Yoga is much more than physical practice. I often reference excerpts and concepts from various books and resources during my yoga classes. Instead of running for a pen and paper during the class, here is a list of what I consider to be the most essential yoga books to further enhance your practice and expand your knowledge of yoga. As additional books and resources are mentioned, I will add information here.
The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi
A MUST-HAVE! The Secret Power of Yoga, world-renowned Yoga expert Nischala Joy Devi interprets Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the principles at the basis of Yoga practice, from a heart-centered, intuitive, feminine perspective, resulting in the first translation intended for women. Link to purchase on Amazon
Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater
A MUST-HAVE! Living Your Yoga by Judith Hanson Lasater stretches the meaning of yoga beyond its familiar poses and breathing techniques to include the events of daily life—all of them—as ways to practice. Link to purchase on Amazon
One Simple Thing by Eddie Stern
A MUST-HAVE! One Simple Thing by Eddie Stern, and forward by Deepak Chopra, is a new look at the science of yoga and how it can transform your life. Link to purchase on Amazon
Perfectly Imperfect by Baron Baptiste
Perfectly Imperfect, by Baron Baptiste, is recommended if you’re looking to deepen your yoga practice. This book will shine new light on your yoga journey, ignite your practice with new power, inspire new possibilities for growth, and infuse your life with the grace and confidence you seek. After all, my cat Baron is named after him! Link to purchase on Amazon
The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V Desikachar
Written by the son of Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, The Heart of Yoga offers an overview of yogic philosophy, as well as how the breath and postures work together in your yoga practice. Link to purchase on Amazon
As a student of Leslie Kaminoff, I often refer to Leslie’s concepts and interpretations. Want to improve your alignment, or have a better understanding of what’s going on under the skin when you’re practicing, then this is the book for you. Another staple of yoga trainings, Yoga Anatomy is, from a purely scientific point of view, one of the most informative yoga books I’ve ever read. Link to purchase on Amazon if you enjoy connecting anatomy and yogic principles.
Breath by James Nestor
There’s nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing. Breath turns conventional wisdom of what we thought about the breath on its head. If you enjoy anatomy and scientific experimentation, this book is for you. Link to purchase on Amazon
Mind Your Breathing by Dr. Sundar Balasubramanian
A compilation of popular pranayama breathing techniques, Mind Your Breathing shows us that this ancient yoga practice is more than just relaxing – it can change us at the cellular level. Link to purchase on Amazon
Today’s knowledge of the brain and larger nervous system illuminates the fact of body-mind connections. Philosopher, Carl Jung’s words and wisdom on the chakras, are reorganized and couched in more everyday language. Over fifty exercises are included to promote health, happiness, and heighten spirituality. Link to purchase on Amazon
The Body Keeps Score byBessel van der Kolk M.D
Recent scientific advances show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. From neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming our lives. Link to purchase on Amazon
Healing Back Pain by John E. Sarno, MD.
Dr. John Sarno is a medical pioneer whose groundbreaking research into TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome) has helped countless patients overcome back pain without drugs, surgery, and even exercise, by focusing on the mind-body connection. Link to purchase on Amazon
Yoga & Psyche by Mariana Caplan, PhD
Using the core principles and practices of trauma healing, yoga therapy, somatics, and somatic therapies, depth psychology, and neuroscience—seamlessly combined with yoga postures, breathwork, meditation, and visualization—Yoga & Psyche will help you to apply the insights of psychology in a practical way to your own yoga practice, teaching, professional work, and personal life. Link to purchase on Amazon
Man’s Search For Meaning by Vikor Frankl
Although not a book on yoga, for those looking for inspiration during challenging times, “Man’s Search for Meaning” Victor Frankl contends that every individual has an innate tendency to search for the meaning of his existence. Frankl was a Jewish German psychiatrist who was interned in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. He lost his wife and family and suffered unimaginable atrocities, yet he emerged in triumph by finding comfort in establishing/maintaining a routine. His story has inspired many and led to him developing a therapeutic approach called Logotherapy, a form of psychotherapy that is focused on the future and on our ability to endure hardship and suffering through a search for personal purpose. Link to purchase on Amazon
Have you read any of these books, or do you have any others that you want to see on the list? Please share!