Popular Ashtanga Yoga Books
Ashtanga Yoga is a popular and dynamic style of yoga that originated in India. It focuses on synchronizing breath with a progressive series of postures, creating a flow of movement that is both intense and meditative. While attending classes is great, practicing at home can help you deepen your practice and stay on track with your routine. That’s where Ashtanga yoga books come in handy. In this article, we provide a comprehensive list of some of the most recommended books to help you master Ashtanga Yoga.
Yoga Mala by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
Yoga Mala is a seminal work by the founder of Ashtanga Yoga, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. The book focuses on the primary series of Ashtanga Yoga including the philosophy behind each pose, the benefits of each pose, and the right method to perform each pose.
Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual by David Swenson
David Swenson is a leading Ashtanga Yoga teacher who has been practicing since the 1970s. His book, Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual, is a comprehensive guide for Ashtanga Yoga practitioners of all levels. The manual provides detailed instructions for each asana (pose) with modifications and variations for beginners and advanced students.
Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy by Gregor Maehle
Written by Gregor Maehle, Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy, is an informative book that covers the history, philosophy, and practical aspects of Ashtanga Yoga. The book provides detailed instruction on the primary series of the Ashtanga Yoga practice with a focus on the breath, movement, and alignment. Gregor Maehle’s style is clear and concise, making it a great practical guide for beginners and advanced yogis alike.
Ashtanga Yoga: The Intermediate Series by Gregor Maehle
Ashtanga Yoga: The Intermediate Series by Gregor Maehle is a continuation of his popular book on Ashtanga Yoga. The manual covers the intermediate series of Ashtanga Yoga, also known as the Second Series, with a detailed breakdown of each asana along with modifications for beginners and advanced students.
Astanga Yoga As It Is by Matthew Sweeney
Matthew Sweeney is a respected Ashtanga Yoga teacher with over 20 years of experience. His book, Astanga Yoga as it is, is a comprehensive guide to the Ashtanga Yoga system that covers both the primary and intermediate series of the practice. The book contains detailed instruction on each asana, as well as information on the philosophy and history of the Ashtanga Yoga system.
Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by BKS Iyengar
BKS Iyengar is a legend in the yoga world and his book, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, is a seminal work that covers the philosophical underpinnings of yoga. The Sutras are a collection of aphorisms that define the yogic path and BKS Iyengar provides a detailed analysis of each sutra, illuminating their meaning and relevance to yogis of all levels.
Other Recommended Books
Apart from the above-mentioned books, there are several other books that are worth mentioning:
|The Art of Vinyasa by Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor||The Yogi Assignment by Kino MacGregor||Ashtanga Yoga Practice Cards: The Primary Series by Kino McGregor|
|Guruji by Guy Danahaye and Eddie Stern||How yoga works by Geshe Michael Roach||Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda|
|Functional Anatomy of Yoga by David Keil||Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews|
These books offer a range of information on Ashtanga Yoga, including anatomy, history, philosophy, and practical tips. They are written by respected Ashtanga Yoga practitioners and teachers.
Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga Books
Ashtanga Yoga books are a valuable resource for anyone looking to deepen their practice outside of classes. They provide detailed instruction on each asana, modifications for beginners and advanced students, and a comprehensive breakdown of the primary and intermediate series. Additionally, these books offer information on the history and philosophy of Ashtanga Yoga, helping practitioners develop a deeper understanding of the practice. By using these manuals, practitioners can stay motivated and committed to practicing yoga at home.
Ashtanga Yoga books are a great resource for practitioners of all levels. They offer detailed instruction, modifications, and a comprehensive breakdown of the practice. Additionally, they provide information on the philosophy and history of Ashtanga Yoga, helping practitioners develop a deeper understanding of the practice. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced student, these books are sure to help you deepen your Ashtanga Yoga practice.
Recommended Ashtanga Yoga Practice Manuals
Ashtanga Yoga is a dynamic and physically demanding practice that involves a series of postures performed in a specific sequence. While it is recommended to learn the practice from a qualified teacher, practitioners may find it helpful to supplement their practice with a manual. Here are some recommended Ashtanga Yoga practice manuals for at-home practitioners.
|Ashtanga Yoga, A Practice Manual||David Swenson|
|Ashtanga Yoga The Primary Series Practice Manual||Petri Räisänen|
|Ashtanga Yoga, The definitive step- by- step guide||John Scott|
|Astanga Yoga Anusthana||Sharath Jois|
|The Power of Ashtanga Yoga||Kino McGregor|
|Ashtanga Yoga: Practice & Philosophy||Gregor Maelhe|
There are many Ashtanga Yoga practice books available, but these particular manuals are highly recommended by practitioners and teachers alike. Each book offers a unique perspective on the practice and can provide valuable insights for both beginners and experienced practitioners.
In addition to the above-mentioned manuals, there are a few other Ashtanga Yoga practice books worth considering. These include Ashtanga Yoga by Lino Miele, Practice and Philosophy by Gregor Maehle, Ashtanga Yoga as It Is by Matthew Sweeney, The Practice Manual by David Swenson, and Yoga Mala by Pattabhi Jois. Each of these manuals offers a slightly different emphasis and approach to the practice, so it’s worth taking a look at each to see which one resonates most with you.
It’s important to note that one of the manuals listed above, Astanga Yoga Anusthana by Sharath Jois, is specifically for the second series of Ashtanga Yoga. This manual is recommended only for practitioners who are working with a teacher and have progressed beyond the primary series.
Using an Ashtanga Yoga practice manual can be a helpful way to supplement your practice. However, it’s important to remember that the manual should not replace the guidance of a qualified teacher. A teacher can provide personalized instruction, help you with proper alignment, and offer adjustments and modifications to help you progress safely and effectively in your practice.
Other Ashtanga Yoga Books
If you are interested in Ashtanga Yoga and want to dive deeper into this ancient practice, there are many books to choose from. Here are some of the most popular ones:
|Ashtanga Yoga: Practice & Philosophy||Gregor Maehle|
|The Art of Vinyasa||Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor|
|The Yogi Assignment||Kino MacGregor|
|Ashtanga Yoga Practice Cards: The Primary Series||Kino MacGregor|
|Guruji||Guy Danahaye and Eddie Stern|
|How Yoga Works||Geshe Michael Roach|
|Autobiography of a Yogi||Paramahansa Yogananda|
|Functional Anatomy of Yoga||David Keil|
|Yoga Anatomy||Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews|
Autobiography of a Yogi and How Yoga Works may not be specifically about Ashtanga Yoga, but they are still valuable reads for anyone interested in yoga practice.
Ashtanga Yoga: Practice & Philosophy
This book by Gregor Maehle is considered by many to be the definitive guide to Ashtanga Yoga. It is divided into two parts: the first part provides an in-depth guide through every vinyasa of the primary series, while the second part offers a translation of the yoga sutras of Patanjali.
Maehle draws on his extensive research and study of the Ashtanga Yoga tradition to provide practical advice and insights into the philosophy and practice of this ancient discipline. The book is highly recommended for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of Ashtanga Yoga.
The Art of Vinyasa
Written by Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor, this book explores the art of vinyasa as it is practiced in Ashtanga Yoga. It offers a detailed explanation of the vinyasa count, as well as practical guidance for refining your practice.
The Art of Vinyasa is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to understand the connections between breath, movement, and meditation in the practice of yoga.
The Yogi Assignment
Written by Kino MacGregor, a renowned Ashtanga Yoga teacher and practitioner, The Yogi Assignment offers a 30-day plan for developing a deeper understanding of your yoga practice.
Each day of the plan focuses on a different aspect of Ashtanga Yoga, from meditation to asana practice. The book includes photos and detailed instructions to guide you through each day’s practice.
Functional Anatomy of Yoga
Written by David Keil, a licensed massage therapist and yoga teacher, this book provides a detailed exploration of the anatomy of the human body and how it relates to yoga practice.
Keil offers practical advice for understanding the mechanics of yoga poses and how to adapt them to suit your own body. He also includes detailed illustrations and photos to help you visualize the internal workings of your body as you practice yoga.
Co-authored by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews, this book provides a comprehensive guide to the anatomy of yoga practice.
With detailed explanations of each body part and how it relates to yoga poses, Yoga Anatomy is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in developing a deeper understanding of their practice.
Philosophy and History of Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga yoga is a type of yoga that was popularized by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India in the 20th century. It involves a series of postures, or asanas, which are practiced in a particular sequence, along with controlled breathing and muscular contractions, or bandhas.
To fully understand Ashtanga yoga, it is helpful to explore its rich history and philosophy. Classical yoga texts, such as the Yoga Sutras and The Bhagavad Gita, provide valuable insights into the principles and practices of yoga that have been passed down through the ages. These texts emphasize the importance of self-discipline, ethical behavior, meditation, and spiritual awakening as integral aspects of yoga practice.
Modern scholarship on yoga books also sheds light on the evolution of Ashtanga yoga in contemporary times. Some recommended books include:
|A History of Modern Yoga||Elizabeth De Michelis|
|The Path of Modern Yoga||Elliot Goldberg|
|Is this Yoga||Anya Foxen and Krista Kuberry|
|The Yoga Body||Mark Singleton|
|The Truth of Yoga||Daniel Simpson|
|Roots of Yoga||James Mallinson and Mark Singleton|
|One Simple Thing||Eddie Stern|
These books offer valuable insight into the history, philosophy, and practice of Ashtanga yoga, and can help deepen your understanding of this ancient practice.
The Ashtanga Yoga book by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois is a classic text that explores the philosophical, spiritual, and physical dimensions of Ashtanga Yoga. It provides detailed instructions on the practice of the postures, as well as guidance on breathing, bandhas, and other important aspects of the practice.
One notable aspect of the book is that it is written in a way that is informative, inspirational, and non-dogmatic. Jois encourages practitioners to find their own path and to cultivate a deep understanding of the principles and practices of yoga.
Yoga Related Books
If you are interested in expanding your knowledge and understanding of yoga, there are many great books available that can help. Whether you are looking for inspiration or practical advice, these books can be a valuable resource for anyone on the yoga path. Here are some of the most popular yoga related books:
|Living with The Himalayan Masters||by Swami Rama|
|Autobiography of a Yogi||by Paramahansa Yogananda|
|Start Where You Are||by Pema Chodrun|
|Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism||by Chogyam Trumpa|
|Anatomy Trains||by Thomas Myers|
|Thoughts and Aphorisms||by Shri Aurobindo|
|The Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharishi||by Ramana Maharishi|
|Thou Art That||by Shri Nisargadatta|
|The Gospels in Brief||by Tolstoy|
|The Heart of Yoga||by TKV Desikachar|
|Light on Yoga||by BKS Iyengar|
|Awakening the Spine||by Vanda Scaravelli|
|Yoga, Mind, Body and Spirit||by Donna Farhi|
|The Language of Yoga||by Nicholai Bachman|
|Moving into Stillness||by Erich Schiffman|
|Hatha Yoga||by Theos Bernard|
One book that is frequently recommended by yoga teachers and practitioners alike is Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates. This book offers a year’s worth of daily meditations on yoga philosophy, practices, and techniques, making it a great way to incorporate yoga into your daily routine.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner, these yoga related books can help you deepen your understanding and appreciation of this ancient practice. So why not pick up a few and start exploring today?
Pranayama and Anatomy in Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga yoga is a physically demanding form of yoga that focuses on a series of postures, or asanas, practiced in a specific sequence. Along with the asanas, Ashtanga yoga places great emphasis on pranayama, or deep breathing exercises. Through pranayama, practitioners learn to control their breath, which in turn, helps them control their body and mind.
There are several books available on pranayama, two of which include Gregor Maehle’s Pranayama the Breath of Yoga and David Garrigues’ Vayu Siddhi: A Guide to Pranayama. These books not only provide guidance on how to practice pranayama, but also delve into the anatomy of the breath and its effects on the body and mind.
|Pranayama the Breath of Yoga||Gregor Maehle||In-depth discussion of each posture with anatomical notes and advice on areas of injury concern|
|Vayu Siddhi: A Guide to Pranayama||David Garrigues||Guidance on how to practice pranayama, anatomy of the breath, and its effects on the body and mind|
If you are new to Ashtanga yoga, it is recommended to start with simpler breathing techniques, such as deep breathing or Ujjayi breathing. As you become more comfortable with these techniques, you can move on to more advanced pranayama techniques.
One of the unique aspects of Ashtanga yoga is its emphasis on the internal locks, or bandhas. These bandhas refer to specific muscle contractions that help control the flow of energy within the body. By incorporating the bandhas into their practice, practitioners can deepen their connection to their body and improve their breath control.
Additionally, Ashtanga yoga places great importance on alignment and posture. Gregor Maehle’s book Pranayama the Breath of Yoga provides detailed discussion on postures, including anatomical notes and advice on areas of injury concern. Understanding the anatomy of each posture can help practitioners avoid injury and deepen their understanding of their practice.
Books for Women and Home Practitioners
Yoga is a practice that can benefit anyone, regardless of gender or age. However, women who are interested in practicing yoga may have unique needs and concerns. Thankfully, there are numerous books available that cater specifically to women and home practitioners. Here are some of the top Ashtanga yoga books for women and home practitioners:
- Yoga Sadhana For Mothers by Sharmila Desai & Anna Wise – This book is designed to help mothers incorporate yoga into their busy lives. It offers guidance on how to practice yoga both during and after pregnancy, as well as tips for practicing yoga with children present.
- Strength & Grace by multiple authors – This book specifically targets women who are interested in using yoga to build strength and improve their physical fitness. It offers tips for practicing yoga safely and effectively, even for those with injuries or other physical obstacles.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner, these books can help you develop a deeper understanding of the Ashtanga practice and achieve greater overall health and wellbeing.
10 Best Ashtanga Yoga Books for a Home Practice in 2023
If you are interested in practicing Ashtanga yoga from the comfort of your own home, there are numerous books available that cater to home practitioners. Here are 10 of the best Ashtanga yoga books for a home practice in 2023:
|Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual||David Swenson|
|The Complete Guide to Ashtanga Yoga||John Scott|
|Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy||Gregor Maehle|
|The Power of Ashtanga Yoga||Kino MacGregor|
|Ashtanga Yoga: The Intermediate Series||Gregor Maehle|
|Ashtanga Yoga: The Definitive Step-by-Step Guide to Dynamic Yoga||John Scott|
|Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice||Danny Paradise|
|The Art of Vinyasa: Awakening Body and Mind Through the Practice of Ashtanga Yoga||Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor|
|Ashtanga Yoga As It Is||Matthew Sweeney|
|Ashtanga Yoga Practice Cards||Kino MacGregor|
Each of these books offers a unique perspective on the Ashtanga practice and can be a valuable resource for home practitioners. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner, there is a book on this list to suit your needs.
The Ashtanga Yoga book by Kino MacGregor provides a comprehensive guide to the practice of asanas. It treats the asana practice as a fine contemplative art by emphasizing smooth, focused movement in and out of the postures in sync with the breath. The book is an invaluable roadmap to one’s infinite potential in yoga, and is recommended for all types of practitioners, from beginners to those with injuries or obstacles.
The author, Kino MacGregor, is a highly skilled and compassionate yoga teacher who is respected worldwide in the yoga community. Her expertise is evident throughout the book, which includes personal experiences, useful gems of wisdom, and detailed technical knowledge of the practice.
However, the reviewer suggests that the author could potentially write another book discussing how to incorporate philosophy into practice. The book feels like two separate books pasted together and does not provide much discussion on blending the practice and philosophy aspects of Ashtanga Yoga.
Asanas are split into five different series, and each pose must be mastered before moving onto the next. The book provides detailed instructions and variations for each pose, making it accessible for practitioners at all levels. The book also includes modifications for practitioners with injuries, making it a valuable resource for those seeking safe and effective means to practice.