Top 5 Yoga Books Recommended by Yoga Teachers.
Interested in moving beyond the pose? Here is our round-up of the best books on yoga to help you understand.
While at its heart meant to bring one to harmony, it’s no secret that yoga has many different paths and subcultures that figuring it all can make anyone feel as far away from peaceful as they’ve ever been.
This is the roadblock, which many practitioners of yoga come to before they become yoga students – not necessarily on a yoga teacher training but on the path to living a richer, mindful life.
A roadblock no doubt, but one that is easily crossed, or whatever one does to a roadblock to pass it.
Bellow, our darling yogi and yogini, you’ll find the definitive reading list that is shared with every student who attends one of our yoga teacher trainings and becomes a yoga teacher.
Reading them will not make you yoga teachers of course, but these books are vital in helping us understand the philosophy, spirituality, and meaning behind everything we do in yoga.
The books below will help you understand who Shiva was, what are the yamas and niyamas and how Buddha’s path discovered truths.
1. The Bhagavad Gita
This is a Hindu epic poem, which is as essential to yoga as your consciousness to the making of who you are. It is an absolute must-read. In the form of a conversation between warrior Arjuna and Krishna, the manifestation of God, it talks about duty and destiny, war and peace, and what our choices truly mean. You can find many different translations and variants online. It is not an easy read, much like reading the bible in the modern-day, but as long as you take it slowly and truly work on understanding all its messages – The Bhagavad Gita has much to offer anyone who picks it up.
“I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
2. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
There are many well-known yogi rules such as not eating meat or harming oneself or others. If you’ve ever wondered where those rules come from you have your answer.
It is unknown who exactly Patanjali was, whether he was a woman or a man or whether he existed at all. What we do know are the sutras the great sage passed down to his students and which were eventually written down allowing us to follow their ancients wisdom to this day.
“If you can control the rising of the mind into ripples, you will experience Yoga.”
3. Autobiography of a Yogi
Autobiography of a Yogi is an autobiography of Paramahansa Yogananda and contains stories about this childhood, journey and much of his wisdom. It is a truly fascinating book, the easiest on this list to read and the one most students will connect with.
“Stillness is the altar of spirit.”
4. Hatha Yoga Pradipika
The Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā is a classic fifteenth-century Sanskrit manual on haṭha yoga, written by Svātmārāma. It is easily one of the most influential texts on hatha yoga and beyond that yoga afterward. It combines the physical practices and explains the need for them in our quest for the divine.
“As long as the breath is restrained in the body, the mind is calm. As long as the gaze is between the eyebrows there is no danger of death. When all the channels have been purified by correctly performing restraints of the breath, the wind easily pierces and enters the aperture of the Sushumna.”
5. An Introduction to Yoga by Annie Wood Besant
Annie Besant was a British socialist, theosophist, women's rights activist, writer, orator, educationist, and philanthropist. An absolutely fascinating woman in her own right and her book “An Introduction to yoga” gives you exactly that. It touches on and clears up the previous books in this list, combining and separating them in a way that should help anyone who got lost along the way.
“This world is full of forms that are illusory, and the values are all wrong, the proportions are out of focus. The things which a man of the world thinks valuable, a spiritual man must cast aside as worthless.”
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