12 books every yogi should read

Below is our list of books every yogi should read. Some of these books are literally about yoga, yoga asanas, and some are just about concepts, or stories in line with a yoga lifestyle. All of these books have been read and enjoyed by either one or both of us. Happy reading yogis!

  • The Science of Yoga by William J. Broad : More of a research-based book detailing the history of yoga, physical and mental benefits of yoga, and research in support of or against many of the claims made about yoga. Definitely an interesting read for every yogi.
  • Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews: This book is pretty self-explanatory. A must read if you are interested in understanding how each posture affects the body, learning what muscle groups are activated and stretched in asanas can definitely help improve your practice. 
  • Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar: One of the most popular books on yoga. Light on Yoga discusses the eight limbs of yoga and goes into depth regarding pranayama (breathing), asanas (postures), and bandhas (locks).
  • Light on Life by B.K.S. Iyengar: One of the follow up books to Light on yoga which focuses on the yoga lifestyle. This is basically a book full of Iyengar's wisdom that can be directly applied to your asana practice as well as everyday life. 
  • Hell-Bent by Benjamin Lorr: Hilarious, insightful, thought-provoking. This is a memoir of the author's almost fanatical journey into the Bikram yoga world. It's entertaining while providing deep insightful points about yoga and life. I enjoyed every page!
  • Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati: A required text for yoga schools all over this book details hatha yoga, the chakra system,  and provides a therapeutic index with newer research on yoga benefits. 
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: My favorite book of all-time. This book mentions nothing about yoga, but does talk about listening to your heart, following your dreams, looking for signs from the universe and the journey of life.
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse: A true classic, this book describes a boy's journey through life. It is a journey of seeking and suffering until he finally reaches enlightenment. This is a book about finding one's own path, learning lessons by living them, and experiencing all that a mortal life has to offer. Great read for all. 
  • Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: The author's memoir as she learns how to eat in Italy, pray in India, and love in Indonesia. Beautifully written with profound points. 
  • A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle: This book blew my mind when I first read it and changed the way I viewed EVERYTHING. All about the ego, and how most, if not all, of human suffering is created from our attachment to the ego. Read it.
  • The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran: Love Kahlil Gibran! My husband read to me from this book when we first started dating and it will always have a special place in my heart. This is a collection of inspirational and spiritual essays covering topics such as love, beauty, and freedom.  
  • How Yoga Works by Michael Roach: This book is just about how yoga works, explaining the yoga sutras through a fictional story. The great thing about this book is you are able to understand the sutras as they pertain to, and change the lives of the characters.