by Lauren Cap: Reading is an exploratory learning tool that can teach, heal, and enlighten…
Novels can send a person on an adventure and travel back in time, whereas scientific books, essays, or journals relay factual information in particular areas of study. Spiritual or religious works touch at the depths of the soul delivering instructive ways to find peace in times of need. Reading materials of any kind offer the possibility to escape and most importantly broaden one’s scope of knowledge.
Teaching yoga is a constant learning experience and requires years of commitment. In this field, information constantly evolves and new material arises. It is the responsibility of the teacher to stay current with this ever-changing industry.
Studying yogic philosophy and refining anatomy skills sharpens vocabulary and keeps the class fresh and inspiring. The human body is an intricate field to dive into. Connecting the lines between the body’s anatomy and how it translates to yoga postures will benefit an instructor’s personal practice and each individual they teach. Studying anatomical resources is essential for private lessons, personal practice, and questions concerning a student’s body that may arise before or after class.
There are many spirituality relevant books that provide insight into the origins of yoga, in order to obtain a firm grasp on the subject. Although these books offer all of the information needed to teach a spiritually inspired class, the instructor must live their spirituality to discover authenticity. Genuine character and experience will always shine through when a person is teaching.
Just starting a yoga journey and want some inspiration? Or are you a seasoned teacher looking to refresh? It is never too early to start and never too late to brush up. Here are 15 books for yoga teachers.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Translation and Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidnananda-Sri Swami Satchidnananda thoroughly explains each yoga sutra while holding true to the essence of the past. This is an excellent book for yoga practitioners looking to transform their lives by achieving harmony physically, emotionally, and mentally.
The Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele– Deborah Adele discusses yoga’s 10 ethical guidelines in an approachable and comprehensive way. She starts with the first five yamas, which are nonviolence, truthfulness, not stealing, nonexcess, and nonpossessiveness followed by the last five niyamas, purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender. Adele uses real life scenarios to blend it all together for assistance with everyday challenges.
The Heart of Yoga Developing a Personal Practice by T.K.V. Desikachar– Based on Krishnamacharys’s concept of viniyoga, Desikachar discusses a practical approach to these teachings. He explains that yoga is adaptable to each individual’s needs.
Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar– Light on Yoga is a handbook for all yoga teachers and acts as a guide to the philosophy and practice of yoga. This text provides descriptions and illustrations of all yoga poses and yogic breathing exercises.
The Bhagavad Gita by Veda Vyasa, Simon Brodbeck, and translation by Juan Mascaró’s. This spiritual work examines the conversation between god Krishna and the warrior Arjuna during the battle between the Pandava and Kaurava armies. Krishna gives spiritual enlightenment to Arjuna who ends up realizing that the true battle he is fighting is for his own soul. The Bhagavad Gita is an inspiring Hundu text that serves as a guide for overall well-being.
Meta Anatomy by Kristin Leal– Leal’s humorous approach to the intricacies of the human body is captivating and accessible to everyone. Understanding joints, bones, spine, nervous system and the breath has never been easier as she cleverly combines yogic philosophy and anatomy.
The Key Muscles of Yoga by Ray Long– A colorful and beautifully illustrated anatomy book that shows the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in action in almost all yoga postures. This book discusses the key muscles used in a hatha yoga practice with descriptions of agonists, antagonists, and synergist muscles that are affected in each pose.
Trail Guide to the Body Revised 5th Edition by Andrew Biel– This is one of the most informative anatomy books out there. Biel provides detailed descriptions of directions of movement, palpations, muscles, and structural anatomy. This book is excellent for anyone studying bodywork.
Yoga Anatomy- 2nd Edition by Leslie Kaminoff– Leslie Kaminoff is an internationally renowned specialist with over 36 years of experience and expertise in yoga and breath anatomy. Linking the spine, bones, muscles, body positions, and breath all together with colorful illustrations and in depth information.
The Role Model A step by step guide to erase pain, improve mobility, and live better in your body by Jill Miller. Miller provides instructions for self-massage using The Role Model therapy balls that are easy to use at home. The descriptions and images of muscles, fascia, and bones help reference where the practitioner is targeting the balls. There are also beautifully written personal essays of how The Role Model method has changed lives dramatically, making it hard to put down. This is a book for not only self-myofascial release but also inspiration on how to heal the body as a whole.
The Endless Web by R. Louis Schultz, PHD and Rosemary Feitis, DO– This book is a clear and engaging guide to understanding the fascia anatomy systems in the body. Schultz defines the role of myofascia in the body and how gentle manipulation of that fascia and the therapeutic aspects of that work will help with everyday living.
Anatomy Trains by Thomas W. Meyers– This book discusses the fascial and myofascial linkages of the whole body. Meyers helps the reader understand the role of fascia in healthy movement and postural distortion. This is an amazing book for body workers and movement specialists of any kind.
Yoga as Medicine The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing by Tim McCall- This book offers tools for yoga postures, breathing techniques, and meditation to help prevent or heal illnesses. He also explores the yoga practice and who can benefit from it. McCall discusses using yoga as an alternate form of medicine or complimentary to surgery/medication.
Yoga for Wellness Healing with the Timeless Teachings of Viniyoga by Gary Kraftsow– Yoga for Wellness provides case studies and yoga sequences for individual ailments with beautiful illustrations as well. Gary Kraftsow offers transformative exercises to help those searching for alternatives to medicine or for overall health.
Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver– Each chapter is a different story with lessons, anecdotes and thoughts on how letting the divine take the lead will change the course of life. Beautifully written and inspiring, this book teaches the reader how to live with purpose, love, and letting the universe take the lead.
Many of these book recommendations are not just for yoga teachers but also for anyone wanting to live better in their bodies. If the reader is in pursuit of a spiritual or physical exploration, the teachings from these amazing authors will ease the journey along the way. Enjoy!