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35 Yoga Books to Read This Summer

June 2, 2016

The weather is getting warmer and we’re beginning to break out our sunscreen, bathing suits, and of course, poolside reading material.

As yogis, we’re always looking to find books that can change our practices and lives, so we surveyed our community to discover their favorites.

Below you’ll find a handful of classic yoga books, in no particular order, as well as new yoga books that are already impacting our lives. Did we forget your favorites? Be sure to add them in the comments.

*Book descriptions pulled primarily from Amazon. 

35 Yoga Books to Read This Summer


1. “Yoga for Life” by Colleen Saidman

The “first lady of yoga” shares her journey from darkness to light and transform through yoga in this authentic, inspiring autobiography.

2. “The Yoga Sutras,” compiled by Patanjali

This ancient, most-translated Indian text is a compilation 196 Indian Sutras and they are a must-read for any yoga practitioner.

3. “Yoga Therapy for Stress and Anxiety” by Robert Butera ButeraErin Byron Byron, and Staffan Elgelid Elgelid

Through incorporating exercises, breathing techniques, meditation, and many other tools, this guide provides effective methods for repairing areas of imbalance and identifying your needs.

4. “The Eight Human Talents: Restore the Balance and Serenity within You with Kundalini Yoga” by  Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa with Cathryn Michon

Gurmukh, an internationally renowned yoga teacher, outlines the spiritual and physical practices of Kundalini Yoga through step-by-step instructions and explanations of the chakras.

5. “Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness”  by Erich Schiffmann

Discover the path to inner peace with this guidebook that blends hatha yoga and meditation strategies from yoga master Erich Shiffmann.

6. “Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs” by Louise Goldberg

If you are a parent of a child with special needs or a professional who works with one, this book is a must-read.

7. “Awakening the Spine: The Stress-Free New Yoga that Works with the Body to Restore Health, Vitality, and Energy” by Vanda Scaravelli

A new method of yoga for overall fitness that teaches, “if it hurts, it’s wrong'” from an 83-year-old master.

8. “The Bhagavad Gita”

This early epic poem that recounts the conversation between Arjuna the warrior and his charioteer Krishna, the manifestation of God. Before a great battle, the dialogue sets out the important lessons Arjuna must learn to change the outcome of the war he is to fight, and culminates in Krishna revealing to the warrior his true cosmic form, counselling him to search for the universal perfection of life. If you haven’t read it already, you may want to put this on the top of your list.

9. “How Yoga Works” by Michael Roach and Christie McNally

This book reveals the secrets of how yoga works to make us truly whole in a story based on how these precious teachings reached Tibet from their home in India, over a thousand years ago.

10. “The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness” by Pema Chödrön 

This book is about saying yes to life in all its manifestations—embracing the potent mixture of joy, suffering, brilliance, and confusion that characterizes the human experience.

11. “A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life” by Jack Kornfield 

This guide to reconciling Buddhist spirituality with the American way of life addresses the challenges of spiritual living in the modern world and offers guidance for bringing a sense of the sacred to everyday experience.

12. “Yoga & Quest for True Self” by Stephen Cope

Stephen Cope demystifies yogic philosophy, psychology, and practice of yoga, and shows how it applies to our most human dilemmas: from loss, disappointment, and addiction, to the eternal conflicts around sex and relationship.

13. “Where Are You Going? A Guide to the Spiritual Journey” by Swami Muktananda

Essays and dialogues laced with wit and humor introduce seekers to Siddha Yoga meditation, the awakening of the kundalini energy, the recognition of the inner self, the function of the master, and the practices of Mantra repetition and meditation.

14. “The Untethered Soul: A Journey Beyond Yourself” by Michael Singer

This book will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you, by allowing you to discover what you can do to put an end to the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness.

15. “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda

This classic book is an account of an exceptional life and a profound introduction to the ancient science of yoga and its tradition of meditation.

16. “The Vedas” 

These ancient scriptures of the Hindu teachings are meant to bring into human language the language of the Gods, the Divine powers that have created us. The Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, and Atharvaveda comprise the collection of the four sacred and world renowned Vedas.

17. “Happy Yoga: 7 Reasons Why There’s Nothing to Worry About” by Steve Ross

After studying yoga in India and traveling with traditional Vedantic masters, Steve Ross returned to his hometown of Los Angeles with a broadened point of view of what yoga could be.

18. “The Rig Veda”

The earliest of the four Hindu Vedas, and the first extensive composition to survive in any Indo-European language, the Rig Veda (c. 1200-900 BC) is a collection of over 1,000 individual Sanskrit hymns.

19. “Buddha Walks Into a Bar: A Guide to Life for a New Generation” by Lodro Rinzler

This book is for those who are spiritual but not religious, who are disillusioned by the state of the world, who are sick of their jobs (and just started last Tuesday), who like drinking beer and having sex and hate being preached at, who are striving to deepen their social interactions beyond the digital realms of Twitter and Facebook.

20. “The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation” by Thich Nhat Hanh

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercise as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness — being awake and fully aware.

21. “The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, The Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West ” by Michelle Goldberg 

Michelle Goldberg tells the globetrotting story of the incredible woman who helped usher in a craze that continues unabated to this day.

22. “Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga” by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison 

The 365 meditations incluided in this book offer a way to integrate the mindfulness that yoga teaches into everyday life. It’s a great resource for yoga teachers and students.

23. “The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice” by T.K.V. Desikachar 

The first yoga text to outline a step-by-step sequence for developing a complete practice according to Viniyoga — yoga adapted to the needs of the individual.

24. “I Am That” by Nisargadatta Maharaj 

This collection of the timeless teachings of one of the greatest sages of India, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, is a testament to the uniqueness of the seer’s life and work and is regarded by many as a modern spiritual classic.

25. “The Book of Understanding: Creating Your Own Path to Freedom” by Osho 

Osho challenges us to understand our world and ourselves in a new and radical way. The first step toward understanding, he says, is to question and doubt all that we have been taught to believe.

Continue Reading on…

Living every single day for the mat, Sara is a yoga teacher, a published yoga writer and storyteller, an innovative yoga marketer, an editor, and a dedicated yoga student.

Sara strives to live from the connection of her head and her heart and encourages her students and clients to do the same by motivating them to step into their full powerful purpose through the transformational magic of yoga.

When not on the mat, you can find this earth sign hiking up a mountain in the beautiful Boulder, Colo., where she’s based or shredding down a ski hill.