The 5 Books You Need to Build a Lasting Yoga Practice

The 5 Books You Need to Build a Lasting Yoga Practice

This month I did a deep dive into all things yoga. I first turned to yoga when I was moving through an immensely stressful season of my life, hoping to find some relief in a yoga practice. I was not disappointed. I’ve been practicing yoga for around 5 years now, but I have not read much about it. I have learned so much about yoga from these books. Each of them focuses on a completely different aspect of yoga. These books explore: the history of yoga, the science of yoga, yoga for different body types, how to build a yoga practice doing a little each day, how to incorporate the principles of yoga into your everyday life, and practicing yoga as a Chrisitan. Here are the 5 best books to learn all about yoga.

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Get Your Yoga On by Kino McGregor

Kino McGregor believes that a little goes a long way and that you do not have to commit hours to a daily practice in order to reap the benefits of yoga. McGregor explains the incredible health benefits of a consistent yoga practice, particularly its power to reduce stress. Commiting to practicing yoga only 5 minutes a day for 30 days, readers are guided through a new pose each day.

Each of these poses are foundational and are the poses you are likely to encounter in most yoga classes. Each daily lesson shows the traditional function of the pose as well as a few variations on the pose so that you can find a position that works for your body and your experience level. This book is the perfect guide for someone who is interested in learning yoga in a class environment, but would like to learn a few basics first. The demonstrative photos in this book show yogis of a wide variety of race, age, and body type. I wrote all about my experience putting this book into practice in my post, Project Yoga: My Experience Building a Yoga Practice Using the Book, “Get Your Yoga On”.

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The Science of Yoga by William J. Broad

An impartial look at the risks and rewards of yoga, The Science of Yoga by author William J. Broad thoroughly explores the history of yoga and the scientific evidence that has emerged thus far. While it is true that a consistent yoga practice comes with many benefits, some of these benefits have been wildly overstated by yoga teachers and practitioners in the past. With a clear lens, Broad discusses in great detail the historical context of yoga and how it has evolved in our western culture.

There seems to be little understanding of yoga’s risks, and Broad does not hold back on examples of injuries acquired in yoga practice. Up to this point in time, there has been little regulation around yoga and the certification of its teachers, causing some confusion over how to practice yoga safely. Broad explains that a more serious certification process for yoga teachers is key in order for the benefits of yoga practice to be taken more seriously in the medical field. At the end of the book, Broad casts his own vision for the role yoga could play in the future of American culture in reducing anxiety and managing stress. If you are interested in a deep and intricate dive into yoga, this is the book for you.

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Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley

Every Body Yoga by yoga teacher Jessamyn Stanley is a fresh take on the stereotypical American yogi, inspiring readers to embrace their bodies on and off the yoga mat. This book dives deep into the issue of body acceptance and the barrier that self-loathing can become in our physical and mental health. The author shares her personal story of overcoming this barrier and how she learned to love her body in and through her yoga practice.

The photographs alone are wildy inspiring, challenging our ideas of what a yoga body looks like. This book breaks down the harmful belief that only people with one body type are welcome to practice yoga. When I bought this book at my local used bookstore, the cashier gawked at the cover. “Wow,” she said. “This makes me think I could do yoga.” I laughed. I think that is exactly the point. Books like this one open the practice of yoga to people who have previously felt shut off from it. Full of detailed directions for yoga poses, original sequences, and crisp photo demonstrations, Every Body Yoga is perfect for experienced yogis as well as those who are brand new to the practice.

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Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater

In Living Your Yoga Judith Lasater, connects the dots between your yoga practice and the rest of your life. Lasater explains how readers can apply the very same principles and practices of yoga in their relationships, work, and the rest of their lives. Everyday life presents opportunities to practice your yoga— it just takes a little mental shift to see it. A few of the topics include: letting go, embracing discipline, learning to serve others, generosity, rejecting fear, and connecting with others.

My favorite thing about this book is how wildly practical it is. Lasater gives many personal examples to demonstrate her points, and offers practical guidance on how to put the wisdom into practice. If you are intrigued by the idea of experiencing the same peace you encounter in yoga in the rest of your life, Living Your Yoga is for you.

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Yoga For Christians by Susan Bordenkircher

In Yoga For Christians, Susan Bordenkircher explains how to build a Jesus-centered yoga practice. This book is perfect for Christians who are interested in developing a yoga practice, but may be a little spooked by the spiritual elements of yoga and its past. When I first started practicing yoga, I was not sure what God thinks about yoga and if it would be a good thing for me spiritually. I learned quickly that when yoga is taught with the aim to go inward, the only thing I was going to find inward was God in me.

From my very first class, I discovered that yoga would be a place I would meet with God in a posture of worship, moving fully conscious of my breath and his. In Yoga For Christians, Susan Bordenkircher explains how to incorporate prayer, worship, and scripture meditation into your yoga practice. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves Jesus and wants to explore the practice of yoga.

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Disclosure (Let’s be honest)
This website contains posts with affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission if you purchase a book I’ve linked— at no extra cost to you. I’ll always be upfront with you when a post is sponsored or a book is gifted. All books I recommend are books I actually read and enjoyed.
No joke.