Yoga is so much more than asana and to truly dig deeper into your practice, reading books about yoga can be very beneficial. There is a lot of great literature about the essence of yoga and spirituality available that it’s easy to get lost in all the titles. Classics like the Bhagavad Gita and The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are a great place to start, but here are five more books that I keep going back to.
The Heart of Yoga; Developing a Personal practice by T.K.V. DesikacharT.K.V. Desikachar was the son of T. Krishnamacharya, the man known as “the father of modern yoga”. Desikachar continued the teachings of his father by focusing on the adaptability and therapeutic aspects of the practice to meet each student’s needs and while at it, wrote a couple of great books.
This book is a clear and rewarding introduction to what yoga means beyond the practice of asana, written in straight-forward way that as the title suggests, speaks to the heart.The Heart of Yoga was part of the curriculum at my teacher training, it really helped put all the pieces together for me and is a genuinely nice read.
Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul by Shannon Gannon & David Life
Anyone who knows me, know how big of a fan I am of the Jivamukti Yoga method, which makes ti very obvious that this book is one of my all time favourites. However, you really don’t need to be a Jivanmukta for this book to resonate with you.
This book is actually the manual of a Jivamukti teacher training and covers everything from the Yoga Sutras to the basic Jivamukti class sequences in a very straight forward way. It is a brilliant read for anyone who is preparing for or is curious about what you learn in a yoga teacher training as well as anyone who has completed one and wants to continue learning.
Walk Like a Buddha: Even if Your Boss Sucks, Your Ex is Torturing you & You're hungover Again by Lodro Rinzler
Lodro Rinzler is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage who has studied Buddhist scriptures for a big chunk of his life. He takes his knowledge of the ancient scriptures and applies it to how the real world works today. Expect to cover subjects like how to stay focused in this age of constant disruptions to how Buddha would feel about Facebook
Even if you’re not a Buddhist, this book is great for anyone who tries to bring more mindfulness into their lives. Expect to laugh a lot.
The Original Body: Primal Movement for Yoga Teachers by John Stirk
Great book about the Psychology of Yoga. Predominantly meant for yoga teachers, this book focuses on honing the practitioner's essential experience in order reveal a more profound style of teaching from within.
Readers are invited to consider the impediments to a deeper practice and will be taken through the common factors inhibiting sensory pathways. These include conditioning, habit, trauma, anxiety, non-essential thought and the effect of technique and methodology in teaching.
Moonology: Working with the Magic of Lunar Cycles - Yasmin Boland
Not your typical yoga book, however as no spiritual practice would be complete without a little moon magic, I will include it here.
As yogis, we are very much guided by the moon. We talk about feeling full moonish when we get emotional, replant our plants at new moon and Ashtangis pause their practice all together during new and full moon, but we still don’t actually use the moons full potential. This books guides you through the Lunar cycle and covers all subjects from new moon affirmations to full moon rituals.