The most recommended yoga asana books

Who picked these books? Meet our 10 experts.

10 authors created a book list connected to yoga asana, and here are their favorite yoga asana books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of yoga asana book?

Loading...

Book cover of The Professional Yoga Teacher's Handbook: The Ultimate Guide for Current and Aspiring Instructors

Alexandra DeSiato Author Of Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses: A Practical Workbook for Integrating Themes, Ideas, and Inspiration Into Your Class

From the list on yoga teachers who feel stuck in a rut.

Who am I?

My passion for teaching yoga stems from over a decade as a yoga teacher. I’ve taught a variety of populations including college athletes, aging practitioners, and prenatal and postpartum moms and people. I’ve written two books on yoga; one is about how we can use yoga as we age healthily and the other is a helpful guide for yoga teachers who would like to incorporate philosophical theming in their classes. I know what it means to feel stuck in a rut as a yoga teacher, and I have so often counted on these well-loved books to help me find my way out of that rut and into inspired teaching. 

Alexandra's book list on yoga teachers who feel stuck in a rut

Why did Alexandra love this book?

If you haven’t read The Professional Yoga Teacher’s Handbook, you need to. This book covers so many aspects of teaching that otherwise get overlooked in yoga teaching texts. Of course, I’m deeply biased, as Sage is my mentor and co-writer! But I promise my bias doesn’t undermine the value of this book. Sage’s observations are honest and clear. She reminds readers that being a yoga teacher is about so much more than just knowing how to teach asana. It’s about having a clear intention, thinking financially (something yoga teachers don’t always do!), and doing the work to discover the yoga teacher you truly want to be. 

By Sage Rountree,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Professional Yoga Teacher's Handbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There's so much more to teaching yoga than doing yoga - from building a relationship with a studio (or opening your own) to navigating client relationships, publicising classes, and avoiding burnout. Sage Rountree has been training yoga teachers for over a decade, and she's heard the same concerns over and over: How can I help my students best? How can I keep my teaching fresh? How can I make smart choices around my schedule, my money, and the next steps in my career?

The Professional Yoga Teacher's Handbook speaks directly to these concerns in a warm, friendly voice - boosting…


The Tree of Yoga

By B.K.S. Iyengar,

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 the 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

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.


Light on Yoga

By B.K.S. Iyengar,

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 the 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

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.


Body Mindful Yoga

By Robert Butera, Jennifer Kreatsoulas,

Book cover of Body Mindful Yoga: Create a Powerful and Affirming Relationship with Your Body

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

From the 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

Why did Dianne love this book?

I love this book because it addresses the issues we have with body image and how to heal ourselves from our negative words, thoughts, and beliefs. We get to dig deeper into our relationships with our bodies through the yoga practice. This book shows us mindful steps on how to listen, learn, love, and live with specific practical practices that can change our lives. If you live in the world today you have been faced with lots of body blaming and shaming. This read will help you find body peace and contentment.

By Robert Butera, Jennifer Kreatsoulas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Transform negative words, thoughts, perspectives, and beliefs into personal empowerment with Body Mindful Yoga s unique approach to combining yoga and the power of language. The words you think, speak, and absorb inform how you feel about your body. With this book s inspiring guidance, you can begin to move through the world with an attitude that radiates self-confidence, contentment, and peace of mind. Open your eyes to how words affect your body image using four Body Mindful steps: Listen, Learn, Love, and Live. These steps lead to amazing insights through practical techniques and hands-on exercises. The latter two encourage…


Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha

By Swami Satyananda Saraswati,

Book cover of Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha

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

From the 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

Why did Stephen love this book?

This is a premier practice manual, compiled from lectures given for a seven-month course of yoga-teacher training by the great swami who is an excellent writer as well as a beautiful person. In the US, the rival manual, Light on Yoga, by B.K.S. Iyengar may be more popular, and both authors have several more wide-ranging books, Swami Satyananda with the large and long A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya and the autobiographical Taming the Kundalini among other books mainly in Hindi, Iyengar with The Tree of Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on Life, and others.

By Swami Satyananda Saraswati,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Asana Prana Yama Mudra Bandha is recognised internationally as one of the most systematic yoga manuals today. Since it's first publication by the Bihar School of yoga in 1969 it has been reprinted seventeen times and translated into many languages. It is the main reference text used by Yoga teachers and students of Bihar Yoga/Satyananda Yoga within the International Yoga Movement, and many other traditions as well. This comprehensive text provides clear illustrations. step by step directions and details of chakra awareness. It guides the practitioner or teacher from the simplest to the most advanced practices of hatha yoga system.…


Science of Yoga

By Ann Swanson,

Book cover of Science of Yoga: Understand the Anatomy and Physiology to Perfect Your Practice

Carol Krucoff Author Of Relax Into Yoga for Seniors: A Six-Week Program for Strength, Balance, Flexibility, and Pain Relief

From the list on for yoga teachers.

Who am I?

I’m a yoga therapist, health journalist, mother, and grandmother with a passion for helping people harness the powerful medicine of movement. Physical activity is essential to good health, and yoga can be particularly effective because it’s a holistic discipline that enhances all aspects of wellbeing—physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual. I started taking a weekly yoga class in my early 20s to stretch tight muscles and relieve stress from my busy job as a Washington Post reporter. Nearly 50 years later, yoga is central to my life, with practices that have helped me through several major health challenges, and kept me balanced, fit, and centered in our unpredictable world.  

Carol's book list on for yoga teachers

Why did Carol love this book?

As a mind-body science educator, Ann Swanson specializes in making complex scientific concepts simple and easy to understand. And in this dazzlingly-illustrated, comprehensive guide to how and why yoga works, she masterfully deconstructs more than two dozen basic yoga poses with detailed information on the physical and energetic components. A section on human anatomy explains various systemsincluding cardiovascular, digestive, and endocrineand a Q & A section explores common concerns such as chronic pain, stress, and mental well-being. Full disclosureAnn is a friend and colleaguewith extraordinary energy, deep compassion, and a generous heart.  

By Ann Swanson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Explore the biomechanics of 30 key yoga poses, in-depth and from every angle, and master each asana with confidence and control.

Take your knowledge of yoga to the next level with this ground-breaking 360 degree visual resource - made for serious practitioners and teachers.

Recent scientific research now backs up what were once anecdotal claims about the benefits of yoga to every system in the body. Science of Yoga reveals the facts, with annotated artworks that show the mechanics, the angles, how blood flow and respiration are affected, the key muscle and joint actions working below the surface of each…


Beyond Power Yoga

By Beryl Bender Birch,

Book cover of Beyond Power Yoga: 8 Levels of Practice for Body and Soul

Kara-Leah Grant Author Of Forty Days of Yoga

From the list on support your home yoga practice.

Who am I?

My journey into home yoga practice began in 2004 when I moved to a small mountain town with no yoga classes. I started practicing for the health of my mind and body and kept practicing because it became an integral part of my identity. In 2006, when I began teaching yoga, I committed to practicing yoga every day so that I could be the best possible teacher for my students. These were the books that helped me keep that commitment. Many of them I’ve read multiple times, and all of them helped me show up to the mat, and understand both my bodily and psychological experience of home yoga practice.

Kara-Leah's book list on support your home yoga practice

Why did Kara-Leah love this book?

This book, and Beryl’s earlier book, Power Yoga: The Total Strength and Flexibility Workout, were my bibles when I began to build a home yoga practice. Not only do they include step-by-step instructions for Power Yoga, a derivative of Astanaga yoga, but they detail other aspects of the yoga journey including Patanjali’s eight limbs.

In Beyond Power Yoga, Beryl explores everything from her journey into yoga and to India, yoga in action, breathing, meditation, and ‘leap into liberation – bliss’. She is a consummate storyteller and uses real-life experiences from her own life to illustrate yogic concepts like bandhas, vayus, tapas, yamas, and niyamas.

By Beryl Bender Birch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Combining the mindfulness of astanga yoga with the high-energy intensity of the work-out routine, this exercise book walks readers through a series of body- and soul-enhancing routines.


The Chakra Bible

By Patricia Mercier,

Book cover of The Chakra Bible: The Definitive Guide to Working with Chakras

Susan Corso Author Of Energy Integrity Rose Thymus Chakra: How to Own & Use the Power of Your Personal Energy

From the list on the chakra curious.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by—and working with—the chakra system for more than 40 years. Because of my practice as a metaphysician, I have long sought the meanings behind what we experience as reality. Meaning is what makes reality worth living. The chakra system is a vital key to creating a life past surviving to thriving. Over the years, I’ve seen detective work in the chakra system unravel issues from the past, present, and future gently and for keeps. Every single one of us should know our chakras as a matter of basic health, and my 40 years of experience with clients proves it!

Susan's book list on the chakra curious

Why did Susan love this book?

This is a beautifully produced book, as the chakras deserve, and full of many different practices as a great supplement to the Liz Simpson book. I particularly liked her teaching on yoga asanas. As chakras are frequencies of light, they are of course ephemeral. They are also grounded in the human body by the endocrine system. Those who are inclined toward physical and/or exercise types of healing will benefit here. She’s an expert. Her history section, whilst brief, is also hugely informative. This is a great beginner book for people at the outset of their chakra journey. Her emphasis is all on healing, wholing, and well-being.

By Patricia Mercier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Harness the power of the chakras for healing and harmony.

Chakras are the centers of energy in our body that profoundly affect our well-being. Through this exquisitely designed volume, newcomers to this alternative form of spirituality can understand every aspect of chakra power. In addition to an illuminating introduction, a detailed guide covers each chakra, with their associated colors, Indian deity, healing stone, and emotional and physical actions. One by one, go through the base, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, brow, and crown chakras, as well as some newly discovered ones and chakras from different traditions. There’s also invaluable information…


Hell-Bent

By Benjamin Lorr,

Book cover of Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga

Elizabeth Greenwood Author Of Love Lockdown: Dating, Sex, and Marriage in America's Prisons

From the list on true crime-adjacent stories.

Who am I?

When asked to describe the nonfiction genre I work in, I often say “true crime-adjacent,” meaning that while there is crime in my books, I’m more interested in the people, circumstances, and culture in which those crimes occur than the act itself. I love books that go deep into character analysis and motivation, as well as the author’s inclination toward the subject. These true crime-adjacent books are all-absorbing, thought-provoking page-turners, with stories so wild you won’t believe they’re completely real. 

Elizabeth's book list on true crime-adjacent stories

Why did Elizabeth love this book?

You might be wondering why a book about yoga is on this list, and I tell you it’s because crime is everywhere! Lorr does incredible immersive journalism and for this book he embedded with Bikram yoga teachers and ended up breaking the story of Bikram Choudhury’s sexual misconduct. The book deconstructs the culture of cult-like thinking to reveal how crimes are perpetrated, excused, and covered up, and you’ll learn a lot about yoga in the process. Lorr is also hilarious but in a more maximalist gonzo manner. 

By Benjamin Lorr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Author Benjamin Lorr wandered into a yoga studio—and fell down a rabbit hole

Hell-Bent explores a fascinating, often surreal world at the extremes of American yoga. Benjamin Lorr walked into his first yoga studio on a whim, overweight and curious, and quickly found the yoga reinventing his life. He was studying Bikram Yoga (or "hot yoga") when a run-in with a master and competitive yoga champion led him into an obsessive subculture—a group of yogis for whom eight hours of practice a day in 110- degree heat was just the beginning.

So begins a journey. Populated by athletic prodigies, wide-eyed…


Babar's Yoga for Elephants

By Laurent de Brunhoff,

Book cover of Babar's Yoga for Elephants

Annie Buckley Author Of The Kids Yoga Deck

From the list on yoga books to inspire creativity and joy.

Who am I?

I'm an artist, writer, teacher, and longtime yoga practitioner. I started practicing yoga in my early twenties during a difficult time in my life and the peace, grounding, and community that I discovered in yoga have stayed with me over the years, growing and evolving over time. One of my favorite experiences was the opportunity to teach children and teens who had never even heard of yoga before. Now I'm a professor at San Diego State University and also started and run a statewide program called Prison Arts Collective, bringing art programs to people who are incarcerated. We often include mindfulness and breathing exercises along with art. 

Annie's book list on yoga books to inspire creativity and joy

Why did Annie love this book?

This beautifully illustrated Babar book does not disappoint. It is a fun and playful visit with a beloved childhood favorite and includes a bonus chart of basic yoga poses performed by elephants. Children and their adult friends and family will be charmed by the invitation to join the family of elephants in finding tranquility through yoga poses and breathing exercises.

By Laurent de Brunhoff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Well before yoga became fashionable via Sting and Madonna, the elephant king Babar and all the residents of Celesteville were finding peace and tranquillity through yoga. And now elephants everywhere can join them!
Through easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step illustrations, Babar's Yoga for Elephants presents 15 positions and stretches as well as helpful breathing exercises. The book also provides useful advice on what to do with your trunk while in position, a dilemma that human yoga books often ignore.Written by Babar himself, the book explains how yoga was introduced to Celesteville and how he and Queen Celeste keep fit doing yoga…