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Five Must Read Books for an Holistic Yoga Practice

Updated: Nov 18

Whether you’ve been practicing yoga for some time, or are just starting out, reading about yoga can be a great way to help answer any questions you might have about your yoga practice. These five books offer an holistic view on yoga. They range across topics such as technique and method of physical yoga poses, anatomy and posture, yoga philosophy for daily life, working with the breath, and mindfulness meditation.

1. Ashtanga Yoga As It Is, Matthew Sweeney


Ashtanga yoga is a dynamic style of yoga that emphasizes breath movement coordination and focuses the mind via moving in a meditative flow. This book covers these aspects as well as exploring the traditional and more novel ways to approach yoga practice. It also will help you to learn more about the technique and methods of practicing the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga set sequences. As well as covering interesting topics such as the use of the breath, yoga philosophy and many of the traditions of the Mysore self-practice method.


2. Functional Anatomy of Yoga: A Guide for Practitioners and Teachers, David Keil


Getting your posture and alignment right in different yoga poses is extremely important if you want to get all the physical benefits from your yoga practice, and be injury free. This book looks at anatomy holistically to help you understand and implement, functional anatomy into your yoga practice. It will help you get a deeper understanding of relating anatomy practically to your yoga practice, in order to support integrated movement.


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


Applying yoga practice to everyday life can be challenging. This book explores these challenges through practical stories on how yoga philosophy can be applied outside of your yoga practice. Yogic goals to integrate the body, emotions, mind and soul are discussed, as well as the role that yoga poses and breathing techniques play in our search for unity within ourselves. The author Iyengar also speaks about what external and internal obstacles can be faces by yoga practitioners, and how yoga can be used to transform your life.


4. The Breathing Book: Good Health and Vitality Through Essential Breath Work, Donna Farhi


Whether we are conscious of it or not, breathing is an essential part of life. This book offers a practical and beautifully simple guide to the breath. It looks at how to address restricted breathing patterns to unlock a deeper and free natural breath. It also offers practical exercises that can be done to give you more energy and reduce everyday stress.


5. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness, Jon Kabat-Zinn


If managed badly, stress can deplete our energy, affect our health, and even shorten our lives. It makes us more vulnerable to anxiety and depression, disconnection and disease. This book describes practically the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, covering formal and informal exercises and stories told by people that have taken and benefited from the program. If you are interested in practicing mindfulness meditation and integrate it into your daily life – this is a must read!


#yoga #yogalifestyle #philosophy #anatomy #ashtanga #vinyasa #hatha #breathing #mindfulness #meditation