Beloved Jivamukti Yoga teacher Ruth Lauer-Manenti has presented dharma talks on daily life from a yogic perspective for many years (collected in An Offering of Leaves and Sweeping the Dust, both published by Lantern Books). Fell in Her Hands is an altogether more ambitious work: a commentary and reflection on the venerable yogic text, the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali―written in the form of a series of interlaced stories that grow out of the sutras, with the various characters evolving through the obstacles and challenges that are presented in the Yoga Sutra.
Deeply personal, humane, expressive, and even humorous, Fell in Her Hands is a fresh and insightful examination of the yoga―the yoke―that ties us to our friends and family and acquaintances, to the past and the future, and to all creation. The result is a unique insight into the heart of yoga by a much-loved and compassionate practitioner.
“Ruth Lauer-Manenti’s latest and most ambitious literary project transforms complex ideas from Patanjali’s classic Yoga Sutra into real-life moments. The result is a storytelling experience so visceral one wonders why it had not been done before. If the Sutra speaks truths so large we risk losing focus, there is a lot to be said for the humble voice that grounds those truths in realities we can all identify and share. A masterful performance.”
Joshua M. Greene, author, Gita Wisdom
“Ruth Lauer-Manenti writes with a poet’s eye, delicately directing our attention to places of worship, ways of caring and areas we might not immediately think are worthy of reflection. She is amused, amazed, and perceptive, and in her world it seems everything is a lesson about how we might live better and find a deeper purpose. We would do well to listen to her.”
Susan Minot, author, Thirty Girls
"If you want to teach that which is profound, it is often necessary to weave the threads of truth into a clever story, and this is what Ruth has done. She has skillfully written in narrative form a retelling of Patanjali’s from the perspective of remarkable characters, who reveal in the details of their lives how the thread fell in her hands."
Sharon Gannon, co-founder, Jivamukti Yoga
"Fell Into Her Hands is special and unique in that Lady Ruth re-tells the Sutra through modern narratives, introducing characters that are recognizable and circumstances all too human. As a result, this book makes comprehending the Sutra accessible, relatable, and deeply personal. She is masterful in her storytelling, in love with her subject, and generous in her ability to share her wisdom with us all. I highly recommend this book, this teacher, and all she has to offer."
Seane Corn, co-founder, Off the Mat, Into the World
"I have come across many commentaries on the Yoga Sutra in English by great scholars. Normally, other commentators explain the sutras with a philosophical background. The method followed by Lady Ruth is through experience and stories, which catch the attention of the reader. Transmission of knowledge in India has been through dialogues, stories, and debates, which we can find in the Vedas and Upanishads. Let yoga enthusiasts all over the world read this book and reach the state of samadhi or equanimity."
Dr. M. A. Jayashree
About the Author
Ruth Lauer-Manenti is the daughter of Lothar and Stefanie Lauer. Her parents came to the United States from Europe as refugees. Her father was a scientist and her mother is a published author. Both set an example of how to be a decent human being. Ruth found her way to yoga twenty-five years ago after spending a year in bed due to a serious car accident. She has been teaching yoga for the past eighteen years to students from around the world, primarily at the Jivamukti Yoga School in New York City, her home. Ruth is a devoted student and has the blessings of her teachers: Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Saraswati Jois, Sharath Rangaswami, Sharon Gannon and David Life, Dr. Jayashree, Prof. Nagaraja Rao, and Dr. Gurudath and his family. Her husband Robert is a humble tai chi master and a gentle nurse who works with those in critical care at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City. Ruth also has an MFA from the Yale School of Art, and sometimes teaches drawing and painting at Dartmouth College. She is the author of An Offering of Leaves and Sweeping the Dust.