There’s more to an advanced yoga practice than complex asanas. An elevated practice combines various yogic concepts including dedication to the 8 Limbed Path and honoring your physical practice. In this article, we explore some of best advanced books for yoginis that focus on the heart of yoga, contain ego-conquering exercises, and help you to live a fully yogic lifestyle. If you’re ready to take your yoga practice to the next level, put on your yoga bra and keep reading.
The first pick on the list is Eyal Shifroni’s 4-book series: Props for Yoga. The collection contains four books that help you elevate your practice with props. The series includes Book 1: A Chair for Yoga, Book 2: Props for Yoga I: Standing Poses, Book 3: Props for Yoga II: Sitting Asanas, and Book 4: Props for Yoga III: inverted Asanas. Each book takes a different approach to the Iyengar method, separating the focus between different styles of asana.
All four books are useful and full of unique, creative ways to adapt poses using straps, blocks, chairs, and the wall. Each book is a great point of reference for students and instructors alike, providing years of experimenting, learning, and exploring the world of yoga. As well as clear descriptions, each book contains black and white photos to make the asanas easy to understand.
Sarah Power’s Insight Yoga is an advanced yoga book filled will a ton of information, photos, and insights. The book includes Sarah’s refreshing description of meridian theory and how it connects with yoga practice. While the main focus of the book is Yin Yoga, Sarah includes several sequences that pressurize certain meridians to heal the body. Each sequence has both a long and short version so that you can easily fit it into your schedule, regardless of how busy you are. The book finishes with detailed pranayama practices, suggested mindfulness meditations, and basic Buddha Dharma.
Many practitioners find Yoga Mind, Body and Spirit to be an invaluable part of their yoga progression. Written by Donna Farhi, the book explains how to experience yoga more completely, allowing each posture to be improved through seven moving principles. These principles include breath, yield, radiate, center, support, engage, and align. The book includes details on the mechanics of movement, detailed images, and asana sections divided into seated poses, standing poses, arm balances, backbends, restorative poses, and breathing exercises. Whether you’re an advanced student or an instructor, Yoga Mind, Body and Spirit will teach you to look at yoga in a whole new light.
In Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Through Stillness, Erich Schiffman takes a unique approach to yoga. This book has the potential to change the way you do yoga and even the way you to relate to life. An expert in the Iyengar and Desikachar styles, Schiffmann has a gentle and transformative approach to body awareness and alignment. The book contains easy-to-follow asana tutorials, yoga routines and perspective on yoga practice to help you stay centered, calm, and mindful. Schiffmann also covers pranayama, meditation, and meridians to create a comprehensive and advanced book on yoga.
Written by the yoga guru himself, B.K.S Iyengar’s Light on Yoga is a detailed and comprehensive book on bandhas, kriyas, pranayama, asanas, and yoga philosophy. For each movement, Iyengar has written a detailed, step-by-step guide to help you achieve it. Written in 1966, the book has a somewhat ancient feel to it and even the images are slightly blurred. This gives the publication an authentic vibe and feels as though the ideas have been carried through from the origins of yoga. The asanas progress from novice to advanced and finish with yoga sequences and complex asanas for various aliments – something for advanced yoginis to get their teeth into.
Featuring almost 200 yoga poses, Christina Brown’s Yoga Bible teaches you everything you need to know about complex asanas. The step-by-step guide is beautifully illustrated, helping you to move into each pose with ease. And it doesn’t stop there. Christina explains the gaze, build-up asanas, counter poses, how to lighten the movement and what effects it has on the body and mind. There’s also a section on yoga philosophy and how to get the most out of your practice.
Be Here Now by Ram Dass is a true spiritual classic. According to the author, the book is not meant to be read but to be experienced. In the publication, Dass explains the story of his spiritual awakening and journey towards enlightenment. He also shares several practice exercises such as pranayama and visualizations that you can incorporate into your practice or teaching. If you’re an advanced yogini looking to take your spiritual yoga practice to the next level, Be Here Now is the book for you.
We’re ending this list with a challenging, but worthwhile, read. Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi tells his life story from growing up in India to his arrival in America as a spiritual speaker and teacher. No matter how advanced you are, this book will probably take you some time. However, it’s well worth the read if you’ve got the patience. Yogananda’s story is inspiring in itself, but you’ll also learn about the history of yoga and its beginnings in the West.
So, there you have it – the best advanced books for yoginis. If you’re looking to take your practice to the next level, put on your yoga top and get stuck into the publications above. You won’t be disappointed!