Yoga is one of the most popular exercises because of all its benefits to your body and mind. There are multiple options to learn yoga, from teachers and schools to books and videoblogs. From these options, books are one of the most interesting ones, but they require a lot of commitment and discipline.
If you love learning by yourself and enjoy reading, then a yoga book should be your first choice. Yoga books offer great insight into the anatomy of yoga and the core philosophy of the discipline.
In today’s article, we’ll take a look at the best yoga books you can use to start your yoga journey. Additionally, we’ll tell you all you need to know about yoga at home and the many benefits yoga has for you.
Best Yoga Books
- Winner: Insight Yoga – An Innovative Synthesis of Traditional Yoga, Meditation, and Eastern Approaches to Healing and Well-Being by Sarah Powers
- Runner-Up: Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff
- Alternative: Light on Yoga – The Bible of Modern Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar
- Alternative: Yoga – The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness by Erich Schiffman
- Alternative: Bringing Yoga to Life – The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living by Donna Farhi
Winner: Insight Yoga – An Innovative Synthesis of Traditional Yoga, Meditation, and Eastern Approaches to Healing and Well-Being by Sarah Powers
- Pages: 288 pages
- Type: Paperback and digital
Insight Yoga is Sarah Powers’ guide to the keys, fundamentals, and benefits of yoga. The author is a renowned worldwide yoga instructor that offers a unique and exciting approach to the world of yoga. She combines the fundamentals of the discipline with Chinese medicine to provide one of the best yoga guides available.
The book, also known as SHAMBALA, provides you with the necessary instructions and exercises to start your yoga journey. Powers’ book will teach you how to use yoga to improve the functionality of organs, muscles, and joints. It will also help you understand the secrets of Chinese medicine.
This book is a must for anyone who enjoys Powers’ approach to yoga and those looking for guidance. Without a doubt, Insight Yoga is one of the best yoga books for beginners you’ll find.
The main drawback is that it is a perfect option if you are new to yoga. Experienced yoga enthusiasts and teachers won’t be able to find much substance in this book. It is aimed at those who are starting their journey and need guidance. If you are looking for more advanced knowledge, then you should consider other options.
This book offers an approach to yoga that delves into Buddhism and the Vinyasa schools. The author also provides many great exercises for your yoga and meditation practice.
This is the book for you if you want to do yoga, but you don’t know where to start. It will provide all the necessary instructions for you to perform yoga correctly.
Runner-Up: Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff
- Pages: 288 pages
- Type: Paperback and digital
Yoga Anatomy is a book that explores the structure and principles of every yoga pose, whether it is vinyasa or asana. This book provides a detailed and in-depth study of yoga’s fundamentals and how they work within your body.
Leslie Kaminoff explores everything, from the breathing and poses to every technique known in the discipline. Additionally, the book offers a new perspective on how alternations of poses can help you enhance the benefits of the exercise in your spine and breathing.
This book offers the fundamentals of yoga for beginners, but it also provides enough new information for experts. This is one of the best yoga anatomy books on the market.
The book takes its time to get to the point, and that can be a drawback for people that want fast information about a specific topic. The book delves a lot into yoga’s scientific aspects and how it helps your body but goes too deep for some readers’ tastes.
The book offers an entire section of research and studies on the benefits of breathing while practicing yoga. It is incredibly insightful if you are passionate about the subject and the balance of the discipline.
Additionally, the book offers detailed illustrations of how your body works when practicing yoga and instructions on how to perform the poses and breathing techniques.
Yoga Anatomy is an excellent option if you want to learn about yoga’s scientific roots and why it brings so many benefits to your body.
Alternative: Light on Yoga – The Bible of Modern Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar
- Pages: 544 pages
- Type: Paperback and spiral-bound
Light on Yoga is the perfect guide to understanding yoga’s philosophical aspects and it delves into the discipline’s ancient healing history. This book provides detailed descriptions and illustrations of each of the poses and breathing techniques, from the basic to the more advanced.
With this book, you’ll learn the history of poses and yoga as a complete system to heal both mind and body. The book’s exercises will enable you to achieve the best possible flexibility for your body, thanks to its detailed instructions on performing challenging poses.
The book is one of the best-rated yoga books in the Amazon and Kindle store, and it is the best yoga posture book you can read.
The book can be too hard to read for beginners as it uses terms that only experienced yogis will understand. So, if you are looking for an easy read with detailed and straightforward instructions, you should look for other options on the list.
The book has been written by one of the pioneers of yoga, B. K. S. Iyengar. The author is one of the most renowned yoga masters globally, and many people worldwide practice his approach to yoga. It offers a unique perspective on the methods of the discipline.
Additionally, this book offers you the option of choosing a spiral-bound version. The reason for this is that this is one of the longest books about yoga.
If you are looking for one of the definitive guides to yoga’s history and philosophy, then look no more. Light on Yoga is the perfect way to understand the roots of this ancient discipline.
Alternative: Yoga – The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness by Erich Schiffman
- Pages: 357 pages
- Type: Paperback and digital
Yoga – The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness is a guidebook that could unlock the path to inner peace. The book by Erich Schiffman combines Hatha Yoga’s efficiency and the benefits of deep meditation, giving you one of the most resourceful books about yoga you’ll be able to find.
The book is easy to understand, and it provides easy-to-follow instructions on how to perform each of the exercises. Erich Schiffman also provides unique techniques and methods that he has developed through his time as a yoga expert.
The author is an expert on yoga to calm the mind and balance its physical and mental aspects. If you are looking for a trusted teacher, then this is the right book for you.
The digital version of the book does not contain the illustrations offered by the book. If you are looking for images, you should consider getting the paperback version or another option on the list.
This book offers over 100 poses and exercises for every level. So, if you are a beginner or an expert, you should get this book.
The illustrations only come in the paperback version. If you want the pictures, avoid getting the book on Kindle and buy the physical copy.
Alternative: Bringing Yoga to Life – The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living by Donna Farhi
- Pages: 256 pages
- Type: Paperback, Kindle, or hardcover
Donna Farhi is a renowned and bestselling author of yoga and meditation books. She offers a complete approach to yoga, arguing that it should be part of our everyday lives and not just when we are on the mat. The book guides you through the philosophy of yoga and how to practice it in your daily life.
Bringing Yoga to Life – The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living is Farhi’s definitive guide to yoga’s transforming power for your physical and mental health. She combines yoga’s ancient philosophy with meditation and other disciplines to increase its benefits in your life.
The book is engaging and has a modern style that makes it easy to read for most audiences. Additionally, the book offers new information not only for beginners but for experienced yogis. It is, undoubtedly, one of the best yoga books for teachers and beginners you can read.
Although the book is considered engaging and easy-to-read by many readers, the author does use specific complicated terms that are not common for many people. As this book delves into yoga’s philosophical aspects, it also comes with words and phrases that you might need a dictionary to understand.
Keep in mind that the book relates more to yoga for meditation and enlightenment than to yoga as an exercise. Therefore, you should look for another option if what you want is instructions for poses.
The book offers you the possibility of choosing between digital and two physical copy options. So, if you enjoy reading a book with a hardcover, then this is an excellent option for you.
Bringing Yoga to Life is an in-depth analysis of yoga as a philosophy. If you want something more straightforward and focused on the exercises, then you should try another option. However, if what you are looking for is a guide to yoga’s core, then this book is the right one for you.
Yoga Books FAQ
Can You Learn Yoga From a Book?
It is possible to learn yoga from a book, but it depends on your learning abilities. A lot of people learn through videos, books, and essays. They can teach themselves and are committed to learning. However, not everyone is a self-taught person, meaning that it works for some but not for others.
Autodidactism or Self-Taught Person
A self-taught person is someone that won’t require a teacher to achieve knowledge of a specific field. For instance, many people learn how to draw, animate, or code without studying in a particular school. People that can learn traits and skills without the need of a teacher are considered self-taught.
To become a self-taught person, you’ll need the right motivation to achieve the goal of learning a skill or trait. Without this, learning by yourself will be almost impossible as you won’t have a reason why.
Learning Practice Through Theory
Like most schools in the world, a book will teach you the theory and steps for yoga. However, the practice of the poses and the correct method for each one will depend on you. Learning a skill or trait through a book and theory is possible, but you’ll need to practice it constantly to achieve perfection.
Overall, it is possible to learn the fundamentals of yoga through yoga books. However, if you want to become an expert, you’ll need to read and study and practice the poses and breathing until you can do them correctly.
Can I Start Doing Yoga at Home?
Doing yoga at home requires a lot of discipline as you will be in charge of your schedule. It is not only possible, but it is a popular option for people who can’t go to yoga classes because of a busy life.
Here’s what you have to do to start doing yoga at home:
1. Start Small
When it comes to yoga, you are going to want to start with easy poses. Unlike many sports, yoga requires an enormous amount of flexibility, hard to achieve and get. If you are new to yoga, we recommend going for more accessible poses and a reduced workout time.
Aim for five minutes of yoga and different poses a day for the first week. Once you survive your first week, it’s time to increase your yoga time. Add another five minutes to your routine, and keep increasing until reaching your ideal routine time.
2. The Correct Poses Are Essential
Usually, a yoga teacher would focus on helping you perform the poses the correct way. However, as you do yoga on your own, you’ll need to play the teacher’s part, correcting yourself when you don’t do a pose correctly.
Doing yoga at home is challenging because sometimes you can’t tell when a pose is right or wrong. A wrong pose won’t give you the benefits of the practice, and it can also damage your spine and joints. If you are starting yoga at home, make sure you pay attention to how each poste needs to be performed.
3. Get Some Gear or Use Stuff From Your House
A yoga mat is essential for your yoga practice. The yoga mat can help you reduce the pain from performing the poses on the ground, and it should also help with your stability when performing more challenging poses. So, if you are starting with your at-home yoga, get a yoga mat right away.
Another yoga accessory and tool you can get is a pair of yoga blocks. Yoga blocks are tools that can help you with balance during the most complicated poses. Having a couple of yoga blocks can make your yoga training a lot easier, but if you can’t afford them or a mat yet, there are other alternatives.
You can use a long towel as a yoga mat and something strong to hold your body as yoga blocks. Use whatever item works for you and be consistent.
4. Create Your Routine
After learning the poses and breathing techniques, it’s time to decide what will be in your routine. As with other workouts, yoga poses and techniques will help you with a specific part of your body and mind.
Some poses can help you relax, and others can challenge you physically. Choose the poses that suit your goal and level.
What Happens to Your Body When You Start Doing Yoga?
Yoga is known to give many benefits to those who practice it. It strengthens the core, helps improve coordination and flexibility, and can even help with diseases like diabetes and asthma.
The Effect On Your Heart and the Cardiovascular System
When you practice yoga, you allow more oxygen into your blood and muscle tissue. The increase of oxygen and improvement of blood flow enables the muscles to work correctly and get stronger. By doing so, yoga also lowers sugar levels in the blood.
Yoga provides the necessary nutrients and oxygen for your muscles to recover faster after a workout. Through breathing techniques, yoga can help you reduce stress and anxiety, leading to lower blood pressure and a healthier heart and cardiovascular system.
The Effect On Your Muscles
Not only is yoga excellent for the heart and your blood, but it is also a perfect ally for your muscles. When you stretch through yoga poses, you help the muscle fibers re-align, which is necessary to avoid stiffness and tightness. After a while, with constant stretching, your muscles will become more flexible.
The Effect On Your Lungs
Another way yoga influences your internal body functions is through the lungs. Yoga focuses on breathing and balance and is thanks to breathing that it enhances the lungs’ capacity. With a better lung capacity, you can do more activities throughout the day, and it also has a positive effect on people with asthma.
The Effect On Your Brain
Yoga exercises that focus on meditation activate and increase the use of alpha brain waves. The alpha brain waves are the ones in charge of providing restfulness to the brain and the body. Thanks to this, yoga’s been known to improve the performance of athletes in hand-eye coordination sports.
The Wellbeing Effect
Yoga unites physical and physiological benefits, and that’s why it is one of the most popular exercises worldwide. It brings balance, calmness, restfulness, and many other positive benefits to your life. If you are thinking of starting a yoga journey, we recommend you commit to it.
Are 15 Minutes of Yoga a Day Enough?
Depending on your level, 15 minutes of yoga a day might be enough for you. However, the amount of yoga you need is related to your goal and how much stress you take daily. Practicing yoga after 8 hours of being seated in front of a computer is not the same as doing it after school.
We recommend doing between 30 minutes to an hour of daily exercise to keep your body healthy. But, yoga can present many challenging poses and breathing techniques that will require more expertise before performing. In this case, you should try to aim for less yoga time and more basic poses.
If you are starting, go for five minutes at first. Once you have mastered five minutes of intense yoga, add more time to your routine and more challenging poses. As time goes by, you’ll notice an increase in strength and flexibility, and you’ll be able to perform poses for more extended periods.
It is possible to learn yoga through yoga books, but it requires a lot of commitment and practice. Suppose you are looking for the best way to start your yoga journey. In that case, Insight Yoga – An Innovative Synthesis of Traditional Yoga, Meditation, and Eastern Approaches to Healing and Well-Being by Sarah Powers is the book for you.
The book offers all the necessary instructions for you to learn the techniques and poses. Additionally, the book provides a unique perspective to meditation, yoga as a philosophy, the traditions of the discipline, and how you can use yoga to heal the body.
Overall, regardless of your level, yoga books can be of great help for you. Any of the books on the list will offer you unique approaches to the various ways you can do yoga. Pick the one that fits your lifestyle and preferences, and start enjoying the benefits of yoga.