5 Easy Reads and Reference Books to Support your Yoga Practice
Updated: Aug 11, 2020
Written by: Lauren Snyder If you do a Google search for Yoga books, the lists are endless! There are so many Yogic texts out there; from the deeply spiritual and complex to the most basic of Asana picture tutorials. It can be an overwhelming experience to shop for exactly what you need; especially if you are just starting out. I have compiled a list below of a couple of titles that are wonderful, basic, informative reference books. The reason these titles have been selected is not just because they are helpful Yoga guides, but because all of these also offer support for helping to make your practice YOUR OWN. Many of them offer options, variations, suggestions, examples, and lots of pictures and diagrams.
First on the list is for our younger Phamily members: Yoga for Children by Lisa Flynn, E-RYT, RCYT: This book is a wonderful resource for families, teachers, and to be honest, even I use some of the resources in here when I am feeling playful and fun. One of my favorite things about this book is that in the beginning, it breaks down the different age ranges and what a Yoga practice's intentions should be to match that particular stage in a child/teen's development. Throughout the rest of the book, there are descriptions, pictures, songs, book recommendations and Meditation scripts for introducing meditation to our younger practitioners. A wonderful reference book to have on your shelf!
The next book on our list is a lovely little book about bringing Yoga practice into your daily life: Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life by Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D, P.T. : This book is small, easy to read, and put together in a way that you can read all the way through or simply read chapters at random. Each chapter begins with a discussion and stories around a particular theme (Letting Go, Compassion, Impermanence, Connection etc); followed then by Practice Suggestions and Mantras to support practice around that theme. It is a lovely little book that can be carried anywhere and serve as a gentle guide and reminder of the simple, easy ways we can bring our Yoga practice off the mat and into every moment of our lives. Our next book delves into that oh so illusive practice...Meditation: Practical Meditation: A Simple Step-By-Step Guide by Giovanni Deinstmann: I am going to be honest, the reason I like this book is because it is so visual and simple (Being a very visual learner I love books with pictures, diagrams and imagery). If you have any experience or study in the area of Meditation, then you might already know many of these meditations; however, for someone who has little or no experience...this is a great resource not only for Meditation suggestions and outlines, but it also has a lovely Resource guide in the back for additional books and learning materials. I originally bought this book because I wanted a few basic books in my library to share with others, but this one has surprised me with how much I enjoy it myself.
And now we get into two of my most favorite Asana (Pose) books: Accessible Yoga: Poses and Practices for Every Body by Jivana Heyman: This book is one of my absolute favorites. I have followed Jivana for a while; but it wasn't until this year, I finally purchased his book and fell instantly in love. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to take my teacher training was because, as someone with autoimmune disease, I needed more tools and a deeper understanding of myself, my body, and Yoga itself to be able to practice in a way that was safe, nourishing, and supportive.
Jivana's book is the perfect resource guide for making Yoga accessible and welcoming to everyone! It is full to the brim with guidance, tutorials, pictures, and additional resources for helping Yoga fit your unique body, your mind, and your spirit.
One of my favorite quotes from the book, which really sums up what Jivana is trying to bring to the reader is this, "You could say that each Yoga pose is like a question and each person has a slightly different answer to that question. No answer is wrong or right. They're all unique. Plus, we're all changing moment to moment, and what is right for us one day may be wrong the next. I always suggest finding the essence of a pose by asking yourself why you are doing it. You can explore this through practice and study. With that deeper understanding, it becomes possible to adapt your practice to a personal and creative expression of your spirit."
Yoga for Everyone: 50 Poses for Every Type of Body by Dianne Bondy: Here I go with the picture books again! Dianne Bondy has created an absolutely beautiful visual guide to 50 different poses, with helpful variations to adapt them to a variety of needs. Her diversity, clarity, and visualization of each posture is informative and inspiring and there is a section of sequences at the end of the book to help you put together a home practice. And one of the additional personal touches that I love are the mini bios of each of the models sprinkled throughout the book. Connecting to these practitioners and their journeys feels especially inspiring as you navigate the information within its pages.
I hope that this list is helpful for those of you looking for additional resource materials for starting or deepening your Yoga practice. There are so so many incredible options out there and these five are just a handful of what kinds of books are available! Happy Reading Phamily!