For many people, reading is an integral part of learning about anything we are interested in. I believe every yogi should read the following books to learn more about this practice that we all love. These books are for everyone and not just for those who are doing their yoga teacher training, just click on the pictures for a direct link to buy the books.
Light on Yoga, by B.K.S. Iyengar
In each chapter, Iyengar digs a little deeper into the meaning of practice, sharing his insights and experiences. You learn that Iyengar was born with certain infirmities that ignited his passion for therapeutic yoga. He took up teaching yoga against the wishes of his family, causing him to feel embattled and defensive.
This book has had a profound influence on yoga in the West today. Iyengar’s how-to books are among the most popular around.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
This ancient book provides a complete manual for the study and practice of Raja Yoga, the path of concentration and meditation.
There are so many versions of this book, I like the Sri Swami Satchidananda version as he is a monk who has devoted his life to God and it shows through his writing. Sri Swami Satchidananda, writes the Sutras in Sanskrit, then proper pronunciation, then translated in English and then given commentary by Satchidananda.
I also like The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman’s Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras by Nischala Joy Devi. Nischala studied with Swami Satchidananda for 25 years and wrote her book for women, she says that “Most [of the sutras] are written by men for men, and men have a very different temperament. Women live in the world, with their children. By nature connected and open. I wanted to make an interpretation of the sutras that was positive and heart-centred.”
I also love Iyengar’s Core of The Yoga Sutras, this book is more of a summary of each Sutra and he compares what is said in the Sutra’s to ancient texts like The Bhagavad Gita, The Upanishads and Hatha Yoga Pradipika which I’d also recommend reading.
Again, there are many versions and translations of this ancient book. I have read and loved the new translation by Stephen Mitchell.
This book tells the tale of Arjuna, a warrior prince who loses his will to fight on the battlefield; his mind can’t make peace with the idea of fighting his cousins and friends. Fortunately, his charioteer is Lord Krishna, who delivers a treatise on dharma: You must act according to your duty but surrender the outcome of your actions. The Gita is a manual to living with the challenge of making choices even when there are no great options.
Thich Nhat Hanh’s How-To series
Okay, Thich Nhat Hanh’s How-To series is actually 5 tiny books. These little books are mindfulness essentials. There is How to Love, How to Relax, How to Eat, How to Sit and How to Walk. He says that when we do these things we should do them mindfully and therefore we will be meditating.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist. A new movie was made about him this year, called Walk With Me. Unfortunately, there are no dates yet for Ireland, but I am sure it will be available online soon.
Yoga – The Practice of Movement and Stillness by Eric Schiffman
I really like this book as it has pictures of each asana and step-by-step instructions for each. Eric explains the benefits for each exercise which I really liked. He gives excellent hints for progressing through difficult postures. The pictures are black and white which may be off putting for some. He covers meditation, pranayama, the essence of yoga practice, lines of energy and asanas to create a wonderfully comprehensive book on yoga.
Of course, you can find so many books about yoga and subjects related to yoga, but these books are some of the more popular books.
If you enjoyed this blog post, be sure to check out my own website where I post about wellness, travel, recipes and my own personal yoga journey, I am currently doing a monthly post about my yoga teacher training with YogaHub and my next post is going live on next Saturday 😊