I am constantly amazed how much there is to learn in studying yoga. Certified for seven years, I’ve barely reached the tip of knowledge involved in the complex world of yoga.
I believe every yogi should own these five books to refer to often.
1. Light On Yoga By B.K.S. Iyengar
This “bible” of yoga was the first yoga book I ever bought and by far I refer to it the most. It is often used during teacher trainings.
The definitive guide to the philosophy and practice of Yoga--the ancient healing discipline for body and mind--by its greatest living teacher. Light on Yoga provides complete descriptions and illustrations of all the positions and breathing exercises.
2. Yoga - The Practice of Movement and Stillness by Eric Schiffman
The pictures, although black and white, are very clear and peaceful. He explains the exercises with step-by-step instructions and phases, so you can work upon a posture and build up to doing the full version. He also explains the benefits of each exercise in a little section following each one.
This book is very readable. It has a very easy style.
3. Yoga Anatomy By Leslie Kaminoff
For each pose featured, Kaminoff provides information on the joint actions, what parts of the body are working, what is lengthening and what obstacles you may encounter. Sanskrit and English terms are provided along with pronunciations of the Sanskrit.
This book is a great anatomy resource showing every muscle used during every pose.
4. The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali By Sri Swami Satchidananda
The author of this book is a monk who has devoted his life to God and it shows through his writing. Each sutra is written in Sanskrit, then proper pronunciation, then translated in English and then given commentary by Satchidananda.
5. The Heart Of Yoga: Developing A Personal Practice By T. K. V. Desikacher
Son of Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who lived to be over 100 years old, was one of the greatest yogis of the modern era, Desikacher speaks from the heart with tenderness as well as an engineer's careful attention to details and individuality.
The emphasis of the book is for the practitioner to observe himself/herself and see how he/she can augment the benefits of the poses.
What Books Are On Your List Of Must-Read Yoga Books?
Beth Prystowsky is a grateful mother, wife, yoga teacher, and writer of Ups and Downs of a Yoga Mom. She candidly shares her highs and lows as she attempts to raise calm children in a chaotic world while eating green and coping with MS. Beth can be found on twitter at @upsdownsyogamom.