Get your yoga on. You don’t even have to move to do so. While many people think of yoga as that bendy thing you do on a mat (called asana), yoga is maybe only 10% movement. The rest is all in the mind. Pretty trippy, right? Here are a few books that will reveal the stillness of yoga.
Light on Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar
Reading just the introduction of Light On Yoga will offer a whole lot of yoga knowledge to think about for months. It covers the basics from the word “yoga” itself (it comes from yuj meaning “to yoke”) to all types of yoga paths. It incorporates Sanskrit words to show the major beliefs and goals of practicing yoga. The entire book presents ways to follow these paths—Karma, Jnana, Raja/Ashtanga/Kriya, and Bhakti—through meditation and movement.
Bhagavad Gita As It Is Retold by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
The Bhagavad Gita is a song of god (gita means song and bhagavad means one who possesses all opulences). It appears in the form of a discussion taking place 5000 years ago in India between friends Krishna and Arjuna. In 18 chapters of 700 verses, Arjuna asks Krishna for help with deciding if he should fight a war. The decisions he makes helps him learn how he should live his life.
Yoga is a main subject. It appears over 150 times. They discuss yoga types (karma, jnana, bhakti) as a way to reveal human connection to the supreme being.
Gita Wisdom: Krishna’s Teachings on the Yoga of Love by Joshua M. Greene
If you love footnotes and have interest in the Bhagavad Gita, this book is for you. It explains sections of the longer text in great detail. It’s a more modern day description of the Gita.
Ramayana: A Tale of Gods and Demons by Ranchor Prime
Here is a simply-told tale that sounds folklore-ish and fairytale-ish. It seems like an allegory that teaches about how to live our lives, what to focus on to make the most of life, and how to treat each other. There’s a war going on, as in the Gita, but here the war is between gods and demons. So it seems a bit more okay, if there’s such a thing as one war being a bit more okay than another.
The Path of Practice: A Woman’s Book of Ayurvedic Healing by Bri. Maya Tiwari
This book is part memoir for Tiwari as she lived through a health crisis and part teachery, showing the ways she found health again. It offers sadhana, practices that may have the power to heal. Some practices are meditative and others have more movement.
You can keep following your yogic path with this list of yoga books for inspiration and this list of books that yoga teachers would be compelled to read . Still craving more? Here’s Book Riot’s yoga archive.
Feel free to share your yoga treasures, too.