The best and most important yoga books for new yoga teachers and all those who want to go deeper
Are you looking for good yoga books? Maybe as preparation for your yoga teacher training or because you want to dive deeper into the subject? Or maybe you’ve just finished your yoga teacher training and want to deepen your knowledge on specific areas?
There are thousands, or rather millions of yoga books and recently it feels like every day someone is publishing a new book on yoga, mainly filled with yoga exercises, which in my opinion are more or less all the same. So, which are the most essential books in yoga then?
The classic yoga books for yoga teachers and those about to embark in their yoga teacher training program
99.9% of yoga schools and institutes offering yoga teacher trainings insist that their students read this very book! Yoga Anatomy is a subject in itself and not necessarily easy, but essential. And this particular book explains the most important exercises and their respective effects on organs, muscle groups and joints with with easy-to-understand 3D images.
You are interested in the philosophy of yoga and want to know how today’s yoga actually started? Are you looking to understand what yoga really is and ready to look behind the facade of purely physical yoga exercises (yoga asanas)? Then I recommend the classic of all classics by Patanjali:
Because it contains everything you need to know. The truth about yoga, what yoga really is. Above all, it is remarkable that this book shows that yoga exercises, i.e. yoga asanas, the physical part of yoga, are not the essential part of yoga. Yoga asanas are mentioned only two times in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
What does this mean? It means that Pantanjali knew that yoga is much more than just physical exercises, i.e. pure poses or asanas. So, grab a copy of this book and find out for yourself! I must mention that is is not an easy to understand book. You probably won’t read the whole book in one read. I usually only read a few chapters and go back to chapters I’ve already read before multiple times.
Note: There are many different translations and commentaries on the Yoga Sutras!
Would you like a little more philosophy? Then dare to try the next recommendation.
The Upanishads are a collection of scriptures and comprise the final Vedas and concern the soul (Atman) and its quest for ultimate reality (Brahman). The teachings of the scriptures are both religion and philosophy and form the underlying principles for the Eastern mystical religions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism. I love this book!
Yoga Asanas and more
I came across this book in Thailand when I was volunteering at a yoga center, as fortunately the center had quite a good selection of books on yoga & meditation.
Especially after a yoga teacher training, many people are confused and don’t really know how to organize their very first yoga class. Of course, this topic is also covered in the YTT, but still, some might want to know more about the topic. For me that was certainly the case. The book is very easy to understand and it explains well what’s important and what to consider for sequencing. Thus, it will help you to put together yoga poses in an intelligent and harmonic order.
In addition, the book contains many example sequences, which you can use as a template. It also has difference sequences for beginners and advanced students and explains the importance of a “peak pose” in a yoga sequence, which you can find out more about here.
Which yoga books are your favorites? Comment below and I’ll add them to the list!