Facts about Yoga Teacher Books
Yoga is a practice that requires continuous learning and growth, especially for yoga teachers. To help deepen their knowledge and improve their practice, OriGym has compiled a list of the best yoga books for teachers. These books provide a range of knowledge and inspiration for yoga teachers to inform their teaching and deepen their practice.
In this article, we have listed 19 books every yoga teacher should read, as well as a curated list of 40 essential books for yoga teachers and practitioners. These books cover a range of topics, including yoga philosophy, anatomy, practice, and teaching methodologies. The books listed in this article cover a range of subjects, from yoga poses and philosophy to ethics, meditation, anatomy, and the business of teaching yoga.
Many yoga teacher training programs require students to read several books as part of their learning experience. These books help provide a foundation for teaching and deepen the understanding of the principles and techniques of yoga. They can also help you create a personal practice that nourishes and supports you, in addition to enhancing your teaching skills.
If you’re a yoga teacher or practitioner looking to deepen your understanding of the practice, the following list of books should be a great start.
List of Books for Yoga Teachers
|Book Title||Author||Focus Area|
|Light on Yoga||B.K.S. Iyengar||Yoga Philosophy and Practice|
|Yoga Anatomy||Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Teaching Yoga||Donna Farhi||Teaching Methodology|
|The Heart of Yoga||T.K.V. Desikachar||Yoga Philosophy and Practice|
|The Bhagavad Gita||An ancient Indian text||Yoga Philosophy|
|The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali||Translated by Sri Swami Satchidananda||Yoga Philosophy and Practice|
|The Key Muscles of Yoga||Ray Long||Anatomy and Physiology|
|The Yamas & Niyamas||Deborah Adele||Yoga Ethics and Philosophy|
|The Art of Vinyasa||Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor||Yoga Philosophy and Practice|
|The Wisdom of Yoga||Stephen Cope||Yoga Philosophy and History|
|The Breathing Book||Donna Farhi||Breathwork and Meditation|
|The Inner Tradition of Yoga||Michael Stone||Yoga Philosophy and Practice|
|The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga||Bernie Clark||Yin Yoga Practice and Theory|
|Moving into Stillness||Erich Schiffmann||Yoga Philosophy and Practice|
|The Language of Yoga||Nicolai Bachman||Sanskrit Terminology and Pronunciation|
|Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques||Mark Stephens||Teaching Methodology|
|The Heart of the Matter||Judyth Hill||Yoga Philosophy and Practice|
|The Yoga of Breath||Richard Rosen||Breathwork and Meditation|
|The Science of Yoga||William J. Broad||Yoga Science and Research|
|The Psychology of Yoga||Georg Feuerstein||Yoga Philosophy and Psychology|
|The Subtle Body||Cyndi Dale||Energy Anatomy and Yoga Therapy|
|The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga||Deepak Chopra and David Simon||Yoga Philosophy and Practice|
|The Business of Yoga||Kaminoff and Matthews||Business and Marketing for Yoga Teachers|
|A Chair for Yoga||Eleanor Harris||Adaptive Yoga Practice|
|The Yoga Teacher’s Toolbox||Joseph and Lillian Le Page||Teaching Methodology|
Essential Books for Yoga Teachers
As a yoga teacher, your thirst for knowledge should never cease. The best way to continue learning is by reading, and there are a plethora of books available to enrich your understanding of yoga. In this article, we will be recommending some of the best books for yoga teachers, which are divided into core texts, theory and philosophy, and anatomical books.
Core texts are essential for any yoga teacher as they provide a foundation for our understanding of yoga. These include Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali translated by Nischala Joy Devi, and The Wisdom of Yoga by Stephen Cope. These books open up new worlds of yogic thought while also connecting us to the rich history of yoga.
Theory and Philosophy
Yoga is more than just asana (poses). It is a way of life, and these books explore the philosophies, the history, and the modern contextualization of yoga. Recommended books in this category include Yoga Sequencing by Mark Stephens, Bringing Yoga to Life by Donna Farhi, and Yoga from the Inside Out by Christina Sell.
Understanding anatomy is crucial for any yoga teacher. Not only does it help prevent injuries, but it can also deepen our understanding of how the body moves. Recommended anatomical books include Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff and The Key Poses of Yoga by Ray Long.
For those interested in the business side of teaching yoga, recommended books include The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga by Amy Ippoliti and Yoga from the Inside Out by Christina Sell. These books provide practical guidance for building a successful yoga career.
There are many other books that can greatly benefit yoga teachers. These include guides on teaching yoga, yin yoga, Ayurveda, and integrating yoga into daily life. “Your Spine, Your Yoga” by Bernie Clark is an informative book that looks at the spine from both the Western anatomical/biomechanical point of view and the modern yoga perspective. It explores variations and limitations, making it invaluable for yoga teachers. The Royal Path and Living with the Himalayan Masters offer personal stories and practical guidance on the path of yoga.
Excluded Asana Focused Books
It is important to note that asana-focused books are not included in this list, except for those that provide modifications for a wide range of bodies. One notable book that does make the cut is Path of Fire and Light by Swami Rama. This book teaches advanced pranayama exercises and the science of breath.
Divisions of Yoga Teacher Books
Yoga teachers are always looking for ways to improve their practice and knowledge. One of the best ways to do this is by reading various books on yoga. But with so many books to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s why we’ve divided the best books for yoga teachers into three categories:
|Core Texts||These are the fundamental texts of yoga that every teacher should read. They include the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.|
|Theory and Philosophy||These books delve deeper into the history, philosophy, and spirituality of yoga. They include works on yoga philosophy, personal growth, and spiritual practice.|
|Anatomical Books||These books focus on the anatomy and physiology of the body, and how they relate to yoga. They include works on anatomy, personal practice, and modifications for a wide range of bodies.|
While there are many excellent books within each of these categories, it’s essential to read books from each one to get a well-rounded understanding of yoga.
The core texts of yoga are the foundation of the practice. They are the texts that all yoga teachers should be familiar with because they provide the context and philosophy behind the physical practice of yoga.
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
- The Bhagavad Gita
- The Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Theory and Philosophy
In addition to the core texts, yoga teachers should also be familiar with the theory and philosophy behind yoga. These books provide a deeper understanding of the history and spirituality of the practice.
- Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar
- The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar
- The Wisdom of Yoga by Stephen Cope
- The Key Muscles of Yoga by Ray Long
- Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff
- The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga by Bernie Clark
By reading books from each of these categories, yoga teachers can deepen their understanding of the practice and improve their ability to serve their students. Remember, the more you know, the more you can help others!
Recommended Books on Philosophy and Anatomy
As a yoga teacher, reading and learning about the philosophy and anatomy of yoga is just as important as teaching the physical postures. Many yoga teacher training programs require students to read several books as part of their learning experience. Here are some of the recommended books for teachers:
- Autobiography of a Yogi: This autobiography by Paramahansa Yogananda is a spiritual classic and provides insight into the path of yoga as a means for self-realization.
- The Wisdom of Yoga: This book by Stephen Cope explores the deeper aspects of yoga philosophy and how it can be applied to daily life.
- Yoga Sequencing: This book by Mark Stephens is an excellent resource for designing safe and effective yoga sequences.
- Yoga Anatomy: This book by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews provides a comprehensive understanding of the skeletal and muscular systems involved in yoga postures.
- The Key Poses of Yoga: This book by Ray Long is a detailed guide on the anatomy and alignment of key yoga postures.
In addition to these books, there are many other notable reads. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, translated by Nischala Joy Devi, is a foundational text in yoga philosophy. The Body Keeps the Score by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk explores the impact of trauma on the body and how yoga can aid in healing. Bringing Yoga to Life by Donna Farhi offers practical guidance on applying yoga principles to daily life.
When it comes to yoga philosophy, there are countless books to choose from. Roots of Yoga by James Mallinson and Mark Singleton provides a comprehensive history of yoga from its ancient roots to modern-day practice. The Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele offers a practical guide to applying the ethical principles of yoga to daily life.
As a yoga teacher, it’s essential to continue learning and deepening your understanding of yoga philosophy and anatomy. These recommended books are a great place to start.