The best books on yoga philosophy for those who want to dig deeper

Who am I?

As a long-time student and teacher of yoga, I have read extensively on the philosophy and practice of this ancient science. After 25 years, I still discover daily, new benefits as I deepen my understanding of this tradition’s peace-bringing principles. Because I have found so much personal wellbeing through yoga, I made a career as a yoga therapist, coaching others in the yogic practices which help us establish inner peace, balance, and joy. Hundreds of clients have given me feedback in the benefits they too have received by integrating these teachings. Through the embodiment of yoga philosophy, we can truly transform our consciousness and reunite body, soul, and spirit.


I wrote...

True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment

By Jennie Lee,

Book cover of True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment

What is my book about?

True Yoga is an inspirational and practical guide to living the eight limbs of yoga. It reaches beyond the popular physical practice to the timeless teachings of consciousness transformation outlined in the Yoga Sutras, making the wisdom and universal spirituality of the ancient yogis understandable and practical for all. Whether challenged by work, health, relationships, or parenting, this book will help readers achieve lasting happiness and freedom from the stress of modern living.

Effective methods for maintaining positive thoughts, managing stress, improving communication, and building new habits for success are included. Using daily practices, self-inquiry questions, and inspiring affirmations, yoga therapist Jennie Lee presents a way of living that leads to inner peace and spiritual integration.

The books I picked & why

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Autobiography of a Yogi

By Paramahansa Yogananda,

Book cover of Autobiography of a Yogi

Why this book?

If I were stranded on a desert island, the one book I would want would be Autobiography of a Yogi. It holds every principle we need for the evolution of consciousness, all within a captivating story of one yoga master’s fascinating life. I have read it 6 times now and every time I find new ah-ha’s and things that will improve my life. Since reading it the first time, I feel my capacity to love has increased exponentially and I understand far more about the purpose of life. 


The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman's Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras

By Nischala Joy Devi,

Book cover of The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman's Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras

Why this book?

After reading more traditional versions of the Yoga Sutras and finding them a bit difficult to digest, this book made the classical yoga teachings much more understandable and applicable to my current experience of life. As a yoga teacher, I found new pragmatic ways to explain esoteric concepts to my students. This text was also a big inspiration for my own writing.  


The Map of Consciousness Explained: A Proven Energy Scale to Actualize Your Ultimate Potential

By David R. Hawkins,

Book cover of The Map of Consciousness Explained: A Proven Energy Scale to Actualize Your Ultimate Potential

Why this book?

Although this book is not a ‘yoga’ text per se, it does outline the transformation of human consciousness in a way that is totally aligned with yoga philosophy. I found the explanation of the vibratory states of various levels of consciousness such as shame, desire, anger, joy to be fascinating, and the practical suggestions for applying theory into daily life have far-reaching effect. He also includes a section on addiction and the consciousness of recovery which is wonderful.


The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita: An Introduction to India's Universal Science of God-Realization

By Paramahansa Yogananda,

Book cover of The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita: An Introduction to India's Universal Science of God-Realization

Why this book?

The Bhagavad Gita is the most complete text of yoga philosophy. It can however be difficult to understand, as it is presented through an allegorical battle, which represents the inner battle of every human life between the ego and the soul. This version makes the essential teachings clear and very relatable and has helped me in my understanding of my own identity. I refer to this text often when helping my students connect to their divine nature as well as their human personality self.


The Holy Science

By Sri Yukteswar Giri,

Book cover of The Holy Science

Why this book?

For the serious student of yoga philosophy, this tiny book packs a mountain of wisdom as it establishes the inherent unity between the religious teachings of east and west. I particularly appreciated the explanation of the ‘mean-nesses of the heart’ which impede our spiritual progress. I find it is important to be aware of the obstacles that present themselves on the spiritual path so that I can prepare to overcome them and become a more compassionate and service-oriented person. For those interested in science, he also includes a great explanation of the ‘yugas’ or cycles of human existence.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in yoga, spirituality, and the Bhagavad Gita?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about yoga, spirituality, and the Bhagavad Gita.

Yoga Explore 90 books about yoga
Spirituality Explore 151 books about spirituality
The Bhagavad Gita Explore 13 books about the Bhagavad Gita

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Yoga Revolution: Building a Practice of Courage and Compassion, Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā, and The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker's Guide to Extraordinary Living if you like this list.