Over the last year, we have published dozens of interviews with Seattle area yoga teachers in our spotlight series, one of the questions we have asked them was what their favorite book is? To help you find the next book that will inspire you, we have made a compilation of the most recommended books by our amazing yoga teachers. Scroll down and pick your next favorite book!
1- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda
2- Tantra Illuminated by Hareesh Wallis
3- The Seeker’s Guide by Elizabeth Lesser
4- Fierce Medicine by Ana T. Forrest
5- The Heart of Yoga by TKV Desikachar
6- To Love and Let Go by Rachel Brathen
7- Psychic Intelligence by Terri and Linda Jamison
8- The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele
9- Yoga of the Subtle Body by Tias Littles
10- Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar
11- Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
12- The radiance sutras by Lorin Roche
13- Bringing Yoga to Life by Donna Farhi
14- The Bhagavad Gita by Christopher Key Chapple
15- Hatha Yoga by Yogi Ramacharaka
16- Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton
17- The Art of Living Vipassana Meditation by S. N. Goenka
18- Seasonal Health and Wellness by Melina Meza
19- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Swami Vivekananda
20- Radical Dharma by Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens, and Jasmine Syedullah
21- Wheels of LIfe by Anodea Judith
22- The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi
23- 2,100 Asanas: The Complete Yoga Poses by Daniel Lacerda
24- A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
25- Journey Into Power by Baron Baptiste
26- The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh
Recommended by Abiola Akanni: “The book that has influenced me most is definitely The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.”
Recommended by Andreas Fetz: “Not yoga per se, but as far as spirituality centered books, The Seeker’s Guide by Elizabeth Lesser had a big influence on me. Really helped me to frame my own spiritual path outside of traditional religion.”
About This Book: In The Seeker’s Guid, Elizabeth Lesser synthesizes the lessons learned from an immersion into the world’s wisdom traditions and intertwines them with illuminating stories from her daily life. Recounting her own trials and errors and offering meditative exercises, she shows the reader how to create a personal practice, gauge one’s progress, and choose effective spiritual teachers and habits. Warm, accessible, and wise, this book provides directions through the four landscapes of the spiritual journey.
Recommended by Anna Douglas: “Ana T Forrest’s book Fierce Medicine. That book woke me up. If you don’t know Ana I highly recommend checking out her story.”
About This Book: In Fierce Medicine, Ana Forrest, charismatic teacher and founder of Forrest Yoga, combines physical practice, eastern wisdom, and profound Native American ceremony to help heal everything from addictive behaviors and eating disorders to chronic pain and injury.
Fierce Medicine is also part memoir, detailing Ana Forrest’s journey to move beyond her past as she helps others to do the same. Filled with helpful yoga exercises, Fierce Medicine teaches us to reconnect with our bodies, cultivate balance, and start living in harmony with our Spirits.
Recommended by Anne-Phyfe Palmer: “The Heart of Yoga by TKV Desikachar is my favorite yoga book.”
About This Book: Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who lived to be over 100 years old, is one of the most well respected and well known yogis of the modern era. Elements of his teaching have been spread around the world through the work of his students BKS Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Indra Devi and AG Mohan. TKV Desikachar is Krishnamacharya’s son, who lived and studied with the great master all his life and now teaches the full spectrum of Krishnamacharya’s yoga. The core of this teaching is that practices must be continually adapted to the individuals changing needs to achieve the maximum beneficial effect.
Recommended by Devon Watson: “To Love and Let Go by Rachel Brathen! Just finished reading it for the second time and it was just as moving as the first. A must read for everyone, but especially for those who are moving through a period of loss and grieving.”
Recommended by Ellen Haines: “I read Psychic Intelligence by Terri and Linda Jamison recently which I would recommend to anyone wanting to learn how to tap into and trust their intuition.”
Now The Psychic Twins will help you tune in to and strengthen your own intuition, look into your future, and change your destiny. In this book, Terry and Linda share their astonishing gift with you. They give step-by-step instructions for how you can dissolve mental blocks and focus on exploring the Four Clairs: clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, and claircognizance.
Recommended by Elli Yokochi: “I love The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele because it’s always relevant with great stories and quotes. It’s also excellent for theming as a teacher.”
Recommended by Emily O’Dea: “The yoga related books I love, love, love are Yoga of the Subtle Body by Tias Littles, and Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers”
About This Book: If you spend considerable time doing yoga, you begin to see that it is about much more than just the body—the practice of yoga in fact reveals that the body is in no way separate from the psYchospiritual forces that animate it. Tias Little here provides a way to understand these forces as they relate to an integrated yoga of body, mind, and spirit. He unites somatic concepts and wisdom teachings in this practical guide to the anatomy of the physical, mental, emotional, and subtle (or energetic) body.
Recommended by Emma Shandy Anway: “Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar. This book truly changed my life, I read it first when I was 17 and it transformed the way I thought about yoga and how I practiced.”
Recommended by Frani Assaf: “Autobiography of a Yogi has had the greatest impact on me. Yogananda is the brother and teacher of Bishnu Ghosh and his lineage changed my life for the better.”
About This Book: Selected as “One of the 100 Best Spiritual Books of the 20th Century,” Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi has been translated into over 33 languages, and is regarded worldwide as a spiritual classic. It reads like an adventure story while answering questions about religion, God, existence, yoga, higher consciousness, and the challenges of daily spiritual living.
Recommended by Gea Krajcar: “One of my favorites is The radiance sutras by Lorin Roche. It’s his unique perspective on the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra along with guidance in how to meditate with and embody them.”
About This Book: The gateways to wonder and delight are flung open wide for all to enter. At once a beautiful love song and an encyclopedia of yogic techniques, the cherished text known as the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra shimmers with new effulgence in Lorin Roche’s The Radiance Sutras. Lorin brings us his unique perspective on each of 112 Sanskrit teachings, along with his one-of-a-kind guidance in how to meditate with, embody, and practice them―what he describes as “answering the call of the sutras you love.”
Recommended by Heather Falkin: “I can’t really choose just one book! My bedside table is full of them. One that I refer back to often, however, is Bringing Yoga to Life by Donna Farhi. It was the first book I read that took the teachings of yoga and eloquently put them in terms I could digest and appreciate.”
Expanding upon the teachings of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the core text of the yoga tradition, Donna Farhi describes yoga’s transforming power as a complete life practice, far beyond its common reduction to mere exercise routine or stress management. This is the philosophy of yoga as a path to a deeper awareness of self. Drawing upon her years of teaching with students, Farhi guides readers through all the pitfalls and promises of navigating a spiritual practice.
Recommended by Morwenna Hardwick: “Reading the Bhagavad Gita was very interesting. One of the things that I gained from reading it was reinforcement for the piece of advice that I mentioned earlier that was so inspiring to me – do the work and let go of the results.”
About This Book: For years, this edition of the Bhagavad Gītā has allowed all those with a lively interest in this spiritual classic to come into direct contact with the richness and resonance of the original text. Winthrop Sargeant’s interlinear edition provides a word-for-word English translation along with the devanagari characters and the transliterated Sanskrit. Detailed grammatical commentary and page-by-page vocabularies are included, and a complete translation of each section is printed at the bottom of each page, allowing readers to turn the pages and appreciate the work in Sargeant’s translation as well. Discussions of the language and setting of the Gītā are provided and, in this new edition, editor Christopher Key Chapple offers guidance on how to get the most out of this interlinear edition.
Recommended by Michael Suzerris: “The book that most influenced me was the first of a series of books published in 1904, by Yogi Ramacharaka called Hatha Yoga. I came across a very attractive set of little blue cloth-bound books that caught my eye. When I first picked them up at age 18, the content inside didn’t click with me. Some years later, I re-opened the Hatha Yoga book which started with the words: ‘If you’re reading these words, it means you’re ready to hear what I have to say to you.’ In that moment, it was as though I was actually hearing the voice of someone speaking to me from the past. And thus, began my inquiry into the world of yoga.”
Recommended by Naomi Huober: “The one that I continually go back to again and again is Awakening Shakti by the ever-amazing Sally Kempton. I eat up all things ‘divine feminine’ and love the world of archetypes and Mythology.”
About This Book: How do you live a life of spiritual awakening as well as outer abundance, inner freedom as well as deep intimacy? How do you serve the world selflessly, yet passionately celebrate your life? The sages of Tantra have known for centuries that when you follow the path of Shakti—the sacred feminine principle personified by the goddesses of yoga—these gifts can manifest spontaneously. Yet most of us, women as well as men, have yet to experience the full potential of our inner feminine energies. When you know these powers for what they are, they heighten your capacity to open spiritually, love more deeply and fearlessly, create with greater mastery, and move through the world with skill and delight.
Recommended by Stephanie Hansen: “I avoid book questions like the plague! Ha! Books are not really a hobby for me unless I’m medicated enough to focus. However, my favorite audiobook is The Art of Living Vipassana Meditation by S. N. Goenka. An old friend Rocky gave me this audiobook and I listen to it regularly. I hope to visit a Vipassana retreat center someday.”
Based on the lectures and writings of S. N. Goenka–and prepared under his direct guidance–The Art of Living shows how this technique can be used to solve problems, develop unused potential, and lead a peaceful, productive life. It includes stories by S. N. Goenka, as well as answers to students’ questions, that convey a vivid sense of his teaching.
Recommended by Tracy Hodgeman: “I’m also really enjoying Melina Meza’s brilliant and beautiful new book called Seasonal Health and Wellness.”
About This Book: Seasonal Health and Wellness – Change Your Life One Week At A Time, a holistic practice that features lifestyle, diet, and yoga practices tailored to the rhythms of the four seasons to help people stay healthy as they age! This inspirational guidebook features 52 simple and effective seasonal practices, one for each week of the year. The practices span a range of focuses-some are dietary, some meditative, some yoga- or exercise-based, and others geared to sleep or self-care. Each is designed to be followed at a particular time of day, during a particular season when it is most supported.
Recommended by Ali Valdez: “…I also love the Vivekananda translation of The Yoga Sutras.”
The book is organized into four parts and provides descriptions of the eight limbs of yoga, such as pranayama and asana. The translated text is presented alongside a clear and insightful commentary by Swami Vivekananda, which makes them more accessible to the modern reader and yoga practitioner. His message of universal brotherhood and self-awakening remains relevant today, especially in the current backdrop of widespread political turmoil around the world.
Recommended by Laura Humpf: “Some other books I return to over and over are Radical Dharma by Reverend angel Kyodo Williams…”
About This Book: Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens, and Jasmine Syedullah represent a new voice in American Buddhism. Offering their own histories and experiences as illustrations of the types of challenges facing dharma practitioners and teachers who are different from those of the past five decades, they ask how teachings that transcend color, class, and caste are hindered by discrimination and the dynamics of power, shame, and ignorance. Their illuminating argument goes beyond a demand for the equality and inclusion of diverse populations to advancing a new dharma that deconstructs rather than amplifies systems of suffering and prepares us to weigh the shortcomings not only of our own minds but also of our communities. They forge a path toward reconciliation and self-liberation that rests on radical honesty, a common ground where we can drop our need for perfection and propriety and speak as souls.
Recommended by Greta Hill: “Oh goodness… There are so many! Ok a few off the top of my head: Wheels of LIfe by Anodea Judith…”
About This Book: Wheels of Life takes you on a powerful journey through progressively transcendent levels of consciousness. View this ancient metaphysical system through the light of new metaphors, ranging from quantum physics to child development. Learn how to explore and balance your own chakras using poetic meditations and simple yoga movements―along with gaining spiritual wisdom, you’ll experience better health, more energy, enhanced creativity, and the ability to manifest your dreams.
Recommended by Jasmine Rashae: “I love The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi …”
Yoga is well known for its power to create a healthy body, but few realize the emotional and spiritual benefits. Devi’s simple, elegant, and deeply personal interpretations capture the spirit of each sutra, and her suggested practices offer numerous ways to embrace the spirituality of Yoga throughout your day
Recommended by Nina Hunt: “A few of my favorites – any book by Ray Long or Tom Myers, 2,100 Asanas: The Complete Yoga Poses by Daniel Lacerda …”
A thoughtful, inspiring, meticulously-crafted guide to the practice of yoga, 2,100 Asanas will explore hundreds of familiar poses along with modified versions designed to bring more healthful options to yogis of all experience and ability.
Recommended by Renee Meena Fitzgerald: “My favorite books I revisit again and again are – Light On Life by Iyengar; A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle…”
About This Book: With his bestselling spiritual guide The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle inspired millions of readers to discover the freedom and joy of a life lived “in the now.” In A New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence.
Recommended by Tina Templeman: “…and Baron Baptiste’s book Journey Into Power (essential for newer yogis).”
In this unique and inspiring book, one of the world’s most dynamic and sought-after master yoga teachers brings us the same revolutionary program for body, mind, and spirit that has changed the bodies and lives of Hollywood celebrities, all-star athletes, and millions of people just like you. In his refreshing and iconoclastic style, Baron Baptiste shows us that the key to true power is not to chase an ideal version of ourselves but to reveal the perfect self already within.
Recommended by Tera Bucasas: “Oh goodness, favorites are my least favorite. I love books, especially this genre! The 2 that come to mind are: The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh…”
Covering such significant teachings as the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Three Doors of Liberation, the Three Dharma Seals, and the Seven Factors of Awakening, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching is a radiant beacon on Buddhist thought for the initiated and uninitiated alike.
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