The teachings of yoga are largely referenced as found in classical texts. Through teacher training and various yoga workshops, I’ve encountered several of the sacred texts along the way. My list “to read” remains much longer than my “have read” list, but I’ve found that the teachings of yoga have also been accessible (and more approachable) in modern translations of those texts. Here is a short list of my favorite books that either specifically or indirectly share the gifts of yoga. These are great books for your carry-on bag this holiday season and can also make a thoughtful gift for your yogi friends!
- How Yoga Works by Michael Roach
I received a copy of this book at the annual lululemon leadership conference a few years ago and it has remained at the top of my list and my favorite book to share with yoga students. A simple, engaging story about a girl and her dog filled with wisdom and lessons page by page.
- Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment by Lama Surya Das
I first read this book just out of college. I had moved to Portland, Ore., was living on my own for the first time and also looking for work. This book opened my eyes to the teachings of Buddhism and the importance of self-awareness and conscious thinking. I reference it often as part of my personal yoga practice.
- Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates
I have received this book multiple times as a gift! You can open to any page and read the first paragraph you arrive at, or read it cover to cover. It’s a great book for your yoga library because it includes 365 days of yoga reflections. A fabulous daily read or a reference from time to time.
- Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
As a collegiate athlete, yoga and meditation were skills that helped me perform at my best. My results improved as I better understood the power of breathing and having a disciplined mind. Jon Kabat-Zinn says it best: “Like it or not, this moment is all we really have to work with.” This book is straightforward and great for skimming through for truth bombs or diving in to every page with pen in hand.
- 40 Days to Personal Revolution by Baron Baptiste
My yoga teacher training at Franklin Street Yoga Center was inspired by Baron Baptiste’s book, Journey Into Power. This book, 40 Days to Personal Revolution, is on my list because it is a guide and a workbook to transform your life through yoga, meditation and healthy eating. Whether you are brand new to yoga or an experienced student, a 40-day challenge will change your life!