I am often asked to recommend a yoga book to read and so I have created a list of books that have inspired me. These books include how to do the poses, how to sequence at home and how to move deeper into the practice from a self-discovery or philosophical point of view.
Brown, Brene. Men, Women and Worthiness: The Experience of Shame and the Power of Being Enough.
An audiobook that talks about Shame – a taboo subject. Brown is a social worker rather than a yogi but there is an overlap in getting to the bottom of the Self and “walking the swamp of shame.” This audiobook is entertaining and warm with Brown’s Southern American twang, even if you don’t think you have shame to work through, this book may strike a cord. For a taster – check out her TED talk.
Fahri, Donna. Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit: A Return to Wholeness.
This book includes great illustrations of poses and of how the breath moves within the body. When the body and breath move as one it is a joyful feeling that elevates the yoga practice from ‘doing the poses’ to ‘living yoga’. There are sequences and alignment cues which are great in developing a home practice.
Fahri, Donna. Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living.
This book is the how to practice yoga, not from a physical point of view, but from the point of view of the mind. Fahri writes to provide a guidebook in discovering how to get closer to discovering the Self.
Forrest, Ana T. Fierce Medicine: Breakthrough Practices to Heal the Body and Ignite the Spirit.
Forrest‘s autobiography and story of how yoga saved her life. Includes practical poses described and illustrated to follow at home. The biggest influence this book has on me was the way that the enquiries and the process works. There are questions that she asked herself, by asking myself the same question I get closer to an inner wisdom. “What would be meaningful for me to do today?”
Gannon, Sharon & Life, David. Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body & Soul.
There are fun illustrated flow sequences with breath cues together with ancient scripture, pose breakdown and meditation. Jivamukti sequences have a similar feel to ashtanga sequences.
Iyengar, B K S. The Tree of Yoga.
Inspiring essay’s on life, health, the practice of yoga and the teacher. This book is a guide for how to practice yoga bringing theory, practicalities, philosophy and real life together.
Nhat Hahn, Thich. Interbeing: Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism.
I could have chosen all the books of Thich Nhat Hahn that I have read – his way with words is profound. Many of his books are about Mindfulness and are well worth reading – my local library has a good stock of these which I have read – but as I have returned them I don’t have a list of the titles to hand. Interbeing goes one step deeper than the mindfulness books of his and talks about the foundation principles of the Buddhism that Which That Hahn practices. This underpins the mindfulness practices as lifestyle guidelines.
Salzberg, Sharon. The Power of Meditation: A 28 day programme for real happiness.
An introduction to mindfulness meditation which includes an audio download of meditation practices. The book is geared up to facilitate developing a home meditation practice over a 28 day period. The audio recordings and practices described in the book are simple and yet can be repeated many times with a new experience each time. Sharon has a free podcast too.
Satchidananda, Sri Swama. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
The definitive guide to what yoga is. A book to be studied, contemplated and returned to over time.
Scaravelli, Vanda. Awakening the Spine.
A beautifully illustrated book that includes inspiring photographs. I particularly like how Scaravelli plays with gravity using the feet and the spine to create space in the body. Accessible anatomy is interspersed with wisdom and story telling from ancient traditions combining the physical with with philosophical.