Category: Health and wellbeing
Publication date: July 23, 2020
Extent: 260 pages

Flex Your Mind

10 powerful Yoga principles for less stress in a busy world

Rachel Bonkink


Discover the ten ancient principles for more peace of mind in your daily life. Understand why you behave and think as you do, and how to make the changes that will transform your day-to-day experience.

With a down-to-earth approach and real-life examples from business and personal life, this book shows you how to make your mind stronger – and, ultimately, to make your life lighter and less stressful – by bringing yoga philosophy into your everyday.

This is no stuffy philosophical book. Rachel Bonkink drank too much, worked crazy hours, went for the money and always wanted more: yoga philosophy transformed her life, and it can transform yours too.


Rachel Bonkink takes us through the ten ancient principles for more peace of mind in everyday life. The real life examples help the down-to-earth feel of the book and they allow us to reflect on our own lives.
It’s a book that helps us get back to basics, it’s practical and can be easily applied to our personal and professional lives.
Personally I would love to keep this book and refer back to it as and when needed.


This book is like having your own personal guide take you by the hand and lead you to a simpler, kinder and richer way of life.
Rachel writes with beautiful clarity and positivity.
I read it in one sitting but I willl be going back to it often. Highly recommended!

People can have quite individual experiences within yoga and meditation which may bring up complex emotional responses that are difficult to understand. I enjoyed the personal and conversational writing style, making it seem more translatable to my everyday instead of separating ‘real’ life and that of what we ‘should’ be doing and feeling. In essence it makes you break down all the nonsense in your head in to easy to deal with chunks so that you can live in the present a little more, not sweat the small stuff and be kind to yourself and others. I’ve not read a book for a few years since having my little girl. I made time for this one.x

Having practiced yoga over many years in many locations, I had never understood, or had the time, to learn the principles behind what I was doing. This book very clearly, with lightness and humour, explains what is the spiritual practice behind Yoga

Having practiced yoga over many years in many locations, I had never understood, or had the time, to learn the principles behind what I was doing. This book very clearly, with lightness and humour, explains what is the spiritual practice behind Yoga

This book was very enjoyable and informative. I practice Yoga daily, and was very curious to see how Rachel Bonkink could turn my daily practice into principles to ease stress. And I absolutely loved it! The author shares her story, weaving spiritual principles and wisdom into each of her experiences and passing them onto us. The read itself was effortless and enjoyable, with moments that struck the heart strings and others that had me chuckling. I truly feel like applying what the author taught into my daily life will help me maneuver my stress and anxiety. A definite recommend.


I always imagined that learning about yoga principles would be heavy going and difficult to apply to real life. This book is so opposite to that. 10 principles, one covered in each chapter but also interrelated (because of course everything is connected!).
Rachel explains each principle using modern life examples, many taken from her own personal experience. To make is applicable to the reader, there’s plenty of opportunities to stop and think or simple exercises to help apply the principle to life right now.
You’ll find humour throughout and situations that might be familiar to your own. If you want to learn more about yoga principles then this is the perfect book to help you start.

“Flex your mind” by Rachel Bonkink is a book that seems to have found me at the right time and I have enjoyed it very much. The book is subtitled “10 powerful Yoga principles for less stress in a busy world” and it is actually a practical, easy-to-understand guide into ancient yoga philosophy and its principles that can be applied in everyday life. It touches on many topics that might preoccupy a reader in these very stressful and uncertain times and offers helpful advice and motivation.

Whether you are interested in yoga philosophy or not, “Flex Your Mind” has a lot to offer. I can’t remember the last time I’ve underlined so many passages in a book. For me, this was my first encounter with yoga philosophy and I have had a chance to learn many new things. I enjoyed making connections to some aspects of traditional psychology, such as approaches to dealing with anxiety, stress etc. If you are a yoga practitioner, this book can be an easy and relatable source for broadening your insight into what lies behind the physical aspect of yoga practice.

I feel that the author has really succeeded in bringing the ancient philosophy to a modern person. Her writing in itself is really good, which makes it possible for the message of the book to come through. This book was an interesting read for me and I recommend it.


Great book, easy read packed with examples I could relate to. It’s like having a chat with your cool, no-nonsense friend who’s been there, got the t-shirt. I’ve read the whole thing but I’ll def be dipping back into it again.

While many yoga books requires remembering the ancient terminology, this book offers a no-no sense clear explanation of principles that can easily be implemented in your every day life e.g. ensure that you do 3 things every day that bring you closer to your life goals as an actionable item for one of the principles.
While it’s possible to read the book in one go, I feel this book is one to refer back to as each person may take different approaches to which principle and when to implement it.

In this book, Rachel successfully deconstructs ancient texts of yoga philosophy, interweaving the principles with her own personal journey, making it an effortless, relatable and approachable read.
It is filled with nuggets of wisdom and humour making it applicable to the modern daily (at times) stressful lives we find ourselves in.
I will surely come back to this book as it’s cleverly structured form serves as an index of principles for a healthier mindset.
This book is recommended for anyone who wants more insight into the background of yoga philosophy (even if not a yoga practitioner) without the stuffy lingo.

Rachel has taken Yoga Philosophy and made it really easy to read and process. As a yoga teacher, I have so many books on Yoga Philosophy and this is by far one of the best. Rachel explains the Limbs of Yoga in a way that is easy to digest and put into your life. It’s a great tool for Yoga Teachers. I’ve also recommended this to many of my students, who have loved reading it and understanding the philosophy more. It’s written in a Western manner and Rachel has a great sense humour too, using examples of her life in the Corporate World, that I could really resonate with. I would highly recommend this if you struggle to read Yoga Text, are a Yoga Teacher, Student or just want some good tips on improving your life and de-stressing!!! Thank you Rachel. I hope you write another….


Rachel Bonkink has written a book that makes yoga practical. – Paul Grilley, leading Yin Yoga innovator and teacher
My dear friend Rachel has made it her mission to provide a fresh interpretation of the ancient yogic wisdom and to make it relatable to our modern-day world. Written with a mix of humour, vulnerability, personal experience and extensive study, this inspiring book will guide and support readers on their path towards a more authentic and meaningful life. – Carole Dieltiëns
To translate the ancient yoga philosophy teachings and make them accessible for everyone is no easy task. In this book, Rachel has done a fine job in making these concepts and ideas relevant, offering a practical and easy to understand application for integrating them into daily life. I have had the pleasure of working alongside Rachel many times over a number of years, and have observed how she weaves the philosophy of yoga into her workshops and classes in a very down to earth and inclusive way. Highly recommended reading for yoga students and teachers or indeed anyone interested in deeper self reflection. – Hayley North, Yoga & Movement Teacher/Holistic Chef and founder of Holistic Kitchen Academy
Rachel’s new book is not about yoga as we know it. It’s about stretching your mind and becoming more fully yourself, the person you were meant to be. She has written an outstanding treatise that lovingly, kindly, and humorously introduces us to the 10 yogic principles to help us be more fulfi lled and happy. As a psychologist, this book makes my heart sing! Thanks, Rachel, for sharing your joy with the world. – Jennifer Wisdom, PhD MPH, Author of Millennials’ Guide to Work and Millennials’ Guide to Management and Leadership
In her own unique and candid way, Rachel created a book on how to flex your mind. This book is feisty, thought provoking, humorous and has tremendous depth at the same time. Rachel guides you through ten powerful and challenging yoga principles. These principles will profoundly change your Being; on the mat, in your daily life and in your world. At home or at work, we can all learn from this astonishing book! – Riet Lenaerts, Corporate Shaman, Shaman-Shape-Teacher
Rachel has translated universal and deeply human wisdom into clear guidelines. It’s compelling and instructive at the same time. A must read in these confusing times. – Yamila Idrissi, founder of Kahwa Agency and Riad Feinek in Marrakech



Chapter 1: Non-violence

Non-violence as the foundation of all yogic philosophy and the quality of the strong. I dive into the different manifestations of violence, zooming into our thoughts, judging and social media, and revealing techniques to generate more kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others.

Chapter 2: Truthfulness

Knowing your truth, your true Self and not lying—not to others, nor to yourself. I discuss the power of secrets, silence, listening and the words we speak.
Chapter 3: Non-stealing

Not about stealing objects or money, rather on stealing other people’s time, joy and enthusiasm. It means not stealing from the earth, nor from ourselves. This requires slowing down, taking ownership, controlling our greed and feeling true abundance.
Chapter 4: Energy management

Regulating our energy and resources to avoid and burn out. This requires us to figure out what brings us energy and what takes energy. I also discuss topics like breaking free from bad habits, the relativity of our jobs and focus.

Chapter 5: Non-attachment

Non-attachment or the liberation from greed. This includes the freedom that comes with not wanting more stuff, but also covers not hanging on to old beliefs, patterns, habits, relationships, people, a career or a position. At the same time, we see how mastery of this principle will give us exactly what we want.

Chapter 6: Purity

Which involves cleansing both body and mind. I ask the reader: If our thoughts were beamed on a big screen above us, would we be in trouble? I further the discussion by looking at judging, simplicity, health and working out. The need for meditation is being introduced as a means of psychological hygiene and mental fitness.

Chapter 7: Contentment

The internal state of happiness and satisfaction. This includes accepting life as it is and examining our own expectations and restlessness.

Chapter 8: Self-discipline

Self-discipline and motivation. I explain how to reach goals with intentions and willpower, and how to examine the process of failure to increase the potential for growth.

Chapter 9: Self-inquiry

Involving a frank discussion of why we do the things that we do. This practice is about spiritual passion and cultivating an eagerness to know Self, with a capital S.

Chapter 10: Surrender

full trust that things will work out. This requires us to look at our fear and
show our true Self.



Paperback / 9781788601795 / July 23, 2020 / £12.99

Ebook / 9781788601788 / July 23, 2020 / £7.99

Paperback and eBook Bundle / £14.99


Rachel Bonkink

Rachel Bonkink is no ordinary yoga teacher. She holds a Masters Degree in Commercial Sciences and a long corporate career as an operational director. She has studied Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been a life coach for over 10 years.
She specializes in organizing and hosting the most amazing yoga retreats, from Costa Rica to Scotland, from France to Morocco, leading groups, teaching yoga and relaxation in stunning locations and inspiring people to embed the principles of yoga into their everyday lives.
From the very start of her own yoga journey, the philosophy of yoga resonated with her more than any individual asana, or posture. She has continued to read, study and train to deepen her knowledge of yoga and meditation.
Between retreats she lives in rural Morocco, where she can be found by the beach writing, studying and enjoying life, doing the things that she loves the most.