weapons testing grounds at Eglin Air Force Base. In a well-crafted narrative that includes interviews with cutting-edge thinkers and doers from around the world, Johnson reminds us that by spending time in these places, finding beauty in them and discovering what they can tell us about ourselves, we can discover new sources of meaning, community, creativity and, yes, even joy.

About the Author: Trebbe Johnson is an author and frequent speaker on the relationship between people and nature. Her previous books are The World Is a Waiting Lover and 101 Ways to Make Guerrilla Beauty, and she has won many awards, including the John Masefield Award from the Poetry Society of America and a Telly Award for a video made for the UN on the 20th anniversary of Earth Day. She has led workshops, retreats, and rites of passage programs internationally since 1995, such as a retreat in an old-growth clear-cut forest, a ceremony at Ground Zero after September 11, and a walk in weapons testing grounds at Eglin Air Force Base. In 2009, Johnson founded the non-profit organization Radical Joy for Hard Times, dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. She regularly speaks at a variety of events, from the Stephens College Commencement to the Parliament of the World’s Religions to the Sierra Club. She is married to Andrew Gardner, an artist, and lives in rural northeastern Pennsylvania.

Radical Joy for Hard Times by Trebbe Johnson
• 256 pages • $16.95 • ISBN 978-1-62317-263-3
Book Release from New World Library


The Jewel of Abundance
Finding Prosperity through the Ancient Wisdom of Yoga

Although millions of Westerners practice yoga simply for its health benefits, the philosophy and wisdom behind the multifaceted discipline has far more to offer. In The Jewel of Abundance: Finding Prosperity through the Ancient Wisdom of Yoga, award winning author and Kriya Yoga teacher Ellen Grace O’Brian reveals an overlooked aspect of yoga: its powerful teachings on prosperity.

“When prosperity is equated with material wealth attained for its own sake, the word prosperity loses its deep meaning,” writes O’Brian. “True prosperity is experienced in a spiritual context. Because this truth is frequently missed, the words prosperity and wealth are often narrowly defined or understood at the level of material accomplishment alone. But as you work through the teachings of this book with me you’ll see that these words can rightly be applied and understood in the highest way as spiritual goals. And that makes all the difference.”

The Jewel of Abundance draws upon the ancient Vedic tradition of yoga philosophy and practice and shows how spirituality and earthly success can complement each other, leading to realization of the higher Self. O’Brian presents a clear explanation of both the philosophy of yoga and the nuts and bolts of practice, such as setting up a daily meditation routine, incorporating mantras, discerning how to cooperate with universal principles for complete well-being, and cultivating mindfulness in action. Along the way, she illustrates her lessons with personal stories and timeless sayings from great sages, both Eastern and Western.

“From the dark ages to the technological advances of today, we are ready for the greatest evolutionary jump the world has ever known - the awakening of our hearts and our minds to the unity of all life,” writes O’Brian. “Awakening, prospering, and fulfilling our potential is inextricably tied to the well-being of all. What we do matters. We are powerful agents, not only of personal prosperity, but of essential social change and planetary healing, so that all may prosper.”

One of the most important instructions these teachings include is called purushartha, or the four universal goals of human life, which contribute to living with balance, integrity, and joy.

About the Author: Ellen Grace O’Brian is the author of The Jewel of Abundance and director of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment in San Jose, CA. Ellen is a yogacharya (an esteemed yoga teacher), a radio host, and an award-winning poet who weaves poetry into her teachings on spiritual matters, pointing to the mystical experience beyond words and thought. Ordained by a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, she has been teaching Kriya Yoga philosophy and practice nationally and internationally for over three decades. Visit her online at
The Jewel of Abundance by Ellen Grace O'Brian
• 320 pages • $16.95 • ISBN 978-1- 60868-556-1
 Book Release from New World Library

Book Reviews for January