100 books like Embrace Yoga's Roots

By Susanna Barkataki,

Here are 100 books that Embrace Yoga's Roots fans have personally recommended if you like Embrace Yoga's Roots. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Courtney Seiberling Author Of YOGA's YAMAS and NIYAMAS: 10 Principles for Peace & Purpose

From my list on the philosophy behind yoga.

Why am I passionate about this?

The physical practice of yoga transformed my relationship to my body, but the philosophy of yoga changed my life. When I began to study the Sutras, my mind became calmer; I had a greater capacity to listen and be patient in my relationships, and my quality of life improved. As I studied philosophy more, my perspective shifted from lack and blame to abundance and self-awareness. Knowing there is more to yoga than just the physical practice, I find it important to honor the tradition the way it was intended: as a whole system for the mind, body, and spirit to reduce the suffering of all beings.

Courtney's book list on the philosophy behind yoga

Courtney Seiberling Why did Courtney love this book?

We cannot understand what yoga is without studying The Yoga Sutras. The Sutras are the first documented text of yoga that describes how the mind works and how it gets in our way of seeing clearly. The Sutras tell us how to alter our thought patterns so we connect to the moment, see what’s really happening, and suffer less. They are the manual for the study and practice of yoga — ancient but still useful, concentrated, and meditative. They are a resource I come back to again and again and feel like an advice column from somewhere celestial. I’m partial to this translation because it was used in my teacher training, and after reading others, I find it the most down-to-earth while still honoring the tradition.

By Sri Swami Satchidananda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This valuable book provides a complete manual for the study and practice of Raja Yoga, the path of concentration and meditation. This new edition of these timeless teachings is a treasure to be read and referred to again and again by seekers treading the spiritual path. The classic Sutras (thought-threads), at least 4,000 years old, cover the yogic teachings on ethics, meditation, and physical postures, and provide directions for dealing with situations in daily life. The Sutras are presented here in the purest form, with the original Sanskrit and with translation, transliteration, and commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda, one of…


Book cover of Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā

Courtney Seiberling Author Of YOGA's YAMAS and NIYAMAS: 10 Principles for Peace & Purpose

From my list on the philosophy behind yoga.

Why am I passionate about this?

The physical practice of yoga transformed my relationship to my body, but the philosophy of yoga changed my life. When I began to study the Sutras, my mind became calmer; I had a greater capacity to listen and be patient in my relationships, and my quality of life improved. As I studied philosophy more, my perspective shifted from lack and blame to abundance and self-awareness. Knowing there is more to yoga than just the physical practice, I find it important to honor the tradition the way it was intended: as a whole system for the mind, body, and spirit to reduce the suffering of all beings.

Courtney's book list on the philosophy behind yoga

Courtney Seiberling Why did Courtney love this book?

The Bhagavad Gītā is the main teaching of The Mahābhārata, an early epic of Indian thought. It’s about a warrior going into battle and not wanting to fight. His charioteer Krishna becomes his spiritual advisor, and the conversation shifts from the physical battlefield to the battle each of us fights within to figure out how to live a worthwhile life. Krishna answers the fundamental questions of existence and explains why we resist, what it means to be spiritual, and how to use karma (right action) and dharma (duty) as our armaments. The text is about acting and not retreating, about doing what is in front of us to do with awareness and heart.

Many other philosophy texts can be contemplative, quiet, and heady, but The Bhagavad Gītā is exciting, dynamic, and resourceful. This translation is the one my philosophy teacher recommends, and it is true to the Sanskrit and…

By Swami Dayananda Saraswati,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The reading of the Bhagavad Gītā verses with meaning should be looked upon as a part of one's daily prayer. One can easily cover one chapter in a sitting, daily. This inspiring routine will make this book your unfailing companion."Swami Dayananda Saraswati


Book cover of The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker's Guide to Extraordinary Living

Courtney Seiberling Author Of YOGA's YAMAS and NIYAMAS: 10 Principles for Peace & Purpose

From my list on the philosophy behind yoga.

Why am I passionate about this?

The physical practice of yoga transformed my relationship to my body, but the philosophy of yoga changed my life. When I began to study the Sutras, my mind became calmer; I had a greater capacity to listen and be patient in my relationships, and my quality of life improved. As I studied philosophy more, my perspective shifted from lack and blame to abundance and self-awareness. Knowing there is more to yoga than just the physical practice, I find it important to honor the tradition the way it was intended: as a whole system for the mind, body, and spirit to reduce the suffering of all beings.

Courtney's book list on the philosophy behind yoga

Courtney Seiberling Why did Courtney love this book?

Stephen Cope is a master at using real-life examples to show how yoga can be embodied. The Wisdom of Yoga follows five friends facing struggles with work and relationships and how they use yoga philosophy to change their perspectives and approaches. Cope is magnificent at explaining Eastern thought to Westerners. His book is easy to read and allows us to look at our own lives as we witness the journeys of others.  

By Stephen Cope,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wisdom of Yoga as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For modern spiritual seekers and yoga students alike, here is an irreverent yet profound guide to the most sophisticated teachings of the yoga wisdom tradition–now brought to contemporary life by a celebrated author, psychotherapist, and leading American yoga instructor.

While many Westerners still think of yoga as an invigorating series of postures and breathing exercises, these physical practices are only part of a vast and ancient spiritual science. For more than three millennia, yoga sages systematically explored the essential questions of our human existence: What are the root causes of suffering, and how can we achieve freedom and happiness? What…


Book cover of Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World

Courtney Seiberling Author Of YOGA's YAMAS and NIYAMAS: 10 Principles for Peace & Purpose

From my list on the philosophy behind yoga.

Why am I passionate about this?

The physical practice of yoga transformed my relationship to my body, but the philosophy of yoga changed my life. When I began to study the Sutras, my mind became calmer; I had a greater capacity to listen and be patient in my relationships, and my quality of life improved. As I studied philosophy more, my perspective shifted from lack and blame to abundance and self-awareness. Knowing there is more to yoga than just the physical practice, I find it important to honor the tradition the way it was intended: as a whole system for the mind, body, and spirit to reduce the suffering of all beings.

Courtney's book list on the philosophy behind yoga

Courtney Seiberling Why did Courtney love this book?

Michelle Cassandra Johnson knows yoga is both a personal practice to ease suffering and one that calls on us to lessen the suffering of others. She connects the philosophy to social justice so well, it’s as though she sat alongside the original scholars of the Sutras. Her book is packed with quiet wisdom, prompts, meditations, reflection, and so much heart. It’s both a workbook and a philosophy text, a resource, and an awakening. If you can study the book with her, do. She has many online offerings. Her presence is comforting, affirming, bold, and her book reflects these qualities.

By Michelle Cassandra Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Skill in Action as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THIS IS THE 2nd and LATEST EDITION OF SKILL IN ACTION.
Transform your yoga practice into a force for creating social change with this concise, eloquent guide to social justice tools and skills.

Skill in Action asks you to explore the deeply transformational practice of yoga as a way to become an agent of social change and work toward a just world. Through yoga practices and philosophy, this book explores liberation for ourselves and others, while asking us to engage in our own agency--whether that manifests as activism, volunteer work, or changing our relationships with others and ourselves. To provide…


Book cover of The Ethnic Myth: Race, Ethnicity, and Class in America

Marc Dollinger Author Of Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s

From my list on social justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve devoted my academic career and personal life to the limits and possibilities of white liberal approaches to civil rights reform. Trained in U.S. history and published in American Jewish history, I look closely at how ethnic groups and religious minorities interact with their racial and gender status to create a sometimes-surprising perspective on both history and our current day. At times powerful and at other times powerless, Jews (and other white ethnics) navigate a complex course in civil rights advocacy.

Marc's book list on social justice

Marc Dollinger Why did Marc love this book?

While many celebrated the ethnic revival of the 1960s and the social justice causes that grew from them, Steinberg offers a powerful and challenging thesis that argues the limits of ethnicity. A sense of ethnic re-birth, he argues, can only occur once ethnicity is gone. Rather than empowering a new generation of social justice youth, ethnicity proves a myth.

By Stephen Steinberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ethnic Myth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You hold in your hand a dangerous book. Because it rejects as it clarifies most of the current wisdom on race, ethnicity, and immigration in the United States, The Ethnic Myth has the force of a scholarly bomb. --from the Introduction by Eric William Lott

In this classic work, sociologist Stephen Steinberg rejects the prevailing view that cultural values and ethnic traits are the primary determinants of the economic destiny of racial and ethnic groups in America. He argues that locality, class conflict, selective migration, and other historical and economic factors play a far larger role not only in producing…


Book cover of Flight and Rebellion: Slave Resistance in Eighteenth-Century Virginia

Marc Dollinger Author Of Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s

From my list on social justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve devoted my academic career and personal life to the limits and possibilities of white liberal approaches to civil rights reform. Trained in U.S. history and published in American Jewish history, I look closely at how ethnic groups and religious minorities interact with their racial and gender status to create a sometimes-surprising perspective on both history and our current day. At times powerful and at other times powerless, Jews (and other white ethnics) navigate a complex course in civil rights advocacy.

Marc's book list on social justice

Marc Dollinger Why did Marc love this book?

A classic, this book was one of the first to challenge prevailing white attitudes about the assimilation and acculturation of Africans and African Americans to life under slavery. Mullin describes how greater levels of assimilation translated into more effective means of protest.

Book cover of Rage

Lise Pearlman Author Of Call Me Phaedra: The Life and Times of Movement Lawyer Fay Stender

From my list on trail-blazing lawyers passionately fighting for social justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired lawyer and judge with a long-held concern about access to justice, especially as we face the need for stepped-up activism to protect minority rights today. I first became fascinated by Fay Stender’s pioneering career as a board member of California Women Lawyers, which she helped found in 1974. I related to her passion for justice, which led me to research and write her biography and two books on “the trial of the century” of Black Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton. That trial took place in my home city of Oakland over half a century ago, yet its focus on systemic racism remains just as important now.

Lise's book list on trail-blazing lawyers passionately fighting for social justice

Lise Pearlman Why did Lise love this book?

I contacted Gilbert Moore in 2014 to share how valuable his book Rage was to my perspective as an author writing about the ground-breaking defense in the 1968 “trial of the century”, People v. Newton. Moore covered that headliner for LIFE magazine as its first black reporter. He agreed to be interviewed for our documentary project American Justice on Trial. Tragically, he died before the interview occurred. Watching that extraordinary trial caused Moore to engage in soul-searching, quit his plum job, and write his critically acclaimed book about the epiphany he experienced. Rage is considered a classic in African-American literature – an unparalleled window into the impact of that unprecedented Movement trial on pioneering black professionals in a white supremacist environment – through the eyes and pen of a firsthand observer.   

By Gilbert Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Black reporter's contemporary account of his personal and professional reactions to Huey Newton's trial for murder is accompanied by new material setting the case in its historical context


Book cover of Jesus and the Disinherited

Decoteau J. Irby Author Of Stuck Improving: Racial Equity and School Leadership

From my list on equity-focused school reform for educators.

Why am I passionate about this?

Every teacher from pre-Kindergarten to higher education, who has experienced and understands what it means to be committed to equity and to practice transformation but still not see the kinds of outcomes expected, needed, or deserved among students of color. These students of color, particularly Black and Brown students, tend to be grossly underserved in and through the educational system. Decoteau Irby amplifies the humanity of those young people and situates them in the context of suburbia, an understudied place and space among Black and Brown communities. 

Decoteau's book list on equity-focused school reform for educators

Decoteau J. Irby Why did Decoteau love this book?

This book is a profound reflection on the relationship between Christianity and social justice.

Thurman argues that Jesus was himself a member of an oppressed minority and that his teachings were aimed at empowering the disenfranchised. He goes on to explore the ways in which the African American community can draw on the teachings of Jesus to find strength and hope in the face of systemic injustice.

One of the most striking aspects of the book is the way in which Thurman uses language; his writing is poetic and evocative, and he has a gift for articulating complex ideas in a way that is both accessible and profound. It's no wonder that this book was such an important influence on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement as a whole.

By Howard Thurman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jesus and the Disinherited as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Famously known as the text that Martin Luther King Jr. sought inspiration from in the days leading up to the Montgomery bus boycott, Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited helped shape the civil rights movement and changed our nation’s history forever.

In this classic theological treatise, the acclaimed theologian and religious leader Howard Thurman (1900-1981) demonstrates how the gospel may be read as a manual of resistance for the poor and disenfranchised. Jesus is a partner in the pain of the oppressed and the example of His life offers a solution to ending the descent into moral nihilism. Hatred does…


Book cover of The Wake Up: Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change

Monna Wong Author Of Management In a Changing World: How to Manage for Equity, Sustainability, and Results

From my list on helping managers build resilience in challenging times.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a manager and leader in social justice nonprofits and campaigns for almost 15 years. A lot of my work has been in fast-paced environments with high stakes and few resources. Consequently, I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out how to lead effectively under less-than-ideal conditions—whether that’s because of a tough political climate, financial constraints, or supporting staff through personal crises. I know from experience that social justice leaders and managers are often called to show up as our best selves so that we can support our teams to do their best work. In order to do this, we need to build our internal reserves to lead effectively. 

Monna's book list on helping managers build resilience in challenging times

Monna Wong Why did Monna love this book?

Michelle Mijung Kim offers incredible, nuanced insights about what’s missing from many of today’s conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Many of us are well-intentioned but ill-equipped to navigate some of the tricky challenges of making social change. Kim shares concrete and accessible advice to help people tackle these challenges, using personal stories, simple definitions, and clear frameworks.

This book covers topics like the importance of understanding context, getting called out, making sacrifices for DEI, and holding trauma—all of which are crucial topics for managers to build skills around.

By Michelle MiJung Kim,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Wake Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As we become more aware of various social injustices in the world, many of us want to be part of the movement toward positive change. But sometimes our best intentions cause unintended harm, and we fumble. We might feel afraid to say the wrong thing and feel guilt for not doing or knowing enough. Sometimes we might engage in performative allyship rather than thoughtful solidarity, leaving those already marginalized further burdened and exhausted. The feelings of fear, insecurity, inadequacy are all too common among a wide spectrum of changemakers, and they put many at a crossroads between feeling stuck and…


Book cover of Heartwood: Poems for the Love of Trees

Penn Kemp Author Of Poems in Response to Peril: An Anthology in Support of Ukraine

From my list on Canadian anthologies for social justice, women, and the environment.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love gathering poets together to celebrate different causes. In fact, I hosted a weekly literary radio show, Gathering Voices, for seven years and published a book/cd collection, Gathering Voice. Since 1972, I have been publishing poetry as well as editing anthologies that collect differing voices, as an activist and poet/editor: gathering voices for women, nature, and social justice is my passion. Given the immensity of suffering in the war on Ukraine, I was galvanized to gather together poems in solidarity with Ukrainians. The anthology, co-edited with Richard-Yves Sitoski, was launched 3 months after the invasion began: a huge endeavor that included 48 activist poets.

Penn's book list on Canadian anthologies for social justice, women, and the environment

Penn Kemp Why did Penn love this book?

Trees are being cleared at a faster rate than any time in history! How can we possibly reverse this? How can poetry raise awareness of the value of our forests, worth more standing? This anthology, in its breadth and scope, offers readers hope, and prompts us to action on behalf of our trees. The anthology features an important introduction by Diana Beresford-Kroeger, author of The Global Forest and renowned expert on trees.

This anthology continues my theme of activism through poetry to raise awareness about our threatened environment. With over 100 poems and contributions from poets all over the country, Heartwood is a tribute to and celebration of the timeless impact of nature on Canadian poetry. “We must turn to the poets to expand dreams. This is because trees are the parents to the child deep within us. Forests bear silent witness to the tides of time upon which we…

By Lesley Strutt (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heartwood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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