Summer Reading – Yoga Basics

What’s on your Kindle? How many iBooks on your iPad? Maybe you prefer hardcover or paperback books? Matters not what medium you use for reading – there are a few more weeks of summer left and plenty of time to add to your reading list.

A number of students have asked recently for recommendations on books related to yoga, so it makes sense to use this space to share with you a list of some all time favorites.

Now, this is not THE definitive guide to classic yoga texts that everyone should own – these are books that I find to be useful, reader friendly and just a few of the many that have informed my teaching and enriched my journey.

In order of how the books are stacked on my desk next to my laptop!

The Yoga Bible by Christina Brown – No, yoga is not a religion. Bible in this case simply means an informative comprehensive guide and great book for people new to yoga! Poses, breathing, chakras, mudras, all in an easily readable colorful format.

The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living by Stephen Cope – Brilliantly written guide that truly brings traditional ancient teachings of yoga to life in our world today. You might also like another of his books, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self.

The Healing Path of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi– This book is filled with very practical applications from the ancient practice of yoga that you can incorporate into your life to support and maintain a sense of well-being.

Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison. A book of daily reflections that teaches the reader how to practice mindfully the eight-limb path of yoga in everyday life.

Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater – Essays that inspire the reader to discover how the spiritual practice of yoga has real application to daily challenges.

Babar’s Yoga for Elephants by none other than Laurent De Brunhoff. Adorable, entertaining and yes – informative! This book sits on my book shelf right next to…

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – There are many interpretations of the classical text on yoga and meditation. I have two personal favorites, one by Mukunda Stiles and the other with translation and commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda.

Journey Into Power by Baron Baptiste – An instructional guide to power vinyasa yoga poses that also provides an incredibly clear understanding of Baptiste’s philosophy behind the ‘power’.

Eastern Body Western Mind by Anodea Judith – For those with an interest in the chakra system and how it applies to Western psychology. This is the definitive guide for understanding the chakra system in the context of contemporary life.

The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga by Ray Long and illustrated by Chris Macivor.
If you really like to peel away the layers and look deeply into the anatomy and physiology you will love this book!
The illustrations bring the poses to life and the explanations will give you a whole new view of yoga – great for developing a basic understanding of the musculoskeletal system.

If you are thinking of becoming a teacher or want to deepen your understanding of yoga from a the perspective of a teacher…

Yoga Teachers’ Toolbox by Joseph and Lilian Le Page – An incredibly helpful guide to understanding the integrative model for healing, the benefits of the yoga poses and the main aspects of yoga physiology including: Chakras, Prana vayus, Five Elements, Ayurvedic Doshas, Langhana/Bramana.

Teaching Yoga by Donna Farhi – Yoga teachers have many roles and in this book she explores multiple facets of teaching with an emphasis on professional standards and ethical guidelines for teaching and training teachers.