I’ve been reading through some excellent yoga books lately. I’ve learned a staggering amount about yoga, and I’ve never been more inspired to get on my mat than right now.
Through my reading, I’ve learned about the anatomy of the body while performing asanas, the philosophy and history of the practice, and oh so many ways to use yogic philosophy beyond the mat to truly embrace the yogic lifestyle.
Let me share my favorite reads with you. And do note that as well as the following, you might also like to read the classical books. They are:
- The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, written 500 BCE
- Rig Veda
- Bhagavad Gita of Vvasa
- Hatha Yoga Pradipika
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Best Selling Yoga Books
1: Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga
Written by B.K.S. Iyengar, the founder of “Iyengar Yoga” and a leading teacher, Light On Yoga is one of the most indispensable books about yoga ever to be written. I loved how in-depth it is. It taught me all aspects of yogic philosophy and the practice. And I enjoyed the illustrations and descriptions of all the poses and breathing techniques.
For me, Light on Yoga is the bible for the serious yogi. It contains authoritative descriptions of the most important aspects of yoga. The only issue I have with this book is that the pictures are too small.
2: Yoga Anatomy
Another book for the serious yogi, Yoga Anatomy is full of detailed descriptions of vinyasas, asanas, illustrations of the anatomy and incredibly detailed information on all aspects of the practice.
I think this is a book every teacher in the world needs to own. Trust me, it will massively enhance your understanding of the body and the movement of the anatomy when performing yoga. It shows how all the different muscles move and respond to asanas and how alterations to poses can enhance effectiveness.
The only thing I would change about this book is to make it easier to find what you’re looking for—it’s a big book!
3: Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual
Get it on Indigo
Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual is an invaluable book both for teachers and beginners. It has over 650 photos of different poses and their variations, and a really nice touch that I love is that it has a spinal bind so you can keep it open while you’re actually practising the poses.
This one was written by David Swenson, who founded Ashtanga in 1973. He studied directly under Pattabhu Jois, who developed Vinyasa.
4: The Yoga Bible
The Yoga Bible by Christina Brown, published by Penguin, contains over 170 of the most important yoga poses with pictures. It’s an excellent book for finding out more about asanas while you’re practising them. My favourite thing about this book is that it shows you how to find a sequence that is perfect for you, a sequence that will give you the benefits you need as an individual.
This book was written by Christina Brown, who states that her main inspiration is BKS Iyengar.
5: The Yoga Anatomy Coloring Book: A Visual Guide to Form, Function, and Movement
Created by Kelly Solloway—a yoga instructor, licensed massage therapist and anatomy teacher—The Yoga Anatomy Book is a fun and educational voyage through the human body. Ot shows you how the bones, muscles, and joints are used in various asanas. Beautiful illustrations show the anatomical positions of the body when you’re on the mat. I love how you get to colour the bones and muscles because it really helps you to learn about the anatomy.
6: Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques
This is a truly indispensable book for anyone who wants to learn how to teach yoga. It covers literally everything you need to know to get yourself set-up as an instructor and is based on the curriculum of Yoga Alliance.
The book covers everything from the philosophy and history of yoga to classic texts and explanations of the most popular forms. It covers anatomy as well (although the books above go into more detail).
To be honest, if you want to be an instructor, you basically need to read this book; it is incredibly helpful.
7: The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice
The Heart of Yoga is one of the most in-depth reads on Iyengar ever written and covers every aspect of the practice. It was the first book to reveal a step-by-step sequence for a complete practice.
I love how deep this book is. It covers everything from meditation to poses to philosophy and all in between. This jigh influential book brought the ancient practice of yoga to the West in a way no other book had before.
8: Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide To Joy
Inner Engineering is a New York Times best selling yoga book written by that guy we all know and love: Sadhguru.
In Inner Engineering, Sadhguru explains how hatha yoga is one branch of the eight branches of yoga. He explains the complete yoga system and shows how to use the practice for self-development so we can tap into our pure inner energy. Through the practices in this book, Sadhguru explains how to awaken your yogi self to live a life of joy.
As inspiring as it is educational, this is a must-read.
More must-read books:
Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations and is the author of four books on meditation. He has been featured in Psychology Today, Breathe Magazine, Healthline, Psych Central and Lion’s Roar.
Paul studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
Paul’s biggest inspirations include Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Jack Kornfield.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison