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> 6 Yoga Books to Jump-start Your Practice in the New Year copy

6 Yoga Books to Jump-start Your Practice in the New Year copy

Posted on 11/24/2015 by Kulae

Looking to invigorate your yoga practice? Or maybe you’re new to yoga and looking for some advice on how to start. Or perhaps you’re an old pro and you just need a little motivation to reconnect to the essence of your practice. Wherever you are on your yoga journey, check out these six books for some inspiration.

1. Richard Hittleman 28 Day Yoga 

Richard Hittleman’s classic book is the first one I picked up when I was looking to begin practicing yoga. Although it was originally published in 1969, the book feels fresh and relevant. In every chapter Hittleman guides you through 38 simple exercises with plenty of photos to illustrate the poses. Each day builds on the day before, and you will begin to notice your flexibility and strength increasing fairly quickly. Different topics such as the history of yoga, breathing, nutrition and relaxation are discussed, and at the end of the book Hittleman provides three daily routines to choose from to continue your yoga practice at home. 

2. Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar 

Labeled as “the definitive guide to the philosophy and practice of yoga”, this book is like the bible of modern yoga, written by B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the world’s premier yoga instructors. Iyengar provides in-depth teaching on a myriad of asanas, and provides over 600 photographs to illustrate the postures. He also covers breathing techniques, yoga philosophy, and guides you toward focus and awareness of your body and mind. A list of common ailments and asanas that can provide relief are also included.

3. Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews

Ever wonder about certain poses and what they’re doing for your body? Or how exactly a breathing technique is beneficial? Yoga Anatomy has the answers! This book provides wonderful illustrations to give you in-depth information on the physical effects of yoga. The authors explain how even small alterations of a pose can boost or diminish its effects, which can be especially helpful for more experienced yogis. Good for enhancing your understanding of asanas, and your mind/body awareness. 

4. The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice by T.K.V. Desikachar

Written by the son of Sri T. Krishnamacharya, the father of modern yoga, this book is an account of Krishnamacharya’s philosophy and teaching. Desikachar is considered to be the one of the greatest yoga teachers of all time (not surprising, given his lineage), and in this book he explains how to marry the art and science of yoga. Desikachar gives tips on how to augment poses, benefits of certain asanas, and how to maximize the effects of your practice. A must-have for anyone interested in a deeper understanding of yoga.

5. Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life by Judith Hanson Laster 

Ready to go beyond the physical practice of yoga, and expand its effects into every area of your life? Lasater guides you through exercises to deepen your understanding of yourself (the good, the bad, and the ugly), your relationships with others, and ultimately the world around you.  If you’re craving a way to use what you learn on the mat in the events of your day-to-day life, or to understand the spiritual side of yoga, then look no further.

6. Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual by David Swenson 

A handy, spiral-bound manual, Ashtanga Yoga is exactly what is says it is- a practical practice guide. There are full routines for beginners and more advanced yogis, and shorter forms available for those who would rather get a 15 or 30 minute chunk in here and there. Options to modify poses are available so the reader can tailor their practice to their skill level. Not much yoga theory is included, but the photographs are beautiful, and the spiral binding makes using the book a breeze.

About the Author:

Anne Prowant
Writer, Copy Editor

With a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University, Anne has been writing and editing content for online publications since 2008. 

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