As we approach what I like to call “book weather” (you know, the kind of cold & dreary Saturday mornings that make you want to curl up with a good book), I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite yoga-related books. These are great for the beginner – if you’re just delving into yoga practice & study – as well as for the seasoned practitioner. I’m not a seasoned practitioner, but I know a good book when I see one (oh, and thanks to my yoga teacher training course, I’ve been steered in the right direction).
Here are a few of my favorite yoga reads:
Yoga Anatomy – Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews
Yoga Anatomy is a fantastic book with great visuals for how the body works in a variety of yoga poses. This book is for anyone who moves through a yoga practice with a longing to understand the structures and principles underlying the movements they are practicing.
Whether you’re a newbie to yoga or have been practicing for quite some time, this book is a helpful resource that will allow you to understand the way the body moves in a whole new way.
Here’s just a sample of a couple of pages:
Yes, it is this visual and well-explained the whole way through!
The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice – T.K.V. Desikachar
This book is as it sounds. The Heart of Yoga is a great comprehensive go-to yoga read if you want to begin developing your own personal practice. In it, Desikachar discusses the many elements of yoga – including poses, breathing, philosophy, and meditation – and how each student can develop a practice that works for her wherever she is at.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Sri Swami Satchidananda
“The classic Sutras (thought-threads), at least four thousand years old, cover the yogic teachings on ethics, meditation, and physical postures, and provide directions for dealing with situations in daily life.” (source)
In this version of the Sutras, Sri Swami Satchidananda, one of the most respected contemporary yoga masters, translates them and adds his own commentary. This is a pretty heavy book that delves into yoga philosophy – including the 8 limbs of yoga – that is at the heart of yoga practice. It’s a great way to go deeper into the philosophical side of yoga while using this to deepen your practice physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Art of Attention – Elena Brower & Erica Jago
I bought this book because at first sight, I was completely captivated by it. Art of Attention is a uniquely beautiful piece of art. The co-creators/authors/visionaries behind this book are both renowned yoga teachers.
Elena Brower runs a studio in NYC called Virayoga and teaches internationally. Erica Jago is a graphic designer turned yogi, and her beautiful eye and amazing talent in design is part of what makes this book so gorgeous! Just look at this one bit of beauty:
The rest of the book is even more heavenly, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Its beauty and unique design aside, Art of Attention is full of advice and practical tips for the yogi or yoga instructor. It lends voice and poetic instruction to often difficult-to-find yoga poses. Turn to this piece when you are in need of beauty in your life, or to enter more deeply into your yoga practice – to find poses in both heart and movement.