to top 10 table

Best Yoga Books Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated: Mar 05, 2019

It has been scientifically proven time and time again that yoga is one of the best exercises out there. The uniquely gentle and holistic approach to health and fitness has been proven to greatly help with an array of health issues while being therapeutic at the same time. Despite yoga's increasing popularity, some people still struggle to have access to in-depth knowledge about the intricacies behind this delicate exercise. Everyone from world-famous yogis to medical specialists has taken to the written word to share more knowledge to enthusiasts and beginners alike about the health benefits of yoga to the hidden secrets of meditation. This has become a must-have tool for any wanna-be yogi who might be too intimidated or busy to join an actual yoga class.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 8 hrs of research

icon
Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga
89/100 our score
Accuracy
95
Advanced Features
90
Ease of Use
80
Use
85
Versatility
95
Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga
Why is it better?

Written by one of the most influential and prominent yoga teachers of the last century.

Includes techniques to start practicing Pranayama in addition to yoga asanas.

Gently guides you through even the most difficult poses, and includes preparatory poses for advanced poses.

Each asana has an initial English translation, but then is referred to in its Sanskrit name.

Includes various pages dedicated into digging deeper into the philosophy behind yoga.

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga
Test Winner: Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
8
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
12
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
8
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
23
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Accuracy Advanced Features Ease of Use Use Versatility By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Accuracy
95 %
Advanced Features
90 %
Ease of Use
80 %
Use
85 %
Versatility
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.02.20)
Amazon Link
$13.59
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Accuracy
95 %
Advanced Features
80 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Use
90 %
Versatility
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.02.20)
Amazon Link
$15.79
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Accuracy
95 %
Advanced Features
85 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Use
85 %
Versatility
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.02.20)
Amazon Link
$19.49
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Accuracy
85 %
Advanced Features
95 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Use
85 %
Versatility
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.02.20)
Amazon Link
$25.75
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Accuracy
90 %
Advanced Features
95 %
Ease of Use
80 %
Use
80 %
Versatility
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.02.20)
Amazon Link
$14.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
Accuracy
85 %
Advanced Features
80 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Use
88 %
Versatility
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.02.20)
Amazon Link
$27.26
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.6
Accuracy
88 %
Advanced Features
80 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Use
80 %
Versatility
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.02.20)
Amazon Link
$21.88
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Accuracy
85 %
Advanced Features
75 %
Ease of Use
80 %
Use
80 %
Versatility
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.02.20)
Amazon Link
$12.29
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Accuracy
85 %
Advanced Features
75 %
Ease of Use
80 %
Use
80 %
Versatility
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.02.20)
Amazon Link
$12.19
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Accuracy
85 %
Advanced Features
80 %
Ease of Use
75 %
Use
80 %
Versatility
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.02.20)
Amazon Link
$13.99

10 Best Yoga Books

1. Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga
Amazon Link
Accuracy
95
Advanced Features
90
Ease of Use
80
Use
85
Versatility
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$13.59
Pros:

Written by one of the most influential and prominent yoga teachers of the last century.

Includes techniques to start practicing Pranayama in addition to yoga asanas.

Gently guides you through even the most difficult poses, and includes preparatory poses for advanced poses.

Each asana has an initial English translation, but then is referred to in its Sanskrit name.

Includes various pages dedicated into digging deeper into the philosophy behind yoga.

Cons:

There is currently no Kindle version available of this book.

B.K.S Iyengar is widely considered one of the most prominent yoga teachers of all time and even has his very own school of yoga, Iyengar. This makes it inevitable perhaps that Iyengar would want to pass on his immense knowledge using the written word. Light on Yoga, is one of Iyengar’s most popular books and is considered a must-read for any and every yoga enthusiast. In this book, Iyengar gently takes you through a variety of asanas and teach you correct alignment, along with deeply insightful insightful knowledge about both body and soul.

Incorporates Pranayama
In addition to the regular poses and asanas, Iyengar includes several techniques to practice and incorporate the art of Pranayama into your everyday life. By practising Pranayama it believed that the yogi will become more connected with their inner and outer bodies.

Inspirational
At the heart of Light on Yoga is Iyengar’s sheer passion for the ancient art. There is something undeniably deeply inspirational about the man who dedicated 75 years of his life to the practice and studying of this field. If you’re a beginner, this will immediately inspire you, however, it can also help experts to get out of a rut.

Cost and Value
Light on Yoga is very modestly priced considering the fact that it’s considered a classic in the field. Most yogis considered this required reading to truly understand the mind-body balance that stands central to yoga. While there is not a Kindle version available, there are several second hand copies available online in addition to new copies.

2. The Yoga Bible

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
The Yoga Bible
Amazon Link
Accuracy
95
Advanced Features
80
Ease of Use
90
Use
90
Versatility
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.79
Pros:

Includes over 170 poses from various popular branches of yoga all over the world.

Each pose is illustrated with color pictures and has handy tips for perfecting the pose.

Contains additional information related to yoga such as meditation and mindfulness.

The paperback copy has a spiral spine for added durability.

Suitable to be used by beginners and experts alike thanks to its comprehensive information.

Cons:

This book does not offer yoga routines, but individualized poses which may be overwhelming for beginners.

Apart from being an incredible way to deepen your knowledge and love for yoga, The Yoga Bible is perhaps one of the most appropriately titled books on our list. Yogis all over the world consider this their own personal Bible since it gives a compact overview of over 170 poses from various types of yoga. This book strives to be easily understandable and to make anyone enthusiastic over this ancient exercise.

Comprehensive
The Yoga Bible manages to be comprehensive and compact at the same time. It features over 170 most popular poses from various branches of yoga. Each pose includes a picture and handy tips on perfecting your pose. The book also contains information about other aspects of yoga, such as meditation, and spiritual well-being.

Personalized Yoga
Instead of simply showing you poses, The Yoga Bible is dedicated to empowering the reader with enough balanced information to find those poses that suit their personal needs best. It encourages the reader to experiment and to focus on finding a sequence of poses that suits their lifestyle instead of just blindly following poses.

Cost and Value
The Yoga Bible is available as both a paperback as well as a Kindle copy. The paperback is somewhat more expensive but it includes full-color and detailed pictures about each yoga pose, a spiral spine, and is kept together by a tough cover. Considering the comprehensive nature of this book, it is practically a steal.

3. Yoga Anatomy

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Yoga Anatomy
Amazon Link
Accuracy
95
Advanced Features
85
Ease of Use
85
Use
85
Versatility
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.49
Pros:

The book takes a science-based approach to yoga and focuses on the exercise’s benefits that has been scientifically proven.

Each asana and pose comes with an anatomically correct illustration to demonstrate it.

Yoga Anatomy is available in a Kindle version, as well as a regular paperback and spiral-bound edition.

Each asana explains in detail the impact that the exercise has on every muscle group involved.

It was written by two well-respected and highly authoritative experts in the field.

Cons:

The Kindle edition may distort or compress the illustrations of asanas.

Written by two world-renowned experts in the field of yoga, Yoga Anatomy brings a unique biology-based twist to the literature available on yoga. Yoga Anatomy featured full color, anatomically correct illustrations on every single pose or asana. The illustrations, together with the information helps you see how each muscle responds to different poses. This is one of the best-selling books on yoga worldwide and this updated second edition is a must-have in every yogi’s library.

Based on Science
While this exercise has been scientifically proven to be hugely beneficial, a lot of people have trouble getting into it because of yoga’s tendency to focus on the spiritual. Yoga Anatomy differs from the average guide in that it absolutely focuses on the effect of yoga on the body that is purely based on scientific research.

Authoritative Authors
Both authors are world leading experts in their fields. Leslie Kaminoff is a yoga specialist with over 32 years of experience. He teaches yoga and has been featured in well-respected publications such as The New York Times. Amy Matthews has been movement educator since 1994 with a special focus on yoga and its many benefits to body and soul.

Cost and Value
There are three different copies of Yoga Anatomy available to suit any kind of pocket. The Second Edition is available as a Kindle copy, regular paperback, and spiral bound edition. All three editions are still remarkably modestly priced considering the book’s beautiful illustrations and easy to understand knowledge.

4. Namaslay

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Namaslay
Amazon Link
Accuracy
85
Advanced Features
95
Ease of Use
85
Use
85
Versatility
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$25.75
Pros:

Has a distinct visual style with plenty of illustrations to demonstrate each asana.

Guides you through 100 different asanas with handy tips on how to master each one.

Includes 30-day programs for everything from meditation, breathing, to exercise to help you realize your goals.

The author has a blog, YouTube channel, and social media presence for more in-depth tips and guidance.

Is suitable to appeal to any level reader beginners and experts alike.

Cons:

The paperback is edition is somewhat more expensive than other similar guides.

Like the title suggests, Namaslay offers a uniquely modern and fresh perspective on this ancient exercise. Author Candace Moore is a yoga teacher, blogger, and YouTuber who is dedicated to a healthy and body-positive approach to the exercise. Namaslay is more approachable than most other guides since it gives a no-nonsense low down and illustration for over 100 poses. This is a light-hearted no-fuss approach to the exercise and is especially ideal for beginners.

YouTube Guidance
What sets Namaslay apart from the average book is Moore’s active presence on various social media platforms. Namaslay can easily be used in conjunction with her many YouTube videos for more in-depth guidance and motivation. This is great for beginners who are still unsure of themselves.

30-Day Programs
This book includes several 30-day programs for you to realize all your yogi goals. Namaslay has easy to follow 30-day programs for everything from meditation, breathing exercises, and, of course, yoga. This is a highly motivational way for anyone to break their exercise rut.

Cost and Value
Namaslay is available as either a paperback or Kindle copy. While the Kindle copy is definitely more cost-effective, the paperback edition is still moderately priced enough to suit any pocket. Considering the included 30-programs and easily-understandable guidance, Namaslay packs a punch in value.

5. Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes
Amazon Link
Accuracy
90
Advanced Features
95
Ease of Use
80
Use
80
Versatility
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$14.99
Pros:

Contains over 2000 instructional photos of 150 different asanas.

Focuses on creating a flow in-between asanas to get more out of your workout.

Includes 67 model sequences tailored to various groups of people such as students, kids, or seniors, etc.

Yoga Sequencing is available as a paperback edition as well as a Kindle edition.

Is written by a highly experienced instructor and is aimed at instructors or experts.

Cons:

The sheer amount of information featured in Yoga Sequencing may be too overwhelming for beginners.

Author Mark Stephens has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and has been teaching it full-time since 1996. After having trained over 1000 yoga instructors, it comes as no surprise that Yoga Sequencing is more aimed at experts and instructors. It is a must-read for any instructor since it primarily deals with optimizing the flow of your sequence. In addition to important information, the book also contains 67 model sequences.

Comprehensive
Yoga Sequencing contains over 2000 highly instructional photos and illustrations of 150 different asanas. In addition, it offers balanced information based on both science and philosophy about the many advantages of the exercise.

Focus on Sequence
Flow and sequencing are perhaps one of the most discussed topics in the field, and that is exactly one of the primary concerns in Yoga Sequencing. It helps you to get a more optimal flow and even offers 67 different model sequences tailored to different groups of people such as students, kids, seniors, etc.

Cost and Value
Despite its in-depth and comprehensive information, Yoga Sequencing is remarkably cost-effective compared to other similar guides. It is available in both a Kindle and a paperback version with different prices for each respective version.

6. Asanas

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
Asanas
Amazon Link
Accuracy
85
Advanced Features
80
Ease of Use
85
Use
88
Versatility
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$27.26
Pros:

Features over 2100 different yoga asanas from various yoga branches all over the world.

Each asana includes its English and Sanskrit name, together with modifications, affected chakras during the asana, and the correct Drishti.

2100 Asanas features a beautifully clean and crisp design to make it easy to find the desired pose.

The thousands of asanas are ordered according to the kind of pose that is featured.

The hardback volume features a strongly reinforced spine to ensure durability throughout the years.

Cons:

Does not offer explanations or tips about the poses, which may be difficult for the beginner.

Written by one of the most famous yoga instructors, Daniel Lacerda, 2100 Asanas is above all else a meticulous catalog of 2100 different yoga poses. The beautifully designed book carefully catalogs the most major poses from various branches of yoga. It is an indispensable tool for any serious yogi and the sheer amount of poses available can greatly help you spice up your regular sequence.

Comprehensive
2100 Asanas is a highly ambitious book and achieves what no other guide has ever done before. It catalogs literally thousands of asanas from various branches of yoga all over the world to bring the reader one of the most complete guides to yoga that has ever existed. It is an unprecedented book and succeeds in its ambitious goals.

Detailed
Every single pose featured in the book is demonstrated by a beautiful photograph of an expert yogi performing the pose. This allows you to clearly see the ideal alignment. In addition, each pose includes its English and Sanskrit name, the chakras that are influenced during the pose, the correct Drishti point, and modifications.

Cost and Value
2100 Asanas is only available as a Hardback or a Kindle version. This is unsurprising considering the sheer thickness of the physical volume. The hardcover is somewhat more expensive than the Kindle version, however, this is a beautifully designed book that every yogi should have in their home.

7. The Key Muscles of Yoga: Scientific Keys, Volume I

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.6
The Key Muscles of Yoga: Scientific Keys, Volume I
Amazon Link
Accuracy
88
Advanced Features
80
Ease of Use
85
Use
80
Versatility
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$21.88
Pros:

This series focuses primarily on popular poses used in hatha yogic practice.

Each asana is accompanied with an anatomically correct, full-color 3-D illustration.

Uses a fact-based approach that is based on scientific evidence.

Suitable to be used by yogic students, practitioners, and instructors of all levels.

Is ideal to deepen your understanding of the impact of yogic practice on various body parts.

Cons:

The book only focuses on primary muscles groups and does not give a comprehensive overview of smaller activated muscles during yogic practice.

The first volume in this riveting series takes a purely scientific approach to better understanding the impact and benefits of hatha yoga. By using full-color, anatomically correct 3-D illustrations of the human body Long looks at how muscles and other body parts such as ligaments and tendons are used throughout hatha yogic practice. This is a great way to gain a deeper fact-based understanding of your daily asanas.

Focus on Hatha Yoga
This is perhaps one of the most popular branches of yogic practice worldwide which makes it unsurprising that Long would choose to use this as the focus of the series. For practitioners, students, and teachers of this specific branch, The Key Muscles of Yoga is an indispensable part of your library.

Anatomically Correct Illustrations
Illustration artist Chris Macivor creates a beautifully anatomically correct illustration of each discussed asana. By carefully color coding various parts of the body, the reader can gain an in-depth understanding of the kinds of body parts used and affected by every single pose.

Cost and Value
The Key Muscles of Yoga is available as both a paperback and Kindle copy. The Kindle copy is somewhat cheaper, however, both copies offer incredible value for money. The printed version delivers beautifully illustrated drawings that are well worth adding to your yogic library.

8. Yoga for Beginners

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Yoga for Beginners
Amazon Link
Accuracy
85
Advanced Features
75
Ease of Use
80
Use
80
Versatility
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$12.29
Pros:

Written by a certified instructor with several years of experience in the field.

Contains 35 of the most essential asanas from various branches of yoga.

Each asana has a beautiful full-color illustration to fully demonstrate and explain the pose.

Its easy and accessible tone makes it ideal for beginners.

Both the Kindle and paperback version are very competitively priced compared to other guides.

Cons:

The material featured is not comprehensive enough for intermediate and advanced students.

Author Cory Martin makes it incredibly easy for anyone and everyone to discover their inner yogi with Yoga for Beginners. This book offers an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide to master the 35 most popular poses. Each of the selected 35 asanas has beautifully colored pictures to accurately demonstrate each pose. This is an essential guide for a beginner and a lovely refresher for the intermediate practitioner.

Simple
There is a wealth of knowledge out there about yoga and its many benefits and philosophy that could often be highly intimidating for the average beginner. Yoga for Beginners adopts a very and accessible tone. Moreover, it limits itself to introducing only the 35 most essential poses to keep it simple.

Extra Tips
In addition to the 35 poses, Yoga for Beginners also offers extra tips and information about several other areas related to the field. Martin includes helpful information about meditation and nutrition to make sure that every beginner gets the most out their exercise in this stage.

Cost and Value
This book is available in both a Kindle and paperback version. While the paperback version is somewhat more expensive than its Kindle counterpart, both versions are very competitively priced compared to other similar guides.

9. Perfectly Imperfect: The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Perfectly Imperfect: The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice
Amazon Link
Accuracy
85
Advanced Features
75
Ease of Use
80
Use
80
Versatility
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$12.19
Pros:

Written by a world-leading expert with vast knowledge and experience in the field.

Is available in a hardback, paperback, Kindle, and audiobook version.

Perfectly Imperfect has been highly acclaimed by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Focuses on the transformative and restorative powers of yoga instead of just telling you how to do asanas.

Cons:

This book does not actually guide you into how to physically do yoga, which may be off-putting for beginners.

Perfectly Imperfect is the latest book to be penned by the seminal yogi, Baron Baptiste. Ever since releasing, Perfectly Imperfect has received critical acclamation from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. While Perfectly Imperfect does not quite teach you the mechanics of yoga, it goes deeper into the spiritual side. This is a definite must-read for anyone who is looking to deepen their understanding of the exercise, and the philosophy behind it.

Inspirational
Perfectly Imperfect is less concerned with how to actually practice yoga, and much more concerned with the why. The book is divided into 13 chapters with each chapter dedicated to discussing and exploring the deepest questions that most yogis find themselves answering at some point. It serves as a deeply thoughtful meditation on the ancient exercise and will be inspirational for beginners and experts alike.

Authoritative Author
Baron Baptiste is one of the most influential figures that brought yoga to western mainstream awareness. He has dedicated the majority of his life to practicing and teaching yoga all over the world and has carefully cultivated his own branch of yoga called the Baptiste methodology. This wealth of experience and passion alone makes Baptiste a must-read.

Cost and Value
Perfectly Imperfect is widely available in an array of different versions. The hardback and paperback versions are somewhat more expensive than the Kindle version, but not exorbitantly so. In addition, there is also an audiobook available that is even more cost-effective.

10. Meditations From the Mat

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Meditations From the Mat
Amazon Link
Accuracy
85
Advanced Features
80
Ease of Use
75
Use
80
Versatility
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$13.99
Pros:

Offers 365 daily reflections about various topics related to the body and soul connection.

Is deeply inspirational, and helps you to become more mindful during your yogic practice.

Is available in a wide variety of mediums including audiobook, paperback, Kindle, and audio CD.

Written by a highly acclaimed and experienced teacher of Vinyasa yoga.

Enhances your knowledge and understanding of the philosophical principles behind yogic practice.

Cons:

Meditations From the Mat may be unsuited for beginners since it does not give practical information about the exercise itself.

Meditations From the Mat is essentially a year-long journey into the heart and soul of yoga, as a form of exercise but also as a deeper way of life. Written by yogi guru, Rolf Gates, Meditations From the Mat offer 365 small daily pieces that each deal with a question or topic that stands central to yoga. This is a great way for intermediate or advanced yogis to keep their passion alive and learn to incorporate the philosophies behind yoga into their daily lives.

Focused on Mindfulness
Unlike the majority of other guides out there, Meditations From the Mat focuses on the connection between body and soul that is considered essential to get the most out of yoga. Each day’s reflection is dedicated to deepening your awareness and helping you become more mindful.

Easy Reading
Meditations From the Mat comes in 365 individual daily reflections. Each reflection is a quick read and offers you plenty of food for thought to incorporate into your yogic practice and everyday life. This daily read is an ideal way to spend the next year on a voyage of self-discovery and realization.

Cost and Value
There are various copies and versions of this book available at different price ranges. You can easily purchase Meditations From the Mat either in Audiobook form, paperback, Kindle or as an audio CD. Regardless of your preferred version, all copies are very affordable and well worth the investment.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Accuracy

One of the most exciting and frustrating aspects of the field of yoga is perhaps the fact that there is so much information on it available. Thanks to its increasing popularity in the West in recent years, it’s hard not to encounter someone who considers themselves an expert.

However, when you’re a beginner especially, it is vital to get knowledge that is accurate. If you do not have a lot of experience in yogic practice it is easy to fall for misleading information. In this vital first stage of your journey, however, incorrect information could be highly damaging to your body and progress.

This is a major reason why investing in an accurate yoga guide is so beneficial. For the most part, yoga guides are more accurate than most quick results that you find on Google. In addition, yogic guides and literature also truly take pains to show you illustrations and photographs of the correct alignment and give you handy tips to master every asana.

The best way to determine the accuracy of a chosen book is to look at its author. When it comes to yoga, you would ideally want an author who is a certified instructor at the very least. However, you should also consider authors in terms of their experience. Some influential figures, such as B.K.S Iyengar has dedicated over 70 years of his life to yogic practice.

Doctors and medical specialists also frequently write on the subject, usually in conjunction with yoga instructors. These books are also well worth looking into since they’ll be able to impart knowledge on a scientific level.

Advanced Features

When we speak about yoga books, it may seem strange to use advanced features as a prime piece of criteria. However, considering the vast market of yogic guides out there, many of them offer features that truly set them apart. With some smart shopping and thinking about your specific needs, you can definitely find a guide that is best suited to your needs.

At its base, any piece of yogic literature should serve as a piece of enlightening information about this exercise. This usually comes in one of two forms: physical and spiritual.

Physical guides are entirely dedicated to simply showing you the mechanics of each pose.
They usually come with pictures or illustrations to show correct alignment and posture. Some even include variations of the pose, tips to master it, and preparatory poses for beginners.

In comparison, spiritual guides are much more concerned with the philosophies behind this ancient practice. These kinds of guides are usually written by highly influential and experienced figures in the world of yogic practice that offer meaningful information about all spiritual aspects related to yoga, such as meditation, mindfulness, breathing, the Chakras, Pranayama, etc.

However, you also get guides that serve as a hybrid between the two. These guides serve to give you the best of both world and some offer advanced features that are not offered by many other guides. For example, some guides may use a purely scientific approach, while other guides are written to be used in conjunction with the writer’s YouTube channel.

Your ideal guide is one that is appropriate for your level as well as your needs. Dig a little deeper and find out what a specific guide offers that others don’t before buying.

Ease of Use

Several people frequently turn to instructional guides instead of traditional yoga classes for several reasons. Some may not have access to a yoga studio in their area, others may have not have had the time to attend classes, and others simply are too intimidated to join a class.

This is why yoga guides are an excellent way for beginners and experts alike to get into the exercise and to continuously deepen their knowledge and passion for it. However, since you’ll be solely relying on this guide, it should be written in a way that is easy for you to understand. Above all, any instructional guide should always to be easy enough to understand and follow.

Before buying a book, it may be helpful to flick through it first to look at the tone in which it is written. Is the tone helpful, friendly, and motivational? Above all, you should check whether you can actually understand what the author is talking about. Also, take time to look at the included pictures. Does each picture adequately explain each pose? Does it give you tips and modifications?

Another thing to consider is the physical ease of use. When you’re doing yoga according to your guide, the last thing you want is your book slamming shut right in the middle of a complicated pose. The most ideal physical copies are either hardbacks or spiral bound, since they are more resistant to general wear and tear, and are easy to use during practice.

Use

Your chosen guide will only be effective if you opt for one that suits your level of experience, needs, and personal preference. This is why it’s a good idea to sit down before purchasing a guide to truly ask yourself some serious questions. Think about your level of expertise: Are you an absolute beginner or do you know enough to distinguish between the downward dog and the cobra?

Your level of expertise will play a huge determining factor in your eventual choice since most books are written with certain readers in mind.

The absolute beginner may have no need for spiritual guidance yet. Generally speaking, these readers will only be interested in the basic poses and how to do them well. The ideal book for these kinds of users will be extremely simple that feature less poses and focuses more on getting the poses right.

Intermediate users, on the other hand, may start feeling a need for spiritual guidance such as meditation or breathing techniques. Their ideal guides will usually be a hybrid copy that incorporates both spiritual guidance while broadening their knowledge and skills in the various different asanas.

Expert users and teachers, however, will likely only purchase specific literature when a need arise. In this instance, the literature will likely be highly specialized and comprehensive. This could either be in the form of a guide solely dedicated to reflections on the practice or breathing. Or it could simply be a book with a comprehensive catalog of asanas.

Versatility

The very best books are those that never feel aged or dated and can truly stand the test of time. This is no different when it comes to yoga-related literature. The ideal guide should be something that gives you balanced information backed by some kind of evidence.

In addition, any guide should ideally grow with you. While you may want to purchase simplistic guides as a beginner, the poses featured and the information given should be useful enough for you to still apply to your routine even when you’ve surpassed the beginner stage. Likewise, the expert or instructor should look out for books whose knowledge they can still impart to their beginner students.

To find a book that offers optimum versatility in its use, your starting point should be to consider its approach. As a general rule of thumb, science or medical-based approaches are less likely to become dated than that of a spiritual approach.

The second thing to look at is the writer. Writers with more years of experience are less likely to subscribe to fad routines or strange beliefs. They generally provide more balanced information in this regard.

Lastly, a good thing to look at is the kind of poses featured. You should ensure that all the basic asanas are covered and that there are enough seated, standing, lying poses that collectively work on all your major muscle groups.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
ico Use
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#2
ico Versatility
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#3
ico Advanced Features
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#4
ico Ease of Use
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#5
ico Accuracy
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
expert tips icon
Yoga At Home

Some of you might be wondering if you can truly experience the benefits of yoga from the comfort of your own home, without having a teacher providing feedback at all times. The answer here is a resounding YES. There are plenty of benefits to practicing yoga at home, in fact. The biggest draw is the ability to practice on your own time. You won't need to be a slave to class schedules. Another great benefit is that you can wear whatever you like. A lot can be said for practicing yoga in the nude and you can do this freely in your own bedroom or living room without hesitation.

Focus On YOU

When you practice yoga at home, you are able to put all of your focus on yourself. Sometimes when we attend yoga or any other fitness classes, we compare ourselves to our peers. "Well, Susan can do a headstand without any problems and here I am barely able to hold child's pose without breaking a sweat!" When we take others out of the equation, we are able to connect to ourselves in an even more deep and meaningful way.

Other Factors to Consider

Effectiveness

A guide is only as good as the results that it gives you. This is why it is important to sit down before purchasing your guide and to think about exactly the kind of results that you want. A good idea to go about this is to think about your goals that you have.

When it comes to yoga, goals will differ widely from person to person. Some of the most common goals are:

To lose weight.
To get some more exercise every day.
To increase your flexibility.
To become more in tune with your body.
To de-stress and relax.
To become more mindful of yourself and the world around you.
To deepen your daily meditation.

Your precise goals will hugely determine what guide is most suited to you. Once you have established your goals, try to opt for a guide that is most likely to help you achieve them.

Those who want to focus on losing weight and increasing flexibility might prefer guides that feature simple yet powerful poses. Some guides, such as Candace Moore’s Namastay also feature eating plans making it ideal for those who are looking to lose some weight.

Yogis who are more concerned with deepening their inner awareness may opt for purely spiritual guidance instead.

Portability

The portability of a specific book may seem like an absurd consideration. However, the often-cited downfall of yoga guides is that they tend to extremely bulky. This bulkiness makes it nearly impossible to travel with your guide, and when you do, the guide is likely subject to some heavy wear-and-tear on your trip.

This could be even more annoying to experts and teachers who need to take their literature with them to classes. So if you know that you are likely to travel with your guide, it might be handy to consider the dimensions and portability of the chosen book.

Thankfully most guides usually have a Kindle version as well that usually makes it a bit easier to handle during practice and while you’re on the road.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Can I do the asanas by myself without professional help?

a:

Yes, you can! The great thing about yoga is that it encourages solitude to be more mindful. Yoga guides are a great way to help you practice the exercise all by yourself. It gives you pictures of what the pose should look like as well as helpful tips to make sure that your alignment is correct.

However, if you at any time experience any bodily pain that you think may be associated with your practice, it may be helpful to reach out to a professional so that they can physically show you the proper position and help to correct your posture and alignment.

q: Do I need additional equipment to practice this exercise?

a:

Another major benefit of this particular kind of exercise is that it requires very little equipment. For the most part the only thing you need is a mat. This mat should be long enough to allow you to lie on it fully outstretched, it should also be crafted from non-slip materials.

Other than that the only things you’ll need is comfortable clothing that won’t be in your way during practice.

q: Is yoga safe for me?

a:

While yoga is one of the more safer forms of exercise, it is impossible to answer this question without consulting your doctor first. If you are a healthy individual with no chronic conditions, there is no reason to think that yoga would not be a safe choice for you.

However, if you do suffer from any kind of chronic illness it would be best to check in with your healthcare provider first. In addition, anyone who is pregnant, obese or a senior should always check in with their healthcare provider first before attempting new forms of exercise.

Sources

  1. Hannah Nichols, How Does Yoga Work?, Medical News Today
  2. Rick Kulkrani, MD, Yoga FAQs, eMedicine Health
  3. Rachael Link, 13 Benefits of Yoga That Are Supported by Science, Healthline
  4. Staff Writer, Yoga Poses and Asanas, Yoga Journal
  5. Dr. Ishwar V. Basavaraddi , Yoga: Its Origin, History, and Development, Ministry of External Affairs