Books / DVDs

We all have our favourite yoga books we come back to again and again, while others are more specialised, and we use them to know more about a particular topic… Here we have grouped books and DVDs according to the articles featured in each year’s edition of Yogagenda. Please feel free to share your own recommendations with us on our Facebook page.

YOGAGENDA 2014

Seasonal Energy
  • Energy in Season: Five Keys to Vitality by Susan Woodd and Julie Hanson. This book shows how to re-evaluate your life to reacquaint yourself with ‘living in season’ in a simple and easy way. It gives you lifestyle tips, yoga flows and qigong and t’ai chi moves fro each season and the corresponding organs, as well as meditations and reflections for the time of year.
  • Your Best Year Yet: Make the Next 12 Months Your Best Ever by Jinny Ditzler. Your Best Year Yet asks you challenging questions about your expectations, accomplishments and goals for the future. It is not until you take time to sit down and really think about what you want out of the next year that you can start working towards your goals.
The Body of Life
  • A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield. Through generous storytelling and unmitigated warmth, Kornfield offers this excellent guidebook on living with attentiveness, meditation, and full-tilt compassion.
  • The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. In this beautiful and lucid guide, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercise as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness–being awake and fully aware. From washing the dishes to answering the phone to peeling an orange, he reminds us that each moment holds within it an opportunity to work toward greater self-understanding and peacefulness.
Yin Yoga
  • Insight Yoga  by Sarah Powers. Known for her unique approach which combines traditional yoga with the meridians of Chinese medicine, as well as Buddhist meditation, yoga teacher Sarah Powers uses Yin and Yang poses to demonstrate a series of sequences that bring benefits to organs, muscles, joints and tendons -as well as the mind.
  • Yin Yoga: The Foundations of a Quiet Practice (DVD) with Paul Grilley. Paul’s characteristic humour and insight provides a strong foundation to help you make Yin yoga a vital part of your regular yoga practice.
Meditation
  • Journey of Awakening: Meditator’s Guide Book by Ram Das. American psychologist and spiritual teacher Ram Das shares here his understanding and explores the many paths of meditation and suggests how you can find methods suitable for you.  He illuminates the stages and benefits of meditative practice, and provides wise and often humorous advice on overcoming difficulties along the way.
  • Meditation For Beginners by Jack Kornfield. This books shows you how simple it is to start – and stick with – a daily meditation practice. ‘Insight’ or visspana meditation is the time-honoured skill of calming the spirit and clearing the mind for higher understanding. Now, in this complete course created for beginners, renowned teacher Jack Kornfield offers a straightforward, step-by-step method for bringing meditation into your life.
The Koshas
  • Everyday Yoga: The Essential Guide by Sarah Dawson. It provides an exploration into yoga as a lifestyle, illustrating how to practice bite-sized bits of yoga each day, whether you have 5 or 50 minutes to spare! The book is an easy format manual for beginners, as well as for those revisiting yoga after a break, and is ideal for all the family, from children through to senior yogis, and for busy people who feel there are never enough hours in the day.
Mantra and Vibration

Healing Mantras: Using Sound Affirmations for Personal Power, Creativity, and Healing by  Thomas Ashley-Farrand. The practical, how-to guide that makes the strengths and benefits of mantras available to everyone. The science and discipline of chanting and formal prayer are practiced in every religion around the world and in this book, that ancient Sanskrit mantras have been explained and adapted to Western needs.

Durga
  • Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power by Laura Amazzone. An exploration of the many faces of the Goddess Durga in ancient and contemporary culture. This book takes us on a pilgrimage to goddess temples and natural shrines, to visit shamans and living goddesses in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, and to India for the annual ten-day Durga Festival. The mythology, rituals, philosophy, and spiritual practices of this distinctly female-centered and millennia-old tradition of Durga offer an alternative model of female potential and empowerment, focusing on peace, healing, spiritual liberation, and realization of inherent divinity.
  • Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition by David R. Kinsley. This books sorts out the rich yet often chaotic history of Hindu goddess worship, describing not only their main appearances and roles but also interpreting the significance of each one, and showing how she has come to exemplify important truths within the Hindu tradition. Each goddess is dealt with as an independent deity with a coherent mythology, theology, and in some cases, cult of her own.
Fascia
  • Fascia: The Tensional Network of the Human Body by Robert Schleip (Editor). Prepared by over 100 specialists and researchers from throughout the world, this book is ideal for professionals who have an interest in fascia and human movement – physiotherapists, osteopathic physicians, osteopaths, chiropractors, structural integration practitioners, manual therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, yoga or Pilates instructors, exercise scientists and personal trainers, etc.
  • (Book + DVD) Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists by Thomas W. Myers. An accessible and comprehensive explanation of the anatomy and function of the myofascial system. Using the metaphor of train lines, Myers explains how patterns of strain communicate through the myofascial webbing, contributing to postural compensation and movement stability.
  • (Youtube Video) The Fuzz Speech by Gil Hedley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FtSP-tkSug
Kali

Kali: The Feminine Force by Ajit Mookerjee. Using a collection of paintings, sculptures and original writings, this is a celebration of Kali and an exploration of the rich meanings of feminine divinity. Kali, according to Indian legend, sprang forth from the brow of the Great Goddess Durga during a battle to annihilate demonic male power. With her lolling tongue and necklace of severed heads, Kali has often been represented simply as death-dealing, cruel and horrific. But the same goddess is creator and nurturer, feminine energy, the essence of mother-lover. As divine mother, lotus goddess, she brings worlds to birth, sustains them and absorbs them, in a never-ending cycle of her own opening and closing.

To Eat or Not to Eat
  • Kopstand in de Keuken by Irina Verwer. Irina Verwer kookt al jaren met passie. Dezelfde liefde die ze in voeding verwerkt, komt ook in haar beoefening van yoga terug. Yoga en voeding hebben meer met elkaar te maken dan je misschien denkt en niet alleen omdat het allebei lekker is (of kan zijn). In veel oude yogateksten staan meer richtlijnen over voeding dan dat er geschreven is over de houdingen! Dit boek helpt je op weg in de yogische keuken: wat eet je en waarom en hoe maak je de lekkerste gezonde gerechten klaar? Naast meer dan dertig heerlijke recepten vind je in dit boek inspiratie voor je yogabeoefening: van houdingen voor de chakra’s tot aan series voor alle weersomstandigheden steeds met een bijpassend recept.
  • Yoga Food: 50 Recipes for Fresh and Healthy Dishes by Anna Gidgård. To get the full benefit of a yoga lifestyle, your food should be as light and healthy as possible, and with this new collection of delicious recipes tailored for yoga practitioners, eating right will be a breeze! Yoga food is packed with everything that your body craves: nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and essential vitamins. There are loads of main dishes that you can eat before or after yoga class . . . but there are also snacks that will keep you fueled up throughout the day, and even desserts!
Hanuman
  • The Ramayana: A Modern Retelling of the Great Indian Epic by Ramesh Menon. The Ramayana was originally composed by the Sanskrit poet Valmiki around 300 b.c. The epic of Prince Rama’s betrayal, exile, and struggle to rescue his faithful wife, Sita, from the clutches of a demon with the help of Hanuman has profoundly affected the literature, art, and culture of South and Southeast Asia. Novelist Ramesh Menon has rendered the tale in lyrical prose that conveys all the beauty and excitement of the original, while making this spiritual and literary classic accessible to a new generation of readers.
  • Hanuman: The Devotion and Power of the Monkey God by Vanamali. Hanuman is revered as the greatest devote of the Lord that this world has seen. He is best known for his utter selfless devotion to Sri Rama, an avatar of God who live 7,500 year ago. In the great epic Ramayana, which chronicles Rama’s advent, Hanuman amazing loyalty, power and fearlessness casts him as an unforgettable and heroic figuree.

 

YOGAGENDA 2013

Asana Overview

Asana Overview

  • (DVD) Chakra Balancing Yoga by Sharon Gannon. A one-hour guided practice through a series of poses, affirmations and mantras designed to open and balance the chakras. Special features include Chakras Explained and Secret Teachings of Yoga. 
  • The Essential Guide to Chakras by Swami Saradananda. A practical guide discussing the key characteristics of each chakra, its related physical disorders, and how to recognize whether it is overactive, underactive or balanced. It teaches how to balance each chakra with the right mantras, postures, breathing techniques and meditation exercises.
  • 30 Essential Yoga Poses: For Beginning Students and Their Teachers, by Judith Lasater. In addition to describing 30 yoga poses and their variations, the book includes an overview of the Eightfold Path, a discussion of the student-teacher relationship and sequences for home practice (back pain, flexibility, fatigue and strength).
Patanjali

Patanjali

Written by the mysterious sage Patanjali, the Yoga Sutras bring together the wisdom of previously existing Yoga sacred texts, like the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, presenting it in a precise and organised form. The sutras summarise the process and tools for self-understanding in a string of 195 aphorisms or “wisdoms” (sutras) about the yogic lifestyle grouped in four chapters. Here is some suggested reading:

Anatomy

Anatomy

  • (Book + DVD) Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists by Thomas W. Myers. An accessible and comprehensive explanation of the anatomy and function of the myofascial system. Using the metaphor of train lines, Myers explains how patterns of strain communicate through the myofascial webbing, contributing to postural compensation and movement stability.
  • Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: A Manual for Students, Teachers and Practitioners by David Coulter. Bridging the gap between biomedicine and complementary medicine, this books presents a detailed overview of yoga anatomy and physiology, with special emphasis on the musculoskeletal, nervous and cardiovascular systems.
  • The Key Poses of Yoga: Scientific Keys, Volume II by Ray Long. The second volume of this series presents three-dimensional illustrations of major muscles, tendons and ligaments, highlighting the agonist, antagonist and synergist muscles that come into play with each yoga pose.
Thai Yoga Massage

Thai Yoga Massage

  • Encyclopedia Of Thai Massage: A Complete Guide to Traditional Thai Massage Therapy & Acupressure by C. Pierce Salguero and David Roylance. Offered in an engaging and informal style, this is an exhaustive handbook with detailed analysis of each step in a Thai massage routine, plus its history, spiritual traditions and ethical codes. With sections on the main energy meridians and diagrams of acupressure points.
  • Thai Massage, Sacred Bodywork by Ananda Apfelbaum.   A detailed and comprehensive book covering the history, theory and practice of Thai massage. Including easy to follow step-by-step techniques and clearly illustrated with well over 200 photos.
  • (Book + DVD) Thai Yoga Massage: A Dynamic Therapy for Physical Well-being and Spiritual Energy by Kam Thye Chow. Readers are led through every aspect of this ancient bodywork therapy using more than 125 detailed step-by-step photographs. The author further demonstrates the techniques for performing a one-hour massage in the accompanying DVD.
  • Thai Massage Manual by Maria Mercati. A step-by-step, photographic guide to Thai massage. The book is useful for hands-on healing for the layperson and the practising massage therapist.
Yoga Ayurveda and the Seasons

Yoga Ayurveda and the Seasons

  • Yoga for Your Type: An Ayurvedic Approach to your Yoga Practice by David Frawley and Sandra Kozak. It details how to choose the asanas most appropriate for your unique body type according to Ayurvedic medicine. Over seventy five key yoga postures are presented with photographs and step-by-step instructions.
  • The Path of Practice: A Woman’s Book of Ayurvedic Healing by Bri Maya Tiwari. A practical book for women that takes them into the heart of the Vedic tradition.
  • (DVD) Optimum Yoga & Ayurveda by Mas Vidal. A series of DVDs embracing the principles of Ayurveda to balance the air, fire and water elements. Each yoga series includes dynamic asanas, therapeutic breathing exercises, special techniques to experience relaxation and establish real concentration, and finally, a soul centring meditation.
Helicoidal Flow

Helicoidal Flow

  • Awakening the Spine by Vanda Scaravelli. It offers a gentle way to achieve and maintain overall health and a naturally supple spine –at any age. The 83-year-old former teacher of J. Krishnamurti shares her yoga techniques based on the natural principles of gravity and breath.
  • (DVD) From the Ground Up: Experience the Freedom of Scaravelli Yoga by Darlene Bink. An energizing yoga sequence offering a well-rounded practice at the beginner level, with standing poses, balance poses, strengthening poses, seated poses, and explanations of the three principles used in this method: the ground, the breath and the spine.
  • See how Yoga Feels: Visualizations to Help the Practice of Yoga by Su Sareen. The aim of this Scaravelli-inspired book is to give practical help through useful visualisations and to support practitioners in their asanas. It is not meant for complete beginners, but can be used alongside other books and classes to help deepen understanding and to enrich one’s practice.
10 Energy Bodies

10 Energy Bodies

  • Numerology: as Taught by Yogi Bhajan and Tantric Numerology: Science of Soul Mastery by Guruchander Singh Khalsa. Dr. Gururchander presents a system of numerology known to the yogis for thousands of years. These books teach how to apply Kundalini yoga exercises to open the pathway to soul mastery.
  • Ten Light Bodies of Consciousness: A Guide to Self Discovery and Self Enlightenment by Nirvair Singh Khalsa. Written in a conversational style that ensures an easy understanding of the Ten Etheric Bodies in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, this book guides readers in their quest for a creative and peaceful life.
Yoga and Food

Yoga and Food

  • The Healthy Vegetarian by Swami Satchidananda. The book discusses, in clear simple terms, the contribution that a vegetarian diet can make to one’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being. A seven-day selection of menus and recipes for delicious vegetarian meals is included.
  • Yoga and Vegetarianism: The Path to Greater Health and Happiness by Sharon Gannon. It shows how the physical and spiritual practice of yoga is historically and structurally tied to a vegetarian lifestyle, and how the importance of understanding of Ahimsa, the practice of non-harming and non-violence, as the first step in marrying yoga and vegetarianism.
  • The Yoga Cookbook: Vegetarian Food for Body and Mind by Sivananda Yoga Center. More than 170 recipes prepared with wholesome ingredients that help increase vitality, energy, health and joy. Containing wheat-free recipes, guidance for vegans, advice on buying, storing, and preparing the basic ingredients used in yogic cooking, plus special sections on feasts and fasts.
Mandalas

Mandalas

  • Tools for Tantra by Harish Johari. A book that re-creates the exact colours and proportions of the primordial yantras along with step-by-step instructions for their accurate construction, colouring and use.
  • (Card Deck) Chakra Meditations: Meditations, Visualizations and Exercises to Help You Find Energy and Balance by Swami Saradananda. A package of 52 chakra meditation cards divided into seven sections -one for each chakra- and featuring visualizations, exercises and quotations to help focus the mind and unlock natural energy reserves.
  • The Art of Mandala Meditation: Mandala Designs to Heal Your Mind, Body and Spirit by Michal Beaucaire. More than eighty colourful mandala illustrations to help the reader find comfort, healing or inspiration. This book also includes customizable blank mandalas to further meditation practice and guide even deeper into tranquillity.
Shiva-Shakti

Shiva-Shakti

  • The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work and Sexual Desire by David Deida. It explores the most important issues in men’s lives -from career and family to women and intimacy to love and spirituality- to offer practical and straightforward advice, empowering skills, body practices, and more.
  • Women who Run with the Woolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. In this book, the author  unfolds rich intercultural myths, fairy tales, and stories, many from her own family, in order to help women reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of this instinctual nature.
  • The Radiance Sutras: 112 Tantra Yoga Teachings for Opening to the Divine in Everyday Life by Lorin Roche. A fresh translation of an ancient Tantra Yoga text, the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, a love song between Devi and Bhairava, (Shakti and Shiva) in which they engage in classic tantra, chakra, kundalini, mantra, mudra practices, and more.

 

YOGAGENDA 2012

Yoga and the Year 2012

YOGA AND THE YEAR  2012 What a challenge to bring these two together in a book! That is why we have included a “timeless” book about yoga and another one that, without being about yoga, offers a vision of the changes taking place in our planet’s energy.

  • Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. The life story of an Indian yogi credited as one of the first people to introduce yoga to the West. An amazing story of self-realization dotted throughout with tales of encounters with spiritual masters who demonstrate an astonishing level of wisdom and insight into the human experience.
  • Serpent of Light: Beyond 2012 by Drunvalo Melchizedek. It tells the story of indigenous people around the world creating ceremonies to relocate the Kundalini serpent of energy from Asia to the high Andes Mountains in Chile, an event said to happen every 13,000 years.
Asana Overview

ASANA OVERVIEW

  • Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar. Ideal to understand the benefits on a wide range of yoga poses. It contains: step by step photo-guide to routines for beginners to highly advanced; guide to yoga breathing; introduction to the philosophy behind the yoga; guide to healing specific health problems with yoga poses.
  • Asanas: 608 Yoga Poses by Dharma Mitra. 608 black and white photographs of the legendary “teacher of teachers” performing asanas, with a brief commentary and specific combinations for vinyasa, ashtanga, and Iyengar practice.
  • The Sivananda Companion to Yoga by the Sivananda Yoga Centre. A guide to physical postures, breathing exercises, diet, relaxation and meditation techniques. With easy-to-follow instructions and detailed illustrations.
Styles and Schools of Yoga

STYLES AND SCHOOLS OF YOGA

  • The Shambala Encyclopaedia of Yoga by Georg Feuerstein. A portrayal of the rich and complex spiritual tradition of India, with over two thousand entries covering yoga’s history, its many approaches, schools, teachers, scriptures, as well as its technical terminology.

And these two are eclectic books that would most likely appeal to practitioners of any style of yoga:

  • 1001 Pearls of Yoga by Liz Lark. Yoga wisdom for daily living! A fun, poetic and original interpretation of yoga practices that complements any spiritual practice.
  • Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kennison. A beautiful book with 365 meditations offering a simple way to integrate the mindfulness we learn in yoga class into our own everyday lives.
Anatomy

ANATOMY 

  • The key muscles of Hatha Yoga, Scientific Keys, Vol. I by Ray Long. With four-color, three-dimensional illustrations of major muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It describes the key muscles of hatha yoga and how they are utilized.
  • Anatomy of Movement by Blandine Calais-Germain. A dynamic, integrated approach to the study of the physical structures of the musculoskeletal system and their functional relationship to the movements of the human body in dance, exercise, and other physical disciplines.
  • Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff. With expert instruction and full-colour, detailed anatomical drawings. It depicts the most common asanas to provide a deeper understanding of the structures and principles underlying each movement and of yoga itself.
Strength and Flexibility

STRENGTH AND FLEXIBILITY

  • Awakening the Spine by Vanda Scaravelli. It offers a gentle way to achieve and maintain overall health and a naturally supple spine–at any age. The 83-year-old former teacher of J. Krishnamurti shares her yoga techniques based on the natural principles of gravity and breath.
  • Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers. Using Yin (passive) and Yang (dynamic) poses, it demonstrates a series of different yoga sequences that benefit organs, muscles, joints, and tendons—as well as the mind. It shows the path for building-up a lasting relationship with yoga that cultivates and strengthens our physical well-being and our mental and emotional clarity.
Pranayama

PRANAYAMA

  • The Breathing Bookby Donna Farhi. Safe and easy-to-learn breathing techniques that can also be used to treat asthma and ease stress, depression, eating disorders, insomnia, arthritis, chronic pain, and other debilitating conditions.
  • The Power of the Breath by Swami Saradanbanda. It teaches us to pay attention to this vital process and breathe mindfully. More than 30 exercises come complete with step-by-step photographs, and there’s a selection of programs to target common health problems and to enhance skills, including singing, speaking, and sports.
  • Light on Pranayama by B.K.S. Iyengar. A classic text sharing the techniques of breathing together with a comprehensive background of yoga philosophy.
Bandhas and Granthis

BANDHAS AND GRANTHIS

  • Asana, Pranayama, Mudra and Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. A comprehensive classic text with clear illustrations guiding the reader from the simplest to the most advanced practices of the hatha yoga system.
  • Ashtanga Yoga and Meditation by Jean Hall and Doriel Hall. An accessible guide to this type of yoga plus an introduction to meditation techniques and yoga philosophy. It has a good section on bandhas.
Chakras

CHAKRAS

  • The Essential Guide to Chakras by Swami Saradananda. A practical guide discussing the key characteristics of each chakra, its related physical disorders, and how to recognize whether it is overactive, underactive, or balanced. It teaches how to balance each chakra with the right mantras, postures, breathing techniques, and meditation exercises.
  • Ashtanga Yoga and Meditation by Jean Hall and Doriel Hall. An accessible guide to this type of yoga plus an introduction to meditation techniques and yoga philosophy. It has good information on chakras throughout the different sections.
  • Way of Chakras, by Caroline Shola Arewa. It looks at chakras in a cross-cultural, historical context, showing how knowledge of the chakras can be found in ancient spiritual traditions the world over. The reader is also introduced to a variety of practical exercises.
Sanskrit

SANSKRIT

  • Sacred Sanskrit Words for Yoga, Chant and Meditation by Leza Lowitz and Reema Datta. Useful for students who want to learn more about sacred chants. It introduces key concepts that have filtered all the Eastern spiritual traditions.
  • How Yoga Works by Geshe Michael Roach and Christie McNally. A fictional book telling a story about the yoga Sutras in the form of a novel.
  • The Language of Yoga by Nicolai Bachman. A reference guide demonstrating how to read and pronounce sacred sounds with precision. Including more than 200 illustrated asanas and 300 Sanskrit definitions, it guides the student through yoga chants with exact rhytm, tone, and pronounciation.
Mantras

MANTRAS

  • Mantras: Words of Power by Swami Sivananda Rhada. It shows how these sacred syllables can bring about healing and help transform lives, with chapters that describe the significance of mantras, what a mantra practice is, how to properly practice, musical notations for the mantras and an extensive bibliography.
  • Healing Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand. A practical, how-to guide that makes the strengths and benefits of mantras available to everyone, particularly Western readers.
  • Chants of a Lifetime by Krishna Das. An intimate collection of stories, teachings, and insights from who has been called “the chant master of American yoga”, with photos and a CD consisting of a number of “private” chanting sessions with the author.
Sacred Texts

SACRED TEXTS

  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda. A complete translation of the yoga Sutras, with commentaries based on informal expositions of the yoga master to his students in true sutra explanation or teaching tradition.
  • The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar. A wonderful book discussing all the elements of yoga, and showing how the students can develop a practice tailored to their current needs. It includes the yoga Sutras of Patanjali in its integrity with a translation and commentary by Desikachar.
  • The Upanishads by Eknath Easwaran. The Upanishads are records of intensive question-and-answer sessions given by illumined sages to their students. Here these challenging texts are made more accessible by selecting the passages most relevant to readers seeking timeless truths today.
Yoga and Men

YOGA AND MEN

Still looking for bibliography on this topic!

Green Yoga

GREEN YOGA

  • Green Yoga by Georg Feuerstein and Brenda Feuerstein. A book for those wishing to make yoga relevant to today’s environmental and social crisis. It shows how the ancient wisdom of the teachings of yoga is relevant to a “green life style”.
  • Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered by Bill Devall and George Sessions. A classic text exploring the philosophical, psychological, and sociological roots of today’s environmental movement. It examines the human-centred assumptions behind most approaches to nature, and offers specific direct action suggestions for individuals to practice.