“Desire is here to stay. The challenge we all face, and which I intend to guide you through, is to learn how to take into account the full measure of who you are and use the positive force of all four of your soul’s desires to lead you to your best life.”
According to ancient Yogic tradition, your soul has four distinct desires:
• The desire for purpose, the drive to become who you are meant to be
• The desire for the means (money, security, health) to prosper in this world
• The desire for pleasures like intimacy, beauty, and love
• The desire for spiritual fulfillment and lasting freedom
Learning to honor these four desires is the key to happiness, and to a complete and balanced life. But how can you discern what will truly satisfy your desires? How can you increase your capacity to achieve them? What if your desires seem to conflict with one another? Is it really possible to live a spiritual life while also wanting material pleasures and success?
For more than three decades, master teacher Rod Stryker has taught yoga in the context of its deepest philosophy. His course, called The Yoga of Fulfillment™, has helped thousands recognize their soul’s call to greatness and to achieve their dreams. Now, in this wise and richly practical book, he has distilled those broad teachings into a roadmap for becoming the person you were meant to be. It is filled with revealing true stories, provocative exercises, and practices for unlocking your inner guidance. And even if you’ve never done a yoga pose, you can follow this step-by-step process to:
• discover your soul’s unique purpose—the one you came into this world to fulfill.
• recognize the goal(s) you need to focus on at any given time and enliven your capacity to reach them.
• overcome self-defeating ideas and behavior.
• recruit your deepest energies and strengthen your resolve to meet any challenge.
• learn to live with joy at every stage of your growth.
The Four Desires is nothing less than a complete path toward living your best life possible—a life that is rich in meaning and in means, a life that attracts and emanates happiness, a life that is your unique gift to yourself and the world.
About the Author
Rod Stryker is the founder of ParaYoga(r). Widely considered one of the preeminent yoga and meditation teachers in the United States, he has taught for more than thirty years. A longtime resident and teacher in Los Angeles, he now lives in Colorado with his wife, Gina, and their four children, Jaden, Theo, Asha, and Atreya.
Praise for Rod Stryker and The Four Desires
"…Deftly outlines the essence of the human condition and explains how to work with our desires—instead of against them—to find long-lasting happiness in both the material and spiritual realm…Stryker serves as a marvelous guide, one who teaches us not only how to progress on the path, but also how to light our own way. His writing is engaging and even entertaining…The Four Desires will give you a road map for your spiritual journey—and for the ups and downs of everyday life, too." —Yoga Journal
"A compelling and inspiring guide to finding happiness in every aspect of life….a gateway to a new level of fulfillment." —Yoga International
“Rod Stryker’s teachings have given me a whole new lens with which to see the world and my own potential; his teachings are sparks in a powder keg. My life has exploded with beauty, mystery and depth under his tutelage.” —Jennifer Nettles, Grammy award winner, songwriter, lead singer, Sugarland
“The Four Desires is a provocative interactive workbook for living your best possible life. The end game here is to know your highest, most authentic self, and create a road map to living out your dreams. (Who wouldn’t want that?) Stryker is a masterful guide, and the journey he creates is fun—and abundantly fruitful.” —Kaitlin Quistgaard, editor-in-chief, Yoga Journal
“Rod Stryker is one of the truly bright lights of modern yoga. He connects to the sincere seeker’s heart, while his straight forward scholarship emboldens the mind. The Four Desires is an outstanding book, advancing the integrity and luster of modern yoga.” —John Friend, founder of Anusara yoga
“The Four Desires is a rare accomplishment: a book of valuable, profound wisdom that is easy to learn from, live by, and love. I will be carrying a dog-eared copy of it for years.” —Mark Bryan, author of The Artist’s Way at Work
“For decades, Rod has led yoga practitioners on the path of inner and outer fulfillment. The Four Desires offers practical and profound teachings from which people of all backgrounds can benefit. It is a treasure that is destined to become a classic.” —Shiva Rea, creator of Prana Flow yoga
“Read The Four Desires slowly, savor its wisdom, and then do the exercises to help embody that wisdom. It will help you live your best life.” —Erich Schiffmann, author of YOGA: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness
“Profound enough for the advanced practitioner yet accessible to anyone looking for guidance on their journey, The Four Desires is filled with the wisdom and authority of Rod Stryker’s years of practice, study, and teaching.” —Sally Kempton, author of Meditation for the Love of It
“Anyone seeking inner healing and lasting happiness must read this book.” —Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, chairman and spiritual head, Himalayan Institute
“Rod Stryker guides us to uncover the beauty, power, and purpose of our lives. This insight leads us to live more meaningfully and richly. This book is an incredible gift to have as both teacher and student, and I am excited to use it as a resource for my own continued growth and self-discovery.” —Seane Corn, yoga instructor, co-founder of Off the Mat, Into the World