The most recommended yoga books

Who picked these books? Meet our 65 experts.

65 authors created a book list connected to yoga, and here are their favorite yoga books.
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Book cover of The Secret to Superhuman Strength

Meryl Davids Landau Author Of Warrior Won

From my list on conveying yoga’s deep teachings.

Who am I?

I’m an award-winning author of novels and magazine articles. You can find my articles—many on mind-body and spiritual topics—in Oprah magazine, Prevention, National Geographic, and more. I started doing yoga back in my twenties when a woman almost-literally floated by me at the gym. When someone said she was the yoga teacher, I got off the spin bike and followed her into the class. I’m now a certified yoga teacher and longtime meditator. I’ve studied many classic yoga treatises, but it’s so much more fun to read—and to write—books that deliver yoga’s deep philosophies in a lighthearted, easily digestible way. 

Meryl's book list on conveying yoga’s deep teachings

Meryl Davids Landau Why did Meryl love this book?

I loved Bechdel’s amazing graphic memoir Fun Home, so I had high expectations for this book about her lifetime love affair with exercise and, eventually, yoga—and she doesn’t disappoint.

The captions to some 200 pages of her fantastic cartoon drawings are honest to a fault, covering repressed emotions, relationship difficulties, and the fear she doesn’t deserve the good things in life.

In more recent years (time-bound events like Trump’s ride down the escalator appear in background scenes), Bechdel strives to forge coherent meaning from her life history and her infatuation with Jack Kerouac and other deceased spiritual authors. 

By Alison Bechdel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret to Superhuman Strength as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Best Graphic Book of 2021 by Publishers Weekly | A New York Times Best Graphic Novel of 2021 | A New York Times Notable Book | An Autostraddle Best Queer Book of the Year | A Boston Globe Best Book of the Year | A St. Louis Post Dispatch Best Book of the Year | NPR, 12 Books NPR Staffers Loved | Shelf Awareness Best Books of 2021 


From the author of Fun Home, a profoundly affecting graphic memoir of Bechdel's lifelong love affair with exercise, set against a hilarious chronicle of fitness fads in our times


Comics and…


Book cover of Veggie Hotels

Wendy Werneth Author Of Veggie Planet: Uncover the Vegan Treasures Hiding in Your Favorite World Cuisines

From my list on vegan travel.

Who am I?

I’ve been living a semi-nomadic lifestyle and traveling the globe for all my adult life, and travel has truly shaped who I am. In 2014, when I learned about the many advantages of a vegan lifestyle for my health, the planet, and the animals, I felt compelled to make the change. There was one thing holding me back, though, which was the fear that being vegan would ruin travel. Fortunately, I gave it a trial run anyway during a three-week trip to Greece and discovered that being vegan actually made traveling even more fun! Ever since, I’ve been sharing my global vegan discoveries on my website, the Nomadic Vegan.

Wendy's book list on vegan travel

Wendy Werneth Why did Wendy love this book?

If you’re dreaming of travel but unable to hit the road at the moment, this is the perfect coffee table book for the vegan armchair traveler. Written by the creators of the Veggie Hotels web-based directory of vegan and vegetarian hotels, this book is full of gorgeous photos of some of the best cruelty-free digs around the world.

You’ll also find plenty of useful information about all the services and activities these veg and vegan accommodations offer, such as yoga and cooking classes. And chefs from the on-site restaurants even share some of their most popular recipes in the book.

By Teneues,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Even with the loveliest hotel room and a beckoning pool, the perfect vacation can be spoiled when the restaurant forces you to make a meal out of side dishes. For vegetarians and vegans, a hotel vacation suiting their culinary lifestyle can still be quite a challenge. But there are outstanding alternatives out there, you just have to find them! Travel journalists, Thomas and Karen Klein, had the same thought, so, in 2011, they joined forces with Peter Haunert to launch the hotel partner and website, VeggieHotels, a portal featuring 100% vegetarian hotels and inns. In addition to purely vegetarian-vegan hotels,…


Book cover of Yoga Where You Are: Customize Your Practice for Your Body and Your Life

Dianne Bondy Author Of Yoga for Everyone: 50 Poses for Every Type of Body

From my list on revolutionize yoga by how you practice and teach.

Who am I?

I'm an author, movement coach, and yoga teacher. I've been practicing yoga on and off for about 48 years. I was introduced to yoga by my mom through a really old book called Be Young with Yoga at 3 years old. Yoga has been a part of my entire existence in one way or another. I have had the honour and privilege to study with yoga teachers and educators for the past 30+ years and it has been life-changing. I have been a yoga teacher and movement coach for 30+ years, I have watched yoga make sad people feel better, injured people get strong, and shy people become leaders in their communities around equity and diversity. 

Dianne's book list on revolutionize yoga by how you practice and teach

Dianne Bondy Why did Dianne love this book?

In my humble opinion one of the best and only books that address yoga, diet culture, pose adaptation, yoga history, body image, and progressive accessibility. Helping readers and practitioners to find their level of practice exactly where they are. You can start as a true beginner and progress to challenging arm balances and poses with this book.

By Dianne Bondy, Kat Heagberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Find freedom in your yoga practice with this empowering guide from beloved yoga teacher and social justice activist Dianne Bondy and Yoga International editor-in-chief Kat Heagberg.

Yoga Where You Are welcomes readers of all backgrounds, body sizes, and abilities into the practice of yoga. Dianne Bondy and Kat Heagberg offer everything you need to know to build a custom yoga practice that supports you exactly where you are--now and at every stage of your life's journey.

Yoga Where You Are discusses how yoga intersects with body image, introduces essential information on elements like breathwork and meditation, and celebrates yoga's diverse…


Book cover of Bhagavad Gita

Swami Saradananda Author Of Sitting Comfortably: Preparing the Mind and Body for Peaceful Meditation

From my list on serious yogis and meditators.

Who am I?

I was born in New York, live in London, have an Indian name, and a Polish grandmother. I’ve lived and worked worldwide, running yoga centers in New York, London, New Delhi, and the Himalayas; I’ve also worked as a spice merchant, magazine editor, and pilgrimage leader. My incentive in writing is to inspire people to practise yoga and meditation – and my books tend to be practical as well as theoretical. In addition to teaching and writing, I’ve spent extensive time doing personal practice in the Himalayas, and I hold an MA degree in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London.

Swami's book list on serious yogis and meditators

Swami Saradananda Why did Swami love this book?

I purchased my original copy of this text many years ago; it has been my constant companion ever since. I’ve since learned that the Bhagavad Gita was the one book that Thoreau had with him during his time at Walden Pond – and this was back in the 19th Century.

Written prior to the commercialization of yoga, Sivananda's translation of the Gita is pure and traditional. He caters to serious yoga practitioners; the text is not watered down nor does it push any sectarian agenda. The comments are filled with deep insights from a person who is widely acknowledged to have been one of India's great spiritual teachers of the 20th century.

By Swami Sivananda,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Bhagavadgita is one phase of the Tripod of Indian philosophy and culture, the other two phases being the Upanishads and the Brahmasutras. While the Upanishads lay the foundation of the loftiest reach possible for humanity and the Brahmasutras logically elucidate the intricate issues involved in the Upanishads, the Bhagavadgita blends together the Transcendent and the Immanent features of the Ultimate Reality, bringing together into an integrated whole knowledge and action, the inner and the outer, the individual and the society, man and God, all which are portrayed as facets of a Universal Operation, presenting entire life and all life…


Book cover of Yoga for the Wounded Heart: A Journey, Philosophy, and Practice of Healing Emotional Pain

Victoria Moran Author Of Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World

From my list on yoga and Ayurveda.

Who am I?

I'm an American author of thirteen books (so far). Some are on vegan living (Main Street Vegan, The Love-Powered Diet); others (Creating a Charmed Life, Shelter for the Spirit, Younger by the Day) are about wellbeing and crafting an inner life. My passions are spirituality -- yoga primarily, but all the ways people find meaning; compassionate living: extending loving-kindness to ourselves and all beings; and creating vibrant health through yoga, Ayurveda, plant-based eating, and a grateful outlook. (Here's a little preview: I'm in the early stages of a book about aging like a yogi.)

Victoria's book list on yoga and Ayurveda

Victoria Moran Why did Victoria love this book?

Yoga, like any discipline designed to integrate us humans with ourselves, works for those who work it. Some, however, have a more challenging path, and this includes survivors of trauma. In this beautifully written work -- part memoir, part self-help -- the author details how finding yoga, and practicing it as if her life and sanity depended on it, brought her out of intense grief and PTSD. She shows us how it can work for us, too, if our life saga includes great sorrow, or if we'd simply like to deal better with the generic ups-and-down.

By Tatiana Forero Puerta,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


Orphaned in her early teens and shuttled between abusive foster homes, Tatiana Forero Puerta found herself in her early twenties in New York City, haunted by the memories of her tumultuous youth and suicidal. Following emergency hospitalization, she was advised by her doctor to take up yoga. Over days, weeks, months, and then years, she embraced yoga’s honesty and discipline―delving more deeply into its wisdom, literature, and, vitally, its practice. In so doing, yoga healed her scars, opened her soul to forgiveness, and allowed her to reconcile herself with a past that had threatened to snuff out her life. Yoga…


Book cover of Yoga: Immortality and Freedom

Stephen H. Phillips Author Of Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy

From my list on yoga philosophy and psychology.

Who am I?

As a professional sanskritist and academic, I have travelled to India well more than twenty times, for fellowships, conferences, and (fortunately) months of study with a traditional Sanskrit pundit, the great N.S. Ramanuja Tatacharya. But my first trip was when I was twenty, dropping out of college and travelling from a kibbutz in Israel to India (overland no less, after a flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul in 1971) where I was graciously admitted into a yoga-ashram school. There I began learning Sanskrit as well as various yoga techniques. I stayed that time for two years. “All life is yoga,” says Sri Aurobindo, and I have long wished my life to be that since “yoga” is for me practically a synonym for “right living.”

Stephen's book list on yoga philosophy and psychology

Stephen H. Phillips Why did Stephen love this book?

This book provides a historical overview of yoga philosophy and psychology and is a great introduction to the study of yoga. It was originally written in French by Mircea Eliade, who became the dean of Religious Studies all over the world, for decades training graduate students at the University of Chicago. The book is now a little dated on certain topics such as tantra and the yogic practices of Buddhism. Nevertheless, it stands as the preëminent classic in the field of yoga studies. It has a bouncy but elegant style and has been a favorite in the courses I have taught on yoga at the University of Texas at Austin.

While a student in India in his early twenties, Eliade had an affair with the daughter of his Sanskrit teacher, the renowned and august scholar, Surendranath Dasgupta. There is apparently a novel by Eliade in Romanian about this and another…

By Mircea Eliade, Willard R. Trask (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this landmark book, first published in English in 1958, renowned scholar of religion Mircea Eliade lays the groundwork for a Western understanding of Yoga. Drawing on years of study and experience in India, Eliade provides a comprehensive survey of Yoga in theory and practice from its earliest antecedents in the Vedas through the twentieth century. A new introduction by David Gordon White provides invaluable insight into Eliade's life and work, highlighting the key moments in Eliade's academic and spiritual education, as well as the personal experiences that shaped his worldview. Yoga is not only one of Eliade's most important…


Book cover of Under the Banyan Tree: Overcoming Fear and Sorrow

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?

Tich Nhat Hana is a Vietnamese monk and a peace and social activist. His writings reflect beautifully his gentle, kind, and compassionate personality. He wrote more than a hundred books, so choosing one to recommend was difficult. However, Under the Banyan Tree especially appeals to me, since while reading it you can almost hear Tich Nhat Hana's voice talking to you, explaining in simple words the deep insight of Buddhism. I was so inspired by his books and Web-teachings, that I went to study with him in Plum Village – the center he built in France. 

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Under the Banyan Tree: Overcoming Fear and Sorrow


Book cover of Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times

Carol Krucoff Author Of Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress Relief in a Minute or Less

From my list on for stress relief.

Who am I?

I'm a yoga therapist, health journalist, and author, and my passion is helping people harness the powerful medicine of movement. In my work with hundreds of yoga students and yoga therapy clients, and in my own life—facing some serious health challenges—I’ve found that taking yoga off the mat and into daily life with these simple practices is a powerful way to relieve stress and find ease in body and mind. In our busy, hectic lives, Yoga Sparks offers a welcome chance to pause, breathe, and connect to our inner wisdom. They will help you pay attention and move mindfully through your own precious life. 

Carol's book list on for stress relief

Carol Krucoff Why did Carol love this book?

My copy of the original, 1995 edition of this book (published by Rodmell Press), is filled with paperclips and sticky notes marking my favorites among these very nourishing practices. Lasater is a physical therapist, with a PhD in East-West Psychology, who has taught yoga around the world since 1971. Back when yoga was becoming popular in the West--and many people viewed it as a “work-out”—Lasater pioneered the relaxing practice of restorative yoga, which was designed to help heal the effects of chronic stress. The book features dozens of restful poses, where the body is supported with various props—such as bolsters and blankets—arranged to make you as comfortable as possible so you can relax, breathe easily, find your center, and release tension from your body and mind.  

By Judith Hanson Lasater,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A longtime yoga instructor reveals how to manage pain, relieve stress, and promote relaxation through the gentle and meditative practices of restorative yoga

Whether you have five minutes or an hour, taking time out of each day to relax and renew is essential to living well. This book presents nurturing physical postures and breathing techniques called restorative yoga. When practiced regularly, they will help you heal the effects of chronic stress, recover from illness or injury, balance energy, and quiet the mind.

With clear instructions and photographs, Relax and Renew gently guides the experienced practitioner and enthusiastic beginner—regardless of age,…


Book cover of Yoga and Veganism: The Diet of Enlightenment

Victoria Moran Author Of Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World

From my list on yoga and Ayurveda.

Who am I?

I'm an American author of thirteen books (so far). Some are on vegan living (Main Street Vegan, The Love-Powered Diet); others (Creating a Charmed Life, Shelter for the Spirit, Younger by the Day) are about wellbeing and crafting an inner life. My passions are spirituality -- yoga primarily, but all the ways people find meaning; compassionate living: extending loving-kindness to ourselves and all beings; and creating vibrant health through yoga, Ayurveda, plant-based eating, and a grateful outlook. (Here's a little preview: I'm in the early stages of a book about aging like a yogi.)

Victoria's book list on yoga and Ayurveda

Victoria Moran Why did Victoria love this book?

The first moral precept of yoga is ahimsa, harmlessness, nonviolence, reverence for life. This is one of the reasons why the traditional yogic diet has always been vegetarian. Gannon, the co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga, contends that for our practice of ahimsa -- and yoga's other ethical convictions -- to be complete, we need to move toward a pure vegetarian, i.e., vegan, lifestyle. She supports her contention with the yamas and niyamas, yoga's ethical code put forth in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. And she brings the blissful combination of yoga and veganism together with stories of other vegan yogis. (Full disclosure: I'm one of these. And in the audio version, each contributor reads their own story.)

By Sharon Gannon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Yoga and Veganism, Sharon Gannon—co-creator of the renowned Jivamukti Yoga method—weaves together a compelling exploration of the intersection between the spiritual practice of yoga, physical health, care for the planet, and a peaceful coexistence with other animals and nature. Through clear and accessible language, Gannon unpacks the wisdom of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one of the oldest and most revered texts focused on the philosophy of yoga, and draws a fascinating course to greater enlightenment for the contemporary practitioner.

With yama, or restraint, the Yoga Sutras outline the first step on the path to spiritual liberation through five…


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 Lama Christie McNally, Geshe Michael Roach,

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…