10 MUST READ BOOKS FOR A YOGA ENTHUSIAST

Listed below are 10 books to help you continue on your journey of lifelong learning in yoga

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1)ROOTS OF YOGA:

Sir James Mallinson and Mark Singleton

The translators of this text are careful to note that this is not a yoga manual. Rather, Mallinson and Singleton translate various yogic texts to provide readers with a more comprehensive portrait of where and how yoga was born and developed. Of course, you’ll quickly discover that the yoga of today looks very different than the yoga of the past. This book will interest anyone seeking to broaden their philosophical base beyond more traditional texts like the Yoga Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita.

2)BE HERE NOW:

Ram Dass

A true spiritual classic, Be Here Now is not really meant to be read but to be experienced. Dass tells the story of his own spiritual awakening (including LSD trips) and journey toward enlightenment. He also shares practical exercises such as breathing practices and visualizations that you can easily include in your teaching or daily routine.

3)MANY LIVES MANY MASTERS:

Brian L.Weiss

We talk a lot about past lives and reincarnation in the yoga world. This book explores the phenomenon through the story of one doctor and his patient, a young woman who begins to remember her past lives while under hypnosis. Weiss takes a topic that can seem mind-bending and esoteric to many people and helps it become completely relatable. Since many yoga scriptures give accounts of reincarnation, this is a nice bridge between East and West, presenting a description of reincarnation in a way that is surprisingly grounded.

4)THE SECRET POWER OF YOGA:

Nischala J.Devi

Devi states that the goal of her translation is to shift away from a male-dominated, left-brain, analytical reading of the sutras to one that “emanates from the heart—an intuitive, feminine approach.” For example, rather than translating the yama ahimsa as non-harming, Devi translates it as meaning compassion. She infuses the entire book with an emphasis on the feminine energies of the world and of yoga.

5)AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI:

Paramahansa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda’s autobiography is a yoga classic. It tells his life story from his childhood in India to his search for a guru and later arrival in America as a spiritual teacher and speaker. Yogananda’s incredible devotion is inspiring in itself, but you’ll also get a great education in the history of yoga.

6)THE RADIANCE SUTRAS:

Loren Roche

While many yoga schools study and teach from the Bhagavad Gita or the Yoga Sutra, there are other, lesser-known philosophical texts that may be of value to the serious student of yoga. In Roche’s translation of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, a dialogue between Shiva and Shakti about self-realization, yogis will be introduced to what Roche calls a “love song,” making this ancient tantric text a great complement to the eight-limbed path of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. Roche organizes his translation into brief sections, each of which can be read and digested as a meditation unto itself.

7)THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE:

Dr.Bessel van der kolk

This book will help to educate teachers about how the body stores and processes traumatic experiences. Yoga’s role in creating new pathways in the mind and healing people’s relationships with their bodies is explained by van der Kolk, an M.D. who has spent decades studying the impacts of trauma.

8)ANATOMY OF THE SPIRIT:

Caroline Myss

This book weaves the chakras together with various traditions, beliefs, and sacraments from many major world religions. This is a great addition to your reading list if you are interested in deepening your study of the chakra system and you’re game for a unique approach steeped in culture, language, and philosophy.

9)MUDRAS FOR HEALING & TRANSFORMATION:

Joseph and Lilian Le Page

This book is a tremendous resource for students and teachers alike. It is exceptionally well organized so that readers can find mudras by name, core qualities, or health conditions. It includes more than one hundred mudras and integrates the chakras and koshas into each description. In addition, the authors have created guided meditations to support each mudra.

10)ANATOMY TRAINS:

Thomas Myers

Anatomy Trains is dense and complex, but it includes concepts that I haven’t seen fully explored in other anatomy texts. Myers’s explanations of fascia and the interconnectedness of the human body are incredibly relevant for all yoga teachers. These explanations are especially impactful for those who wish to deepen their knowledge of the inner anatomical workings of yoga postures in order to better support themselves.

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