The Textbook of Yoga Psychology
Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul
If you are interested in learning more about the practice, lifestyle and philosophy of yoga, there are limitless sources of information and teachings available as yoga has been around for thousands of years. Here is a short list of some of the best known books that might provide an interesting starting point.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda
A complete manual for the study and practice of yoga and meditation. The classic Sutras (thought-threads), at least 4,000 years old, cover the yogic teachings on ethics, meditation, and physical postures, and provide directions for dealing with situations in daily life. The Sutras are presented here in the original Sanskrit, with translation and commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda, one of the most respected contemporary Yoga masters. Sri Swamiji offers practical advice based on his own experience for mastering the mind and achieving physical, mental and emotional harmony.
Light on Yoga - by B.K.S. Iyengar
The definitive guide to the philosophy and practice of Yoga--the ancient healing discipline for body and mind--by one of its greatest living teachers. Light on Yoga provides complete descriptions and illustrations of all the postures. Many yoga classes are now referred to as Iyengar style yoga because they are based on his teachings.
Bhagavad Gita - There are many translations, all slightly different, each with different commentary. Choose the one that best speaks to you.
An ancient and classic Indian text in the form of an epic poem tells the story of the prince Arjuna who faces waging war against his own family. Krishna, Arjuna's spiritual guide, teaches him about his own nature, leading Arjuna to supreme wisdom and freedom. The Gita talks about the paths of knowledge, devotion, action and meditation. It is the seed for all Hindu systems of philosophy and religion. Gandi used the Gita as a handbook for his life. The book is a devotional scripture, a philosophical text, a guide to life and inspirational reading.
Autobiography of a Yoga - by Pranahama Yogananda
This autobiography provides a profound introduction to the science of yoga and meditation. Written with candor, eloquence and wit, Yogananda tells the story of his life from his remarkable childhood to his journey through India searching for a teacher, encountering saints and sages, training with a yoga master and coming to America to teach. The author writes about his encounters with Gandhi, Luther Burbank, and other celebrated spiritual personalities. He talks about ordinary daily life as well as extraordinary events. This book has been a best-seller for more than 60 years. It is well-written, interesting and inspiring.
Jivamukti Yoga - Practices for Liberating the Body and Soul
The Art of Yoga - both by Sharon Gannon and David Life
Sharon and David are the founders of Jivamukti Yoga. Any student of yoga practicing in a class with a Jivamukti trained teacher ought to read these books. They are a great way to learn about what makes Jivamukti different and what the foundations of this style of yoga are based upon. They include photographs of the various asana poses, bits of spiritual thought, and the basic world views of these two amazing teachers.
The Hatha Yoga Pradipica - by Svatmarama
Written in the 15th century by an Indian yogi drawing upon his life experience and now lost ancient texts, the Padipica is a classic work intended to be a guide to you, the yoga student. It has been called the closest thing to a 'source code' that exists for a yogi.
The Diamond Cutter by Geshe Michael Roach
A unique combination of ancient and contemporary wisdom from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, The Diamond Cutter presents readers with empowering strategies for success in their work and personal lives.
The Garden by Geshe Michael Roach
Centuries of Tibetan Buddhist wisdom are brought to life through a parable in which a young man is brought into a mystical garden by a beautiful embodiment of Wisdom. The nameless seeker lured to the garden meets the dominant historical figures who have contributed fundamental teachings to Tibetan Buddhism, such as Tsong Khapa, the first Dalai Lama, and Master Kamalashila.
There are many more books and materials available on amazon.com or in bookstores, Amazon.com has recommended reading lists on the subect of specially those such as the boutique at the Jivamukti center, or at East West Books on 5th Avenue, between 13th and 14th Streets in Manhattan (www.eastwestnyc.com). Both shops also have a nice cafe area where you can sit and read. Sometimes, the best thing to do is browse through the shelves in a store like this and see what strikes your interest and follow that direction. The possibilities are endless.