Best Selling Yoga Books for Beginners

Can you learn yoga out of a book? Well, perhaps you can. Just be VERY careful to not force things. Have some fun and relax into the poses. Accept where you are.

I’ve found you some very popular books for beginners that explain either the philosophy of yoga, or the exercises, or both. You choose.
Three sections:

Yoga exercise books

Yoga for Women

By an Accomplished Yoga Practitioner and Teacher
Author Shakta Kaur Khalsa energizers the beauty of yoga and its healing power. She Targets women from child birth to menopause in healing their bodies with a blend of meditations and postures in Hatha practice and re energizing balance. She combines kundalini yoga with traditional hatha yoga for more complete and rewarding life.

The Yoga for Women book along with Women’s Yoga Music will make a great gift for the woman in your life.

410k+whhsKLYoga For Wimps: Poses for The Flexibly Impaired

A book that takes people who can’t touch their toes seriously (you know, like me).

Most yoga books (and video’s), even when aimed at beginners, are really aimed at flexible beginners. Or beginners who are already living a physically active life. This is hardly realistic for most of us. 

Yoga for Wimps is different. It doesn’t assume anything. It simply shows you how to do the poses, and how to adapt them when you can’t do them. It also has poses aimed at solving specific problems. 

How to Use Yoga

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Iyengar Method of Yoga for Relaxation, Health and Well-Being Shown in 450 Photographs

Keep fit and reduce stress with this essential beginners’ guide. The easy to follow, step-by-step sequences of key Iyengar yoga poses have clear detailed instructions, making it the perfect introduction, whether you’re a complete novice or just need a refresher. Only 41 asanas (poses) are presented, all of them basic poses. However, several variations of each asana are given, with clear instructions on the benefits of each variation.

This is the only guide of its kind from the tradition of the world-famous yoga guru BKS Iyengar.

yoga-bible-christina-brownThe Yoga Bible, Christina Brown

As you can see, I own the Dutch version of this book. 

It contains a short introduction into the basic philosophy of yoga, explains over 170 asana’s and concludes with an overview of various types of yoga that are popular in the West. 

The main text is from 2003, so currently popular styles like Yin Yoga and mindfulness yoga are not included. 

I don’t think it’s suitable for complete beginners, because there are hardly any series included. Most of the book is an organised list of yoga postures. Though each is explained, most postures are only suitable for advanced practice.

The crane. Marked as suitable for beginners!
The crane. Marked as suitable for beginners!

It IS helpful that beginner postures are marked with a triangle. However, not all postures that are marked as suitable for beginners, are in fact possible for beginners. For instance, the crane. I mean really. I have been doing yoga daily for almost 2 years now. I would perhaps try that with a teacher present or someone to make sure I don’t fall. And lots of cushions. 

For me, as an intermediate practitioner who is preparing to give a bit of yoga as part of a mindfulness training, the book is very useful because with each posture there is information on:

  1. how to do it
  2. what postures prepare for the one you’re looking at
  3. what postures compensate for the movements of the asana
  4. what help can be given to get into the posture
  5. what the effect is of the posture

There is also a good index as well as a terminology list. 

Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar himself

This is called the Bible of Yoga for a reason: it has every pose you ever want to think about trying.
However, it also introduces the philosophy and spirituality of yoga quite well.
Usually I would advise beginners to not look beyond what they can do right now. And right now, all the yoga poses in existence is probably a bit much. However, if you’re the kind of person who can look at page one without despair at the 541 that follow – this is the book for you.

Yoga is tough. Yoga is not a competition. Yoga practice is about slow improvements. About doing a pose wobbly the first day and stable months later. If you get that, really get it, than this book is a great life long companion on your yoga journey and you might as well get it when you’re just starting, because as I said: it’s really cheap.
Did I mention it also includes lots of yoga philosophy and life advice? Yes, it’s truly a yoga Bible.

Yoga as a spiritual path

61a7pBptqCLAn Autobiography Of A Yogi

This book has been in print for some 60 years and yet it is so profound that it continues to be on best seller lists of books today. Over 500 pages tell of the life of Paramahansa Yogananda who shares his journey through life in a most eloquent and witty way. He met famous people in his lifetime along with sages and saintly humans. This book has been translated into 20 different languages and is one that Steve Jobs read several times over his lifetime. I think that it is book that your Yogi would most appreciate as a gift.

Into the Heart of Truth: The Spirit of Relational Yoga

A book about the essence of yoga as a spiritual path, explained for people just on the path, or those who have never looked at yoga as anything more than a decent workout.

The reviews reflect this: one person says the book is too simplistic and suggests readers move right on to Raja Yoga.

Someone else says: ‘the author is talking to nearly everyone that I know – he’s certainly talking to me.’ and continues: ‘Far from assuming anything about the life of the reader, McAfee presents universal yogic truths in a way that makes the reader confront himself. This will make some readers bristle, bewilder others and for most create a tension between their image of themselves and the truth of themselves. McAfee resolves this tension gently and delicately in the final chapters. The resolution lies in the unvarnished observation of ourselves as we relate to his words and images.

Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness

Erich Schiffmann shares his story of how he started as a student of Jiddu Krishnamurti, followed him in doing yoga and – step by step – became a yoga teacher. What makes this book unique is that it tries to put into words what makes the yoga poses work. Or in other words: how to learn to listen to your body so that the poses make sense, instead of being a collection of instructions. 

It was a bit disconcerting for me to read this book, as I have studied Jiddu Krishnamurti’s work for years – and never picked up on his own practice – which included daily hatha yoga. It’s a good reminder that we always see people through the lens of our own conditionings, which is one of the main points of Krishnamurti’s teachings. 

Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness is not really aimed at beginners. However, I do think it is helpful for beginners to realize what they’re aiming at, even when they’re no where near the abilities described. It may prevent a few injuries from misapplied zeal, for instance. 

See also: The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide by Ravi Ravindra

This is a very useful translation and commentary on The Yoga Sutras by Patanjali for novices. 

Best Chair Yoga Books – Yoga For Seniors

Chair yoga books yoga for seniors should have clear, easy to read instructions and large visible print.

Chair yoga books are perfect for the active senior or anybody else in your life who wants to stay fit but is maybe limited in mobility. They feature a workout program that will not be too strenuous and features the support of a chair (hence the name) for added stability. Healthy seniors can incorporate the workouts from one of these highly rated books that were written with older people in mind. Yoga for seniors is a healthy alternative to vigorous exercises. For many seniors who are limited in their activities, it’s a good idea to look for alternatives in your exercise routine.

Limited mobility and strength are common among seniors – one of these books may be a great gift idea for a spiritual senior looking to exercise more. The advantage? It’s a form of exercise they can do in their own rooms no matter what their living situation. They can put some life back into their routine with these easy to read and follow exercises.

Chair Yoga for You: A Practical Guide

Chair yoga books yoga for seniors caters to the mental and physical needs of seniors. These light breathing exercises followed with stretches are a great way to incorporate some sort of exercise into a seniors lifestyle. Chair yoga books yoga for seniors make great gifts if you have a loved one who is looking to start this great activity.

This book incorporates both physical and mental exercise for seniors who are looking for light activity. Poses for Seniors are illustrated clearly so they have everything they need.

Chair Yoga For Seniors: A Gentle Sequence to Get You Started (for kindle)

This is a book that can double as s chair yoga book for seniors who want to do yoga. You can use the detailed instructions in this book to guide your loved one through the different yoga positions.

This book has simple, easy to read instructions for a chair yoga book used for yoga for seniors. You can use this book with seniors as part of a daily workout plan for them. Yoga is a great strength building exercise that can be done from a chair. Limited mobility does not have to be an issue when learning yoga for seniors.

Reader responses

Limited mobility and strength are common among seniors – one of these books may be a great gift idea for a spiritual senior looking to exercise more.

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