|1. Inner Engineering||2. Yoga Anatomy||3. Yoga Bible|
Every person – whether statesman, businessman, philosopher have that one book that transformed their lives. Yogis are no exception. Whether you are new or have years of practicing yoga, you can resonate to this. The best yoga book will change your perspective towards yoga or change the way you practice or give you a new look at life in general.
The best yoga book has the potential of teaching you something you did not know about life, yourself or yoga itself. The yoga world is so wide that you cannot master it in a day. For this reason, you need the best yoga books along with other yoga gears.
The best book on yoga will stick with you long after you have finished reading it. It will impact your life and influence the way you think. It will become a part of you and you will desire to reread it over and over again. The best book on yoga will not only tell you the physical benefits of yoga but also it will nurture your spiritual life as well. Furthermore, it will teach you different yoga poses which you will practice in your class.
One outstanding feature about the best yoga book is that once you learn about the physical aspects of yoga, it will increase your desire for spiritual nature as well. Because the physical and the spiritual aspects of yoga are interrelated.
There are millions of books on yoga in the market today. And this can make it very hard to know the best book to read. We have come up with a list of the 20 best books on yoga and it is our sincere hope that you will find one among these that will be perfect for you. For each of the yoga books we have highlighted below, we have given a brief description of the book and the reasons as to why you should buy it. Besides that, we have included some of the things that might be missing in this book about yoga.
Benefits Of Yoga
1. Breathing Techniques
Yoga teaches you to breathe before reacting to any situation. This is beneficial because it helps you to calm down. Besides that, it has other mental benefits. According to studies, breathing helps you to adapt well to stressful situations. The breathing techniques help you to think straight and you will be more rejuvenated. Therefore, any time you get into a stressful situation before you react to take a deep breath.
2. Reduces Anxiety
In yoga class, you will learn how to meditate. Research has found out that meditation is good for your mental health. It improves how you react to stressors thereby reducing anxiety. Meditation helps you to cool down when life situations do not go according to plan.
3. It Is A Workout Plan
During a workout, the feel-good hormone – endorphin is produced. You can release the endorphins also during a yoga workout. According to studies, endorphins help to improve your mood and reduce depression. The slow pace of the yoga workout is very beneficial in the release of endorphins.
Top 20 Best Yoga Books 2020
1. Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide To Joy – By Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
There are several branches of yoga. The vastness of yoga has the power which if correctly harnessed can lead to the better functioning of the body as a whole. When the potential power of the mind is activated to its optimum, it can lead to the creation of inner joy. There is no one who holds the key to finding inner joy but yourself.
The author of this book gives his personal experience on how he travelled through different parts of India on a motorcycle. When he reached the Southern part of India, on one of the mountains as he was meditating, he rediscovered himself and his life was radically changed.
He goes ahead to explain in his book that you cannot learn inner joy from any guru, it all starts with the realization of self. It begins with a shift in how you see things and your personal life experience. This is one of the best yoga books available on the market.
- It is available in an audio book format
- It comes with tools and teachings on how to live a life of joy
- It can revolutionize your way of thinking
- It shares personal, practical ways of discovering self.
- It does not include pictorial presentation
2. Yoga Anatomy – By Leslie Kaminoff And Amy Matthews
The most outstanding feature of this book is its illustrations. The different yoga poses are illustrated in the form of medical pictures and photographs. They illustrate each picture both in the internal and external so that you can get a clear mental picture of the benefit you get from each pose you take. This is the best yoga book for both teachers and students.
This book covers everything from the breathing process during yoga to poses and inversions. On top of that, each illustration shows how each body muscle responds to each move you make. The authors also explain in detail how each joint movement will either hinder or enhance the effectiveness of the pose you take.
Whether you are a yoga beginner or a guru, this book has valuable information for you. You will be led to see every yoga posture in a new light. This book is ideal for all yoga practitioners. It will open your eyes to see how your body functions. It shows you which muscle is involved in each yoga pose. With the help of this book, you can know which mistakes you have been making so that you can change. Most importantly, it will help to avoid getting injured during the yoga sessions. This makes it one of the top picks for the best yoga books.
- It has clear illustrations
- It shows both internal and external muscle movement for each pose
- It is ideal for all yoga practitioners
- It will help you to avoid some mistakes that might lead to injury
- It has detailed explanations on how joints movements can enhance effective pose movements
- It has more vinyasas and asanas
- None was found
3. The Yoga Bible – By Christina Brown
This book comes with more than 170 yoga poses which are well illustrated. In addition to that, it has a step by step guide on how you can perform each pose. It also includes explanations on how you can lighten each pose, how to move into a particular posture, how to build postures and the effects each posture has both on your mind and body.
At the beginning of the book, the author has given a detailed introduction to yoga. She has also included useful information on the philosophy of yoga and practical suggestions on how to reap the best benefits from yoga. This makes it one of the top picks for the best yoga books.
- It comes with colored pictures
- It explains the benefits of practising yoga
- It is easy to carry and so you can take it with you to the class
- It has step by step explanation on how to perform each posture
- The pictorial representation will help you memorize the information faster
- It has succinct information on yoga
- The explanations are not given within the pose pictures
- It is large
- It does not say open on its own
4. Light On Yoga – By B.K.S. Iyengar
This gold standard yoga book comes with numerous yoga posture illustrations. Besides that, it also has an explanation of different breathing techniques. It has a step by step explanation on how to do each asana.
This book is ideal for both beginners and advanced yogis. The most amazing part of the book is the cure for different diseases using the asanas. It also offers a comprehensive guide on how to attain the mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing with the help of yoga.
The book has three sections with each part focusing on a given aspect of yoga. Part one gives the introductory history to yoga. The next part explains various yoga postures. All the postures have pictorial accompaniment. In addition to that, the author has included a guide on how to perform each pose and the precautions that you should take to avoid injuries.
The last section of this book focuses on the various yoga breathing techniques. It has a detailed explanation of the different types of breathing and their benefits.
- It was written by a yoga guru, therefore, the information is valuable
- It has a detailed explanation about yoga
- It takes you back to the history of yoga
- It has step by step guide on how to perform different postures
- It has pictorial representation though they are in black and white
- It lacks colored pictures
- It has a summary of the history of yoga and not the full history
5. The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice By Deborah Adele
This is a two-part book of the eight paths of Patanjali and yoga sutras. The book has a detailed explanation of the ethical aspect of yoga. The book is very engaging in the sense that at the end of each chapter, the author has included a self-study section. This section is meant to help you reflect on what you have learned.
The author has focused on not only the philosophical aspect but also the moral aspect of yoga. Additionally, she has also focused on human beings as moral entities which have the right to choose what is best for themselves. The author has not focused on the physical benefits of yoga.
- It is available in audio format
- It has a detailed explanation of the ethical aspect of yoga
- It has a detailed explanation of the moral aspect of yoga
- There is a self-study section at the end of each chapter for self-reflection
- It lacks an explanation of the physical benefits of yoga
6. The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali – By Sri Swami Satchidananda
This yoga book was written by a monk and it comes as a complete guide to the practice and study of raja yoga. It was originally written in Sanskrit and then translated to English. The book contains valuable teaching on how to gain the spiritual benefits of yoga.
It covers the history of yoga which dates many centuries back. It also has a detailed explanation on the ethics of teaching yoga, the yoga postures, meditation and simple practical ways of dealing with day to day life challenges.
The author, who is a highly regarded yoga master, offers his personal experiences on how to master your mind so that you can achieve maximum benefits from yoga. He also explains how you can achieve mental, emotional and physical harmony by practising yoga.
- It has a complete history of yoga dating 4 centuries back
- The author includes personal experiences which you can relate to
- He explains how to master your mind
- It has an explanation on the physical, emotional and mental benefits of yoga
- It does not have pictorial representations
- It lacks the different postures of yoga
7. Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes – By Mark Stephens
This yoga book is ideal for teachers. It represents the planning methods, principles and the sequence of yoga classes. The author has focused on the crucial aspect of yoga and has come up with more than sixty sequence models. It includes models that are ideal for beginners, intermediate and advanced practitioners.
Besides that, it also has a yoga guide for children, adolescents, women and the elderly. There is also a section that is meant for those students undergoing anxiety and depression. The sequence for each of these classes is different. Most importantly, there is a guide for each class on how to teach different meditation and breathing techniques.
An outstanding feature of this book is its thousands of pictorial representation on how each asana yoga is performed. There is also a detailed explanation of the relationship between the different types of yoga and how each posture is beneficial.
The author has also included an appendix which explains all the difficult yoga terminologies. He has also included a worksheet to help you plan your class accordingly. There is also included a reference where you can find help on how to teach yoga.
- It is ideal for yoga teachers
- It has principles of planning a yoga class
- It comes with pictorial representations on how to perform different postures
- It has a sequence for different classes of people
- It has a worksheet on how to plan your yoga class
- It contains references on how to find help to teach yoga
- It has an appendix with an explanation on the difficult terms
- None was found
8. Meditations From The Mat: Daily Reflections On The Path Of Yoga – By Rolf Gates
This book comes with a meditation for each day of the year. These meditations are designed to add a thoughtful idea into your daily life. The author starts each day with a provoking thought and then proceeds to explain an aspect of a given yoga philosophy.
The author gives personal experiences of his growth and healing through the practice of various yoga. He then gives a detailed explanation of how different kinds of yoga can be applied in our daily lives. The book can be read during any time of the day but it will for sure enhance your life and more especially from the yoga perspective.
- It will nourish your spiritual life
- It has enjoyable daily stories
- It will challenge you
- It has thought-provoking quotes for each day
- It will help you discover your inner self
- It will make you think
- It lacks pictorial presentations if you like pictures
- It contains stories which might not be ideal for those people that do not like stories
- It contains deep thought provoking sentiments which might not be ideal for those who don’t like deep thinking
9. Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual – By David Swenson
This book is ideal for all yoga practitioners. It focuses on the Ashtanga yoga and it comes complete with pictorial representation. What’s more, each posture is illustrated with the primary and intermediary pose. There is a complete guide on how to perform each pose. The author has also included short forms on how to perform a given pose.
Most yoga teachers refer to this book as the “Bible of Ashtanga yoga.” Because the author has given a simple step by step breakdown on how each posture is carried out. In addition to that, there is a manual on the different breathing techniques for each posture.
There is also a section for the philosophies of Ashtanga yoga with the benefits of each pose. This book is the best if you are interested in the analysis of the different forms of asana.
- It has pictorial representation on how to perform different postures
- It has a short form of the postures if you do not have enough time for the whole process.
- It has a detailed explanation of the different breathing techniques for Ashtanga yoga
- None was found
10. 2,100 Asanas: The Complete Yoga Poses – By Daniel Lacerda
This book is considered the best on the yoga poses because it comes with 2,100 photographs. Besides that, each picture comes with an explanation so that you can get the maximum benefit from the guide.
The book demonstrates most of the yoga postures and provides also short forms for the postures. The purpose of the short forms is to help you reap the full benefits of each pose you take.
The author has categorized the postures into different classes each representing the type of pose. For instance, backbend, seated, prone, standing, core pose to mention just but a few. On top of that, the author has arranged the postures from the less difficult to the most challenging pose. He has also included the health benefits of each pose and their names in the original Sanskrit and English.
- It has pictorial representations
- Each pose has its original Sanskrit and English name
- There are health benefits for each pose
- The postures are categorized into classes for easy reference
- None was found
11. The Heart Of Yoga: Developing A Personal Practice – By T.K.V Desikachar
The author is a yoga guru who was taught by his father who was a renowned yogi. This book covers every corner and nudge of yoga. It also highlights the effect of yoga on our physical, mental and spiritual aspects. As you read it, it will guide you through the history of yoga and help you master most of the yoga posters. In addition to that, you will learn the principles of yoga and how they are suitable for your occupation, health, lifestyle and age.
The book has a step by step guide on how to practice the different yoga styles. The author offers his own practical approach on how to do various postures. The book covers all the aspects of yoga from meditation to philosophy to breathing to short cut poses.
The steps are so easy to follow and as a practitioner, you can follow through easily. The steps are based on the old school principles of yoga which makes it stand apart from the crowd.
- It contains the step by step guide on how to carry out various postures
- It has custom made steps that are appropriate to one’s age, lifestyle and health.
- It covers all the aspects of yoga
- It contains the personal approach of the author
- It does not have pictorial representation
12. The Key Poses Of Yoga: Scientific Keys, Volume II – By Ray Long
The author of this book is the father of Bandha Yoga. The book comes with colored and well-illustrated pictures which shows an anatomical human muscle skeleton and how each muscle benefits from the different yoga postures. As you read through the book, you will experience an awakening of your muscles which will make your body aware of the benefits. This will make most of your muscles to be engaged in the exercise.
The author uses colored pictures to illustrate the different postures. He shows the different muscles that are used during a given posture. When you learn the muscles involved, it will help you to activate these muscles so that you will reap all the benefits from the postures you are learning.
This book is designed to become your companion during yoga. By stimulating all the muscles involved, you are likely to reap not only the physical but also the spiritual benefits of different postures.
- It has full-color pictorial representations
- It combines the textual and graphic representation to bring the message home
- It illustrates the particular muscles that are involved in different yoga postures
- It is a yoga practice companion
- It is thick
13. The Complete Guide To Yin Yoga: The Philosophy And Practice Of Yin Yoga – By Bernie Clark`
This book provides a detailed illustration of yin yoga. It comes complete with philosophies of yin yoga and photographs of different yin asanas. Yin yoga differs from the other form of yoga in that it gives more benefits to the inner parts of the body such as the fascia, ligaments, bones and joints.
One of the outstanding features of this type of yoga is the prolonged passive nature of its poses. This gives your body sufficient time to reap all the benefits of the posture. In addition to that, the long passive posture prepares you for meditation.
The author gives in-depth information on how yin yoga is done. He even highlights two of the most common yin postures and showing their benefits. He also informs the reader of the precautions to take when you want to practice these postures. The benefits of yin yoga are threefold: there are physical, emotional and energy benefits.
- It comes with pictorial representation on how to perform specific postures
- It has an in-depth explanation of how the poses are done
- It highlights the benefits of yin yoga
- It covers all the philosophies of yin yoga
- None was found
14. Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations And Techniques – By Mark Stephens
This is the best yoga book for teachers. However, for yoga practitioners who would like to improve their techniques and skills, this is an ideal book. Mostly, this book is used as the teacher training program reference book. The book addresses all the standard teacher training techniques that have been set by the Yoga Alliance.
The book has in-depth information on all aspects of yoga. It comes complete with the pictorial presentation which covers all the fundamental areas of yoga. It also covers the history and philosophy of yoga. In addition to that, it covers all the principles of yoga and all the postures including a brief history of each posture.
Besides that, it covers the scientific aspect of the physiology and anatomy of the human body. It gives the key tools for teaching various breathing styles and meditations. What’s more, it gives the sequence of setting up a yoga class, what you need to become a yoga teacher and how to plan yoga classes.
At the back of the book, the author has provided the appendix and index which provide detailed information on the different organizations and institutions for yoga teachers.
- It is a complete guide for teaching yoga
- It comes with pictorial representation on the different kinds of yoga
- It covers the aspects of yoga
- It contains the index and appendix with useful information for a yoga teacher
- It covers all the principles, history and philosophies of yoga
- Despite all the information it contains, you need to learn from an experienced teacher before becoming a yoga teacher
15. Namaslay: Rock Your Yoga Practice, Tap Into Your Greatness, & Defy Your Limits – By Candace Moore
This wonderful book combines the old school principles of yoga and the new age techniques to give a unique book for yoga. The author includes her personal experience on the walk of overcoming a depression which makes it very practical. The author insists on the path of self-discovery so that you can reach your ideal life.
The book contains colorful pictures which illustrate how to perform different types of yoga poses. There are also short from into achieving various postures in case you are not yet flexible enough to perform some of the poses. The pictorial presentation helps to visualize the poses hence avoiding some common mistakes when doing the poses.
What’s more, the book has a program for thirty days which is mainly aimed at relieving the back pain, strengthening the core and de-stressing. In addition to that, she highlights some tailor-made poses for different lifestyles such as athlete among others.
This book is ideal for all yoga practitioners. It is also a good companion for workout programs.
- It has colorful pictorial presentation
- It has a custom-tailored program for one month for various problems
- It has the personal experience of the author making it very practical
- It is ideal for all yoga practitioners
- It contains solutions for a few selected problems
16. How Yoga Works – By Michael Roach
The book presents all the secrets of how yoga works. It is a vivid illustration of yoga. It is well organized and formulated with detailed information on the various benefits of yoga. The benefits are well organized according to the spiritual, mental and physical.
Many of the readers of this book have found it well presented and sheds more light on how yoga works. It has helped many readers to change their opinion about yoga and the benefits derived from it. It is a self-explanatory book which informs and enlightens the reader.
- It is easy to understand
- It covers all the benefits of doing yoga
- It contains all the secrets of yoga
- None was found
17. Yoga: The Iyengar Way: The New Definitive Illustrated Guide
The book is about the Iyengar style of yoga. The author was a student of Iyengar and he is a disciple of his style of yoga. The book will take you through a journey of the various methods, instructions and postures of the Iyengar yoga. What’s more, the book comes with full pictorial representations.
It contains a number of different poses which make it easy to understand different styles and asanas.
- It contains comprehensive methods of Iyengar yoga
- It contains pictorial representation for quick and easy follow-up
- It has in-depth step by step instructions on how to perform different poses
- None was found
18. Pilates Anatomy – By Rael Isacowitz
This book stands apart from the crowd in that it contains in-depth, step by step instructions on how to perform various postures. On top of that, it has full colored pictorial illustrations on how to do different poses.
The poses are designed to help make you more flexible, increase your body tone, improve your body balance and strengthen your core. It also contains various breathing techniques and how each movement you make has a direct impact on your muscles.
Each of the exercises is designed to target a given body part to get all the benefits. Besides that, the author has highlighted some of the techniques that are meant to benefit your mind and specific part of the body. The book is ideal for all yoga practitioners.
- It is ideal for all yoga practitioners
- It contains full-color pictorial representations
- It highlights various techniques which are beneficial to the body
- The different poses represented have an impact of different muscles to make you more flexible, stronger and so much more
- None was found
19. The Yoga Beginner’s Bible: Top 63 Illustrated Poses For Weight Loss, Stress Relief And Inner Peace – By Tai Morello
This book is designed to introduce you to the benefits that you can get from yoga irrespective of your age or religion. If you do not understand what yoga is all about, this book will give you in-depth knowledge about the same. It is written for those individuals who feel that they do not belong to any fitness community.
Each of the poses illustrated here has photos which show you how you are supposed to do it. When you start doing yoga, you will instantly start reaping the benefits of yoga. This book explains how you can turn yoga into a daily habit and introduce to the simple poses that you can do as a beginner. You will also learn how to meditate and a step by step guide on how to do yoga. This book is meant to give you full information about yoga and how you can get started.
- It contains pictorial representations on how to do yoga
- It gives you full information about yoga
- It is ideal for yoga beginners
- It contains useful information on how to deal with daily life challenges like stress.
- None was found
20. Science Of Yoga: Understand The Anatomy And Physiology To Perfect Your Practice – By Ann Swanson
This book takes you on a journey on different kinds of yoga poses. It also informs you about the various benefits of practising yoga. The book comes with full scientific evidence which proves the benefits that different body parts get from different postures. The author highlights how muscle movements help in different poses.
The book has illustrations which show different muscle movements and their role in attaining different poses. In addition to that, she has also included the question and answer section which addresses some of the common questions about yoga.
- It contains scientific evidence on the benefits of yoga
- It has illustrations which show which muscles are involved in doing specific postures
- It contains the question and answer section which answers the most controversial questions on yoga.
- None was found
FAQS on Best Yoga Books
Q: Is Yoga Religious?
A: The simple answer is NO! yoga is universal, it can be practised by anyone. It has a spiritual aspect, yes but it is not related to any given religion. Therefore, yoga is beyond the boundaries of religion.
Q: Can I Practice Yoga On My Own With The Help Of Yoga Books?
A: Yes you can. However, it is not recommended to practice yoga all by yourself. Because some postures are dangerous to attempt on your own. They can lead to serious damage to some body parts if carried out incorrectly. For this reason, it is recommended to do yoga postures under the guidance of a teacher. The teacher can guide you on how to do a difficult posture so that you will not force yourself and get hurt in the process.
Q: Is There A Book That Answers All The Questions About Yoga?
A: A simple answer is yes. Richard Rosen has written a book on “Yoga FAQ” The book answers all the question question you might be having about yoga in a concise and simple manner. It sheds more light on yoga.
There are hundreds of books on yoga. And they all contain useful information on yoga. But you cannot read all of them. That is why we have come up with this list of the best books on yoga. Although yoga is practised as a lifestyle, it has a long history, philosophies, concepts and techniques. The books on yoga that we have presented here dig deep into the very beginning of yoga and let you know where it started. It is paramount to know the roots of what you are practising.
The list of books that we have presented here is meant to help you become a yoga pro. Books contain valuable information so that you can be able to differentiate the different types of moves. Also, by learning some of these techniques, you can be able to practice them in your home.
You might not fully understand yoga by reading one book. The best yoga books that we have presented in this post are meant to help you know something about yoga. We recommend that you read more than one book which might be of interest to you.