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Good Yoga Books

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ~Charles W. Eliot

Also See: Health | Eastern | Visionary | Spirituality | Conscious Living Books

Contact Yoga

Contact Yoga: The Seven Points of Connection and Relationship
By Tara Lynda Guber

Contact Yoga presents an inspiring new vision of yoga created to deepen your relationships with lovers, friends, family and other intimates in your life. Contact Yoga explores that mysterious and dynamic edge where two people connect: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Tara Lynda Guber and Anodea Judith offer valuable insight into the dynamics of all loving relationships, using poses designed for two participants that bridge the “Seven Points of Contact.”

Contact Yoga brings these seven points (trust, passion, commitment, love, communication, vision, and union) into focus as points on the body, training patterns of connecting and distancing, loving and protecting, giving and receiving to be revealed at their deepest levels. Contact Yoga will appeal to all who seek depth and fulfillment in their relationships.

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Anatomy of Hatha Yoga

Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: A Manual for Students, Teachers, and Practitioners
by H. David Coulter

This is a most unusual book. The author, a professor of anatomy and long-time yoga practitioner, explores, in great detail (when necessary), the human anatomy as it relates to the practice of hatha yoga. This is a fascinating journey. If nothing else the book will teach you about anatomy, a topic you may previously have had no interest in, but in the process will deepen your knowledge of yoga. It’s really well done how the author brings such a seemingly dry, technical subject to life. The author nicely groups the discussion around particular topics as they relate to yoga. For example, there are chapters on the nervous system, on breathing, and on what is happening with your hips and sacrum. There are fantastic anatomic drawings that greatly add to one’s understanding.

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Yoga: The Iyengar Way

Yoga: The Iyengar Way
by Silva Mehta, Mira Mehta and Shyam Mehta

“Yoga: the Iyengar Way” succeeds where other yoga books fail because of its superior pictures, which give extreme detail to all of the asanas (poses). It’s always better to get guidance from a good teacher, but for home practice, this is one of the best books out there and is a great supplement to group practice. As its title implies, Iyengar yoga is taught in the book, and thus the use of props and alternative poses allows for those of different levels of experience to do as much of the asana as they can.

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The Heart of Yoga

The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice
by T. K. V. Desikachar

What makes this book particularly valuable is that it explains how to construct a practice. This allows the reader to intelligently use other resources and link his or her yoga practice to over-aching physical, psychological and spiritual principles.

This volume is well balanced. It covers a lot of ground and has a broad scope, but it is not overwhelming in any way. It really does a great job of covering the essentials of yoga philosophy, principles of joining breath with movement, connecting poses and varying poses.

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Meditations From the Mat

Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga
by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison

Mediations from the Mat is a one-a-day vitamin for the yogic soul. There are 365 essays here designed to nourish you on your journey off and on the mat.

If you practice yoga, you will appreciate this book. If you like thought-provoking quotes, you’ll find them here. If you’re on a path toward spiritual and emotional well being, this book is for you.

Gates doesn’t claim to have answers. He gives us what he has to give: the lessons he has learned through the erratic, grace-filled ride he’s had so far. As the essays gradually build on one another, we begin to understand that amid our suffering, fear, and doubt, we can “experience a visceral sense of belonging in a universe held together by love.”

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Yoga for Wellness: Healing with the Timeless Teachings of Viniyoga
by Gary Kraftsow

A respected instructor of viniyoga (which focuses on an individual’s movement potential rather than on perfect postures) offers illustrated sequences to treat specific aches and pains, chronic diseases, and emotional problems. This is the rare yoga instruction manual that teaches the basics of yoga while also paying more than just lip service to the original intention of yoga–achieving a balance of mental, physical, and spiritual wellness.

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 Yoga For Dummies
by Georg Feuerstein, Larry Payne, Lilias Folan

This book proves that this 5,000-year-old Indian discipline can be all things to all people–the athlete striving for more-limber limbs, the stressed-out professional needing mental calm, peace, and clarity; the pregnant mom-to-be looking to keep herself toned and her emotions balanced, the spiritual seeker wanting to access the higher planes of consciousness. After explaining how to prepare your body and mind for yoga–they jump straight into the postures (asanas), instructions which make up the meat of book. The book also covers yogic ethics, philosophy, and resources.

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Yoga and the Quest for the True Self
by Stephen Cope

In this remarkable book, the author recounts his adventure of self-discovery, instructing us in the power of Yoga along the way. With a magnetic but down-to-earth combination of humor and wisdom, he shows us how Yoga is a way of life, not just a physical practice. Yoga is perfectly suited to help us deal with the challenges of a modern, Western lifestyle, from the need for self-expression to the search for a sense of purpose.

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Light on Yoga
by B. K. S. Iyengar, Yehudi Menuhin

One of three Yoga classics for the serious student of Hatha Yoga. These three books are as comprehensive a handbook as you can get.

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Light on Pranayama
by B. K. S. Iyengar, Yehudi Menuhin

One of three Yoga classics for the serious student of Hatha Yoga. These three books are as comprehensive a handbook as you can get.

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Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
by B. K. S. Iyengar, Yehudi Menuhin

One of three Yoga classics for the serious student of Hatha Yoga. These three books are as comprehensive a handbook as you can get.

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Awakening the Spine:
The Stress-Free New Yoga that Works with the Body to Restore Health, Vitality and Energy
by Vanda Scaravelli

The 83-year-old former teacher of J. Krishnamurti shares her revolutionary new yoga techniques for overall fitness. Based on the natural principles of gravity and breath, Scaravelli believes “if it hurts, it’s wrong,” and offers a gentle way to achieve and maintain overall health and a naturally supple spine–at any age. 150 black-and-white photographs. A beautiful book, not to instruct one in hatha yoga but to inspire the path of the yogi with shared words and beauty.

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Living Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide for Daily Life
by Georg Feuerstein

A collection of articles and interviews from ‘Yoga Journal.’ Sections on Yoga practice, diet, relaxation and meditation, work and service, and enlightenment.

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The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga
by Georg Feuerstein

A comprehensive reference book for the serious student of Yoga, with over 2,000 entries on a wide range of subjects.

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

The authors bring their philosophy and practice to the pages of this book. In Jivamukti (which means “soul liberation”), you’ll find illustrated, step by step instructions for poses drawn from ancient texts, guaranteed to push you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You’ll also learn the lessons of proper karmic conduct and the inner exercises necessary for spiritual growth.

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Healing Mudras: Yoga for Your Hands
by Sabrina Mesko

Mudras are yoga movements involving only the arms and hands. They are extremely easy to do, but also very powerful. They can liberate the energy locked within your body–in energy channels called nadis and energy centers called chakras. Included are dynamically illustrated instructions for performing the fifty-two most accessible mudras, with appropriate breathing exercises, eye movements, mantras, meditations, visualizations, prayers, and affirmations to enhance the power of each.

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Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life
by Judith Lasater Ph.D. P.T., Suza Francina, Georg Feuerstein (Preface)

Ostensibly this book is about the practice of Yoga, but really the book is about applying the principles behind yoga (compassion, discipline, detachment, courage, faith, etc.) to your everyday life. It’s about taking our spiritual practice out of our specific practice time and bringing it into the world. It’s for everyone who honors the spiritual side of their being.

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Partner Yoga: Making Contact for Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Growth
by Cain Carroll, Lori Kimata, Peter J. D’Adamo

This book represents the next wave in yoga. Traditionally a solitary practice, the authors have developed a new kind of yoga that utilizes the strength and flexibility of two people. While taking root in traditional yoga practice, these postures will feel completely different than if performed alone. For each beautifully-photographed position, the authors explain the purpose of the pose, the technique for achieving the pose, the individual steps, and the benefits of each pose.

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Yoga: Discipline of Freedom: The Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali
by Barbara Stoler Miller (Translator)

Dating from about the third century A.D., the Yoga Sutra distills the essence of the physical and spiritual discipline of yoga into fewer than two hundred brief aphorisms. It is the core text for any study of meditative practice, revered for centuries for its brilliant analysis of mental states and of the process by which inner liberation is achieved. This new translation, hailed by Yoga Journal for its “unsurpassed readability,” is by one of the leading Sanskrit scholars of our time. It includes an introduction to the philosophy and psychology underlying the Yoga Sutra, the full text with explanatory commentary, and a glossary of key terms in Sanskrit and English.

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Journey into Power: How to Sculpt Your Ideal Body, Free Your True Self, and Transform Your Life with Yoga 
by Baron Baptiste, Richard Corman (Photographer)

The author brings his youthful, charismatic energy to an ancient art in this easy to follow guidebook based on the lessons of his popular 7-day yoga “bootcamps.” You’ll learn about “Power Vinyasa,” a complete yoga program for your mind, body, and spirit that can be done in your home at your own pace. Learn 54 fluid postures; how to begin a cleansing diet; and new meditation methods.

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Yoga for 50+
by Richard Rosen

Tailored specifically for the 50+ population, yet ideal for beginners, this book offers a low impact and relaxing approach that makes it easy to learn yoga at any age.

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