The Yoga of Truth by Peter Marchand
Jnana yoga, the “path of knowledge,” is an intellectual and introspective practice to connect with the inner Divine Self. While this Jnana yoga is considered one of the most difficult of yoga’s practices, The Yoga of Truth gives us an easy start and a clear overview of this path. Marchand begins with a series of clear, straightforward questions that easily expose our ingrained false concepts of reality. With the help of simple reasoning and some basic yogic philosophy, these introspective questions guide us closer and closer to finding our true Self. Even if you are not concerned with attaining enlightenment, The Yoga of Truth will still provide a valuable context and understanding for the “play of life” and the spiritual roles of the ego, mind, intellect and consciousness.
Hatha Yoga: The Hidden Language by Swami Sivananda Radha
Swami Radha’s classic book on the symbols and metaphors of the yoga asanas has become even better with this improved and updated 20th anniversary edition. Her insightful explorations into the deeper meanings of 22 yoga poses have been expanded with additional instructions to help incorporate this contemplative methodology in both an asana practice and in day-to-day life. Each chapter contains a different asana with an essay exploring the rich imagery of the posture with its’ mythological, spiritual and religious associations. A practice section follows with step-by-step detailed instructions on how to practice and incorporate these concepts as well as further ideas on how to work with the pose. Beautiful black and white photographs of the asanas have been added, along with a new introduction, and appendices on mantra, Kundalini Yoga and other spiritual practices. Even if you own a copy of the original, this new edition will still be a worthwhile addition to your yoga library.
Contact: The Yoga of Relationship by Tara Guber
While there are several partner yoga books in print, none of them come as close to capturing the spirit and communicating the essence of this practice as Contact: The Yoga of Relationship. This beautiful coffee table sized book is filled with huge black and white photos, many of famous yoga teachers, taken in a candid, naturally expressive style. In the first part, general practice guidelines are given and the structure of the second section is described through the primary qualities of the chakra system: trust, passion, commitment, love, communication, vision and union. These seven “points of contact” are each given a chapter in the second section, with guidelines for incorporating each concept, as well as partner poses and exercises that develop these qualities. Short inspirational quotes are sprinkled throughout the pages that further highlight the concepts and ideas presented. And while there are step-by-step instructions for many of the poses, this work serves more as an inspiration, expression and statement of the joy, beauty and depth of partner yoga rather than a how-to guide.
Mega Yoga by Megan Garcia
This first-of-its-kind book is written and designed especially for plus-sized yoga students. Yoga poses, modifications, intensifications, and unique curvy women adaptations are given using multiple full color photos in a clear step-by-step format. Garcia stresses the benefits of yoga and uses a body positive approach of compassion, contentment and non-judgement throughout the book. And while she never emphasizes weight loss, she still offers the tools and techniques to empower one to achieve a strong body and a healthy lifestyle. The yoga pose chapters are divided according to the poses’ function and action, and are laid out in a intuitive sequence format. The end of the book contains three MegaYoga program sequences of 30, 60 and 90-minute illustrated posture flows, tying everything together. This well put together book is a very safe and un-intimidating approach to the practice of yoga for the beginning student, while still offering options to grow into a more intermediate practice.
Hip Tranquil Chick by Kimberly Wilson
This lighthearted, fun and inspiring book aims to guide women who wish to weave their “practice of yoga and love of all things fabulous into a hip and tranquil lifestyle.” Using wise tips, well thought out tools and personal engaging stories, Wilson provides this hip yogic advice with grace and beauty. The “On the Mat” section is fairly standard yoga book faire, with information on the path and practice of yoga, and includes basic yoga poses and sequences. The heart of the book lies in the “Off the Mat” section, which includes nine chapters that incorporate fundamental yogic concepts into daily life issues, such as career, finances, self-care, and relationships. Each chapter ends with “Savvy Sources,” a list of book, web and music resources, and “Om Work,” simple homework exercises to further explore the key concepts discussed. Overall, this is a great modern yogic lifestyle manual that will foster both personal growth and social consciousness.
The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga by Ray Long
While there are now several great books on the anatomy of yoga, this book is clearly oriented towards visual learners, as the illustrations of muscles on a skeletal frame of the body communicate much more than any text ever could. The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga is organized much like other anatomy books, making it clear, straightforward and easy to access. The first section of the book covers all the basic anatomy terminology. The latter chapters cover each muscle in detail with multiple illustrations showing close ups of its origin and insertion, the muscle’s antagonists and synergists, how the muscle is stretched and contracted within multiple yoga poses. While this book is full of relevant information on the anatomy of yoga, the full color and highly detailed anatomical illustrations of yoga poses make this book a must have for any yoga teacher or serious yoga practitioner.
Awake in the Wild by Mark Coleman
While the Buddha achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, the experience of meditating outdoors has been neglected over the centuries due to our modern lifestyle’s emphasis on indoor living. But Mark Coleman has revitalized of the art of meditating outside with this thoughtful treatise. In short, simple and beautifully written chapters, Coleman covers a wide range of subject matter from “Experiencing the Freshness of Every Moment” to “Weathering the Storms of Life” that bridge the experiences of meditation with the appreciation of nature. Most of the chapters contain personal stories from Coleman and his students, and every chapter ends with a meditation practice incorporating the ideas and concepts that were presented. Coleman shows us that the practice of meditation in the outdoors facilitates our ability to meditate as well as deepens our attunement, appreciation and understanding of the natural world.
Teaching Yoga by Donna Farhi
In this much needed and well-written book, Donna Farhi details the often overlooked and ignored issues and ethics surrounding the student-teacher relationship the profession of teaching yoga. And while this subject may sound incredibly dry and boring, Farhi creates an engaging text filled with illuminating, stimulating, and inspiring insights and knowledge. Great stories from both her and other teachers’ experiences make these ethical and moral issues personal and real. And drawing from both modern psychology and the ancient Yoga Sutras, Farhi engages the reader on many levels to contemplate theses issues for oneself. Her advice and recommendations are compassionate and non-preachy and make the reader feel okay to make mistakes, as she herself admits many that she has learned from. Overall, this is a beautiful book to inspire one to become a great yoga teacher as well as a better person.
The Yoga of the Nine Emotions by Peter Marchand
This guide to mastering your emotions through traditional yogic, Tantric and Ayurvedic practices is definitely the most fascinating book that I’ve read in a long while. The function and nature of nine primary emotions are explored in detail and are explained in relation to yogic philosophy and Ayurvedic principles. The chapters on each emotion are rich with detailed discussions giving insights, understanding, and most importantly effective tools to cultivate positive emotions and reduce the negative ones. Marchand’s correlation between the effects of the emotional states to western science and biochemistry is captivating and insightful, and clearly shows the relationship between our emotions and our immune system, sense organs, thoughts, diet and lifestyle. This well-written and well-researched book provides both the information and inspiration to utilize our emotions to promote better health, spiritual growth, and enduring happiness.
A Rare and Precious Thing by John Kain
This beautifully written book details the possibilities and pitfalls of working with a spiritual teacher through the stories and profiles of eight well-known teachers. Each page is filled with fascinating and engaging stories of these uncommon teachers with honest, personal and revealing comments on their relationships with their path, students and community. From a ninety-year-old Circassian teacher of Sufism to the nineteenth-generation keeper of the sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe of the Lakota, Kain details how teachers of diverse practices have all challenged and reinterpreted their traditions as well as overcome their personal obstacles and hardships. The pertinent information on finding and evaluating a teacher is effortlessly woven throughout these inspiring stories, and relevant tidbits of wisdom for anyone on the spiritual path are sprinkled throughout the book. Overall, reading this book gives one the unquestionable realization that all religions and all spiritual paths do indeed lead to the same place.
Pathways to Joy by Swami Vivekananda
Although written at the turn of the 20th century, these 108 short essays on the four main paths of yoga seem more relevant today as the were when presented to the West 200 years ago. Vivekananda was a mostly unknown yogi who traveled to the 1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago and instantly became the Parliament’s favorite presenter. His primary message of universality of religion and his Vedantic teachings of Oneness was instantly embraced and paved the way for yoga’s development in the West. These one to two page essays are loosely organized under the broad categories of Classical, Jnana, Karma, Bhakti and Raja yogas. His wise, eloquent words and illuminated wisdom reveal the deeper essences of these practices, and emphasize that all paths lead to the same source. Included at the appendix is a short, yet inspiring biography of Vivekananda that serves as a wonderful introduction to the life and teachings of this great Indian Swami.
The Wisdom of Yoga by Stephen Cope
In Stephen Cope’s third book he tackles the mystical and cryptic Yoga Sutras and transforms these ancient teachings into a passionate and engaging story. Through personal stories of real-life characters, we learn of the different forms of suffering (duhkha) and how to apply the yogic tools and techniques that the ancient sage Patanjali codified. With each character’s story of inner conflict and suffering, Cope illustrates the inner workings of the mind and demonstrates how the techniques of yoga are utilized to create the inner transformation necessary to move beyond life’s challenges. By intermeshing yoga philosophy and discussion of the sutras with personal stories and western psychology Cope has written an exceptional book that is easy to read, understand and apply to our ordinary modern lives. Two appendixes provide a translation of the Yoga Sutras and a discussion of the parallels of yoga and Buddhism.
Yoga Posture Adjustments and Assisting by Stephanie Pappas
A great resource for teachers and teachers-in-training, this book demonstrates and explains adjusting and assisting techniques for over 65 postures and is illustrated with over 200 photos. I am most impressed with the book’s emphasis and use of proper body mechanics while assisting, as this can often be a pitfall for yoga teachers. The beginning chapter discussing the foundations of adjusting is excellent, covering the assisting stances and basic adjusting tips. Step-by-step instructions are giving for assisting each pose with suggested verbal cues and a list of props that can be offered. With its solid technique and its creative approach to assisting, reading Yoga Posture Adjustments and Assisting would benefit and improve every yoga teacher’s assisting skills.
Anatomy and Asana: Preventing Yoga Injuries by Susi Hately Aldous
This is definitely the most accessible and enjoyable yoga anatomy book that I’ve seen. While the subject matter is very detailed, the information is written in a clear and easy to understand fashion, making it almost impossible for the reader to become lost or confused. Great illustrations show the body in yoga poses overlapped with the position of the skeleton and muscles to clearly see the body’s anatomy in action. Divided into four main sections, this book’s first section discusses the basic structures of the body and their relationship to movement and asana. The second section details the language of anatomy that is used throughout the rest of the book. And the third section covers the principles of physiology and movement that serve to guide and structure one’s yoga practice. The last section is the juiciest, as it applies the core principles of previous sections to specific groups of yoga postures: standing poses, back bends, forward bends, twists and inversions. The beautiful 2-color printing, elegant design and spiral binding all accentuate the remarkable amount of thought, knowledge and skill that has been put into this book.
Yoga: Awakening the Inner Body by Donald Moyer
This first book by Iyengar teacher Donald Moyer is a delightful invitation for experienced beginners to advanced yoga students to explore and connect with the deeper structures of the physical and energetic body. The core of this book consists of 6 practice sequences that explore anatomical parts of the upper body: the three diaphragms, the sternum, the collarbones, the shoulder blades, the elbows, and the neck. Each chapter begins with a detailed anatomical theme that is revisited with each subsequent yoga posture, inviting continued exploration with each new pose. The goal of Moyer’s work is to awaken the inner body through accessing the deep underlying muscles, the physiological organs and the subtle energetic body, and he wisely advises us to start slow, make multiple attempts and to reinterpret our experiences in our own language.
Instructing Hatha Yoga by Kappmeier and Ambrosini
While Instructing Hatha Yoga was written for yoga teachers or soon-to-be yoga teachers, the detailed information in this book can also be helpful for students as well. What is most noteworthy and of interest to all levels of students are the use of detailed kinematics charts and the extensive use of creative modifications. These charts describe the movement of each body part and identify the muscles used for each movement for each yoga pose. Each yoga pose is illustrated with black and white photos of the final pose, how to adjust the pose, and between 1-3 modifications. While the included DVD is great to further illustrate the modifications and adjustments, the adjustments are performed somewhat quickly and aggressively which do not seem to follow the basic guidelines for safely assisting students described in the book.
Altars of Power and Grace by Michael and Robin Mastro
In this handsome full-color book, simple techniques and helpful, creative suggestions are presented for harmonizing your home and balancing your life. Through the creation and placement of altars the ancient teachings and wisdom of Vastu Shastra are explained in a way that anyone can use and apply. In the first section, the elements of Vastu and the components of altars are clearly explained along with instructions for preparing, activating and maintaining altars. The second section of the book contains chapters for creating altars with specific powers: abundance, relationships, career, health, spirituality, transformation, creativity, and support. Beautiful photographs of altars are provided and clear, concise charts allow you to easily reference the most important information. Personal stories and client testimonials round out the presentation and fill this book to the brim with inspiration.
Kripalu Yoga by Richard Faulds
This long awaited book on Kripalu Yoga thoroughly explains Kripalu’s unique combination of Eastern and Western approaches to the practice of yoga both on and off the mat. This content rich volume is divided into three clear sections. In part one we learn the core philosophies and guiding principles of Kripalu Yoga: being present, body and breath awareness, going to “the edge,” press-point alignment and deep relaxation. In part two, “the art of practice,” we learn the primary yoga postures, presented in the classic Kripalu Yoga sequences: the sun flow, and the moon flow. The last part, “yoga and health,” details Kripalu Yoga’s renowned healing and therapeutic effects on the body, mind and emotions. The book ends with a brief guide to sequencing and an additional 74 pages of warm-ups and yoga postures. This impressive guide will not only benefit those interested in Kripalu Yoga, but will be helpful to deepen and enrich anyone’s practice and understanding of yoga.
Beauty, Power & Grace: The Many Faces of the Goddess by Krishna Dharma
This oversized coffee table book is truly a gem to behold. Stunning full color art reproductions of the Hindu goddesses abundantly fill this beautifully designed book and are complemented by the exquisite gold printing of text, ornaments and illustrations. Illuminating one goddess at a time, the text elegantly describes their qualities and divine nature through fascinating and exotic stories from the ancient Sanskrit texts. All of the popular female deities are described in detail, as well as many of the lesser-known ones, such as the Tantric Mahavidyas, the fierce wisdom goddesses, and Rukmuni, the first and greatest of Krishna’s 16,108 wives.
Shakti Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand
Thomas Ashley-Farrand’s gift of storytelling shines forth in this wonderfully written guide to the mystical world of mantras and the power of the Hindu Goddesses. Drawing on an enormous body of knowledge, Ashley-Farrand explains how mantras work and where their efficacy comes from: the feminine power of Shakti. Through the stories of how the main Hindu goddesses came into being we learn the entire Hindu creation story as well as the intricate interconnections and personalities of these deities. With each goddess, Ashley-Farrand explains and illuminates their core energetic principles and how these qualities relate to everyday modern life. A large number of mantras are given for each deity with a detailed explanation of its meaning, significance and use. The book ends with several very informative chapters on the use and misuse of mantras and the shakti powers that they generate.
Kid Yoga : Fun with a Twist by Juliet Pegrum
This exceptionally well-rounded and beautifully designed book will be a great resource for anyone wanting to help inspire young yogis. To start, Kid Yoga begins with a detailed section on the benefits of yoga for children and then moves on to cover the basics of yogic philosophy, chakras, equipment and working with different ages of children. The postures are divided into unique categories and are presented with multiple color photos showing the stages and final pose. Many of the photographs feature the author assisting and interacting with the children modeling them. Simple pranayama (breathing), chanting, and meditation exercises are given as well, while an illustrated sequencing section makes a great ending to this superb book.
OM Yoga Today by Cyndi Lee
Short on time? There is no longer an excuse to put off your yoga practice with OM Yoga Today’s yoga sequences that last five, fifteen, thirty, sixty, or ninety minutes. This well designed spiral-bound book is a joy to use with its pastel colors, quirky stick figure illustrations and easy to follow practices. The introductions to each sequence include real-life stories that are both humorous and inspiring. Each session starts with an overview and follows with detailed illustrations and instructions for the postures. Each sequence is designed to build upon the one before and color coded tabs are included for locating the sequence quickly. The instructions and illustrations are simple sketches of the postures that may not be enough information for a beginner, but should work fine with an experienced practitioner.
The Joy of Partner Yoga by Mishabae
The Yoga of Breath by Richard Rosen
This superb book on practicing yoga with a partner is creative as it is beautiful. Possibly the most original sections in the book is the partner mudras and pranayamas; and the opening salutations of sequenced mudras and mirrored poses is both graceful and very powerful. The partner poses are presented in themed chapters in a flowing sequence format and include insertion points to include other segments to construct a longer sequence. Many of the poses have multiple variations to accommodate different levels, abilities and challenge. Finally, the color photos are beautiful, while clearly illustrating the postures and communicating the feeling of the pose through the facial expressions of the models.
Sex, Love, and Dharma: Finding Love Without Losing Your Way by Arthur Jeon
In his last book, City Dharma, Arthur Jeon elegantly described how to create a spiritual approach to living in this modern chaotic world. In Sex, Love, and Dharma he provides a practical spiritual guide to being fully present in romantic relationships from the “first hello to the last good-bye.” By leading us through stories of common patterns of suffering, Arthur shows us how to “wake up” from our conditioning and to view relationships with new eyes. Besides containing a treasure trove of spiritual wisdom, this book is full of entertaining and inspiring real life stories of hearts both breaking and opening. And in every situation we are encouraged to see the opportunity to learn, grow and to expand our ability to love. What is most impressive is Arthur’s ability to share stories of his own mistakes and errors in love with honesty and self-compassion.
Travel Yoga by Darrin Zeer
If you’ve ever wanted to practice yoga while waiting in line, sitting on a plane, or while scrunched in a tiny hotel room then this little book is for you. Packed full of traveling advice, fun, and yogic wisdom, this book will help you avoid the pitfalls of travel and help you cultivate inner calm, patience, and a flexible body. The wonderful page design makes finding and accessing info easy, and the quick help guide points you to remedies for specific ailments like “Lower back ache” and “Frustrating delays.” All of this great information is complemented by fun illustrations and relevant spiritual quotes and inspirations. My favorite section is the list of yoga postures named after famous places like the “Leaning Tower of Pisa pose.”
Glimpses of Raja Yoga By Vimala Thakar
The Indian sage Patanjali’s famous Yoga Sutras are often misunderstood, inaccessible and shrouded with mystery. Vimala Thakar provides a much-needed illumination to the Yoga Sutras by placing them in their historical and cultural context as well as by returning to the root meaning of the Sutras' Sanskrit words. These detailed explanations of the core concepts found in the Sutras refine many of the common mistranslations and come from Thakar’s deep understanding of yogic principles and philosophies. Although this book is subtitled as an “introduction” to the Sutras, it will not be of much help for the reader who has not previously read or studied Patanjali. But for one who has struggled with the Yoga Sutras, this book will be cherished for its numerous gems of wisdom and clarification.
Healing Yoga By Lisa Holtby
This unique and much needed book uses yoga poses and breathing to support cancer patients through all stages of their treatment and healing process. Five chapter sequences build in their intensity, from chair poses, to floor poses, to strength building standing poses. The introduction chapter does a wonderful job at pointing you in the right direction for finding the starting sequence that is safe and appropriate for where you are at. Each yoga pose page contains two photographs of the modified and full pose, with ample benefits tips, and instructions as well as a unique checkbox to allow your M.D. to easily approve each yoga pose for you. Overall, this is a superbly designed book with clear instructions, lucid writing, and a friendly and warm style.
Yoga Therapy By A.G. and Indra Mohan
Naturally stemming from his last book, Yoga for Body, Breath, and Mind, A.G. Mohan gives us a practical and unique formula for the application of yoga for therapeutic use. Combining the principles of Ayurveda, biomechanics, movement and breath provide the basic healing principles, while the excellent chapter on observation and assessment explain what discrepancies to look for during postures, breathing and moving between poses. Using these tools, one can then effectively design a personal therapeutic yoga practice using sequencing with progression, focus and balance. The last chapter contains case studies that give practical examples of applications as well as providing further details on the process for approaching common ailments with yoga therapy.
Bhagavad Gita By Eknath Easwaran
This new reprint of Easwaran’s classic translation of the Bhagavad Gita is extremely well done and a beautiful book to behold in itself. The 62-page preface provides a great introduction to this ancient Indian scripture, explaining in detail the key Sanskrit concepts of: Atman, Brahman, Maya, Dharma, Karma and Samskara. Using both his talent as an professor of English and a teacher of meditation, Easwaran writes with wisdom and clarity to produce an highly accessible, illuminating, and easy to read Gita. The tedious footnotes and long-winded commentary that accompanies most translations is replaced with chapter intros that provide a short analysis, and explanation of the Sanskrit terms and the spiritual principles contained within.
Chakra Meditation by Layne Redmond
Many books have been published on the Chakras lately, but none of them include the sequence of Tantra Yoga techniques traditionally employed to open these energy centers and activate the Kundalini energy. Chakra Meditation combines the use of Yantra (geometric representations of spiritual energy), bija mantra (Sanskrit seed chants), pranayama (breathing techniques), and mudra (energy seals) into a single meditative practice that is described in the book and lead on the enclosed Cd. With a straightforward and practical approach, Redmond describes the philosophy of the chakra energetic system, the background of the yogic techniques and the instructions for activating and balancing each of the chakras.
Sacred Sanskrit Words By Lowitz and Datta
This great little book is indispensable for the yoga student interested in the Sanskrit language. With over 160 Sanskrit words defined, this book serves not only as a mini-encyclopedia of yogic terminology, but also includes a pronunciation guide as well as a list of Sanskrit chants. Each entry contains large representations of both the Devangari Sanskrit and its proper English transliteration with diacritical marks and follows with detailed descriptions of the history, spiritual explanation and cultural significance.
Yoga for Pregnancy By Francoise Barbira Freedman
This extensively illustrated book on prenatal and postnatal yoga is broken down into 5 main sections. The first section is a general overview and guideline of the movements and principles of yoga for pregnancy. The other sections covers yoga poses, flowing movements, visualizations, special applications and breathing exercises for the early, middle and late pregnancy as well as post-natal. Clear color photographs illustrate the exercises in easy to follow steps. Many of the poses are highly modified (especially in the late pregnancy section) and include the creative use of household furniture as props. The postnatal section includes poses and exercises that are either done with your newborn or has the baby lying next to you in the pose. Overall this is a wonderful, unique and highly recommended book.
Mantra Meditation By Thomas Ashley-Farrand
This small book is packed full of wisdom and power on how to use the ancient Sanskrit mantras for acquiring and promoting prosperity, worldly desires, ethical development and spiritual development. This book is very user friendly: it is very easy to read, understand and use, especially with the accompanying CD with the correct pronunciation of all of the mantras. The first section of the book explains the basic principles underlying the use of the mantras, the history of the use of mantras, as well as an excellent introduction to yogic philosophy. The second section details the practice of mantra meditation and explains in detail the use of specific mantras.
For more info or to buy Mantra Meditation, click here.
Creating Calm: Meditation in Daily Life By Gill Farrer-Halls
What makes this book on meditation so wonderful is its extensive collection of calming practices from a broad spectrum of religions and spiritual traditions. From Yoga to Zen, Christianity to Sufism, this full-color book provides simple, clear instructions as well as easy ways to incorporate these practices into the daily activities of eating, cleaning, driving and work. The first section provides a solid foundation for the majority of practices with chapters on advice for beginners, benefits of meditation, and solutions to commonly experienced problems.
For more info or to buy Creating Calm, click here.
Hot Yoga By Marilyn Barnett
This well designed book, with clear, full-color, multi-stage photos and an easy to read page layout, is a great user-friendly guide to starting a hot yoga practice. Based on Bikram’s traditional 26-pose sequence in a heated room, Hot Yoga includes pose variations, hot tips, and details on how to work the pose to achieve a deeper experience. Clear, detailed instructions include how to set up and come out of each pose. Troubleshooting common problems, key yoga movements, hot yoga at home, and joint mechanics are some of the wonderful and unique sections included within the book.
For more info or to buy Hot Yoga, click here.
City Dharma By Arthur Jeon
This excellent book simply and clearly addresses how to live a spiritual life within our chaotic and hectic modern world. Through personal stories and real world examples, Jeon applies spiritual principles and practices to everyday situations and life events. Jeon applies the fundamental practice of "be present in the moment" to transcending neurotic thoughts, car alarms, road rage, consumerism, rude people and traffic tickets. Fun, friendly, honest and full of wisdom, City Dharma is an effortless and engaging read and inspires one to experiment with these simple concepts to live each moment fully.
For more info or to buy City Dharma, click here.
Prince of Dharma: The Illustrated Life of Buddha by Ranchor Prime
This gorgeously designed and illustrated coffee table sized book describes the stories of the life of the Buddha in words and pictures. From the Buddha’s auspicious birth as a Hindu prince to his death and transformation into Paranirvana, the book tells the stories of the Buddha in a simple style that is suitable to share with children. The Buddha’s lessons on compassion, suffering and the path of enlightenment are highlighted giving the reader a deeper understanding of the teachings of the Buddha. With its short chapters, this delight for the eyes can easily be enjoyed in small tastes.
For more info or to buy Prince of Dharma, click here.
Structural Yoga Therapy By Mukunda Stiles
The best book I've seen applying and explaining the anatomy and kinesiology of the body's muscles with yoga postures. The most compelling aspect of this work is the ability to physically transform the structure, posture and alignment of your body through the targeted strengthening and stretching of specific muscles. Stiles shows how to read the body for structural imbalances, explains common postural misalignments, and demonstrates the normal range of motion of all the joints of the body with the corresponding muscles. Twenty-four postures are explained in detail with variations, anatomical movements, cautions, common misalignments and benefits. Stiles ends with examples of applying this work towards achieving specific goals though numerous case studies.
For more info or to buy Structural Yoga Therapy, click here.
30 Essential Yoga Poses By Judith Lasater
With thousands of yoga books available, this book is a gem, with the unique ability to address an audience ranging from beginning students to yoga teachers. And don't let the 30 Poses part fool you into thinking there isn't much presented here; each pose includes sequencing info, benefits and cautions, modifications, variations, the use of props, and several beautifully modeled color photos . The "Especially for Teachers" section includes a primary focus - explaining common alignment errors, and a primary adjustment - explaining how and when to provide assists and adjustments to students. The book includes a brief history of yoga, provides excellent advice and guidelines for students and teachers and ends with a section on daily and themed practice sequences.
For more info or to buy 30 Essential Yoga Poses, click here.
The Tibetan Book of Yoga By Geshe Michael Roach
Over 1,000 years ago Yoga traveled over the Himalayas and into Tibet. The Tibetan Monks embraced the physical practices of yoga and merged it with their own compassion based meditative practices. The result: Tibetan Heart Yoga, a 30-minute sequence of chants, meditations, breathing and postures. Its aim is to open the heart, remove disease and suffering in others, increase flexibility and energy and to create peace of mind. Roach, an ordained American Buddhist monk, developed this work from a three-year deep retreat with fellow teachers who were exploring and interpreting newly discovered Tibetan texts on yoga.
For more info or to buy The Tibetan Book of Yoga, click here.
First There Is a Mountain By Elizabeth Kadetsky
This engaging, passionate, and well-written memoir is both an inner and outer exploration of the Iyengar school of yoga. A highly detailed and thorough examination of yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar's fierce personality, family history and teaching institute that offers a rare glimpse into his Indian roots and tradition. Heavily flavored with extensively researched history, philosophy, politics and folklore this book serves both as a guide to the world of yoga and as a woman's journey of self-discovery and self-transformation.
For more info or to buy First There Is a Mountain, click here.
Yoga for Depression By Amy Weintraub
Writer and yoga teacher Amy Weintraub gives her personal account of overcoming chronic depression and eliminating her need for medication through the daily practice of yoga. Through her own story and the stories of others, she defines and describes various types of depression and offers yoga poses, meditations, and breathing exercises for their treatment. Using the principles of yogic philosophy, the causes of depression are explained, showing us the roots of universal suffering arise from the separation of self with spirit. Weintraub also gives extensive medical evidence supporting yoga's many beneficial effects and its ability to effectively alleviate depression.
For more info or to buy Yoga for Depression , click here.
Yoga for Body, Breath and Mind By A. G. Mohan
This clearly structured and detailed manual contains
a wealth of information on yogic philosophy and practice;
pose sequencing, meditation, pranayama, and yoga therapy.
Mohan’s principles of practice, practice guidelines
and his great practical overview of yogic philosophy give
the reader a clear and comprehensive foundation of yoga. The
real gem of this work is extensive utilization of breath as
a guide and tool for adaptation, integration, sequencing and
feedback of the yoga poses. Twenty-two primary yoga poses
are explained with illustrations, modifications, sequencing,
balancing poses and detailed notes. The book ends with a great
section on the diagnostic principles and guidelines for practicing
For more info or to buy Yoga for Body, Breath and Mind, click
The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali By Chip Hartranft
The Yoga-Sutra is a classic yogic text containing 197
short aphorisms describing the inner workings of the mind
and instructions on attaining enlightenment. Patanjali’s
aphorisms are illusive, vague and highly theoretical making
them difficult to understand; yet Hartranft renders and explains
them with clarity, elegance and ease. Hartranft’s brilliant
commentary is the heart of this book and flows together as
a cohesive work, discussing related sutras together rather
than a line-by-line analytical discussion. It is clear that
Hartranftl’s insights on the Sutras come from his personal
experience in Buddhist meditation and yoga.
For more info or to buy The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali, click
Living Your Yoga By Judith Lasater
Drawing from the Yoga Sutra and the Bhadavad Gita, Lasater
effortlessly applies the philosophies of yoga to everyday
life. This excellent guide to practicing yoga “off the
mat” contains many gems of wisdom, illumination and
inspiration. Each chapter is focused on an ancient verse and
includes an essay explaining and applying the spiritual principle,
a guided practice of the principle, additional suggestions
for practice and exploration, and affirmations called “mantras
for daily living.”
For more info or to buy Living Your Yoga, click
Health Through Yoga By Mira Mehta
Using Ayurvedic theory, anatomy, physiology and psychology,
Mehta explains the healing effects of hatha yoga. The first
quarter of the book extensively details the principles of
Ayrveda as well as the actions and effects of yoga poses and
practices. The bulk of this work is a guide to yoga postures
grouped in sequences by their actions on the body, mind or
organs. A wide range of poses is illustrated and most involve
the use of extensive props: bolsters, blankets, chairs, walls,
ledges, straps and benches. The last section in the book contains
contemplative readings translated from an array of Sanskrit
For more info or to buy Health Through Yoga, click
Every Woman’s Yoga By Jaime Stover Schmitt
This light hearted, good humored and insightful book
hits the mark on being the “definitive yoga guide for
women.” The yoga practice section includes illustrated
yoga poses with benefits, contraindications and tips; posture
sequences for specific problems and needs; and essential breathing
exercises. The unique “soul yoga” section is a
guide to self-study, self-discovery and inner exploration
through movement, awareness and dialogue. Schmitt finishes
with guidance on developing a personal practice and creating
a yogic lifestyle.
For more info or to buy Every Woman's Yoga, click
Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy By Georg Feuerstein
Yoga scholar Georg Feuerstein illuminates the often misunderstood
philosophies and practices of Tantra Yoga. Feuerstein’s
comprehensive descriptions and explanations of the history,
philosophy and practices are clear, understandable and fascinating
to read. This work is extensively supported with sacred texts
and reference notes, usage of original Sanskrit words and
several illustrations, charts and photos making it required
reading for anyone interested in Tantra.
For more info or to buy Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy, click
Yoga for Your Type By David Frawley & Sandra Summerfield
This groundbreaking book applies the healing and balancing
principles of Ayurveda to the practice of yoga postures. The
heart of the book is a comprehensive illustrated guide to
individual yoga poses. Most postures are described in two
pages with clear instruction, variations, modifications, actions,
precautions, multiple photos and charts detailing the use
of breath, hold time, focus and movement. The asana pages
are followed with sequences for each constitutional type,
long-term programs, and further information to personalize
your yoga practice.
For more info or to buy Yoga for Your Type, click
Joyful Mind by Susan Piver
This sweetly designed hardcover book contains a smorgasbord
of Buddhist meditations by world-class teachers. Instruction
to shamatha, vipassana, zazen, metta, healing and tonglen
meditations are included with a short sequence of yoga poses
for meditation practice. Two CDs provide audio instruction
for each of the eight meditation practices and soothing background
music for practicing on your own. A great little gem packed
full of wisdom and ancient tradition.
For more info or to buy Joyful Mind, click
YogaFlows by Mohini Chatlani
This unique yoga book illustrates dynamic and creative
sequences of yoga postures. Twelve theme based sequences with
color photographs and clear, simple and precise instructions
are arranged in loops on fold out pages. In between these “yogaflows” are warm-ups, breathing exercises,
meditations and visualizations. In the back of the book there
are many pages using time-lapse photography to show difficult
or complicated transitions between poses as well as a visual
glossary to the 123 postures used in the book.
For more info or to buy YogaFlows, click
Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati
This comprehensive text on kundalini is a must read for
anyone interested in exploring the tantric path of liberation.
Detailed eastern energy anatomy is used to describe the chakras,
nadis and nervous system in relation to serpent power. A complete
course of exercises is given on activating the chakras, purifying
the energy channels and body, and awakening kundalini. Risks
and contraindications are given as well as western research
and anatomy to verify the kundalini experience.
For more info or to buy Kundalini Tantra, click
Yoga by Yoga Journal
This is the biggest, thickest, heaviest and most beautiful
yoga book ever printed. Over 350 full-page black and white
glossy photographs of yoga postures by famous yogis such as
Patricia Walden, Rodney Yee, Richard Freeman, David Life,
Sharon Gannon, Sarah Powers and others. The postures are organized
by types of poses: standing, balance, backbends, seated, inversions
and supine. The photos illustrate many advanced and uncommon
asanas including multiple and creative variations of postures.
There is no instruction for the postures, but the book begins
with a wonderful comprehensive essay on the history of yoga
by Linda Sparrowe. This book’s intention is not to instruct
but to wow and be a continuous source of inspiration and awe.
For more info or to buy Yoga, click
The Women's Book of Yoga & Health by Linda Sparrowe
and Patricia Walden
From menstruation to menopause this wonderful book aims
to deepen the understanding, knowledge and application of
yoga through a woman’s many stages of life. This is
accomplished mainly through extensive posture sequences as
well as practical wisdom and basic medical information. The
Women’s Book of Yoga & Health is filled with
clear photographs illustrating yoga posture sequences for
healing common issues and promoting well-being during a woman’s
journey through life. Excellently designed and easy to use,
this book is a welcomed addition to the therapeutic application
For more info or to buy The Women's Book of Yoga &
Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates
At last a book providing daily inspiration for yoga practice!
Thought provoking quotes with commentaries of yogic philosophy
and stories of life lessons are provided for every day of
the year. These short passages are organized in eight chapters
based on Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga and apply the
ancient yogic teachings to real world on and off the mat situations.
A great way to restart, renew or deepen your yoga practice.
For more info or to buy Meditations from the Mat, click
Ashtanga Yoga by John Scott
By far the best book I have seen on Ashtanga Yoga, mostly
due to its extensive use of clear color photographs. Ashtanga
Yoga, often called “power yoga,” is a fast-paced
high endurance style of hatha yoga using the flowing movements
of the sun salutations. John Scott does a wonderful job of
breaking down the complete primary sequence into comprehensive
and understandable instructions, including the often-difficult
transitions between postures, especially the jump throughs.
John provides ample tips, modifications and contraindications
through the book as well as the basic history, philosophy,
and breathing techniques of Ashtanga Yoga.
For more info or to buy Ashtanga Yoga, click
Moving into Ecstasy by Amoda by Amoda
An enlightening guide to living a spiritual life and
finding joy, bliss, and ecstasy in the freedom of being in
the present moment, Moving
into Ecstasy is a modern approach to liberation based
on ancient tantric yoga teachings and philosophies. Filled
with easy and practical exercises inviting you to “get
out of your head and into your body” such as meditation,
breathing, movement/dance, ritual, chakra/kundalini work,
and self expression and self examination. This book explores
a wide range of techniques to liberate the mind and open the
heart with a fun and joyous attitude.
For more info or to buy Moving into Ecstasy by Amoda, click
Richard Rosen presents a safe, slow and gentle approach
to the practice of Pranayama. The Yoga of Breath outlines a
one-year guide to exploring and developing the power of the
breath and energy in the body. Rosen’s approach is based
on the work of B.K.S. Iyengar, giving extensive instruction
in the use of props and supports for the practice. There are
great intro chapters on the history, philosophy, anatomy and
goals of pranayama. This would be a great book to start a pranayama
practice with, but it does not go into any of the advanced practices,
which would be of interest to the seasoned practitioner.
For more info or to buy The Yoga of Breath, click
A Tale of Gods and Demons: Ramayana by Ranchor Prime and
B. G. Sharma
The Ramayana is an ancient epic tale of good prevailing
over evil, involving the frightening yet fascinating Indian
gods and demons. The text encapsulates these engaging stories
in seven chapters, revealing the story of King Rama from his
betrayal by his stepmother to his defeat of the demon Ravana
and return of his beloved, Sita. The emphasis of this book is
the beautiful reproduction of the intricate paintings of B.
G. Sharma, which illustrate each event as it unfolds. B. G.
Sharma is recognized as the foremost living painter of Indian
miniatures, and more than 70 striking color paintings specifically
created to illustrate the Ramayana, including many never-before-seen
reproductions, are included. The book is a work of art itself,
with its large square size, superb design and the elaborate
use of gold ink.
For more info or to buy Ramayana: A Tale of Gods and Demons,
Yoga by Godfrey Devereux
Yoga, Godfrey adapts the primary series of Ashtanga Vinyasa,
making this challenging style of yoga accessible and practical
for most yoga students. Dynamic
Yoga is loaded with great pictures and thorough, detailed
information on the practice of yoga, including 78 postures,
posture sequences, information on alignment principles, and
the techniques and background of yoga. The yoga posture pages
are illustrated with one large photo and several smaller ones
showing each stage. The posture descriptions are clear and concise
and are broken down into easy steps initiated with the breath.
This is a great book for students interested in exploring hatha
yoga, especially the advanced postures and vinyasa of Ashtanga
For more info or to buy Dynamic Yoga, click
for Pregnancy by Rosalind Widdowson
This is a great beginners guide on using yoga during
pregnancy. Beautiful full color photographs illustrate all of
the exercises and techniques, including yoga postures, breathing
exercises, meditations and visualizations. The exercises and
techniques in Yoga
for Pregnancy are organized by trimester to take the guesswork
out of what you should be doing at what times. There is dietary
and lifestyle advice, including recommendations on how to naturally
treat common complaints. The only thing missing is a list of
cautions and contraindications to allow one to safely explore
beyond the pages of this book.
For more info or to buy Yoga for Pregnancy, click
Spirit of Yoga by Cat de Rham and Michele Gill.
This book is a gift, a blessing, a work of art and a
source of endless inspiration. The Spirit of Yoga is an amazing
and magical interpretation and guide to Patanjalis Yoga
Sutras. The eight limbs or stages of the yogic path to liberation
are described with clarity, wisdom and insight and illuminated
with poems, photographs and illustrations. Open to any page
and discover new insights, inspiration, guidance and wisdom
for your practice.
For more info or to buy The Spirit of Yoga, click
a World of Gods and Goddesses by James Bae.
I have been looking for a visual guide to the Hindu gods
and goddesses for a long time, and I have finally found it.
But In a World of Gods and Goddesses goes deeper than
just a wonderful collection of beautiful paintings of deities.
The text describes the stories behind each god and goddess,
telling of their history, relationships and symbolism. The
classical Indian tales, the Mahabharata, Bhagavad-gita, and
the Ramayana are illustrated by full color paintings and text.
Besides being a wonderful visual and verbal guide to the Hindu
deities, In a World of Gods and Goddesses chronicles
the work of Indra Sharma whos paintings fill up the
book, one after another in amazing details, vibrant colors
and compositions. This is a beautifully designed, illustrated,
written and printed book, a work of art in itself.
For more info or to buy In a World of Gods and Goddesses,
the Poetry of the Body by Rodney Yee.
After 17 yoga videos, this is Rodneys first book
on yoga, and it attempts to describe his own personal approach
to this ancient art. This is done through a series of interviews
with one of Rodneys students, Nina Zolotow, who co-authored
the book. These dialogs are full of wisdom, insight, humor,
passion and philosophy, which illuminate the inner workings
of yoga, and describe why we practice. Forty-five postures
are illustrated with beautiful black and white photographs
and are described with great clarity. Two pages are dedicated
for each asana, with one big photo on one page and three smaller
ones on the other. What I find most amazing about this book
is the level of depth and poetry that is contained within
it. There are words here to take any level of student deeper
into the practice of yoga.
For more info or to buy Yoga: the Poetry of the Body,
Yoga Back Book by Stella Weller.
This book is a great guide for healing and preventing
back pain and injury. The first few chapters of The
Yoga Back Book describe the anatomy of the back muscles
and spine, body alignment, how to properly use your back,
and the relationship between diet and good back health. Stella
Weller then goes on to describe warm ups and yoga asanas to
stretch and strengthen the back. She goes further showing
asanas and exercises to strengthen the abdominals and legs
to help support the back muscles. All of the information is
presented clearly in easy to understand language and illustrated
with line drawings and black and white photos.
For more info or to buy The Yoga Back Book, click