Whether you’re just introducing yoga into your life or are an advanced yoga practitioner, we’ve compiled our list of must read books to fit into your journey. Read on to find our pick of the best books on yoga that will allow you to deepen your understanding and broaden your appreciation of yoga, thereby giving more meaning and perspective to your time on the mat.
Autobiography of a Yogi
By Paramahansa Yogananda
Considered a modern spiritual classic, this acclaimed autobiography has been translated into more than twenty languages and is widely used as a reference text in teacher training courses, colleges and universities. Written with candor and wit, this book is a beautifully articulated account of an exceptional life: his childhood experiences, his search for a teacher across India, his life at a hermitage, and his life and teachings in the USA. A bestseller, a must-read, an unforgettable journey, and a profound look at the ultimate mysteries of human existence.
By Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. He was something like a spiritual rock star in his era, he swayed an entire generation, both in the West and in India, with his lectures, books, and individual work. Raja Yoga is one of his most influential books. The first half of the book is based on a series of lectures that Swami Vivekananda gave on the subject of raja yoga. It contains a great deal of practical information on meditation and psychology from the Vedantic point of view. The second half of the book is a translation and commentary on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.
Light On Yoga
By B.K.S. Iyengar
Written by renowned Yoga Guru, BKS Iyengar, this book is a classic and a must-read for Yogis of all disciplines, not just Iyengar Yoga, to broaden their perspective towards Yoga practice. With more than 600 pictures illustrating asanas with a special focus on alignment, it is one of the most complete and detailed Yoga guides. The book also throws light on pranayamas, bandhas, kriyas, yoga props, and yoga philosophy. Light on Yoga is a comprehensive book for professional Yogis and beginner Yogis alike.
The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali
By Swami Satchidananda
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as explained by Swami Satchidananda is a mandatory reading in most teacher training courses, and for good reason. This book is an excellent resource for those who are reading about the Sutras for the first time. The Sutras are presented here in their purest form, in the original Sanskrit and translated with a commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda. He offers anecdotes based on his personal experience, occasionally dotted with humour, as he interprets the ancient Yoga Sutras.
The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice
by T.K.V. Desikachar
In this contemporary classic, Desikachar explains elements of his father, Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya’s teachings as system as well as his own practical approach, which he describes as "a program for the spine at every level--physical, mental, and spiritual." Krishnamacharya's fundamental concept of viniyoga means Yoga practice adapted to the changing needs of an individual to achieve the maximum therapeutic value. This is the first yoga text to details how to develop a Yoga practice step-by-step. It discusses yoga poses and counterposes, pranayama, meditation, and philosophy--and shows how all of this can be tailored to an individual’s lifestyle, age, occupation and overall health.
About the Author: This article is written by Harneet Jayakar, a passionate Yogini and co-founder at Kosha Yoga Co. Harneet has immersed herself in the study of Yoga since 2010. Read more about the labour of her love here here.