Beginner
30 Essential Yoga Poses by Judith Lasater
Mentally and physically yoga frees us of our clutter. In this spirit, long-time teacher and practitioner, Judith Lasiter draws upon her vast experience of Yoga to create a clear, concise and useful book. Instead of trying weave our way through a jungle of complicated descriptions of yoga poses, she provides only what is essential for the clear transmission of knowledge. We particularly like how her daily yoga routines include small pearls of information which in just one sentence act as a touchstone to the deeper exploration Yoga in every

 

 

Ashtanga Yoga: An Illustrated Guide to Personal Practice by David Swenson

A clear, precise user-friendly book by well known Ashtanga teacher and practioner David Swenson. Great for all levels of yogis as it highlights variations for each pose. The spiral binding is also invaluable as a practice aid as you can leave the book open by your yoga mat and it won’t close shut. Contains primary and intermediate series ashtanga practices.

 

Light On Yoga by BKS Iyengar

Referred to as the Yoga Bible for Hatha Yoga Practioners, Great for all levels Written by BKS Iyengar, one of Yoga’s living legends, Light on Yoga truly does shed light on this ancient practice. The book contains a small but invaluable section on Yoga philosophy and pages of photos and texts of yoga asanas. A must for all hatha yoga practitioners

 

Yoga The Spirit And Practice Of Moving Into Stillness
Erich Schiffmann

If you are amongst the people wondering “so, what is this yoga thing all about?" this book is for you. Written by Erich Schiffman, someone who really gets the essence of yoga and can convey that essence in a heartfelt, succinct and joyful manner

 

Moving Toward Balance: 8 Weeks of Yoga by Rodney Yee

A great hatha yoga book with a focus on alignment and feeling the subtleties of each yoga pose, that provides enough material for a beginner to advanced practioner to keep looking to for more guidance. We like the idea of the 8 week home yoga practice programme and the focus on a different philosophical bent each week to complement the physical poses. The book is good for someone from various styles of practice, i.e. hatha, ashtanga and even alignment based styles of yoga.

 

Spirit of Yoga by Kathy Phillips

This book is a great general overview of all the various traditions of yoga. It is not a textbook of yoga poses, but instead illustrates in a simple and beautiful manner the underlying spirit of yoga. Ultimately yoga is about the things that are invisible to us. If you are interested in knowing a brief history of Yoga that is told as much by images as the text, this is a good book for you.

 

Ali MacGraw: Yoga Mind & Body DVD

Erich Schiffman guides us through a moderately challenging yoga flow. The dvd provides a nice mix of ‘ujayyi’ breath work, spinal warm ups, some slightly vigorous standing poses, some backbends and gracefully winds things down with a guided relaxation. This is big budget production set in a white sand desert, with a hypnotic soundtrack and an artistic feel. Erich’s dialogue is perfect. Like a good musician, he only says the right words at the right time and doesn’t overwhelm you. It is full of warmth and leaves you feeling the magic of being grounded in the present.

 

 

 

YOGA BURN DVD

This is a unique dvd where each pose is completed three times in a meditative flow. The ‘Burn’ aspect isn’t from a face paced practice. Instead, by moving slowly into each pose and holding them for a sustained period creates heat and focus. Each pose is repeated three times going deeper with each cycle. The Zen garden background adds a unique touch.

 
  Power Yoga Vol One  
  Pure and Simple Yoga  
For Intermediate to All Levels

Light on Life: The Yoga Way to Wholeness, Inner Peace and Ultimate Freedom by B.K.S. Iyengar

The recent work by one of yoga’s Living Masters, BKS Iyengar, Light On Life, is an account of Mr. Iyengar’s personal journey into yoga. He fills the book with stories from his own life, humour and examples from modern culture to illustrate the profound gifts that yoga offers. Written with compassionate insight, Light On Life is the culmination of a master's spiritual genius, a companion to his seminal Light on Yoga, and a new essential guidebook for anyone who wants to take this journey.

 

Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul by Sharon Gannon

Even though the Jivamukti Yoga practice can be physically demanding, founders David Life and Sharon Gannon have outlined in this book their methodology for adapting the ancient art of Yoga into the context of modern life. They do a great job of staying true to the essence of yoga, breaking it down into digestible bites without ‘dumbing it down or sacrificing their original aim’ – Union with the Divine Self. If you are interested in the explanation of Ahimsa (non-violence), Mantra, Devotion, the circulation of Prana, Karma and a truly exciting system of sequencing the yoga practice, then this is a great book for you.

 
The Yoga of Breath: A Step-by-Step Guide to Pranayama by Richard Rosen

Most yoga practitioners are seduced by the dynamism of the physical yoga practice. It is in fact, breath work (pranayama) that is a powerful tool to connect to deeper and more profound states of consciousness. This book is a useful compilation of teachings from ancient yoga texts along with insights Richard has gained in his years teaching and studying Iyengar Yoga. Richard compares the pranayama to a crowbar, opening up tight places in the body and complementing the yoga asana practice. Ultimately, it is the breath work which allows us to find the ‘witness’ consciousness in ourselves. This book is a great compendium for the some of the most subtle yet profound techniques known to yogis.
 

Heart Of Yoga
by T Desikachar


Krisnamachariya is called the father of modern yoga. A dynamic man well versed in Sanskrit, Philosophy, Ayurveda, Mathematics, Yoga and Mediation. This book by his son, Desikachar is an collection of his teachings that emphasize making the yoga practice suit the unique needs of each practitioner. On top of the insight into how to do yoga postures, it offers a brilliant commentary on the Yoga Sutras and the deeper philosophical underpinnings of Yoga.

 
Awakening The Spine
by Vanda Scaravelli


If you are looking for a technical manual of yoga asanas, this may not be a good book for you. If however, you are looking for an artistic and inspiring text that cogently captures the spirit of yoga than you will love this book. Graceful and intelligent, written by one of BKS Iyengar’s students, Vanda Scaravelli’s Awakening the Spine illuminates the real essence of yoga in this classic text.
 
Kripalu Yoga: A Guide To Practice On And Off The Mat
Author: Richard Faulds


This book is wonderful in it’s ability to make yoga accessible to everyone. Kripalu means ‘being compassionate’ in Sanskrit and this title befits this approach to yoga. What is evident throughout the book that what really matters is ones loving and nurturing attitude towards oneself and to let that inform the practice. It offers practical advice for becoming present and more compassionate. As well, it transmits a wealth of technical information about how to do yoga poses and what routines to follow. Nothing seems intimidating. Kripalu Yoga is a keeper.
 
The Breathing Book
by Donna Farhi

Whether you are a yogi or not, your health will benefit dramatically from The Breathing Book which represents years of study by master yoga teacher Donna Farhi. In spite of all the years spent researching the subject, she knows how to transmit the knowledge of this vital topic in a clear and interesting way. The diagrams are well thought out and the breathing exercises are simple and very practical. After reading this book, you will be amazed that so many of us take the act of breathing so for granted.
 
Power Yoga for Happiness  
Ashtanga Yoga
If you enjoy the pace and rhythm of Ashtanga Yoga, you will enjoy this dvd. There are two models, one Ashtanga expert Mark Darby and his assistant demonstrating the modified versions of the poses for the intermediates. You can choose from the full primary series (90 min) or shorter practices. It does justice to this great system of yoga and would be a welcome asset to anyone who wants to practice Ashtanga at home.
 
Anatomy
Anatomy of Movement
CALAIS-GERMAIN

Far from a dry Anatomy book: Calais-Germain is an accomplished dancer, and has charted each muscle in the body, ligament and skeletal structure in the human body and depicted thir movements in this wonderful study on anatomy and movement. For those who are curious about musculoskeletal system and its impact on human movements, this is the book for you. It is a thorough, surprisingly lively and intriguing work.

 
Anatomy Of Hatha Yoga
by David H. Coulter

This book is a noble undertaking; a marriage of the ancient art of yoga asana with modern scientific research. By outlining functional anatomy and applying them to yoga poses David Coulter sets the bar for a resource book that will serve as the most definitive technical guide for yoga practitioners available to us today.
 
Anatomy Coloring Book The
Wynn Kapit

This book is a valuable asset for anyone who wants to increase his or her knowledge of the human body and how it functions. Divided into body systems and using a consistent coloring system, the simple but logical structure of the book makes learning about anatomy easy. The text is concise and clear. Try making a commitment to colour one page every morning.
 
Somatics: reawakening The Mind's Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health by Thomas Hanna
This book is a great compliment for yogis who want to get a better understanding how our mind affects the muscular tension in our body and how our attitude affects how we age. By learning to control the signals our nervous system sends between our bodies and our brain (feedback loops), we can learn to better control our muscular responses to stress. Expanding on the work of Moshe Feldenkrais, Thomas Hanna outlines three major ‘holding patterns’ typically seen in our bodies; the red light, green light and trauma reflex. There is a section of simple exercises which keep those feedback loops active.
 
Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapy by Tom Myers
Although this book is written by a structural integration therapist who’s primary interest is in manipulating the soft tissues by hand to create balance in the bones of the body, yoga and pilates teachers are gravitating towards this book. Tom Myers breaks free of the classical model that the human skeleton is a compression structure. Instead, he maps out groups of muscles and fascia (connective tissue) that actually work together in a principle called ‘tensegrity’ to hold the bones in place. Much like, as he points out, a sailboat mast is held up by the tension of ropes. By understanding these connected units of muscle and fascia, you will greatly enhance you ability to create anatomical balance.
 
Ayurveda
Prakriti - Your Ayurvedic Constitution by Robert Svoboda
Ayurveda, which is roughly translated as the ‘knowldege of life’, is an ancient form of healing that is undergoing a huge resurgence. In Prakriti, Dr. Robert Svoboda explains with incredible clarity the intricacies of Ayruveda, which seeks to bring us back into balance with Nature. Read it slowly so that these lessons can assimilate deeply into your being.
 
Ayurveda A Life Of Balance
by M Tiwari

A comprehensive book that explains Ayurveda, its philosophy, practice and treatment and relevance in our lives today, along with a selection of recipies that are as healing as they are delicious, suitable to ones ayurvedic body-mind type or dosha. The illustrations are illuminating and the book is a wonderful addition to a holistic health and wellness library.
 
Ayurveda & The Mind
by DAVID DR. FRAWLEY

Ayurveda, which is roughly translated as the ‘knowldege of life’, is an ancient form of healing that is undergoing a huge resurgence. In Prakriti, Dr. Robert Svoboda explains with incredible clarity the intricacies of Ayruveda, which seeks to bring us back into balance with Nature. Read it slowly so that these lessons can assimilate deeply into your being.
 
Miscellaneous
The Woman's Book of Yoga and Health: A Lifelong Guide to Wellness by Linda Sparrowe
The real magic of yoga happens when we can address our own specific needs in our practice. Drawing on the collective wisdom of three renowned and experienced yoga teachers, The Woman's Book of Yoga and Health addresses both general and specific issues facing women. Ultimately a healthy attitude derives from accepting how things really are and this book offers incredible insights for the needs of women in various stages in life. As they mention in the book, ultimately ones yoga practice should be your ‘companion for life’ and that this book is a great guide to that journey.
 
Yoga for Depression
by Amy Weintraub

Yoga Teacher, Amy Weintraub shares her experience overcoming depression candidly and eloquently. This is a very important text that addresses an increasingly prolific problem in modern times. Referring to both eastern and western systems, Yoga for Depression is remarkable in it’s ability to touch the whole being. In a highly medicated world, this book offers potentially invaluable solutions that lie within our own bodies. It is a must read for anyone who has experienced depression.
 
Philosophy
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras by Sri Swami Satchidananda
This is an excellent rendering of the classical Samkhya Yoga text. Satchitananda’s translation also provides a nice commentary to this Sanskrit masterpiece which, in it’s original form, only sketches out the Yogic path of Spiritual liberation. The casual reader will probably find the scholarly approach unwieldy, but for serious students of Yoga, this is a must read.
 
Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation
by Stephen Mitchell

This is amongst the best translations of one of the most widely read spiritual texts in the world. The Bhagavad Gita is cited by many as the ultimate Yoga text and Stephen Mitchell has an uncanny knack for maintaining the rhythm, poetry and sheer eloquence of this masterpiece in his English translation. You will find yourself reaching for it often as a source of beauty and inspiration.
 
Teachings of Yoga
by Georg Feuerstein

An introductory anthology to the wide range of knowledge and wisdom of the Yoga tradition--edited by the leading writer on Yoga today. More than a physical discipline, Yoga is a 4,000-year-old tradition rich with philosophical and spiritual literature. Presented are a wide range of the most accessible writings along with notes for each selection. Also includes annotated reading list

 
Four Agreements
by Don Miguel Ruiz

Although not a Yoga book per se, this book encapsulates the essence of so many Yoga texts without the use of complicated Sanskrit terms. Simple and elegant Ruiz uses the wisdom of the Toltecs to describe how the words we use and the thoughts we think have shape the life we lead. By making these four agreements with ourselves, we can live more in balance with our world.
 

Living Your Yoga
Judith Lasater

This book shows that yoga philosophy is not lofty and obtuse but instead is applicable to all aspects of everyday life. Each chapter deals with issues and challenges that perennially affect all generations. They start with a kernel of an idea from the Bhagavad Gita or the Yoga Sutras and then, using anecdotes from life experiences, expand each theme into a lesson which will deeply enhance both your yoga practice and your life.

 
Enlightened Mind
Stephen Mitchell
This book is a collection of poetry, prose and quotations from of great thinkers who have come before us. It is a collection of writings from various religious, philosophical and scientific fields and celebrates the similarity between all traditions. It starts with the Unpanishads and works it way right through greats like the Bible, The Tao Te Ching various lesser-known mystical works and then onto modern poets like my man, Rillke and deeply mystical scientists like Albert Einstein. It is a great book that I keep in my back pack and pull out while waiting for a parking spot or when a friend is running late and keeps you waiting at some café or just to pull out for some inspiring words during a beach walk.
 
Heart Of Buddha's Teaching
by Thich Nhat Hanh

This is a great rendering of Buddhist teachings. Thich Nhat Hanh’s compassion and authenticity shine through on every page. Each chapter explains a new principle about how our attachments create so many unpleasant reactions to life circumstances. The Buddhist approach is a close cousin to Yoga and ultimately this book will allow us to find that radiant place in our hearts where we can look beyond our own problems and preoccupations and recognize our deep connection to all beings everywhere.
 
POWER OF NOW: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
by Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle weaves together a masterpiece for how we can all live in the now. If living mindfully in the present seems like an impossibility, this book will serve as a valuable guide. It explains in everyday language how the mind can act like a prison keeping us free from experiencing the radiance we feel when we are fully present.
 
 

Eoin has studied yoga and Philosophy since 1987 and Insiya has been involved with Yoga since she was a young girl in Bombay. We are happy work with Chapters-Indigo as their 'Trusted Advisors'of Yoga. Our living room was full of books and DVDs that we reviewed. These are the ones that rose to the top. Find one that works for you. You can order them right from the Chapters website by following the links.

Here are the categories:

for beginners

for all levels

anatomy

ayurveda

women's interest

philosophy