As you go deeper into your practice, it’s inevitable that you’re going to want to hungrily read as much as possible about yoga.

Believe me, I get it.

When I first started to deepen my yoga practice, I became obsessive with it. I wanted to learn as much as possible, both about the ancient practice, yoga philosophy, the spiritual practice and also about the physical stuff. I wanted to know all of the techniques that my yoga instructor knew and I wanted to know how to embody the principles of yoga in my everyday life.

The problem?

It’s hard to know which books on yoga are actually good, which are reputable. It’s hard to know the difference between a book based on ancient yoga philosophy and one based in physical activity(yoga asanas) only.

The worst part is that modern yoga has ventured so far away from the traditional principles of yoga that many yoga books completely ignore that aspect of yoga altogether.

Understandably, it’s hard to know where to get your information these days.

That said, there are so many amazing yoga books out there. Yoga books for beginners, books that go into detail of the physical and spiritual benefits of the practice, so many different translations of the yoga sutras, and even the beautiful yoga anatomy coloring book! So how do you choose?

Lots of my students ask me which books I recommend and I always come back to this same list. In fact, some of these yoga books are required reading in my online 200-hour training program!

Since I’m asked so frequently to share my favorite list of yoga books, I thought I’d write an entire post about it. Now you can deepen your practice and trust that you are getting an authentic understanding of what yoga truly is.

Let’s do it! I’m here to divulge all the best yoga books…

1. Best Yoga Book To Enhance Your Personal Practice

yoga life by brett larkin

Yoga Life: Habits, Poses, and Breathwork to Channel Joy Amidst the Chaos

By Brett Larkin

Does that seem biased that my book would be at the top of the list? Well, it is! But that’s because I poured my heart and soul into this book to help you bring yoga into your everyday life. Discover your five winning “soulmate” yoga postures. Design an adaptable tailor‐made practice that works for YOU and YOUR BODY. Drop “Yoga Habits” into your jam-packed day, whether it’s during a traffic jam, a toddler meltdown, or a life-changing crisis.

YOGA LIFE is your yoga journey guidebook empowering you to adapt your yoga practice uniquely to YOU! Instead of “one-size-fits all” yoga, you create a ritual designed to match your personality, your mood, and how long you have to practice. Whether it’s in the kitchen, at a laundromat, or waiting at a traffic light – with ten minutes to spare or twenty – go from feeling anxious to anchored with your individualized practice. My off-the-mat “Yoga Habits” help you cultivate consistency, so you can easily access the power of yoga whenever you want.

This is one of the best modern yoga books for beginners or seasoned yoga practitioners to personalize their yoga and take yoga’s practical wisdom into the chaos of your daily life.

2. Best Chakra Book

Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self

Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self

By Anodea Judith

I love this book so much that I invited the author to co-teach with me in my 300-hour yoga teacher training program! This book does a beautiful job bringing together ancient yoga philosophy with modern thinking so that we can understand the powerful healing potential that yoga offers.

This isn’t just about yoga postures and the body…

…it has a lot more to do with the spiritual path that yoga provides us via the chakra system. Think of yoga as a guide to living a better, more spiritually aware life and the chakras as the energetic roadmap of this guide. If you want to deepen your understanding of the role chakras play in your life, then reading this well-written and super interesting book is an excellent place to start. And this book is the best. So deep! And probably one of the best classic yoga books of all time.

This yoga book is by no means the easiest book to digest. But that’s part of why I love it too and why I put this as required reading in my 200-hr yoga teacher training complete with videos to break it down. This might be the hardest book on the sutras, but it is the best which is why it’s required for yoga teacher training.

This yoga book is by no means the easiest book to digest. But that’s part of why I love it too and why I put this as required reading in my 200-hr yoga teacher training complete with videos to break it down. This might be the hardest book on the sutras, but it is the best which is why it’s required for yoga teacher training.

3. Best Yoga Sutra Book

Inside the Yoga Sutras: A Comprehensive Sourcebook for the Study and Practice of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

Inside the Yoga Sutras: A Comprehensive Sourcebook for the Study and Practice of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

By Jaganath Carrera

Go beyond physical postures with The Yoga Sutras. The Yoga Sutras are based on ancient texts and philosophy that is rooted in Hinduism. For many, this can be quite intense and even difficult to grasp. That’s why I love this sourcebook by Reverend Carrera, because it makes the sutras super accessible to everyone regardless of your religion.

4. Best Feminine Perspective

The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman’s Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras

The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman’s Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras

By Nischala Joy Devi

Traditionally yoga was done for men, taught by men and translated and passed down only through men. That’s why I love this book because it will introduce yoga through a feminine perspective. As I’m sure you are well aware today’s yoga practitioner is not just a man, but seems to be majority of women now too. So it’s important that women have a voice with these translations as well.

Also, I’m especially obsessed with yoga when it comes to women’s health. Your yoga practice can provide tremendous healing of the mind, body, and soul, which is why I’m a huge fan of this book. It talks about the Yoga Sutras from the perspective of women’s health and provides a guide on how to incorporate the basic tenets into everyday life.

yoga for self mastery

5. Best For Yoga Beginners

Introduction to Yoga

Introduction to Yoga

by Alan Finger

Alan Finger is the yoga instructor that I studied with and with whom I continue to practice yoga even to this day. He is a Tantric and Kriya master, meaning that he has a deep understanding of the principles of yoga according to traditional yogic philosophy. From breathing techniques and basic poses, yoga is not just a physical practice. This is one of the best yoga books for beginners.

If you can’t practice yoga with him, then reading his book, Introduction to Yoga, is a great alternative. He breaks it down in such a beautiful way that makes it easy to understand and apply to your own life, even off the mat. It’s basically your yoga beginner’s bible.

6. Best Women’s Health Book

A Woman’s Book of Yoga

A Woman’s Book of Yoga

By Machelle M. Siebel & Hari Kaur Khalsa

Another yoga book that combines traditional yoga with modern yoga, A Woman’s Book of Yoga takes the teachings of a Kundalini yoga instructor and combines them with the expertise of a medical doctor to provide a guide on how to build a yoga practice that supports women’s health. I absolutely love it and love that science supports this ancient practice. Plus, there’s recipes!!!

7. Best Yogic Philosophy Book

A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

By Jack Kornfield

Listen, I gotta be honest about this book: many of my students really resist it as they’re reading it. I don’t know if it’s too clunky for them, or if it makes them uncomfortable in all the icky spots where the ego hides… but most of them then come back to tell me that it changed their life. It changed mine too, which is why I make it required reading in my 200-hour online YTT.

This inspiring book is full of meditation and breathing exercises. It is one of the best yoga books because although it may be hard to get through, this book encourages a yogic path of healing to guide you through the obstacles of life and lead you to clarity, self acceptance and understanding. This is a great resource for more experienced yogis really looking to dive deep into their practice. Advanced yogis, don’t miss this one.

8. Best Yoga Anatomy Book

Meta Anatomy: Anatomy of a Yogi

Meta Anatomy: Anatomy of a Yogi

by Kristin Leal

I love Kristin and her take on yoga anatomy, which is why I asked her to co-teach with me in my 200-hour online course. The way that she breaks down the yoga poses and yoga sequencing according to the bones, ligaments, and muscles is beautiful. It’s easy to understand and even easier to remember as you begin building your own yoga sequencing and classes making this the best yoga book for yoga teachers.

This would also be a great yoga book for beginners to better understand the physical practice and break down yoga poses to make sure they are working for YOUR body.

9. Best Injury Management Book

Your Body Your Yoga

Your Body Your Yoga

by Bernie Clark

So many students become so eager in their practice that they often push themselves too far, which can strain muscles and lead to injuries. I love this book by Bernie Clark because it teaches you how to respect the innate limitations in your body and how to move through postures without pushing yourself too far. This is something that I regularly talk about in my online program and so this is naturally one of my favorite books on yoga.

10. Best Book For Visual Learners

Anatomy for Vinyasa Flow Standing Poses

Anatomy for Vinyasa Flow Standing Poses

by Ray Long

Because vinyasa flow has become one of the most popular styles of yoga, it’s helpful to have a comprehensive understanding of how the body works in each of its poses. Ray Long has a ton of amazing books on yoga and this is one of the most helpful. It focuses on the yoga positions with step by step instructions so that you can get the full yoga experience out of your practice.

11. Best Quick Read

The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali

By Sri Swami Satchidananda

This classic yoga book by Sri Swami Satchidananda is the one that all others yoga books point back to, it is basically the manual for Raja yoga. So, if you want to read the original text on yoga philosophies, then this is the yoga book for you.

12. Best Vedic Book

Bhagavad Gita A New Translation

Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation

by Stephen Mitchell

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most referenced ancient Hindu texts that is basically a story outlining many of the biggest lessons that Hinduism offers. Basically, of the classic yoga books, this epic poem is THE CLASSIC. I recommend reading a modern translation because the original form is in Sanskrit and direct translations can be a bit confusing. Mitchell’s translation is great and easy to understand.

You can get a better understanding of the Bhagavad Gita and the entire history of yoga with my History of Yoga Course where the true origins of yoga are revealed!

history of yoga online yoga course

13. Best Yoga Biography

Autobiography of a Yogi

Autobiography of a Yogi

by Paramhansa Yogananda

This isn’t necessarily an important text to understand yoga or its teachings but is fun to read anyway. Written by world renowned yogi Paramhansa Yogananda, it provides insight into Indian culture and what it means to be a yogi in India. It also shows the reader just how deep the spiritual aspects of yoga goes, reaching far beyond just the yoga poses that we have grown to understand yoga to be today.

In fact, this is such a great resource that it is a required reading in my Kundalini 200-hr yoga teacher training!

kundalini demystified

14. Best Tantra Book

Tantra Illuminated

Tantra Illuminated

by Christopher D Wallis

All of yoga is based on Tantra and not the neo-tantra sexuality that you’ve probably read about online. Wallis does a great job explaining its origins without getting lost in the popular obsession of Osho and the likes. A great read for yoga teachers. So, if you want a true understanding of yoga in its deepest, most comprehensive form, then this is a great place to start.

15. Best Book For Yoga Routines & Rituals

Year of Yoga: Rituals for Every Day and Every Season (Yoga with Kassandra, Yin Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Lunar Yoga)

by Kassandra Reinhardt

Kassandra has been teaching yoga for years! She is an AMAZING yoga teacher with a huge following and popular YouTube channel. She is so incredible that she is actually a guest teacher in my 200-hr training!

This book has laid out for you sequences with links to yoga classes so that you can practice along with Kassandra. The classes are designed to work with the different cadences of the year. Meaning this is your essential guide to yoga for all seasons!

Now Get Reading!!

These yoga books range from helping with beginner yoga poses to going beyond the physical practice and diving into the spiritual practice of yoga, to providing you with a full yoga class. Find the yoga book that most piques your interest and start there. Then from there keep moving through. You will learn something unique from each book and how yoga helps your life in so many ways. Happy reading!!

Next Steps

  • Take my History of Yoga Course to learn all about yogic principles and how they are applied to daily life!
  • Order my Yoga Life book for a practical guide to applying yogic principles to your life and constitution.
  • Check out my Yoga Philosophy knowledge hub for more inspiring content
  • Join Uplifted for exclusive content that you can access right from the app. Take a deep dive into your practice with me this year!
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