Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Yoga Reading List

Part of yoga practice is study.We can effectively improve our understanding our who we are, what we are doing here, and why and how to practice yoga as we read or hear the teachings of masters.

I leave it up to you to determine who is a master, guru, or sage. Whether the texts are religious, philosophical, narrative or mythic, with the same awareness and sensitivity we practice in yoga, we can understand and resonate with the message and open ourselves up to higher learning. This deeper knowledge will invariably affect our yoga practice and our practice of every-day living.

Here are just a few of my favorite yoga and philosophical texts that I think you may enjoy reading.

The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice

by T.K.V Desikachar

I love this book. For me, this book has everything in there in an understandable and concise manner. The son of Krishnamacharia who is essentially the father of most of the yoga practiced in the west, Desikachar is an amazing source of knowledge, quoting the teachings of his father. In this book Desikachar talks explores the fundamental yoga philosophy, technique, and considerations concerning practicing yoga in a conscious, safe, and informed way. Plus, he offers his complete translation of the Yoga Sutras with commentary in the back of the book. This is number 1 in my yoga reference library.

Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living by Dona Farhi

This is another one of my favorite books. I'm here to say that not all great yogis are great writers. This one is. Not only is Dona Farhi an internationally recognized master teacher, but she is also the author of several books, all of which are wonderful. In this book, she offers light onto some of the basic tenets of yoga philosophy as stated in the yoga sutras in a way that is completely approachable to modern-day mentality. It's less of a how-to and more of narrative/expose. Great book.

Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann

This book is more of a how-to with pictures and diagrams and the whole bit, offered by one of the most qualified teachers in the country. In this book, he has very detailed information about poses, meditation, and pranayama. It even lists a few yoga routines in the appendix of the book. I teach yoga as an adjunct faculty professor at Westminster College and this is one of the books I require for that course because of it varied and detailed information.

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

I hope that you've read this book in the past. It's a very rich adult book that also appeals to kids. There is so much good stuff in here about valuing what matters most in life and how to care for those things that you have, even if they seem difficult and challenging. It is a book that I will read over and over again throughout my life. If you haven't read it in a while (or even if you have) check out this book. It's a great way of looking at those things that matter most in life. Yoga is really trying to create a practice that does the same thing.

If you read one or all of these books and still find yourself hungry to learn more about yoga or are interested in our yoga immersion and teacher training, please consider attending Prana Yoga's Yoga Immersion and Teacher Training this fall, beginning in September. You can find the details below.

Also if you have another book you'd recommend, please comment for others to see.


kathleen said...

Thank you, this is just what I've been looking for!

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Kristin said...

Thanks, Scott! I've actually been meaning to ask you for a book recommendation for a friend in Philadelphia who's a physical therapist. Clients ask him all the time about which yoga poses they can and can't do and he doesn't know what to tell them. His boss isn't open to a yoga in-service, so he's looking for a book that shows the poses and maybe talks a bit about proper alignment. Thoughts?

I'm back in Salt Lake for the summer next week and can't wait to take a class at your new studio!