Each of these 11 books has played a part in my own yoga journey. I have read them all and continue to refer back to them on a regular basis. Some were books that were assigned to me during yoga training and some were books that I found in my search to deepen my practice or better my teaching. I would recommend these 11 Best Yoga Books for teachers and students of yoga who are looking to deepen their practice.
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Yoga Poses and Sequencing
This book is full of unique pose ideas, beautiful images, and useful information. It makes a wonderful coffee table book. For every pose there is an image, the Sanskrit name, modifications, pose type (such as twisting or backbend), and drishti point (where you point your gaze).
When I first started teaching yoga, this was the book I bought to help me sequence my classes. If you aren’t a yoga teacher but want to develop your own home practice, it would also be very useful. It teaches you how to sequence classes for different abilities and themes (such as backbends, hip opening, and twisting).
Types of Yoga
Last year I began to feel very overwhelmed with my overly packed schedule. Yin Yoga, along with Restorative Yoga, became my favorite type of yoga to practice and to teach. Yin Yoga is a deep stretch where you hold the poses up to 3-5 minutes. This book has been crucial in my learning and understanding of Yin Yoga. If you have never tried it, I would highly recommend that you give it a try.
As I mentioned earlier, Restorative Yoga became a favorite of mine last year. After I became a yoga teacher, I did additional training to learn extensively about Restorative Yoga. In Restorative Yoga, you are completely supported by props and rest for extended amounts of time. It leaves you feeling extremely relaxed and refreshed.
Ashtanga Yoga is a very challenging 90-minute practice. It has a lot of vinyasas, arm balances, arm binds and challenging poses. The sequence is the same every time until you move up to the next level (which would take years to do). I practice Ashtanga regularly and ended up teaching a few Ashtanga classes and needed a thorough resource. This book goes through the entire sequence and gives modifications for each pose.
Beyond the Poses
This book gives an overview of the philosophy of yoga. My favorite part is the last section which includes Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, a text that you can also purchase separately. The Sutras have been an ongoing study for me, as I continue to develop my own practice.
I have the older version of this book. It’s the same but now has a few added chapters (relaxation, empathy, and worship). This book is about living your Yoga off the mat. It’s an easy read but gives you a lot to think about and practice. The author, Judith Lasater is also a wonderful Restorative Yoga teacher.
This book gives a pretty in-depth look at all of the chakras. If you are interested in studying the chakras, this would be a great read for you. Don’t expect it to be a quick read. It’s a long book and is very thought provoking so you will want to stop often to reflect on what you have read.
If you want to start a meditation practice this would be a great beginners guide for you. It also includes the eight limbs of yoga and starting a mantra practice.
This book looks at asanas in depth, but also looks at the essence of what yoga is. It would be a great book for someone looking to deepen their yoga practice. It weaves meditation through the whole book.
Ayurveda is the sister of Yoga. It is an ancient system of healthy living. This book introduces you to Ayurveda and has many recipes to help you incorporate it into your lifestyle.
I can’t believe I forgot to add this to my original list of the 11 Best Yoga Books. I have reread this book several times. This is a self-care book from the Ayurvedic perspective. It’s very easy to read; great for an Ayurveda newbie.
As you study and practice yoga, you may be surprised where it brings you. I mentioned earlier that Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga have become my favorite types of yoga, which was a stark contrast to the Ashtanga practice that I had been loving. The important thing is to keep learning and growing as a yogi and to enjoy the journey.