Yoga books abound nowadays. The wisdom in these books is the result of generations of yoga practitioners putting their knowledge in black and white. While these books can pave the way towards improving one’s Vinyasa or Flow practice, not all will benefit the average yogi. For this reason, finding the best yoga books is key for one’s autodidact journey into yoga — Flow or Vinyasa.
Selecting the best yoga book can be challenging and intimidating with the abundance of choices. Luckily, we’ve narrowed our choices down to 10. These 10 books have the seal of approval from all of our members at Zuda Yoga.
Read on to learn more about the best yoga books for the everyday Vinyasa or Flow Yogi!
1. The Yoga Beginner’s Bible by Tai Morello
Short, progressive, and for the absolute beginner, The Yoga Beginner’s Bible is the perfect gateway book into yoga. At only 107 pages long, this book is short enough to be interesting but long enough to cover the essentials. From the classic poses to regressions and progressions, The Yoga Beginner’s Bible is sure to interest even the most intimidated of novice yogis.
Indeed, it says “beginner” on the title. But we placed it atop this list recognizing that everyone is either a novice or a seasoned yogi who needs to revisit the basics.
The Yoga Beginner’s Bible is a must-have for all yogis of all skill levels. And we do mean all skill levels.
2. The Little Book of Yoga by Fiona Channon
Big things come in small packages. And this is certainly true of Fiona Channon’s “Little Book of Yoga.” Short and brief in its presentation of the classic poses, this is a book any yogi can read on a daily commute or during a 10-minute coffee break.
The book begins by clearing up some of the biggest misconceptions behind yoga. Channon goes on to break down the different kinds of yoga, leading the reader to discussions of the different sutras or poses.
The Little Book of Yoga is an engaging read for every yogi. It’s especially helpful for the busy novice yogi who doesn’t know where to start in the journey to better calmness, flexibility, and mindfulness.
3. Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar
Light on Yoga is one of the oldest modern resources on yoga in the market today. Written by B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga is what many expert yogis call the “Golden Standard of Yoga Books.”
Light on Yoga is to the yogi what Wikipedia is to a cramming high schools student. The book is an encyclopedic collection of poses, breathing techniques, and sequences. Light on Yoga’s style of presentation caters to a broad audience. So it doesn’t matter who picks up the book. Everyone will learn from how Iyengar sheds light on yoga.
4. Yoga for Everyone by Dianne Bondy
There’s a prevailing misconception that someone would need to have a certain body type to get started with yoga. Inclusive yogi and author, Dianne Bondy, disproves this assumption in her book “Yoga for Everyone.”
Yoga for everyone abounds with illustrations and explanations that allow every yogi to jump in, regardless of their body type. The book includes detailed illustrations of at least 50 yoga poses. As a bonus, each position comes with techniques for regression for beginner yogis.
Dianne Bondy wrote Yoga for Everyone as a way to celebrate individual capabilities and body types. Her inclusive perspective on yoga colors every illustration in the book. This makes it the yoga book not just for beginners but for all yogis.
5. Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful by Gurmukh Khalsa
Pregnancy doesn’t need to get in the way of one’s efforts to be happier, calmer, and more supple. And if there’s one book every expecting yogi needs to have for the yoga journey, it’s Gurmukh Khalsa’s Bountiful, Beautiful, and Blissful.
The book is a collection of detailed illustrations that present the sutras adapted for pregnant yogis. It’s not just the scaled poses in the book that draws many of its readers. The collection of anecdotes from Gurmukh Khalsa’s experience as a Kundalini teacher inspires as it reassures expecting yogis.
Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful is one book expecting yogis need to have in their libraries.
6. Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley
Here’s another body-inclusive masterpiece for all yogis. Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley is an uplifting and encouraging read for yogis of every skill level and body type. Boasting high-quality photographs of each pose, the book guarantees to be a down-to-earth stepping point for any yogi.
Also part of the book are discussions about what it means to have a certain body type. Jessamyn Stanley covers everything from body acceptance to overcoming physical and mental barriers to yoga and life.
The subtitle of the book is “Let Go of Fear, Get on the Mat, and Love Your Body.” Without a doubt, they’re not just called to action. They’re simple steps to being happier through yoga.
Beginners, experts, and yogis of every body type will draw much inspiration from the 50 poses and topics of this book.
7. Yoga for Inflexible People by Max and Liz Lowenstein
The number of people who get into yoga will have the same complaint — they’re not flexible enough. Luckily, there’s a book for that. And it’s Yoga for Inflexible People by Max and Liz Lowenstein.
Every position detailed in the book comes with step-by-step instructions for safety. These instructions come with ways to scale based on a yogi’s level of flexibility.
Max and Liz Lowenstein wrote the book intending to improve the reader’s flexibility, strength, and balance. Yoga for Inflexible People contains actionable ways to progress from inflexibility to rubberband-grade flexibility.
For anyone looking for a book that boasts progression, Yoga for Inflexible People is a must-have in one’s yoga library.
8. 2,100 Asanas: The Complete Yoga Poses by Daniel Lacerda
Few books can claim the title of “Most Comprehensive Yoga Book.” 2,100 Asanas by Daniel Lacerda is a definite candidate. The title is far from being an exaggeration. The book does indeed detail all 2,100 asanas, making it one of the most comprehensive yoga books on the market.
2,100 Asanas organize the various poses into eight groups: backbends, standing positions, seated poses, core work, as well as prone and supine poses. Quadruped and inverted positions are also among the groups in the book.
Each pose comes with instructions to help the reader perform it safely. Few yogis will feel stagnation progressing through all of the asanas in this masterpiece by Daniel Lacerda.
9. Science of Yoga by Ann Swanson
For a more in-depth look at the biomechanics of yoga, no other book comes as close as Ann Swanson’s Science of Yoga. Science of Yoga brings together anatomy and yoga, giving readers a scientific peek into how asanas benefit the body.
Science of Yoga analyzes the mechanics of at least 30 of yoga’s most popular poses. The book contains detailed illustrations of muscles, as well as scientific facts that are as convincing as they are detailed.
Despite its scientific presentation of the asanas and the articulation joints within them, Science of Yoga is easy to read. This makes it an essential addition to the technically minded yogi’s library.
10. Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice by Mark Singleton
From science, we move to history with Mark Singleton’s chronicle of how modern yoga came to be. Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice is an exposition of many commonly held beliefs of yoga.
In the book, Mark Singleton attributes the modern popularity of yoga to seemingly unrelated developments like European bodybuilding. He also juxtaposes the resurgence of modern yoga to Indian nationalism and the gymnastics craze that took the Americas and Europe by storm in the early 20th century.
Controversial in his portrayal of yoga’s history, Yoga Body educates as well as intrigues.
How To Choose the Best Yoga Books
Everyone selects their yoga books differently. From our experience, we’ve found that the best yoga books possess certain qualities that are useful for those who read them.
Here are the three characteristics to look for in the best yoga books:
Yoga is as much a mental discipline as it is a physical one. Like with any physical endeavor, the act of demonstration results in learning. When it comes to books, demonstrations are present in the form of illustrations.
The best yoga books have one thing in common — they’re all full of illustrations. Not only will illustrations guide you better. The heavy emphasis on visual representation makes a book less text-heavy, ensuring that you read it for a longer time.
Establishing the presence of illustrations early on isn’t difficult. Readers can determine this early by looking at reviews, as well as summaries of the book.
Skill Level-based Content
Yoga books are available for a variety of skill levels. With this in mind, yogis need to select books based on where they are skill-wise.
Some yoga books will have in their titles the skill levels to which they cater. One example of this is The Yoga Beginner’s Bible by Tai Morello. One look at the title reveals who the book is best for.
Content for Those with Specific Life Circumstances
Not everyone who walks into a yoga studio has hours to devote to the practice. Some yogis are busy professionals. Others are expecting mothers in their second trimester of pregnancy.
Whatever the case may be, yogis must also consider their current circumstances in their book selection. For example, pregnant yogis will find valuable information in the pages of books akin to Gurmukh Khalsa’s “Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful.”
Take the example of busy professionals who lack the luxury of time. For the go-getter nine-to-five yogi, “The Little Book of Yoga” by Fiona Channon won’t be a stretch to read.
Yoga for Various Body Types
Besides life circumstances, body types separate yogis from one another. This is why it’s also important to select books written for yogis with certain body types. Luckily, many yoga books on the market cater to a wide variety of body types.
Jessamyn Stanley has written one example of a body type-friendly book in her masterpiece, Every Body Yoga.
Choose the Best Yoga Books for Your Goals and Circumstance
Not everyone will agree on which yoga book is the best. With that said, the best yoga book is the one that you’ll keep reading. Such a book will be the one you choose based on your preferences, goals, and circumstances.