A Yogi's Reading List

I would like to first offer this: reading must be paired with movement. Deep movement. Explorative movement. "Breaking The Rules" movement. Movement that takes those words and roots them deep into your cells in a way that makes sense to you...

So. This is a taste of what you'll find on my shelves.

Light On Yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar. This is one of the seminal texts breaking down the asanas, including variations and progressions, a list of contraindications, and crazy pictures of Iyengar standing on his head with no hands.

Yoga of the Subtle Body: A Guide to the Physical and Energetic Anatomy of Yoga, Tias Little. This is beyond your average anatomy book... it also goes into the lymph systems, the Chakras, mudras, and more. Supplement this with a solid gross anatomy book, and you'll be golden.

Yoga Anatomy, 2nd ed, Leslie Kaminoff. The best anatomy book I've personally used for breaking down the muscle groups and function, how we move through common asanas broken down by skeletal and muscular joint actions, and breathwork suggestions for each pose examining compression and release.

Anatomy of the Spirit, Caroline Myss. This book was required reading for my training and completely changed how I view the deeper emotional and energetic healing properties of yoga. Myss combines the Chakra system, the Tree of Life, and some of the most prominent psychological development theories to explore how our physical body mirrors and expresses our developmental, emotional, and energetic healing path.

The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice, T.K.V. Desikachar. I originally bought this for its exploration of the Yoga Sutras, but this book is written by the son of Krishnamacharya - and dives deeply into the philosophy of coming to your yoga practice. It is not a breakdown of postures but rather an invitation to pranayama, asana, and an exploration of how your body meets the practice. A beautiful foundational book for those looking to truly develop a personal practice.

The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The Philosophy & Practice of Yin Yoga, Bernie Clark. Yin (lunar) is an incredibly beneficial and necessary counterpart to our typically very Yang (solar) practice. Bernie Clark is one of the renowned teachers bringing Yin to the United States, and this book provides the foundational explanation of why Yin is important and how to approach a basic practice with posture breakdowns and suggested sequencing.

Wheels of Life, Anodea Judith. This is THE go-to book for the Chakra system. I reference it regularly as it serves as a great reference for each Chakra and its associated energetics and anatomy. These Chakras inform our practice whether we recognize it consciously or not.

Eastern Body, Western Mind, Anodea Judith. An amazing pair with Wheels of Life, this goes deeper into the emotional and psychological aspects of the Chakras as well as how to identify our own blockages and work with them. Again, this book has served as a reference point for me time and time again.

 

The learning, of course, never stops -- these days some of the most powerful teachings I've had have been in person, with my teachers. There are so many paths to take with your practice and studies. Continue diving deeper...