Books For Your Journey

In no particular order….these are books that shaped my teaching; someone on a different yoga path will have their own favorite books.

The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga — Srivatsa Ramaswami
Yoga Beneath the Surface — Srivatsa Ramaswami
Yoga For the Three Stages of Life — Srivatsa Ramawami
Bringing Yoga To Life — Donna Farhi
Enlighten Your Body: Yoga for Mind-Body Awareness — Linda Christy Weiler
Yoga of Heart — Mark Whitwell
Yoga for Wellness — Gary Kraftsow
Yoga and the Quest for the True Self — Stephen Cope
Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness — Erich Schiffmann
Aligned, Relaxed, Resilient: The Physical Foundations of Mindfulness — Will Johnson
The Heart of Yoga — TKV Desikachar
The Tree of Yoga — BKS Iyengar.  I actually consider this book more valuable than Light on Yoga.

Of course you must get a good translation of the Yoga Sutra-s and the ones I like are The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali by Chip Hartranft and Reflections on Yoga Sutra-s of Patanjali by Desikachar, however, I don’t think this is available in the United States.  Hartranft’s book blends Buddhist thought with the Sutras, writing from the perspective that it was impossible for Patanjali not to be influenced by Buddhism when he wrote the Sutra-s.

Don’t forget the ancient yoga texts:

Hatha Yoga Pradipika — Swami Muktibodhananda
Pure Yoga (a translation of The Gherandasamhita) — Yogi Pranavanadna
Nathamuni’s Yoga Rahasya
Yogayajnavalkya Samhita: The Yoga Treatise of Yajnavalkya

The last book will most likely be the most difficult to find. It is one of the oldest texts on Yoga and it is a dialogue between the sage Yajnavalkya and his wife Gargi, who was considered one of the most learned women of all times.  The book is dedicated to “all great women.”



A good translation of The Dhammapada.  I  like Eknath Easwaran.

Whenever a beginner asks me what book they should start with I always recommend Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das.  Clear, concise, simple but not simplistic. I’ve read the book about five times.

What the Buddha Taught — Walpola Rahula.  A great book for the traditional teachings.

Buddhism, Plain and Simple — Steve Hagen.  Classic.

Any book by Jack Kornfield, especially Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation and A Path With Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life (my favorite.)

Being Dharma: The Essence of the Buddha’s Teachings — Ajahn Chah (Jack Kornfield’s teacher.)

Loving-Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness — Sharon Salzberg.

Buddha Takes No Prisoners: A Meditator’s Survival Guide — Patrick Ophuls.  One of my favorites.

Good Life, Good Death — Gelek Rimpoche.  Contemplating my own death made me feel more alive and in a way liberated me because I know that what is never born can never die.  That realization is freedom.

Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master – Amy Schmidt. The life story of one of the few women in her generation to devote herself to vipassana meditation. A householder, Dipa Ma was the first accomplished female meditation master in the Thereavada tradition to teach in the United States and, while she had a deep devotion to the tradition, she also had a fierce understanding that the spiritual accomplishments of women could be in every way equal to those of the predominantly male religious hierarchy.


These books are only the beginning.

3 thoughts on “Books For Your Journey

  1. hi Linda, this is a great & helpful list. Do you have any recommendations for anatomy learning – I have Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff but is there any other/s or (ones from your list) you would suggest? Bliss and Bless……

  2. thank you! I think that’s important too, I’d rather be taught, and teach in practical terms than baffle students with anatomical names and functions. Thanks again.

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