10 Books Every Yogi Should Read
I don’t know about you, but to me there is nothing more fulfilling than cozying up with a good book.
Books have guided me through all the various stages and chapters in my life, and remain a central part of who I am and what I believe in. As I write this, I realize I can say the exact same thing about yoga: yoga has also guided me through various stages in my life, and remains a central part of who I am and what I believe.
If you share my same love for books and yoga, then, dear readers, you are in for a treat!! I have compiled a reading list of my personal top picks in “Yoga Reading.” Disclaimer: not all of these books outwardly deal with yoga. However, all of them deal with what’s at the core of yoga: self-knowing, self-awareness, self-love, inspiration, and spirituality. So brew a cup of tea, put on your comfiest pj’s, and let’s do this!!
Just click on the image to purchase any of these books.
1. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
If you haven’t heard of this book or its author, please trust me when I kindly ask that you stop right here and go get this book!! Siddhartha is a game changer. It’s a beautiful story, a quick read, and one that will entirely shift and empower your perspective.
“In the end these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you live?
How deeply did you let go?”
2. The Alchemist by Pablo Coelho
Another life-changing read, this book will inspire you to think from an entirely new and uplifted point of view. It’s a story about a boy on his journey of self-realization, and the lessons it contains are things I take with me everywhere I go.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure…. And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
3. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Nuggets of spiritual gold are woven throughout this beloved book in the form of a wise man sharing his teachings with the townspeople about life. Here’s one of countless beautiful quotes: “The timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness. And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.”
4. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
1. Be impeccable with your word (speak with integrity and say only what you mean)
2. Don’t take anything personally (let go of your ego)
3. Don’t make assumptions (it takes bravery, but you have to ask questions and communicate clearly)
4. Always do your best (if you do your best, there’s no room for regret)
5. The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
This is one of those books that you’ll pick up and simply devour. It’s got a gripping, adventurous storyline that’s chock-full of spiritual tidbits called “insights.” There are a total of nine insights, so I’ll share the first one as an example:
Insight #1. Meaningful Coincidences: we are at a point in the developmental history of human consciousness where development will accelerate. The major evidence for this is the increased number of meaningful coincidences people are noticing in their lives.
6. Living the Wisdom of the Tao by Dr. Wayne Dyer
Dr. Wayne Dyer is a self-help author and motivational speaker. I’ve had the honor of attending many of his conferences, and I can say that his insightful and inspirational writing is truly unparalleled. (He also created and stars in the movie The Shift, which I highly recommend.) Living the Wisdom breaks down the Tao Te Ching, a Chinese classic text on living with austerity into easy to understand concepts that bring peace, comfort, and inspiration.
7. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
As a yoga instructor, I am often asked which book I recommend to someone newly beginning his or her personal journey inward. The Power of Now is my answer to that. But whether you’re newly beginning, or well on your path, this book captivates your soul through speaking in simple truths. An absolute must-read!
8. Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein
Here is an amazing woman who at such a young age has accomplished so much. She provides an open and honest account of her struggle with addiction that she overcame through a serious commitment to spirituality. Her raw authenticity is inspiring in itself, and her story is not just an autobiography—it’s a map of how to navigate through your own journey of self-discovery.
9. One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant
The subtitle to this book is “40 Days and 40 Nights Towards Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth.” It’s essentially an inspirational self-help book and a personal journal hybrid. Iyanla challenges you to read her daily lessons filled with ah-ha moment insights and motivational messages, and then write responses to her journal prompts. This will take you on an amazing journey of introspection and deep reflection.
10. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
This book!! This book will reignite your “anything is possible” flame. Paramahansa Yogananda was an Indian yogi and guru responsible for bringing meditation to the United States in the early part of the 20th century. He also founded Kriya Yoga, and he wrote this book about his life, giving detailed accounts of the many miraculous occurrences that brought about his own spiritual awakening. This is one of the most moving stories I have ever read.
There you have it, folks! This is just the tip of the ‘spiritual reading section’ iceberg, but a well-rounded offering for all your yogi reading needs. One of my favorite parts about reading a good book is sharing it with others, so thank you for allowing me to share my favorites with you! In return, I would LOVE to hear your own favorites in the comments below. Happy reading!!