Knowledge is power. It’s what differentiates one person’s ability from the next, it’s what shapes and molds us into who we are, and most importantly how we can give back.
In the yoga community, giving back can mean a multitude of things – such as:
- Offering a kick-ass yoga class with intelligent cues & and a beautiful reading.
- Honoring your body during a practice, knowing your edge, and how best to flirt with that.
- Teaching friends & family the principles behind the yoga practice, not just the physical aspect.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss
With unlimited access to the World Wide Web (such a weird term) and it’s endless well of information, books have taken a serious backseat! I challenge anyone with a passion to DIVE IN DEEP and educate yourself on what YOU LOVE. Our brains are immensely powerful and can handle all the information we want to feed it, we just need to start the journey!
Throughout my yoga teacher training, I was introduced to several books that served various purposes within the yoga practice. Some are solely geared at the physical practice and how best to execute the postures, while others tap into our spiritual being and a higher power.
Anyone can read these and benefit from the amazing information provided. I highly recommend these books to help deepen your yoga practice or if starting a yoga teacher training program. Some of the books read very easy like a sweet song, while others are harder to digest.
With that in mind, I always have a pencil, highlighter, or sticky tabs nearby to mark pieces of interest, a reading I want to share, or a difficult concept that needs to be revisited.
Whatever the end goal, reading anything is a break from our typical online browsing… SO GET COZY, light a candle, make a cup of tea, and bury yourself in these beautiful novels.
Below are 7 Books for Yogis.
Written by the man who is credited with introducing yoga to the West, Light on Yoga illustrates and meticulously explains 200 postures with over 600 photos.
Woah. There is no shortage of knowledge here.
BKS Iyengar models each pose and provides detailed instruction on how to perform and teach the posture. His style of yoga emphasizes proper alignment, making Light on Yoga – “The Rule Book for Asanas”.
This book is absolutely stunning and one of my favorites to recommend. The title itself is enough to make a yogi swoon – Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom.
BKS Iyengar recounts his past 70 years of practicing, teaching, and spreading the art of yoga. The context will take the reader deep into his thoughts providing AHA! moments with every page turned.
Make sure those reading tools are close by for this one!
Like the title states, this book offers daily reflections on the practice by outlining the eight limbs of yoga. The writings are simple, relatable, easy to digest, and lighthearted.
This is a great book to read first thing in the morning, at night when winding down, or whenever you need some feel good yumminess. It is also perfect for anyone interested in learning the principles behind the yoga practice.
**I gifted my mom one for the holidays, she absolutely loves it!
Referred to as the Gita, this is a 700 verse Hindu scripture. The entire book is a conversation between a prince (Arjuna) and his guide (Krishna). The reading’s purpose is to reveal our life purpose, our dharma, and a framework by which we should live.
It is a beautiful, short read that can be repeated time and time again, each time revealing a new concept.
*Fun Fact – Mahatma Gandhi was greatly influenced by this book during his fight for independence. It is said that the Gita never left his side, acting as a “spiritual dictionary”.
The Sutras can be thought of as the bible of yoga or the framework from which the practice is built upon.
The author, Patanjali, is a revered sage who compiled ancient Indian traditions to create the Yoga Sutras.
The book is comprised of four chapters, two focusing on the eight limbs of yoga (Ashtanga) and the other two on action yoga (kriya yoga).
Personally, I haven’t read the book yet. If looking to seriously learn where yoga comes from, bury your head here and have those reading tools handy!
This book was recommended by my YTT program as a vehicle for teaching.
It is comprised of five chapters or theme based inquiries: The Gifts of Embodiment, The Wisdom of Yoga, The Hindu Gods & Goddesses, The Alchemy of Nature, and The Wheel of the Year.
Each theme concept provides readers with posture ideas, on & off the mat inquiries, inspirational phrases to use, breathing techniques, and a closing class ritual.
Written by Cameron Diaz, this is a phenomenal book for anyone interested in how the body works.
While it doesn’t directly relate to yoga, it does contribute to upholding a healthy lifestyle which is extremely important as a yoga practitioner.
The book is divided into three parts: Nutrition, Fitness, and Mind. Each portion provides extensive facts, helpful tips, medical opinions, and lighthearted advice from Cameron’s personal journey.