As yoga teachers we are often investing our time and money on ongoing learning. I have bought many a yoga book over the years – some great, some not so great. But f you are only adding one book to your library this year I recommend you give Yoga Mythsconsideration.
A Goldilocks kind of book. Not too heavy & intense, not too light & vague
Yoga Myths is written by one of the yoga world’s most well respected voices, Judith Hanson Lasater. It is a Goldilocks kind of book – not too heavy & intense, not too light & vague. Just right there in the middle with a good, balanced mix of yoga manual, anatomy resource and yoga study.
I am always keen to learn more and nurture my teaching skills and understanding. I have long searched for a relatable book covering anatomical detail and pose mechanics.
Yoga Myths describes yoga poses with accurate anatomical information but without the overwhelming detail that is always shown in a dedicated anatomy book.
I love how it breaks down common areas of the body that we all incorporate in to our yoga sequences. Spine, pelvis, shoulder blades and knees to name a few. It then discusses and illustrates the anatomical and physical forms of poses in each area.
Each chapter focuses on a specific area of the body and is introduced with a personal anecdote. This is followed with a description of why the observations from the anecdote are important. The chapter closes with a suggested practice of the relevant poses. For me, it is the perfect balance.
Also, as a teacher, you will be familiar with some of the commonly used cues and phrases for teaching asana. I know that I am guilty of using terms like ‘tuck your tailbone’ and teaching triangle pose describing the body being sandwiched ‘between two panes of glass’. This book demonstrates and explains in easy terms why some of these descriptions are not always accurate or helpful.
Yoga Myths describes yoga pose mechanics with accurate anatomical information
Each chapter is illustrated further with a series of photos, drawings and easy to understand descriptions.
If you’re looking to spend some time on your yoga studies it’s well worth finding a copy your library or bookstore.
I have not been paid or given a book for this review. It is a completely independent review. However, I am an amazon affiliate and if you choose to purchase this book via this post I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
With schedules changing due to current world events I’ve found myself looking beyond the usual books I refer to on my yoga bookshelf.
This selection of five books is not your usual bundle covering physical poses and sequences. Dip in to yoga asana with props, yoga in day to day life, yoga themes for classes, your yoga business & yoga teacher ethics.
These five really useful yoga books are great options to revisit during stay at home and quarantine days.
This has always been one of my favorite yoga books. I have a very well used copy and will regularly revisit its pages. Nothing about the poses here but lots about how to incorporate yoga into your life – the whole bigger picture of yoga!
Full of personal anecdotes and presented in a down to earth and easy to read way, this book is a must have reference. You can see my more detailed review of Judith’s book here.
With the drastic changes in the yoga teaching industry it is crucial to keep a ‘business’ head as we navigate the new normal.
Although some of the teaching scenarios aren’t relevant right at this moment lots of the other content is super relevant. Teaching, marketing, professional relationships, planning & finances are just some of the topics that are all covered in an easy to digest way. You can see a more detailed review of Amy’s book posted here on yogaskinny.
I’ve been spending time re-reading Donna Farhi’s book as its focus explores the teacher-student relationship. No yoga sequences or poses to be found here but a well written discussion about the ethics of yoga teaching.
She describes various situations between teacher and student and details ‘ethical inquiries’ as a start point to consider further. It’s a useful read for any yoga teacher wanting to learn more about the teacher/student relationship.
All of these books are worth exploring as part of your own yoga study and practice. Not just focusing on the physical practice but providing an opportunity to nurture your learning, improve your teaching and understand your spiritual connection to this wonderful practice.
As I’m an Amazon affiliate I may receive a small commission for any purchase you make from my blog. However, I do recommend you search for these books through secondhand outlets such as eBay and other sellers. I buy almost all of my yoga books used, have never been disappointed and always save money. win-win!!
September is the month to stop buying new and try out secondhand. Check it out on Instagram – #secondhandseptember
So how can you embrace the challenge as a yogi. What can you do to embrace secondhand this month? Nobody needs more stuff and you will be helping the planet too!
First off. Don’t buy it whatever it is you’ve seen whether it be the cute yoga pants or the top of the range yoga mat that’s on sale. Take a breath, walk away and forget .
Do you really need yet another pair of yoga pants? Take a rummage through your closet. Declutter as you go and then you may discover that great pair of pants that you’d long forgotten about.
Get yourself to a thrift store or charity shop. I’ve found three branded yoga tops in thrift stores that I wear regularly. All of them lightly used but still in great condition and just a few dollars each (win-win!)
Try online secondhand markets for yoga clothes on Thredup or eBay.
Look out for secondhand before you commit to brand new.
I’ve always found that yoga is similar to camping. Meaning, newbies are raring to go and in their enthusiasm they buy every conceivable product available. When they realize yoga, or camping, is not for them they’re left with a pile of barely used stuff. Expensive mats, blocks, bolsters and meditation cushions are all redundant. Take a look at eBay and Craigslist to see what barely used (and sometimes never used) yoga props are available on the secondhand market.
The same applies to books. If you love to buy yoga books then go to the secondhand markets of Amazon and eBay. I can’t remember the last time I paid full price for a yoga book. Yoga teacher trainees buy a bunch of classic textbooks for trainings but may not go on to teach or study in more depth. Look out for secondhand before you commit to brand new.
If you are a yogi with lots of stuff then have a declutter session and try swapping out with other yogis.
If your yoga studio has a notice board it may be worth pinning a card to sell or donate those excess things you own.
So, take the challenge. Save money and reuse the stuff you have or give a second life to something secondhand. Save resources, rescue stuff from landfill and help to save our suffering planet.
The time has come for those Summer yoga retreats. Whether your trip is by bus, train or plane there are a number of easy to pack items you need to include in your travel tote alongside that yoga mat.
Essential oil is a great way to ease headaches or tension. I love this calming aromatherapy rollerball oil in lavender to ease tension.
This Origins product packs a minty punch but a tiny amount rubbed in to the temples helps to soothe headaches and relieve travel grogginess.
Make your own tiny travel altar to transport some sage, meditation cards and crystals. This tiny tin is a great way of taking your yoga & meditation practice with you on the go. (or maybe a candle but buy your matches at your destination!)
Don’t Forget your Yoga Retreat Journal
Journal to note down your travel information as well as journal your yoga retreat. This handmade yoga retreat journal is made specifically for a retreat or yoga workshop trip. Dedicated pages for you to note down your itinerary, packing list, contacts and schedule as well as a bunch of separate pages for your notes and thoughts. Totally expandable using a disc system binding it also includes pockets for your receipts & tickets and dedicated envelopes to tuck away your favorite teabag and business cards. Also included is a coordinating bookmark, tags and clips for personal customization. Take a look at this one here on yogaskinny’s sister Etsy store – maycontainpaper.
A turkish towel makes a great, soft scarf/ blanket for traveling. Perfect for chilly planes and folds up super small for toting around! (It’s also very quick drying if used as a beach towel 😉
As well as your digital gadgets, you’re going to need a great paperback to absorb you on your travels. Warrior Won by Meryl Davis Landau is a fiction novel with a spiritual edge. It centers around the main character, Lorna Crawford, facing challenges during pregancy when she learns that there may be something wrong with her baby. Filled with references to authors and practices that many a yogi will be familiar this is a captivating read. It ticks the box as a must read, Summer read for those of us looking for a mindful, contemporary womens novel.
You’ll need to stay hydrated during the course of your trip. Water bottle or tea mug are critical.
Throw in your favorite herbal teas. Choose ginger to settle your stomach and chamomile to aid with sleep (but only if you’re not driving!)
Finally, don’t get so comfortable with your travel goodies that you forget to move! Do some simple twists in your chair, get up to stretch and find a moment to focus on some smooth & deep breathing.
Go gather up your goodies and get set for your yogi travels. Bon voyage!
Please know that I am an affiliate which means that I may make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, from any items you may buy through a link from my website 🙂
The yoga text book of the Gods! If this isn’t on your teaching training book list you probably need to find out why. This. Instant!
Amazing to think that it was first published in 1966 and yet it is still one of the most popular and relevant yoga texts. I bought my copy many years ago when I started teaching and refer to it regularly!
Filled with photographs of a young Mr Iyengar in the yoga poses. Each photographed pose is accompanied by a breakdown of the pose’s sanskrit meaning, a detailed, step by step description of the pose technique and a conclusion describing the effects of the pose.
There are also separate chapters discussing bandhas, pranayama & therapies along with other aspects of yoga. I review Light on Yoga in more detail here.
It’s amazing to think that Light on Yoga was first published in 1966
If you are keen to understand yoga in all its depth then this is a book for you. Not an asana book but a study of the whole of yoga philosophy in the words of Mr Iyengar.
It is a small book of small chapters but it packs a punch with its meaning and insight. Yoga is a vast topic but this book manages to break down and explore those topics with clarity in just a few pages.
It’s the kind of book that you can dip in and out of and use as reference. I love those sort of books!
The Tree of Yoga is broken down into five parts exploring the following:
Part 1 – yoga & life. Covering aspects of love, family, faith & death
If you’re a yogi you’ll love this book. If you’re a yoga teacher you’ll need this book.
This is one Iyengar book that is more of a manual than a yoga text (although there is a section on yoga philosophy). This is a great book describing poses and sequences using the props that Iyengar yoga is synonymous with.
If you are a visual person like me you will find this book to be worth it’s weight in gold. (And that’s a lot because this book is heavy!)
Individual poses are broken down in to there sanskrit meanings, instructions on the one and necessary cautions.
There is a large chapter on the topic of ‘yoga for stress’ which also incorporates a number of restorative yoga poses.
The chapter ‘yoga for ailments’ incorporates pages of yoga sequences to address specific ailments and conditions.
Ok, so not by BKS but, nevertheless, an invaluable book for practitioners and teachers alike which is why I’m including it in this list of Iyengar books.
Written by BKS Iyengar’s daughter, Geeta, this is the classic yoga book for women.
Wherever you are on your female journey, Geeta discusses the milestones in a woman’s life – menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Separate chapters are dedicated to the poses, breathing techniques and meditation to support a woman through these milestones.
Another great book for teachers as there are lots of variations and special instructions for using props and adapting poses for all levels of practitioner.