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Best Yoga Books

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Updated September 05, 2012

This list includes books that provide great instructions on how to do yoga poses, reference sources, yoga philosophy, and books with amazing aspirational photos. In other words, a yoga book for everyone!

1. Light on Yoga

© Barry Stone
Author: B.K.S. Iyengar

B.K.S. Iyengar's classic 1966 book is still the gold standard for its encyclopedic illustration of hundreds of yoga poses and many breathing techniques. A must-have for any yoga practitioner's library.

2. Yoga Anatomy

Courtesy of Human Kinetics
Author: Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews

A great choice for any yoga lover, this book's unique strength is its illustrations. Rendered through a process of photography, medical illustration, and digital media, each pose is shown from the inside out with the pertinent anatomy highlighted.

3. Poser: My Life in 23 Yoga Poses

Poser by Claire Dederer
Photo Courtesy of Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Author: Claire Dederer

An outstanding entry in the increasingly popular yoga memoir genre, this book sets itself apart with truly good writing. I especially recommend this book to mothers who have struggled with finding balance in their lives after having children.

4. Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice

Yoga Body by Mark Singleton
© About.com
Author: Mark Singleton

A fascinating look into the history of yoga asana by scholar Mark Singleton. This book is a real game changer, taking everything you though you knew about yoga's roots in ancient India and turning it on its ear.

5. Yoga The Iyengar Way

Yoga The Iyengar Way
© About.com
Author: Silva, Mira, and Shyam Mehta

Iyengar's Light on Yoga is the undisputed pose encyclopedia, but this reference book has a lot to recommend it too. Key poses are covered and the large color photographs and explicit alignment points make it a more accessible companion volume.

6. Art of Yoga

Author: Sharon Gannon and David Life

This beautifully produced coffee-table book features photographs of Jivamukti founders Sharon Gannon and David Life doing extremely advanced poses. This book is more inspirational than instructional, and lovely to look at.

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7. Cool Yoga Tricks

© Barry Stone
Author: Miriam Austin

This book is perfect for a beginner who wants to practice at home, because it offers creative adaptations of many poses using props such as chairs, blocks, blankets, and straps. Instead of showing super flexible advanced yogis in gravity-defying poses, it offers practical advice for real people. It is also ideal for yoga teachers, because it is full of ideas students will love.

8. The Living Gita

Author: Sri Swami Satchidananda

Sri Swami Satchidananda's translation and interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita makes the lessons of this ancient text accessible to modern readers.

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9. Watch Me Do Yoga

Image Courtesy of Rodmell Press
Author: Bobby Clennell

A great yoga book for kids that manages to be true to life and inspirational at the same time. If you are interested in having your kids join you for yoga, read then this book.

10. Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful

Author: Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

Gurmukh is a leading Kundalini yoga teacher who is especially known for her prenatal yoga classes. The yoga in this book is gentle, but the anecdotes and advice for pregnant women is unique in the sea of books about pregnancy. It is empowering for anyone contemplating natural childbirth.

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