Required Reading for Every Aspiring Yogi
Yogis and historians have yet to come to a conclusion on the exact details of yoga's history, but what we do know is that yoga originated over 5000 years ago in India and is one of the oldest sciences that exists today. That's right! It's science. As you'd imagine, quite a bit of literature on yoga has been released in the last 5000 years. How do we know which one to study from as we begin our path of yogic living? From the Vedas and Patanjali to modern day works, choosing yogic texts can be a bit overwhelming.
Here are some of my favorites:
Fire of Love by Aadil Palkhivala
"For Students of Life and Teachers of Yoga." Every page in this masterful work is dripping with knowledge and yogic goodness. Not only does Aadil share insights on yoga as a lifestyle practice, he also shares the information in a way that modern day yogis can understand. Fire of Love is more than just a book - it is a manual for purposeful living.
The Sunlit Path by The Mother
The Mother is at the top of my list for most inspirational women - ever. If I could have anyone as my teacher, it'd be her. Literally every word in this book touches my soul in some kind of way, making me want to raise my hands to the sky and shout, "YES!" The Sunlit Path is a collection of The Mother's transcripts and conversations about life and yoga. Her work was so ahead of her time and speaks to the modern day yogi with clarity and compassion. If the yogic path is for you, so is this book.
Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar
If you are looking for a deeper look into yoga asana, BKS Iyengar's definitive work, Light on Yoga, is your new guide. In this text, Iyengar shares vital yogic philosophy, complete descriptions and illustrations of yoga positions, and breathing exercises. This book covers all of the foundational postures and offers inspiration for your practice. Some of those poses Iyengar displays will have you questioning what the human body can really do - I mean, really. Some of them are totally crazy!
These are just a few of my favorite texts I've collected over the years. A few others worth mentioning are The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda, Be Here Now by Ram Dass, and The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. All of these texts include absolutely essential wisdom that will help you bring your yoga off the mat and transform your practice into a lifestyle. What is on your yoga reading list? I'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments below! If you're curious about other texts to add to your yogic library, ask your teachers! We all have different tastes and there may be some gem unique to your tradition that might not show up on the Best Seller list on Amazon.
Keep reading yogis. See ya on the mat!