100 books like Under the Banyan Tree

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Here are 100 books that Under the Banyan Tree fans have personally recommended if you like Under the Banyan Tree. 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 In Love with the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying

Eyal Shifroni Author Of The Extended Chair for Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Iyengar Yoga Practice with a Chair

From my list on essential to the study of yoga.

Who am I?

I've always been fascinated by yoga and the wonderful stories about yogis. When I was in the fourth grade, studying the subject of 'India', I taught myself to stand on my head and fold my legs in the lotus position. I love practicing yoga – every morning, I thank the Gurus and teachers from whom I learned! I've taught yoga for almost 40 years now and strongly believe that the practice and teaching of yoga, done with devotion and love can transform one's life for the good. I wrote 7 books about yoga (the last, Yoga in Nature is forthcoming) I regularly write articles on yoga and have translated two of B.K.S. Iyengar's books into Hebrew.

Eyal's book list on essential to the study of yoga

Eyal Shifroni Why did Eyal love this book?

This is an extraordinary journey book of a yogi who was identified at a very young age as a Tulku - reincarnate custodian of a specific lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Mingyur Rinpoche was taken at a very young age to a monastery to receive a Buddhist education. Since his childhood, he was fascinated by the wandering yogis of his tradition (like Naropa and Milarepa). At the age of 34, when he was a respected authority of Tibetan Buddhism and a renowned master who was teaching around the world, he decided to become a wandering yogi and embark on a solitary journey. He soon encountered many difficulties, including life-threatening situations which he describes with an amazing sincerity. His story shows how even a master encounters mental and emotional upheavals like all of us but then is able to apply his skill in meditation to restore his peace and equanimity.

By Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, Helen Tworkov,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked In Love with the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A rare, intimate account of a world-renowned Buddhist monk’s near-death experience and the life-changing wisdom he gained from it

“One of the most inspiring books I have ever read.”—Pema Chödrön, author of When Things Fall Apart

“This book has the potential to change the reader’s life forever.”—George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo

At thirty-six years old, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche was a rising star within his generation of Tibetan masters and the respected abbot of three monasteries. Then one night, telling no one, he slipped out of his monastery in India with the intention of spending the next four…


Book cover of Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga...

Eyal Shifroni Author Of The Extended Chair for Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Iyengar Yoga Practice with a Chair

From my list on essential to the study of yoga.

Who am I?

I've always been fascinated by yoga and the wonderful stories about yogis. When I was in the fourth grade, studying the subject of 'India', I taught myself to stand on my head and fold my legs in the lotus position. I love practicing yoga – every morning, I thank the Gurus and teachers from whom I learned! I've taught yoga for almost 40 years now and strongly believe that the practice and teaching of yoga, done with devotion and love can transform one's life for the good. I wrote 7 books about yoga (the last, Yoga in Nature is forthcoming) I regularly write articles on yoga and have translated two of B.K.S. Iyengar's books into Hebrew.

Eyal's book list on essential to the study of yoga

Eyal Shifroni Why did Eyal love this book?

I first met my Guru, B.K.S Iyengar, in 1988; since then, I kept coming back to his center in Pune, India, every other year for a month of study, until his passing away in 2014. Light on Yoga is ever a source of inspiration for me. I come back to it almost daily when I am on my yoga mat, I read and study the instruction given by Iyengar while trying to perform the asanas shown in the photos. B.K.S Iyengar is a renowned teacher and Guru. Light on Yoga, which came out in the '60s, soon became 'the bible of yoga.' It contains photos of Iyengar demonstrating the asanas (yoga postures) with amazing precision and clarity. 

By B.K.S. Iyengar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The definitive guide to the philosophy and practice of Yoga--the ancient healing discipline for body and mind--by its greatest living teacher. Light on Yoga provides complete descriptions and illustrations of all the positions and breathing exercises. Features a foreword by Yehudi Menuhin. Illustrations throughout.


Book cover of The Tree of Yoga

Eyal Shifroni Author Of The Extended Chair for Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Iyengar Yoga Practice with a Chair

From my list on essential to the study of yoga.

Who am I?

I've always been fascinated by yoga and the wonderful stories about yogis. When I was in the fourth grade, studying the subject of 'India', I taught myself to stand on my head and fold my legs in the lotus position. I love practicing yoga – every morning, I thank the Gurus and teachers from whom I learned! I've taught yoga for almost 40 years now and strongly believe that the practice and teaching of yoga, done with devotion and love can transform one's life for the good. I wrote 7 books about yoga (the last, Yoga in Nature is forthcoming) I regularly write articles on yoga and have translated two of B.K.S. Iyengar's books into Hebrew.

Eyal's book list on essential to the study of yoga

Eyal Shifroni Why did Eyal love this book?

This book inspires me so much that I translated it to Hebrew (my own native tongue) to make it available for Hebrew readers. Iyengar uses the metaphor of a tree to explain the eight-limbed (ashtanga) yoga of Patanjali. I like this book so much because Iyengar uses simple words to explain the deep concepts of yoga philosophy. He brings many examples and stories that illustrate his ideas in a very lively manner. The main theme of the book is that all of the 8 limbs of yoga (ethics, self-restraint, postures, breath control, control of the senses, concentration, meditation & Samadhi) can be achieved by the dedicated and zealous practice of the 3rd and 4th limbs, namely asanas (postures) and pranayama (breath control).

By B.K.S. Iyengar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Iyengar developed a form of yoga that focuses on developing strength, endurance, correct body alignment, as well as flexibility and relaxation. The Iyengar method integrates philosophy, spirituality, and the practice of yoga into everyday living. In The Tree of Yoga, Iyengar offers his thoughts on many practical and philosophical subjects including family life, love and sexuality, health and the healing arts, meditation, death, and Patañjali's Yoga Sutras. This new edition features a foreword by Patricia Walden, a leading American teacher of the Iyengar style.


A Daily Dose of Now: 365 Mindfulness Meditation Practices for Living in the Moment

By Nita Sweeney,

Book cover of A Daily Dose of Now: 365 Mindfulness Meditation Practices for Living in the Moment

Nita Sweeney Author Of How to Make Every Move a Meditation: Mindful Movement for Mental Health, Well-Being, and Insight

New book alert!

Who am I?

As a thirty-year meditator, certified meditation leader, and award-winning author, it’s my job to keep up on the latest books about mindfulness and Zen practice. Despite seeing new volumes being published regularly, I return to these books as great sources of solid practice information. Each of these authors explains meditation in accessible terms, easy for readers to follow and understand. I can’t remember who said that a confused reader is an antagonistic reader, but they are right. The books I’ve suggested offer clarity. They help readers begin or continue their practice and understand how and why meditation is worth their time.

Nita's book list on why meditation is worth your time and effort

What is my book about?

Reduce stress, ease anxiety, and increase inner peace—one day at a time—with a year of easy-to-follow mindfulness meditation techniques. Certified mindfulness teacher, bestselling author, ultramarathoner, wife, and dog-mom Nita Sweeney shares mindfulness meditation practices to help anyone break free from worry and self-judgment.

Mindfulness meditation trains you to live in the present moment—the now. Feel calmer. Think more clearly. Respond more effectively and enjoy a more fulfilling life. Even in tiny doses, mindfulness is scientifically proven to enhance physical and mental health, boost creativity, and improve cognition function.

A Daily Dose of Now: 365 Mindfulness Meditation Practices for Living in the Moment

By Nita Sweeney,


Book cover of The Wisdom of Patañjali's Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide

Eyal Shifroni Author Of The Extended Chair for Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Iyengar Yoga Practice with a Chair

From my list on essential to the study of yoga.

Who am I?

I've always been fascinated by yoga and the wonderful stories about yogis. When I was in the fourth grade, studying the subject of 'India', I taught myself to stand on my head and fold my legs in the lotus position. I love practicing yoga – every morning, I thank the Gurus and teachers from whom I learned! I've taught yoga for almost 40 years now and strongly believe that the practice and teaching of yoga, done with devotion and love can transform one's life for the good. I wrote 7 books about yoga (the last, Yoga in Nature is forthcoming) I regularly write articles on yoga and have translated two of B.K.S. Iyengar's books into Hebrew.

Eyal's book list on essential to the study of yoga

Eyal Shifroni Why did Eyal love this book?

Ravindra's book provides a concise commentary on the Yoga Sutras, which were written about 2,000 years back. In his commentary, he draws from many spiritual traditions, including Christianity, Buddhism, and the work of Krishnamurti. Thus, he makes the yoga sutras relevant to our contemporary life, puts them in a wide context, and shows their universality. His translation and interpretation touch on issues that pertain to any human being who is curious about the great mystery of existence.  

By Ravi Ravindra,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Paperback version of the hardcover "Wisdom of Patañjali's Yoga Sutras" published in 2009 by Morning Light Press.


Book cover of The Essential Yoga Sutra: Ancient Wisdom for Your Yoga

Alex Hillman Author Of The Tiny MBA: 100 Very Short Lessons about the Long Game of Business

From my list on for solo founders building businesses.

Who am I?

Alex Hillman is always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust, and business. He’s an author, educator, and community builder. These days, he splits his time between operating Indy Hall, which is one of the oldest coworking spaces in the world; teaching creative people how to bootstrap their own businesses at Stacking the Bricks; and collaborating with people and organizations towards the goal of helping 10,000 people become sustainably independent by 2029.

Alex's book list on for solo founders building businesses

Alex Hillman Why did Alex love this book?

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is how to manage my own fear and excitement. How we react to the world around us is one of the few things we are truly in control of! This is the book that helped me most to shift the way I perceive and react to things, allowing me to live more calmly in my work and my life even in the face of complexity, fear, even success. 

This book is weirdly simple, almost child-like in its cadence, but don’t let the simplicity fool you. I found it valuable to sit with the short parables and examples especially when I’m having an emotional response surrounding a business decision. 

This was the first book based on Buddhist teachings that I ever read and made sense to me in a practical way. The writing style is strange (and the author has a truly bizarre…

By Geshe Michael Roach, Lama Christie McNally,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is a classic Sanskrit treatise consisting of 195 “threads,” or aphorisms, describing the process of liberation through yoga. Although little is known about Patanjali (most scholars estimate that he lived in India circa 200–300 B.C.), his writings have long been recognized as a vital contribution to the philosophy and practice of yoga. This new, expert translation of the original Sanskrit text of Patanjali’s best-known work presents his seminal ideas and methods in accessible, plain-language English.

Patanjali organized the sutra into four parts: Samadhi (absorption), Sadhana (practice), Vibhuti (supernatural powers), and Kaivalya (liberation). Each represents a…


Book cover of Roots of Yoga

Daniel Simpson Author Of The Truth of Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Yoga's History, Texts, Philosophy, and Practices

From my list on the truth of yoga.

Who am I?

I've been studying yoga in various forms since my first trip to India in the 1990s. I began as a curious tourist, attending the world's biggest human gathering (the Kumbh Mela). After working as a foreign correspondent—initially for Reuters then The New York Times—I returned to university, earning a master's degree in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation. I've since taught courses at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, on yoga teacher trainings, and via my website. The Truth of Yoga is the book I wish I'd found when I started exploring.

Daniel's book list on the truth of yoga

Daniel Simpson Why did Daniel love this book?

A compendium of extracts from yogic texts, exploring how practices vary in different traditions, and how they developed over 2,000 years. Encyclopaedically written, with detailed notes, its well-structured format makes it easy to dip into. Each chapter covers one part of practice, from definitions of yoga to specific techniques, with introductory essays providing an overview. An essential reference guide.

By James Mallinson (translator), Mark Singleton (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'An indispensable companion for all interested in yoga, both scholars and practitioners' Professor Alexis G. J. S. Sanderson

Despite yoga's huge global popularity, relatively little of its roots is known among practitioners. This compendium includes a wide range of texts from different schools of yoga, languages and eras: among others, key passages from the early Upanisads and the Mahabharata, and from the Tantric, Buddhist and Jaina traditions, with many pieces in scholarly translation for the first time. Covering yoga's varying definitions, its most important practices, such as posture, breath control, sensory withdrawal and meditation, as well as models of the…


Book cover of Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist — One Woman's Spiritual Journey

Cyndi Lee Author Of May I Be Happy: A Memoir of Love, Yoga, and Changing My Mind

From my list on Buddhist and yoga biographies and memoirs.

Who am I?

I've been a practicing yogi and Buddhist for 50 years. For me these lifelong practices started with reading, or as my Zen teacher calls it, being a “Book Buddhist.” Buddhism and Yoga are not typically called “faith-based” practices, but there is an element of faith — it is faith in the process. But you can’t have faith until you have experienced the benefits of practice. The unconventional lives of the yogis told in these books illustrate for all of us how we, too, can develop wisdom, joy, and compassion. I found each of these books really, really fun to read and I’ve gained much insight and inspiration for my own spiritual path.

Cyndi's book list on Buddhist and yoga biographies and memoirs

Cyndi Lee Why did Cyndi love this book?

Jan Willis is one of our most respected American Buddhist teachers and scholars. Like so many Americans who identify as Buddhists, Jan Willis’ story begins with a Christian background. Willis was raised in the Baptist church in Alabama where she endured Jim Crow racism and later marched with MLK, Jr. She writes about the obstacles she faced in her Ivy League education and how she eventually met her Buddhist guru in India. This story is so resonant for me because it reminds me that we can evolve and grow on our spiritual journey without rejecting any part of who we already are. I read this book when it was published in 2001 and it continues to inspire me as a Buddhist, an American, and a writer.

By Jan Willis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dreaming Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jan Willis is not Baptist or Buddhist. She is simply both. Dreaming Me is the story of her life, as a child growing up in the Jim Crow South, dealing with racism in an Ivy League college, and becoming involved with the Black Panther Party. But it wasn't until meeting Lama Yeshe, a Tibetan Buddhist monk living in the mountains of Nepal, that she realized who the real Jan Willis was, and how to make the most of the life she was living.


Book cover of Mindful Compassion: How the Science of Compassion Can Help You Understand Your Emotions, Live in the Present, and Connect Deeply with Othe

Deirdre Fay Author Of Becoming Safely Embodied: A Guide to Organize Your Mind, Body and Heart to Feel Secure in the World

From my list on to heal trauma with yoga and meditation.

Who am I?

I am someone whose trauma history came out of the blue…while living in a yoga ashram, meditating, and training for triathlons. After almost seven years of ashram life I left, went to graduate school, and explored trauma, attachment, and wisdom traditions in inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, my private practice, and beyond.  I amassed skills sets in trauma treatment (as a supervisor under the guidance of Bessel van der Kolk and Janina Fisher), attachment theory (with Daniel Brown, PhD), compassion (Compassion Focused Therapy & Mindful Self-Compassion), body therapy (as a trainer for Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, practitioner in LifeForce Yoga and Self-Awakening Yoga), and Internal Family Systems.

Deirdre's book list on to heal trauma with yoga and meditation

Deirdre Fay Why did Deirdre love this book?

This was another tough choice as Paul is a prolific writer, one of the earliest researchers and writers on the importance of compassion in healing. In this book, Paul teams up with a former Buddhist monk, Choden, to skillfully blend evolutionary and Buddhist psychology. Repeatedly, we are shown how compassion can be a powerful motivational force bringing about real, lasting change to end toxic self-criticism, heal trauma and shame, help us feel worthy and loveable, and be kinder to ourselves and others.  

By Paul Gilbert, Choden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Are you ready to transform your mind and emotions? To cultivate compassion, stability, self-confidence, and well-being? If so, get ready to change the way you experience your life with this highly-anticipated approach using mindfulness and compassion. Therapists have long been aware of mindfulness as a powerful attention skill that can help us live with greater clarity and awareness - but mindfulness alone is not enough to completely change the way a brain works. In order to fully thrive, we require motivation. Compassion, like anger or aggression, is an extremely powerful motivational force that can bring about real, lasting change. Written…


Book cover of The Dalai Lama: A Policy of Kindness

Alejandro Chaoul Author Of Tibetan Yoga: Magical Movements of Body, Breath, and Mind

From my list on the Tibetan Bon-Buddhist yogic path.

Who am I?

Maybe reincarnation, maybe early interest, but since elementary school I had a call that I didn’t quite understand. It became clearer as I moved through high school, college, and grad school. Traveling to India and Nepal from 1989-1990 for 9 months was the gestation period for my interest in this Tibetan yogic path. I was fortunate to continue training at Ligmincha International as well as in Menri Monastery in India, Tritan Norbutse in Nepal, and visit Tibet. From teaching in the US, Latin America, and Europe, my greatest privilege was the 20 years at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, connecting with people at a deep human level.

Alejandro's book list on the Tibetan Bon-Buddhist yogic path

Alejandro Chaoul Why did Alejandro love this book?

I had been backpacking through the North of India, staying in Hindu ashrams and Buddhist monasteries, when I heard that His Holiness the Dalai Lama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I set my mind up to meet him and I did! I was face to face with him in a public blessing that literally left me speechless. And then, I just sat under a tree crying; a moment that changed my life. This book is composed of talks H.H. gave, including his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. And one important message for me, from the book and my interactions with him, is his phrase “a good heart is the best religion.”

By The Dalai Lama,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An antholigy of writings by and about the Dalai Lama


Book cover of White Lama: The Life of Tantric Yogi Theos Bernard, Tibet's Lost Emissary to the New World

Cyndi Lee Author Of May I Be Happy: A Memoir of Love, Yoga, and Changing My Mind

From my list on Buddhist and yoga biographies and memoirs.

Who am I?

I've been a practicing yogi and Buddhist for 50 years. For me these lifelong practices started with reading, or as my Zen teacher calls it, being a “Book Buddhist.” Buddhism and Yoga are not typically called “faith-based” practices, but there is an element of faith — it is faith in the process. But you can’t have faith until you have experienced the benefits of practice. The unconventional lives of the yogis told in these books illustrate for all of us how we, too, can develop wisdom, joy, and compassion. I found each of these books really, really fun to read and I’ve gained much insight and inspiration for my own spiritual path.

Cyndi's book list on Buddhist and yoga biographies and memoirs

Cyndi Lee Why did Cyndi love this book?

This book is as much fun to read as an Indiana Jones story! Theos Bernard, born in 1908, was a grad student at Columbia University in 1936 when he decided he needed to go to India to do research on Tantric Yoga. He eventually became only the third American to even be allowed to enter Tibet, where he finally was able to study with the highest Tantric masters. But he was still and always an American; a big, strapping, handsome guy with a great asana practice and so his story unfolds in New York, California, Arizona just as much as in India and Tibet. And then, in 1937, he disappeared. I would love to see this book made into a movie!

By Douglas Veenhof,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An amazing, often overlooked story of the man who brought Yoga and Tibetan culture to America. Theos Bernard’s colorful, enigmatic, and sometimes contradictory life captures an intersection of East and West that changed our world.
 
After years of forcibly stopping foreigners at the borders, the leaders of Tibet opened the doors to their kingdom in 1937 for Theos Bernard. He was the third American to set foot in Tibet and the first American ever initiated into Tantric practices by the highest lama in Tibet. When Bernard left that sacred land, he was sent home with fifty mule loads of priceless,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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