I’ve read a lot of yoga books. In fact, I have entire four-shelf bookcase almost entirely filled with books about yoga and spirituality. Some years ago, I joined a book group at the yoga studio where I practiced, and at last count, we’d read close to 50 selections together. I’ve kept a list of all those books, so I decided to pick some of my favorites to share with you.
Here are nine yoga books I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did!
1. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
This classic is one of the first yoga books I read. It’s both a fascinating life story and an introduction to meditation. Autobiography of a Yogi is the life story Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship. The story of Yogananda’s childhood in India, his search for enlightenment, and the saints and yoga masters that helped him on his path is awe-inspiring to say the least.
2. The Inner Tradition of Yoga by Michael Stone
If you’re interested in the philosophy and practice of yoga beyond physical stretching and strengthening, you’ll enjoy this book. Michael Stone makes yoga’s philosophy and ethics accessible and helps us understand how to bring yoga into all aspects of our lives and relationships.
3. Midnights with the Mystic by Cheryl Simone
Accounts of conversations that Cheryl Simone had with Sadhguru Vasudev, an Indian mystic, fill these pages. Through the author, Sadhguru helps us see our potential for reaching a higher level of consciousness and bliss.
4. Be Love Now by Ram Dass
You can’t make a list of yoga books and not include something by Ram Dass, master of living in the moment. The author’s earlier work is the classic Remember, Be Here Now. In Be Love Now, we’re inspired not only to be present, but also to be of service.
5. The 99th Monkey by Eliezer Sobel
In the midst of yoga books about “serious” spiritual seeking, humor is often welcome. The subtitle of this book is A Spiritual Journalist’s Misadventures with Gurus, Messiahs, Sex, Psychedelics, and Other Consciousness-Raising Experiments. It’s a rather hilarious look at some of the ways in which spiritual seekers may go a bit too far. Sobel’s “spiritual experiments” included encounters with cults, sex, drugs, and madness. It perhaps serves as a bit of a warning that with all things, even spirituality, there’s a line it’s best not to cross!
6. Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi by Brian Leaf
Here’s more yoga humor, but of a much tamer variety. A series of essays by a real guy from New Jersey who does yoga, the book is very easy to related to. Brain Leaf discovered yoga by accident when he took it as an elective in college in the late eighties. In his case, it was not love at first sight, but over time, yoga helped him overcome anxiety and other challenges, including ADD and colitis. Yoga made such an impact on Leaf that he became a yoga teacher!
7. Yin, Yang, Yogini by Kathryn E. Livingston
Here’s another real story of transformation through yoga. This time, it’s not in college, but in midlife that the author discovers yoga. She learns how to let go of fear, be present, and overcome anxiety, panic, and even breast cancer. It’s a warm, engaging story that proves it’s never too late to start a yoga practice and change your life forever.
8. Into the Heart of Yoga by Dana Faulds
If you practice yoga long enough, you’ll hear a Dana Faulds poem. This book, Dana’s memoir, is a story of transformation and relationship. Dana’s journey into the heart of yoga took her to the Kripalu Ashram in Massachusetts. There, she became a disciple of Amrit Desai, whose eventual downfall caused a scandal that could have soured Dana on the whole yoga experience. It did not. Instead, she went even deeper into self-inquiry and the true experience of yoga, dealt with deep depression, and came out stronger because of her yoga practice.
9. The Yoga Lifestyle by Doron Hanoch
Here’s how to create your own unique blueprint for well-being through yoga, Ayurveda, nutrition, and a bit of Zen. The book accomplishes a difficult goal—giving guidance without dogma. The author is a yoga master, holistic chef, and student of life. His experiences over decades of seeking are combined into the only guide to yoga as a lifestyle you may ever need. You’ll find meditation, breathing, and yoga exercises complete with illustrations. An overview of Ayurveda, tips for healthy eating, and lots of inspiration are included as well.
Have you read any great yoga books? Tell us about them in the comments below!
Get Track Yoga App