5 Books Every Yogi should Read
Whether you are walking through the doors of a yoga studio for the first time, or you’ve perfected your headstand, we all look for a little inspiration in our yoga practice once in a while. After all, the cornerstone of yoga, and probably what led you to practice in the first place, is inspiration! There is no coincidence this ancient practice inspires, being that modern-day asana evolved out of sacred texts written deep in the forests of India. Want to find your courage? There’s a pose for that. Looking to soften the edges of your heart? There are several poses that will help with that. A constant companion, coach and cheerleader, all within the wisdom of your heart, yoga will inspire you along your journey, no matter what twists and turns you encounter.
We asked around to see what good reads inspire yogis of the modern age. Here are 5 books that come highly recommended!
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Alistair Shearer
Without a doubt, this book title rolls off the tongue of yoga practitioners across the globe. Of the earliest and most sacred spiritual texts, The Yoga Sutras is a response to the transcending query of “who am I?” and “what is the purpose of life?” Patanjali demystifies yoga, teaching readers how to quiet the mind to settle into the serenity of the Self. Alistair Shearer’s luminous rendering of the sutras upholds the sagacity of Patanjali with a renewed modern-day insight. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a book that beckons to those on the quest of self-realization. Suddenly, the ever-elusive concept of enlightenment is at your fingertips!
“Deep within the mind, beyond the faintest flicker of thought, [our true nature] is experienced as an undying and omnipresent vastness.“
- The Yamas and Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele
The Yamas and Niyamas are the first two limbs of The Yoga Sutras. Their lofty wisdom warrants an entire book, as they represent the foundational tenets to yogic thought and the right way of living. Deborah Adele’s interpretation weaves the Yamas and Niyamas into a rich tapestry of story-telling and personal inquiry, taking a deeper look into the concepts of non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, non-excess, non-possessiveness, purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender. Each stitch will liberate you to take ownership of your life and direct you toward the contentment you search for. This book is a discerning narrative on how to live your yoga life, beyond the mat.
“Living the life that cries to be lived from the depth of our being frees up our energy and vitality. We benefit and everyone around us benefits.”
- Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer
We have all been to that class. The class where the yoga instructor demonstrates full splits and you think, “I can’t do that!” An accumulation of our past, sometimes before we even entertain a challenge, our inner voice can shut us down without us even noticing. Like a lens of awareness, Michale A. Singer helps the reader to identify limiting beliefs, biases and sensitivities within themselves. This book will lift your relationship to your Self, affirming serenity and inner peace so that you can soar above your boundaries. With happiness as your compass and self-realization as your path, Untethered Soul will help you to navigate your inner landscape with abandon.
“There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it.”
- Eastern Body Western Mind by Anodea Judith
This compelling interpretation of the Eastern chakra system framed in Western psychology lends relevance and accessibility to the modern-day yogi. Illustrated with personal stories and case studies, Anodea Judith brings a fresh approach to understanding the energetic body. Using the structure of the chakra system as a map, each chapter focuses on a single chakra, its traits and how to sustain harmony of these energy centres. Eastern Body Western Mind brings new truth to the Western repertoire of health and healing.
“The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground.”
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Chalked with inspiration and empowerment, Big Magic is a book that will awaken your soul. Digging deep into the process of creativity, Elizabeth Gilbert offers potent insight into the mysterious nature of inspiration. How do we wrestle with what we love most, with fearless curiosity? What is the approach we must embody to live our most creative life? Whatever your passion, Big Magic comes to those who are open to its learnings.
“The Universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”
For the curious yogi in search of their authentic self, inspiration is the spice of living your yoga. There is no better soul food than a good book, and we know these top five books deliver! With every turn of the page there is opportunity for self-realization, with every chapter, a time to reflect, and with every book, a world of adventure.
~ Stephanie Nygren