The 40 Best Books for Yoga Teachers: A Comprehensive Reading List

As a yoga teacher, your quest for knowledge and personal growth is an ongoing journey beyond your initial teacher training. With an abundance of literature available on yoga philosophy, anatomy, practice, and teaching methodologies, it can be challenging to determine which books deserve a spot on your bookshelf. To help guide you in pursuing continued education, we’ve curated a comprehensive list of the 40 best books for yoga teachers. These hand-picked yoga teacher training books cover various topics, from ancient texts and yogic philosophy to modern adaptations and practical teaching resources.

By exploring these essential works, you’ll deepen your understanding of yoga’s rich history and diverse practices, elevate your teaching skills, and foster your personal growth on this transformative path. Whether you’re a seasoned yoga instructor or a newly certified teacher, these favourite books will inspire and enlighten you on your yoga journey.

Best Books for Yoga Teachers - Table of Contents

"The Bhagavad Gita" translated by Eknath Easwaran

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The Bhagavad Gita

A staple of yoga teacher training books, “The Bhagavad Gita,” translated by Eknath Easwaran, offers a beautifully rendered, accessible interpretation of this ancient Indian spiritual text.

Often considered the cornerstone of Hindu philosophy and a guide to self-realization, the Bhagavad Gita explores the nature of reality, the meaning of life, and the path to spiritual awakening.

Easwaran’s translation captures the essence of this timeless wisdom, making it accessible to modern readers while preserving its profound insights. This translation of the Bhagavad Gita is an essential read for yoga teachers and practitioners seeking to deepen their understanding of yoga philosophy and apply its teachings in daily life.

"Light on Yoga" by B.K.S. Iyengar

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Light on Yoga

“Light on Yoga” by B.K.S. Iyengar is a seminal work in the world of yoga literature and a must-read book for yoga teachers and practitioners alike.

Often referred to as the “bible of yoga,” this comprehensive guide provides detailed descriptions and illustrations of hundreds of yoga poses and their benefits and variations. In addition, Iyengar’s insightful teachings on philosophy, breath control, and meditation make this book an invaluable resource for deepening one’s understanding and practice of yoga.

With its emphasis on alignment and precision, “Light on Yoga” has become a classic reference, inspiring generations of yoga students and teachers worldwide. Light on Yoga was Iyengar’s First Book and an international bestseller—a definite addition to your yoga teacher training books.

"Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual" by David Swenson

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Ashtanga Yoga The Practice Manual

“Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual” by David Swenson is a definitive guide to the Ashtanga Yoga system, designed for practitioners and teachers of all levels.

This comprehensive manual offers detailed instructions, photographs, and practical tips for the primary and intermediate series of Ashtanga Yoga, along with insights into this dynamic practice’s philosophy, history, and essential elements. Swenson’s easy-to-follow explanations and modification emphasis make this book accessible to beginners and seasoned practitioners.

“Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual” is an invaluable book for teachers and students looking to deepen their understanding and mastery of this rigorous and transformative style of yoga.

*This book is featured in Best Books on Ashtanga Yoga*

"The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The Philosophy and Practice of Yin Yoga" by Bernie Clark (Second Edition)

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The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga

The Philosophy and Practice of Yin Yoga” by Bernie Clark. (Second Edition) This book is a comprehensive resource and Yin Yoga Teacher Training textbook for both yoga instructors and yoga practitioners seeking to explore the transformative power of Yin Yoga.

It delves into this unique practice’s history, philosophy, and benefits while offering detailed instructions for a wide range of Yin Yoga poses and sequences.

Clark’s accessible writing style and in-depth knowledge make this guide essential for those looking to deepen their understanding of Yin Yoga, enhance their yoga practice, and balance their body, mind, and spirit.

"The Key Muscles of Yoga" by Ray Long

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The Key Muscles of Yoga

“The Key Muscles of Yoga” by Ray Long is an essential resource for yoga teachers and practitioners seeking to deepen their understanding of the human body’s biomechanics during yoga practice.

The Key Muscles of Yoga is almost always on a list of yoga teacher training books. This comprehensive guide combines detailed illustrations, scientific explanations, and practical insights to help readers visualize and engage the key muscles in various yoga poses.

Long’s expertise as an orthopedic surgeon and his passion for yoga blend seamlessly in this informative book, empowering practitioners to practice safely, effectively, and with a greater awareness of their body’s capabilities. In addition, this invaluable resource is perfect for enhancing one’s personal practice and teaching skills.

"The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga" by Srivatsa Ramaswami and Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

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The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga

The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga is an essential resource for yoga teachers and practitioners seeking to deepen their understanding of Vinyasa Yoga.

This comprehensive guide provides detailed instructions, illustrations, and insights into the philosophy and practice of this dynamic style of yoga. With a strong emphasis on breath-synchronized movement, the book offers a wealth of sequences and poses designed to build strength, flexibility, and balance.

Srivatsa Ramaswami and Tirumalai Krishnamacharya expertise and accessible writing style make this book invaluable for those looking to enhance their personal practice, create innovative Vinyasa sequences, and inspire their students on the mat.

"The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice" by Deborah Adele

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The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice

Another staple of yoga teacher training books, “The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice” by Deborah Adele is a thought-provoking guide to the foundational ethical principles of yoga.

Delving into the ten moral precepts—five yamas (restraints) and five niyamas (observances)—this book offers practical insights, reflections, and exercises to help yoga teachers and practitioners incorporate these principles into daily life. In addition,

Adele’s accessible writing style and real-life examples make these ancient teachings relevant and transformative for modern readers. This insightful book is an essential resource for Yoga Teachers and students looking to deepen their understanding of yoga’s ethical dimensions and cultivate a more mindful, compassionate, and balanced life.

"Roots of Yoga" by James Mallinson and Mark Singleton

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Roots of Yoga

“Roots of Yoga” is a comprehensive collection of translations of primary yogic texts from various periods of history, providing a unique insight into the origins and evolution of yoga.

Compiled by scholars James Mallinson and Mark Singleton, this book offers readers an in-depth understanding of yoga’s diverse practices, philosophies, and goals throughout the ages.

With its exploration of various traditions and styles, “Roots of Yoga” is an invaluable resource for yoga teachers and practitioners looking to deepen their knowledge of this transformative discipline’s rich history and foundations.

"Tao Te Ching" by Lao Tzu

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Tao Te Ching

The “Tao Te Ching,” attributed to the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, is a foundational text in studying Taoism and a revered work of spiritual wisdom.

This Book, comprising 81 short, poetic chapters, offers profound insights into the nature of the Tao—the guiding principle of the universe—and how to align oneself with its harmonious flow.

Although not explicitly a yoga text, the “Tao Te Ching” contains valuable teachings on simplicity, humility, and balance that resonate with yoga practitioners and teachers. This timeless classic is an inspiring guide for those seeking self-awareness, inner peace, and spiritual growth.

"The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali: A New Translation with Commentary" by Chip Hartranft

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The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali: A New Translation with Commentary

A list of yoga teacher training books is not complete without “The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali: A New Translation with Commentary” by Chip Hartranft presents a fresh and accessible interpretation of Patanjali’s ancient yogic text.

This essential work for yoga teachers and practitioners delves into the foundational principles of yoga philosophy, detailing the eight-limbed path and offering guidance on meditation, ethical living, and spiritual growth.

Hartranft’s clear and concise translation, paired with his insightful commentary, allows readers to better understand and apply the profound wisdom of the Yoga Sutras to their own practice and teaching. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to deepen their connection to the timeless teachings of yoga.

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

“The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice” by T.K.V. Desikachar.  Written by the son of influential yoga teacher Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, this Book provides a practical approach to developing a personal practice while respecting yoga principles.

"Yoga Sutras of Patanjali" by Sri Swami Satchidananda

If Chips Hartanft translation is unavailable for your collection of yoga teacher training books, “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” by Sri Swami Satchidananda is an excellent resource for understanding yoga philosophy.  This translation and commentary offer insights into Patanjali’s ancient teachings, making it an essential read for yoga instructors and practitioners.

"Hatha Yoga Pradipika" translated by Swami Muktibodhananda

“Hatha Yoga Pradipika” translated by Swami Muktibodhananda. This foundational text explores the physical postures and practices of yoga, making it an essential resource for teachers and practitioners seeking to deepen their understanding of yoga practice.

"Yoga Anatomy" by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews

“Yoga Anatomy” by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews. An indispensable book for yoga teachers, this work covers the anatomical aspects of yoga poses and breathing exercises, helping instructors develop a deeper understanding of the human body and its relationship to yoga—a great add to the Anatomy Section of your Yoga Teaching Training Books Collection.

"The Business of Teaching Yoga" by Amy Ippolit

“The Business of Teaching Yoga” by Amy Ippolit. This practical guide helps new teachers and experienced yoga instructors navigate the essential aspects of running a successful yoga business, including marketing, social media, and managing a yoga studio—a great addition to your yoga teacher training books.

"Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda

“Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda. This spiritual memoir offers insight into the life and experiences of Paramahansa Yogananda, a pioneer in bringing yoga to the Western world, inspiring yoga teachers and practitioners alike.

"The Yoga Tradition" by Georg Feuerstein

“The Yoga Tradition” by Georg Feuerstein. A comprehensive exploration of the history and philosophy of yoga, this Book covers various styles and traditions, making it an essential read for those looking to expand their knowledge of yoga’s rich history.

"The Wisdom of Yoga" by Stephen Cope

“The Wisdom of Yoga” by Stephen Cope. In this modern examination of yoga philosophy, Cope explores how ancient wisdom can be applied to everyday life, making it a great resource for yoga teachers and students.

"Yoga Sequencing" by Mark Stephens

“Yoga Sequencing” by Mark Stephens. A comprehensive guide for yoga teachers, this Book covers designing and sequencing practical classes catering to different body types and abilities, making it an invaluable resource for instructors.

"Yoga and the Quest for the True Self" by Stephen Cope

“Yoga and the Quest for the True Self” by Stephen Cope. A comprehensive guide for yoga teachers, this Book covers designing and sequencing practical classes catering to different body types and abilities, making it an invaluable resource for instructors.

"The Secret Power of Yoga" by Nischala Joy Devi

Devi’s interpretation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras offers a unique, feminine perspective, focusing on the heart-centred aspects of yoga and making it a valuable resource for teachers.

"The Yoga of Breath" by Richard Rosen

An essential book for understanding the importance of pranayama in yoga practice, Rosen offers practical advice and exercises for incorporating breathwork into your teaching and own practice, making it a valuable resource for both teachers and practitioners.

"The Living Gita" by Sri Swami Satchidananda

“The Living Gita” by Sri Swami Satchidananda. This accessible translation and commentary on the Bhagavad Gita offer insight into yoga philosophy and its application to daily life, making it an excellent resource for teachers and students seeking to deepen their understanding of these teachings.

"Yoga Nidra" by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

“Yoga Nidra” By Swami Satyananda Saraswati​. A comprehensive guide to the practice of Yoga Nidra, this great Book provides step-by-step instructions for achieving deep relaxation and self-awareness, making it an essential resource for yoga teachers and practitioners alike.

"The Spirit of the Yoga Sutras" by Nischala Joy Devi.

This Book explores the spiritual aspects of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. In addition, it offers practical ways to integrate these teachings into daily life, making it a valuable resource for yoga instructors and students seeking to deepen their spiritual practice.

"The Path of the Yoga Sutras" by Nicolai Bachman

Bachman’s approachable exploration of the Yoga Sutras emphasizes the practical application of these yogic teachings in everyday life, making it a valuable resource for teachers and practitioners seeking to deepen their understanding of yoga philosophy.

"Restorative Yoga" by Judith Hanson Lasater

This guide to restorative yoga offers detailed instructions for postures and sequences designed to promote deep relaxation, stress relief, and healing, making it an essential resource for yoga instructors and students.

"The Inner Tradition of Yoga" by Michael Stone

Stone’s Book delves into yoga’s ethical and philosophical aspects, exploring how these teachings can inform and enrich our modern lives, making it a thought-provoking read for yoga teachers and practitioners alike.

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

In this inspiring book, Schiffmann shares his yoga journey and offers practical advice for incorporating yoga into daily life, creating a more profound spiritual practice for both teachers and students.

"Teaching Yoga" by Mark Stephens

A comprehensive resource for new and experienced yoga teachers, this Book covers everything from teaching methodology and philosophy to class planning and sequencing, making it an indispensable guide for yoga instructors.

"Yoga: The Iyengar Way" by Silva, Mira, and Shyam Mehta

This beautifully illustrated guide offers clear instructions and photographs for a wide range of Iyengar yoga poses, making it an excellent resource for both teachers and students seeking to deepen their understanding of this style of yoga.

"Yoga Adjustments" by Mark Stephens

Stephens’ practical guide covers the art of giving effective, safe adjustments in yoga classes, a crucial skill for all yoga instructors seeking to enhance their teaching abilities.

"Yoga Body" by Mark Singleton

This fascinating Book examines the history of modern yoga practice, exploring the intersection of traditional Indian practices and Western influences, making it an insightful read for yoga teachers and practitioners alike.

"The Art of Sequencing" by Melody White

White’s Book provides practical tips and techniques for creating effective yoga sequences tailored to various levels and abilities. It is a valuable resource for yoga teachers seeking to enhance their class planning skills.

"The Four Desires" by Rod Stryker

This thought-provoking Book explores the four desires of the human soul, guiding readers through a transformative process to achieve a more fulfilling and meaningful life, both on and off the mat, making it an insightful read for yoga teachers and practitioners.

"Living Your Yoga" by Judith Hanson Lasater

Lasater’s Book offers practical wisdom for integrating yoga principles into daily life, helping teachers and practitioners cultivate mindfulness, compassion, and self-awareness, making it an essential resource for those seeking to deepen their practice.

"Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hanh

This inspiring Book by renowned mindfulness teacher Thich Nhat Hanh offers guidance on cultivating peace and happiness through simple, everyday practices, making it a great addition to any yoga teacher’s reading list.

"The Practice of Raja Yoga" by Swami Rama

“The Practice of Raja Yoga” by Swami Rama. This comprehensive guide covers the eight limbs of yoga. In addition, it offers practical advice for incorporating these teachings into your yoga practice and teaching, making it an excellent resource for yoga instructors and practitioners.

"The Heart of Meditation" by Sally Kempton

Kempton’s Book offers a practical approach to meditation and mindfulness, providing yoga teachers with valuable tools for deepening their practice and guiding students in their spiritual journey, making it an essential read for those seeking to enhance their teaching skills.

"The Four Desires" by Rod Stryker

This thought-provoking Book explores the four desires of the human soul, guiding readers through a transformative process to achieve a more fulfilling and meaningful life, both on and off the mat, making it an insightful read for yoga teachers and practitioners.

The Best Books for Yoga Teachers

This carefully curated list of 40 best books for yoga teachers offers a wealth of knowledge, insights, and inspiration for yoga teachers at every stage of their journey. These books cover various subjects, from ancient wisdom and foundational philosophy to modern interpretations and practical teaching resources. Studying these important books will deepen your understanding of yoga and help you grow as an instructor. As you explore these influential works, you’ll enhance your teaching skills and enrich your personal practice, ultimately fostering your growth in this transformative discipline. Embrace the opportunity to learn from these invaluable resources and continue to inspire your students and yourself through your shared passion for yoga.

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