50 Best Yoga Books for Your Mind, Body, & SpiritFriday, July 23rd, 2010
Cross Posted from The Physical Therapy Blog
Obviously, a multitude of yoga books with plenty of valuable things to say exist beyond this list. But the following 50 have stood out based on their reviews and popularity, providing readers of all interests and experience levels with all the information they need on the different methods and how they can shape a person’s mental, physical and spiritual facets for the better.
1. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Author: Sri Swami Satchidananda
Anyone curious about the discipline of Raja Yoga would do well to pick up Sri Swami Satchidananda’s meditations and perceptions on its teachings.
2. Yoga Anatomy
Author: Leslie Kaminoff
This insightful tome looks at yoga from a biological perspective, illustrating the hows and whys behind some of the most popular and effective poses.
3. Light on Yoga
Author: B.K.S. Iyengar
Considered one of the best possible resources on yogic practices, Light on Yoga covers everything that everyone from beginners to seasoned professionals needs to know.
4. Ashtanga Yoga: The Illustrated Manuel
Author: David Swenson
Newcomers to Ashtanga Yoga should pick up this book in order to soak up all the information they need to progress to the next level.
5. Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: A Manual for Students, Teachers, and Practitioners
Author: David H. Coulter
A Benjamin Franklin Award winner, David Coulter’s guide to all things Hatha outlines how the discipline interacts with anatomy and physiology in a way that most readers can understand.
6. The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice
Author: Georg Feuerstein
For a comprehensive overview of the various ideologies and disciplines that comprise the different yogic practices, pick up this incredibly informative book to use as a guide!
7. Autobiography of a Yogi
Author: Paramahansa Yoganada
Yoga aficionados with a yearning to learn more about the discipline from the perspective of a true expert will enjoy the prolific Paramahansa Yoganada’s reflections on his life.
8. The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice
Author: T.K.V. Desikachar
Many individuals from around the world love yoga’s introspective nature, and even a quick glance at this guide holds the potential to teach a few lessons on getting the most out of it.
9. Yoga Mind, Body and Spirit: A Return to Wholeness
Author: Donna Farhi
Donna Farhi seeks to bring the spiritual element back into yoga, which started fizzling out once it became a trend amongst “Western” yuppies.
10. The Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health
Author: Linda Sparrowe
Discover what yoga practices particularly benefit the overall health and wellness of women everywhere.
11. Yoga as Medicine
Author: Yoga Journal
Much of yoga’s popularity comes from its therapeutic properties, and this volume compiles them together into one very handy resource.
12. The Yoga Bible
Author: Christina Brown
As one can probably assume from the title, The Yoga Bible catalogues over 150 of the most popular poses for a quick reference on what to do in what situation.
13. Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness
Author: Erich Schiffmann
Erich Schiffmann’s guide to yoga places equal emphasis on its physical elements as well as its potential as a meditative tool.
14. Yoga for Wellness: Healing with the Timeless Teachings of Viniyoga
Author: Gary Kraftsow
Explore yoga through the lens of its holistic properties, peering into its depths as a practice beyond merely stretching.
15. Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life
Author: Judith Hanson Lasater
Yoga practitioners wanting to get the most out of their exercises would do well to pick up this fun and funny book on the role it can play in reducing the stresses of daily living.
16. Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga
Authors: Rolf Gates & Katrina Kenison
Learn about how yoga improves the mind as well as the body by reading Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison’s daily meditations and applying them to routines.
17. Journey into Power: How to Sculpt Your Ideal Body, Free Your True Self, and Transform Your Life with Yoga
Author: Baron Baptiste
Pick up Journey into Power for detailed information on all the wonderful ways that yoga can improve the mind, body and spirit.
18. Power Yoga: The Total Strength and Flexibility Workout
Author: Beryl Bender Birch
Athletes and anyone else hoping to increase their physical prowess may enjoy this book’s focus on how yoga can help them improve their flexibility and strength.
19. Back Care Basics: A Doctor’s Gentle Yoga Program for Back and Neck Pain Relief
Author: Mary Pullig Schatz
People suffering from chronic spinal pain along the neck and back frequently take up yoga as a means of alleviating the symptoms and comfortably getting back into their daily routines.
20. Structural Yoga Therapy: Adapting to the Individual
Author: Mukunda Stiles
This book predominantly targets the most ardent of yoga aficionados, illustrating how they can tailor their knowledge and experience to create a more personalized regimen.
21. Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga
Author: Amy Weintraub
Harsh antidepressants can wreak havoc on one’s brain, so anyone looking for a conduit towards calming the strains of anxiety and stress may want to look into yoga as an option.
22. Yoga and the Quest for the True Self
Author: Stephen Cope
Stephen Cope’s autobiography chronicles how yoga allowed him to come to terms with his own life and discover the man that always lay beneath.
23. Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat
Authors: Richard Faulds & The Senior Teaching Staff of Kripalu Center
Suitable for beginners and intermediates, this reference guides readers through all the basics of yoga poses and breathing exercises that benefit a body and mind beyond the boundaries of the sessions themselves.
24. Yoga Posture Adjustments and Assisting: An Insightful Guide for Yoga Teachers and Students
Author: Stephanie Pappas
Get the most out of a yoga routine by studying how to best adjust the poses and breathing exercises to meet specific needs.
25. The Language of Yoga: Complete A to Y Guide to Asana Names, Sanskrit Terms, and Chants
Author: Nicolai Bachman
For moments when yogic terminology becomes overwhelming and confusing, pick up Nicolai Bachman’s handy reference to the practice’s specialized language.
26. Asanas: 608 Yoga Poses
Author: Dharma Mittra
At 672 pages, the very highly regarded Dharma Mittra certainly has plenty of expertise to share with fellow yoga practitioners of all levels and preferences.
27. Mudras: Yoga in Your Hands
Author: Gertrud Hirschi
Contrary to popular assumption, yoga poses are not only restricted to the entire body, and these hand exercises make for a healthy way to pass the time in cramped or inconvenient spaces.
28. Anatomy and Asana: Preventing Yoga Injuries
Author: Susi Hately Aldous
Even the gentlest of yoga poses can result in a minor injury if executed improperly, so be sure to read over this book on how to prevent any problems from occurring during a yoga session.
29. The Sivananda Companion to Yoga
Author: The Sivananda Yoga Center
Anyone looking for a comprehensive resource on anything and everything regarding yogic poses, breathing techniques, meditations and more needs to pick up The Sivanda Yoga Center’s painstakingly detailed book.
30. Hatha Yoga Illustrated
Authors: Brooke Boone, Daniel DiTuro & Martin Kirk
Hatha is one of the more prevalent yogic forms practiced in the “Western” world, and this guide introduces newcomers to the basics and helps them learn as much as they can to move up to the next level.
31. The American Yoga Association Beginners’ Manual
Author: Alice Christensen
Get started with yoga by settling down with this accessible resource that comes straight from The American Yoga Association.
32. The New Yoga for People Over 50
Author: Suza Francina
Show those darn kids on the lawn that old fogies have the strength and flexibility to do more than just shake a cane at their disruptive antics.
33. Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan
Author: Richard Hittleman
The aspirant yoga aficionado looking for suggestions regarding a viable regimen would do well to check out Richard Hittleman’s recommended routine.
34. Yoga: The Iyengar Way
Authors: Mira Mehta, Shyam Mehta & Silva Mehta
Research the fundamentals of the Iyengar method to see if it perhaps holds the key to solving a particular physical, emotional or mental issue.
35. Moving Toward Balance: 8 Weeks of Yoga with Rodney Yee
Author: Rodney Yee
The prolific Rodney Yee outlines a yoga routine he developed to hopefully maximize an adherent’s strengthening of mind, body and spirit.
36. How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali
Translators:Christopher Isherwood & Swami Prabhavananda
For those desiring to learn more about the religious and spiritual elements of yoga, Patanjali’s ancient tales serve as an amazing resource.
37. Science Of Breath
Author: Yogi Ramacharaka
Yoga involves disciplined breathing intending to induce meditation and relax the muscular system, and Yogi Ramacharaka explores their physical and spiritual components.
38. Yoga for Arthritis: The Complete Guide
Authors: Loren Fishman & Ellen Saltonstall
Some individuals suffering from chronic arthritis may like the idea of attempting yoga in order to alleviate the pain.
39. Yin Yoga
Author: Paul Grilley
Paul Grilley hopes that his book serves as a gentler alternative to some of the more high-impact poses preferred by “Western” yoga teachers and students.
40. Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul
Authors: Sharon Gannon & David Life
Any yoga fans looking for a more active, strenuous workout may like the Jivamukti technique, which creators Sharon Gannon and David Life outline here in great detail.
41. Hip Tranquil Chick: A Guide to Life On and Off the Yoga Mat
Author: Kimberly Wilson
Squarely targeting yuppie women who enjoy whitewashing other cultures in order to seem sophisticated and edgy, this fluffy pink guide teaches the fundamentals of, like, meditation and exercise and stuff.
42. Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic
Author: Darren Main
Darren Main’s book finds ways to apply ancient practices to distinctly contemporary problems without ever losing their core values.
43. How Yoga Works
Authors: Christie McNally & Geshe Michael Roach
Delve deeply into the fundamentals of yogic practice, dissecting the whats and whys behind the different poses, meditations, breathing exercises and more.
44. Beth Shaw’s YogaFit
Author: Beth Shaw
Fitness expert Beth Shaw shares her expertise with audiences looking to use yoga as a way of keeping their body healthy and functioning properly.
45. Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times
Author: Judith Lasater
In times of great stress and anxiety, yoga can inspire rest and relaxation necessary for continuous health and wellness.
46. Itsy-Bitsy Yoga: Poses to Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, Digest Better, and Grow Stronger
Author: Helen Garabedian
Use the principles of yoga to encourage an infant’s overall health and wellness – just be extremely careful when doing so!
47. Baby Om: Yoga for Mothers and Babies
Authors: Sarah Parron & Laura Staton
When parents practice yoga alongside their babies, it reinforces not only their personal health, but strengthens their filial bond as well.
48. YogaKids: Educating the Whole Child Through Yoga
Author: Marsha Wenig
Parents who desire to get their children started early when it comes to yoga for the mind, body and spirit would do well to get them started with this easy-to-follow book.
49. Happy Yoga: 7 Reasons Why There’s Nothing to Worry About
Author: Steve Ross
Steve Ross’s cheerful little book covers every major facet of yoga and explores how they can help individuals find peace and happiness within themselves.
50. A Life Worth Breathing: A Yoga Master’s Handbook of Strength, Grace, and Healing
Author: Max Strom
Prolific yoga educator Max Strom shares his perspectives on what yoga means to him and what it can do for his readership.