While taking up yoga is exciting, attending your first class can be a little daunting. With so many new words, phrases and poses being thrown around, you may start to feel overwhelmed. Thankfully, there are a number of yoga books designed purely for this purpose. In this article, we explore the best yoga books for beginners to help you learn the basics from the comfort of your own home. Before long, you’ll be able to pull on your yoga pants and strut into the studio with confidence.
Before we start, let’s discuss the two types of yoga books out there. The first type teaches the physical movement of yoga and how to perform different poses. The second type of yoga book focusses on the spiritual side of yoga. These books delve into the deeper philosophical and spiritual underpinnings of the practice. In this list, we explore both types of book.
The first book on the list is ‘Mindfulness Yoga: The Awakened Union of Breath, Body, and Mind’ by Frank Jude Boccio. This popular book was written with both beginners and experts in mind. Essentially, the author introduces readers to mindfulness yoga – a popular form of yoga that incorporates the Buddha’s teachings. In addition to the spiritual teachings, mindfulness yoga also includes a number of other mindfulness techniques. Alongside the physical postures, mindfulness yoga focuses on the emotional and spiritual side of yoga. In Western culture, this side of the practice is often overlooked. Instead, many Westerners only consider physical postures to be important. Unlike other books on mindfulness yoga, this read presents the two sides of yoga as a single practice. Following this method will not only free the mind and spirit, but it will also make the physical body healthier. If you have an interest in yoga, meditation, or Buddhism, this book is ideal. In addition to teaching the fundamentals, it will help you to bring these three separate ideas together in one practice.
Light on Yoga is one of the most popular books on the philosophy and practice of yoga – and for good reason! Written by yoga guru B.K.S Iyengar, the book helps readers to attain physical, mental, and spiritual well-being through the practice of yoga. Starting with the basics and working up, this book is great for both beginners and proficient yogis. Light on Yoga is divided into three sections. The first part is an introduction to yoga and the history of the practice. The second part of the book looks at yoga poses in great detail. As well as a detailed description, the book contains photographs of the postures to help your form. These, along with the clear instructions, will help new yogis to practice the poses correctly. To reduce the risk of injury, Iyengar explains the precautions associated with each asana. The final part of the book explores pranayama – a yogic breathing technique. In addition to teaching the technique, the book details the precautions, effects, and various types of pranayama.
Living Your Yoga teaches beginners that they do not need to begin a transformational journey to benefit from the practice. Written by Judith Hanson Lasater, Living Your Yoga expands the meaning of yoga and explains how it can be a lifestyle. For some people, yoga is about much more than just postures and breathing techniques; instead, yoga is a daily practice for health and happiness. According to Lasater, the book is inspired by the teachings of the Yoga Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita. Through a course of practices, it helps to guide the reader in expanding their self-awareness. Additionally, it can improve the reader’s relationship with their friends and family and their ability to be heard in the world around them.
Written by influential yoga teacher Jasmine Tarkeshi, Yoga Body and Mind Handbook teaches the basics of yoga. With over 20 years teaching experience, Tarkeshi believes that with proper teaching, anyone can reap the benefits of the practice. This book is written with beginners in mind. Essentially, it’s the perfect cheat sheet to the key yoga poses, mindful meditations, and breathing techniques. Offering a range of long and short yoga routines, the easy-to-follow guide is perfect for those who want to learn the basics.
The Key Muscles of Yoga by Ray Long takes a scientific approach to explain yoga. The first book of the series explains which key muscles and used in hatha yoga, and how each of them is used. Long uses colourful, 3D illustrations to teach readers about the major muscles, tendons, and ligaments. In addition to explaining the benefits of hatha yoga, he uses anatomical terminology to explain how the muscles work together for each posture.
The Key Poses of Yoga is the second volume of Ray Long’s series. In this book, Long teaches readers the key yoga poses and explains how to practice them. He also helps the reader to influence their unconscious movement through their conscious actions. This helps the reader to unlock the deeper benefits of yoga as they learn to engage an increasing number of muscle groups during their practice. Bringing together both the science and art of yoga poses, this book helps beginners to get the most from the practice.
Whether you’re hoping to learn about the physical or spiritual side of yoga, the best yoga books for beginners will not disappoint. Before getting started, make sure you’ve got the right gear. If you’re practising at home, change into a comfortable yoga top and set the scene with a candle and a relaxing soundtrack.