The mental and physical health benefits of yoga are considerable. For hundreds of years, people have been practicing yoga and meditation and finding that it has a profoundly positive impact on their lives. There is an ideal flow for every yogi and a yoga book that will shed some light on postures, meditation, and the history of the practice. Finding the best yoga books for your practice is the key.
Our top pick for the overall best book about yoga is Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar. It’s detailed depictions of postures, clear explanations of yogic history, and the philosophy of the practice make this book an excellent choice for both beginners and experts. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best yoga books for all types of yogis and interests. Check out this list of the best books about yoga to find your next read.
Our Top Picks: Best Yoga Books
In a hurry? Slow things down and center yourself with our top picks:
- Best Overall: Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga. Filled with detailed illustrations and clear descriptions of yogic philosophy, this book is our overall top pick for the best books about yoga.
- Best Runner-Up: Yoga for Everyone: 50 Poses for Every Type of Body. Yoga is for every type of body. The runner-up for best yoga book depicts just this, offering modified poses for all skill levels and body styles.
- Best Budget: Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice. This one is a book meant to help readers understand how yoga is more than its postures. It’s also our budget pick for the best yoga book.
- Best for Teachers: The Secret of the Yoga Sutra. Yogis have long practiced the Yoga Sutra. This yoga book informs those wanting to push their practice further by utilizing the Yoga Sutra.
- Best for Westerners: The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West. As one of the foremost yogis who brought the practice to the west, this account of the incredible life of Indra Devi is a read well worth your time.
- Best for Beginners: Do Your Om Thing: Bending Yoga Tradition to Fit Your Modern Life. Yoga can be a demanding practice, and sometimes hectic lifestyles prevent a full commitment. This book teaches how yoga can transform to fit every lifestyle.
- Best Daily Living: Bringing Yoga to Life. The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living. If you’re looking for a read that takes yoga beyond the mat, this is an excellent choice. From the practice itself to its spiritual elements, here is how to build a life around yoga.
- Best Yoga & Meditation: Meditation and Mantras. Meditation and mantras are an essential part of an impactful yoga practice. This read is the history and philosophy behind meditation and mantras, and how they can fit into your practice.
1. Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga
The best yoga book overall
Author: B.K.S Iyengar / Publisher: Schocken Books / Pages: 544 / Price: 💰💰
Coming in as our overall top pick for the best books about yoga is Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar. It was first published in 1979 and immediately became one of the best yoga books on the market. It offers a diverse array of poses and a detailed look into the philosophy of yoga and breathing techniques. Throughout the book, there are clear illustrations, making it one of the best yoga books for home practice. If you’re looking to add a staple of yoga literature to your home library, this book is a must.
- Explains yoga philosophy
- Excellent reference text for breathing techniques
- Contains 300-week Hatha Yoga course in appendix
- First published 50 years ago
- Poses are advanced for some yogis
2. Yoga for Everyone: 50 Poses for Every Type of Body
The best yoga book runner-up
Author: Dianne Bondy / Publisher Alpha Books / Pages: 256 / Price: 💰💰
For beginning and experienced yogis, Yoga for Everyone is a comprehensive guide to yoga for every body typewritten by Dianne Bondy. She takes traditional yoga poses and offers alterations to fit every type of body and skill level. Her variations ensure that each practicing yogi stretches and twists their body to achieve the most benefits from their practice. Bondy couples adjusted postures with yoga spirituality for a well-rounded read.
- Easy read to help ease into yoga
- Excellent reference for yoga teachers
- Inclusive and accessible for all body types
- Only 50 poses
- Might not align with goals of all yogis
3. Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice
The best yoga book on a budget
Author: Mark Singleton / Publisher: Oxford University Press / Pages: 272 / Price: 💰
If you’re looking for a read that dives into the postures and philosophy of yoga but aren’t interested in spending big money, this book might be for you. Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice by Mark Singleton details the meaning of yoga, helping readers understand how it’s more than just physical exercise. He delves into the practice and postures’ roots while relating it to modern-day yoga for an informative read.
- Extremely affordable
- Deeply analyzes modern yoga
- Provides nice historical context for yoga
- Written in a very academic style
- Early chapters are dense with citations
4. The Secret of the Yoga Sutra
The best yoga book for teachers
Author: Pandit Rajmani Tigunait / Publisher: Himalayan Institute Press / Pages: 408 / Price: 💰💰💰💰
As relevant in yoga today as it was hundreds of years ago, The Secret of the Yoga Sutra documents the wisdom of the yoga tradition. The Yoga Sutra is a guide to those practicing yoga and a particularly great read for yoga teachers.
Readers should bear in mind that this book is not for the casual reader. It contains complex Sanskrit terminology and is dense with facts about the Yoga Sutra. That said, it is one of the best books to read if you genuinely want to understand your yoga practice’s process and benefits.
- Deeply comprehensive
- Written by a Doctor of Philosophy
- Provides a greater understanding of the yoga lifestyle and practice
- Not for casual readers
- Somewhat dense read
5. The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West
The best yoga book for westerners
Author: Michelle Goldberg / Publisher: Vintage Books / Pages: 336 / Price: 💰💰
Born in Russia in 1899, Indra Devi is often credited with bringing yoga to the west. She migrated to Berlin after being forced to flee her native country as a teenager. There Indra joined a cabaret group and traveled to India, where she began learning the spirituality of yoga. She would go on to spread what she learned throughout the world. Author Michelle Goldberg delicately tells the account of this incredible woman’s life and how she helped introduce yoga to the modern world.
- Fascinating and enlightening read
- Perfect for anyone looking to understand how yoga evolved in the west
- No illustrations
- Begins well, but rushes through Indra Devi’s last 20 years
6. Do Your Om Thing: Bending Yoga Tradition to Fit Your Modern Life
The best yoga book for beginners
Author: Rebecca Pacheco / Publisher: Harper Wave Books / Pages: 288 / Price: 💰💰💰
With the hectic lives we live today, a one-hour yoga class once a week might be the only time we have to truly connect with ourselves. Rebecca Pacheco’s Do Your Om Thing describes how we can modify traditional yoga to fit our lives while reaping the benefits. Pacheco is a master yoga teacher who reminds us that yoga is more profound than the perfect asana. We focus on bringing awareness and intention into our practice with the hopes that it trickles into our daily lives. It’s an excellent read for those just getting started with the practice.
- Hilarious writing style
- Relatable and easy to read
- Enjoyable read that covers multiple elements of the yoga practice
- Lacks spiritual context
- Not as informative for advanced yogis
7. Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living
The best yoga book for daily living
Author: Donna Farhi / Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers / Pages: 256 / Price: 💰💰
Many of those who practice yoga feel the most substantial impact of their practice while on the mat. In Donna Farhi’s Bringing Yoga to Life, she draws on her years of teaching students to instruct readers on how yoga can extend beyond the mat and into their everyday lives.
A yoga practice can be more than physical postures. It’s filled with breathing techniques, mantras, and meditations that have a profound impact on the lives of those who practice regularly. To learn more about how to take your yoga teachings off the mat, check out this read.
- Intimate look at everything that yoga has to offer
- Explains philosophical concepts of yoga with clear metaphors
- Somewhat philosophical approach
- Some readers felt it was “preachy”
8. Meditation and Mantras
The best book for yoga and meditation
Author: Swami Vishnu Devananda / Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers / Pages: 276 / Price: 💰💰💰💰
Our selection for the best book about yoga and meditation, Meditation and Mantras by Swami Vishnu Devananda, explains how meditation and mantras can calm and clear the mind. Our world is becoming more connected and distracting, but meditation can focus our attention inward to increase our inner peace. Meditation has long improved mental clarity and health.
This book is for those seeking a deeper understanding of meditation and how it can further incorporate into their yoga practice.
- Very practical guide for meditation
- Author is knowledgeable and concise
- Essential reading for anyone wanting to improve the quality of their yoga
- Surface-level descriptions
- Writing is directed toward beginners
Expand Your Knowledge About Yoga
Regular yoga practice has the potential to offer a wealth of mental and physical benefits. Several different yoga styles allow yogis to customize a method that has the best results catered to them.
Why should you practice yoga?
The slow and subtle, but intentional movements within the practice give yogis a unique perspective on their bodies and minds.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga
Perhaps one of the greatest physical health benefits of a consistent yoga practice is the reduction of chronic pain like arthritis and headaches. It can also help lower blood pressure and decrease insomnia. It’s shown to reduce the risk of injury for those participating in high-impact sports like running or tennis. Increased flexibility, metabolism, and muscle strength are all things one can expect when they practice yoga regularly.
The positive physical outcomes of yoga are plentiful. Still, many don’t consider the mental health benefits that come with a regular practice.
Yoga has proven to be incredible for stress management. Stress can manifest itself as sleeping problems, neck or back pains, headaches, and more — but a regular yoga practice helps solve these issues. Yoga can also increase one’s ability to concentrate and overall mental well-being, allowing yogis to adopt a more positive outlook on life.
Yoga has incredible impacts on our bodies and minds. Learning about the spirituality of the practice and how to design a flow that feels good to you is crucial for reaping these benefits. Check out one of these reads to enlighten your yoga practice.
For this guide on yoga books, our team spent 5 hours researching the most popular options from over 15 publishers big and small. We then read about two hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what readers thought about each book. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 8 yoga books on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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