For as long as I can remember, I have been a voracious reader, never quite able to sate my thirst for knowledge. There is always so much more to learn. My purse is always unnecessarily heavy because I will never leave the house without at least one tome to page through at any free moment I can find. Below is a list of my most cherished books that have made the biggest impact on my yoga practice, my teaching and my life. Each book has shaped me in some way. Enjoy yogis! And please send me your favorites that I may have missed.
Books that make you ponder
These are the books that have touched my heart and changed my perspective on the world. They are tattered from use and every page is underlined, with notes in the margins.
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope
Foundations of Yoga
Whether you are an aspiring teacher or a student wishing to deepen your practice and understanding, these books are essential reads.
Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by BKS Iyengar
Teaching Yoga by Mark Stephens
Yoga as Medicine by Dr. Timothy McCall
Women’s Health, Big Book of Yoga by Kathryn Budig
Myths of the Asanas by Alanna Kaivalya
Key Muscles of Yoga by Ray Long
Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith
The Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele
Yin has always been my most favorite type of yoga. It can be tricky to understand at first how still and quiet the practice is. These books break down the practice and explore the Chinese meridians in each yin pose.
The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga by Bernie Clark
Yin Yoga, Principles and Practice by Paul Grilley
Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers
A Path and a Practice by William Martin
Yoga’s sister science Ayurveda, which means “the science of life,” explores each individual’s dosha, or individual constitution. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Vasant Lad are leaders in the field. There is so much out there, but these books will get you started.
Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra
Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing by Dr. Vasant Lad
Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine by Deepak Chopra
The Everyday Ayurveda Guide to Self-Care by Kate O'Donnell
My all-time favorite element of yoga, mudras, are gestures or seals that we make with our hands and bodies to direct and redirect energy within the body for healing, energizing, or calming effects. This is a very subtle practice and takes time to deepen your awareness and knowledge. I started with the Mudras for Healing and Transformation. This book is intended for yoga therapy purposes and is very accessible to all.
Mudras for Healing and Transformation by Joseph & Lilian LePage
Mudras of India by Revital Carroll
Mudra, The Sacred Secret by Dr. Indu Arora
Yoga Therapy and the Science of Yoga
Do you want to understand how yoga works, and how the practice affects your brain and body? These books are a great jumping off point into the great abyss of all the resources and books out there that cover yoga for specific conditions.
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
Why Zebras don’t get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky
The Science of Yoga by William J. Broad
Recovery 2.0, Move Beyond Addiction and Upgrade your Life by Tommy Rosen
Mudras for Healing and Transformation by Joseph & Lilian LePage
Presence, Bringing your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy
Goddesses in Every Woman: Powerful Archetypes in Women’s Lives by Jean Shinoda
Women who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Clean Eating & Healthy Living
When I first started doing yoga, my body and mind felt so good and calm, that I wanted to clean up other areas of my life, like my diet and home beauty and health practices. Clean Food is my absolute favorite cookbook ; every recipe is delicious and nourishing.
The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook by Kate O'Donnell
Aim True by Kathryn Budig
The Home Apothecary by Stacey Dugliss Wesselman
Clean Food by Terry Walters
Aroma Yoga by Tracy Griffiths
The Four Noble Truths of Love by Susan Piver
The Heart of Tantric Sex by Diana Richardson
Nothing to do with yoga, just my favorite book
A friend gave me this book years ago, and I rarely reread books, but I can’t get enough of this one. It’s one those books that never gets old and seems pertinent at every age and phase of life. It is simultaneously about nothing and about everything.
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
"Don't be a mean girl, be a fॐॐking nice girl" has become my mantra!
Whatever the struggle or conflict is, I am usually able to boil it down to, “geez, if we were all just a little bit more fॐॐking nice to each other, this situation wouldn’t be so damn ugly.”
I work at a studio that does not tolerate gossip and mean girls. During my interview, the owner said, "drama is not tolerated here." I have heard this before, but this was the first time that I have worked in an environment of women that truly are kind, supportive and loving to one another. It has opened my mind to great possibilities!
As women, we have the power to be a destructive force in each other's lives, or the power to be supportive, empowering and inspirational to one another. The decision is ours.
When we spit venom and wonder why the sky is falling, we cannot be surprised. When we tear down another woman for having qualities that we are jealous of, we only hurt ourselves.
We are human and it can be easy to fall into judgment, comparison and cruelty. But we are also humans who can change. Step back, become a witness, and observe your thoughts and behaviors. Where do all
these mean and toxic thoughts stem from? We hurt others when we are hurting, and when our cups are full and we are content, we have abundance and offer kindness to others.
Let's start a Kindness Movement! When another woman accomplishes something that you too would like to accomplish, say, "You fॐॐking rock girl, show me your ways."
When another woman looks beautiful, tell her.
When another woman stares you up and down, assume the positive and smile at her.
I used to think that if I was silent while others gossiped and tore a woman apart, that I was innocent. I no longer see it that way and feel that, "Silence is the accomplice to injustice" (Ayaan Hirsi Ali).
Lets speak up, defend and support each other.
Don't be a mean girl, be a fॐॐking nice girl. Who's with me? Let's get this ball rolling and support the shit out of each other.