Must-Read Yoga Books

A long but still woefully incomplete list of some of the formative books on yoga (and related topics) that have influenced my life, my practice and my teaching. Take these with you on retreat, or create your own retreat by snuggling up with a book all weekend. (For a slightly longer list with pretty cover pictures, click here):

Fierce Medicine: Breakthrough Practices to Heal the Body and Ignite the Spirit
By Ana T. Forrest

Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha
By Tara Brach

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
By Byron Katie, Stephen Mitchell

Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika
By B. K. S. Iyengar

Pilgrim of Love: The Life and Teachings of Swami Kripalu
By Atma Jo Ann Levitt 

The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life
By Sara Avant Stover

Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness
By Erich Schiffmann

Meditations to Change Your Brain
By Rick Hanson, Richard Mendius

Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
By Rick Hanson

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics)
By Pema Chodron

Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists, 2e
By Thomas W. Myers

My Name is Chellis and I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization
By Chellis Glendinning

Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living
By Donna Farhi

Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World
By Joanna Macy, Molly Young Brown


The two books below focus on 1) living as an adult in the spiritual community / cult of Rajneesh (later known as Osho – frequently quoted by yoga teachers!) and 2) growing up in the Rajneesh ashram community. Both books sustained my attention for their human stories, but give vital context to the abuse of power within spiritual traditions, including modern yoga:

Promise of Paradise
By Satya Bharti Franklin

My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru
By Tim Guest


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