Learning is an important part of teaching yoga, and there are a ton of great books out there! The ancient texts give us valuable insight on the philosophy of this incredible practice while modern books can teach us more about anatomy, business, and other elements of yoga. Whether you’re just getting started on your yoga teacher certification, or you have been teaching for years – here are 19 books that every yoga teacher should read.
The Bhagavad Gita is a classic ancient Indian story about a dialogue between Warrior Arjuna and his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna. As Arjuna sets off into battle, he begins to seek answers about important questions about life from Sri Krishna.
2. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Patanjali
This classic book, written over 4,000 thousand years ago, is one of the most important texts on yoga philosophy today. The Sutras detail ancient yogic philosophy on every day life, ethics, meditation, and spirituality.
3. The Upanishads
The Upanishads is another important and revered ancient text about yogic wisdom and philosophy. Enlightened sages share wisdom about consciousness, spirituality, and a deeper look into the relationship between the Self and the Divine.
4. Perfectly Imperfect: The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice by Baron Baptiste
This book by Baron Baptiste, helps yoga practitioners learn important fundamental lessons about yoga. It helps readers understand the true trans-formative aspect of yoga and go beyond what their imagined idea of a “perfect yogi” is. It also hits on points about flowing, dealing with life’s challenges, intuition, and being open to the spiritual and emotional growth that yoga can create for us.
5. Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews
Written by internally recognized experts on Yoga Anatomy, this book is a great reference for yoga practitioners and teachers. It gives readers an understanding of the structures and anatomy of the body. It also explains how anatomy relates to different key yoga poses.
6. The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga by Amy Ippoliti and Taro Smith
An excellent guide for yoga teachers that details all the different aspects of running a yoga business today. It includes, business basics, marketing, social media marketing, communication, finding new opportunities, and how to run a successful yoga business.
7. Teaching Yoga: Essential Techniques and Foundations by Mark Stephens
This book is filled with vital topics including yoga philosophy and history, styles of yoga, tools and techniques for teaching, 108 poses, breathing techniques, and class sequencing basics. It’s a great book for new and old teachers, or just practitioners looking to deepen their knowledge.
8. Light on Life by B.K.S. Iyengar
B.K.S. Iyengar’s book touches on the emotional and spiritual development of yoga. This book is filled with wisdom and stories from his own personal life to reveal the important treasures that yoga helps us to develop internally. It also touches on how yoga helps us to overcome our challenges in life and also leads us on a journey to a deeper sense of wholeness.
9. 21,000 Asanas by Daniel Larceda
One of the most complete books on yoga poses, this book illustrates beautiful photographs and probably every single yoga pose that exists. The book is organized into sections of types of poses including seated, standing, backbends, inversions, and more. It also details modifications, a brief description for each pose, and spiritual associations for the poses.
10. Meditations From The Mat by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison
This book includes 365 daily reflections as a way to take yoga practice off the mat and into the world. This book really helps to support every yogi in their personal yoga journey through its daily teachings.
11. The Mindful Brain by Daniel Siegel
Written by internationally acclaimed best seller, Daniel Siegel, this book helps to connect science with mindfulness. It details how mindfulness helps our physical bodies, our overall health, emotional health, and also mental health. It teaches how we can use a more focused mind to improve all areas of our lives.
12. Yoga Therapy Mark Stephens
This book explains how yoga practices can be used to heal a number of common ailments and injuries. Using ancient yoga, Ayurveda and modern medical research, Mark Stephens offers a lot of practical tips that any yoga teacher can use to further their
13. The Complete Guide To Yin Yoga by Bernie Clark
The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical PracticeThis book offers a detailed look at the practice and philosophy of Yin Yoga. It includes practical techniques, 30 Yin Yoga poses, anatomy, and more. Another must have for yoga teachers looking to deepen their yoga knowledge.
14. The Yamas and Niyamas by Deborah Adele
A great resource for yoga teachers, this book is a modern look at the ancient Yamas and Niymas of the eight-fold path of the Yoga Sutras. It even offers a self-study section after each chapter that teachers can use for philosophy discussions in their classes.
15. The Key Muscles of Yoga by Ray Long
This colorful book offers three-dimensional images of yoga poses to detail the different muscles, tendons, bones, and tissues used in each pose. Each illustration also includes detailed descriptions of the anatomy behind each pose. A great visual and educational guide for teachers looking to deepen their anatomy knowledge.
16. The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice
The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal PracticeIn this book, yogi Desikachar offers his own practical outlooks on yoga poses, breathing, meditation, and philosophy. His book gives us a way to view ancient yoga practices in a way that we can relate to in modern day. It’s a great book that truly gets to the heart of what yoga is all about.
17. Ayurveda by Sahara Rose Ketabi
A great book that goes over all the different aspects of Ayurveda including the history, philosophy, and Doshas. The author explains what the ancient practice is, how to use it today, food choices, diet, and lifestyle choices. It also includes healthy recipes and yoga poses for Ayurveda healing.
18. The Path Of The Urban Yogi By Darren Main
This wonderfully modern book details how we can use yoga to change the way we perceive our experiences and relationships. It helps us all be able to find ways to integrate yoga into a busy Western world. It is filled with humor and wise teachings that any yogi can apply to their daily life.
19. The Heart of Meditation by the Dalai Lama
In this book written by His Holiness, we learn about what is truly at the heart of meditation – Compassion. A great edition to a spiritual practice, this book helps to outline how to cultivate and practice more love, kindness, and respect for others.