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Yoga Sutras Recommended Books

 Inside the Yoga Sutras by Jaganath Carrera link
Why We Recommend This Book

I’ve consulted more than 20 books on The Yoga Sutras to create teaching tools and I’ve found this one to be a key resource. The commentary is deep and uniquely clear. It’s not surprising to learn that the author, Reverend Jaganath Carrera, is a direct disciple of Sri Swami Satchidananda and has been teaching the Yoga Sutras for over four decades. – Shelly

Book Quote

If we wish to realize the infinite Self as our True Identity, we need to transcend the limitation that is the ego. The problem is that efforts to transcend the ego often cause it to reassert itself emphatically as the fear that we will cease to exist if we proceed. Surrender to Ishwara is the easiest way to overcome this obstacle because it is not based on having the will power to overcome the threat of annihilation in order to transcend the ego. Instead, the ego becomes absorbed in loving reverence and willingly moves toward union with the beloved Divine.

Tantra of the Yoga Sutras by Alan Finger link

Why We Recommend This Book

I’m awed by the unique power in this accessible, little book. Alan Finger has done a tremendous service by interpreting the Sutras from a tantric lens. As you might know, the focus of the Sutras (and the Samkya philosophy from which it draws) is discrimination between spirit and substance, while the focus of Tantra is on realizing through experience our connection with the Divine. These philosophies work well together as evidenced by the many people who are adherents of both the Eight Limbs of Yoga and practices such as chakra meditation, for example. However, rarely do we see the underlying philosophies weaved together and presented accessibly. I love this book and I think many others will, too! – Shelly

Book Quote

As yoga practitioners, reading the Sutras through this Tantric lens helps to put us back into an active and direct relationship with the possibility of experiencing samadhi right now, in this lifetime. The real gift of the yogic process is graceful transformation, which is the result of the spiral of understanding ever more deeply who we already are. This Tantric interpretation of yoga’s most revered literary work is humbly offered to all practitioners from every lineage in hopes of broadening access to this precious wisdom.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Edwin F. Bryant link
Why We Recommend This Book

No matter which Yoga Sutra translations you’ve read, you haven’t read one quite as valuable as this one. I feel like I’m safe in making such a sweeping statement because, despite consulting more than 20 translations, this one stands out as having the most accessible — while also comprehensive — insights from traditional commentaries. Another way it stands out is in the amount of context it provides regarding the time The Sutras were written and how the philosophy relates and contrasts to major schools of thought at the time, particularly Samkhya and Buddhist philosophy. This is a wonderful text that you don’t want to miss! – Shelly

Book Quote

The commentator Vacaspati Misra traces the etymology of yoga to one of the meanings of the root yuj, to contemplate, which, he points out, is the correct etymology here. The more established etymology from the perspective of modern historical linguistics is, of course, derived from the same Indo-European root as the English word, “yoke” … While this translation of the term is popularly found (and may be apt in other contexts such as the Gita, IX.34), it is best avoided in the context of the Yoga Sutras, since… the goal of yoga is not to join, but the opposite: to unjoin, that is, to disconnect purusa from prakrti. If the term is to mean “yoke,” it entails yoking the mind on an object of concentration without deviation.


Yoga Sutras Resource List

Books

While we have highlighted a few outstanding books, there are many wonderful books and we encourage you to peruse the entire list. Any one of these may be just what you need!

  1. Adele, Deborah — The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice  link
  2. Bachman, Nicolai — The Path of the Yoga Sutras: A Practical Guide to the Core of Yoga  link
  3. Bouanchaud, Bernard — The Essence of Yoga ; Reflections on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali  link
  4. Bryant, Edwin F. — The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali  link
  5. Carrera, Jaganath — Inside the Yoga Sutras by Jaganath Carrera  link
  6. Desikachar, T.K.V. — The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice link
  7. Devi, Nischala Joy — The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman’s Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras  link
  8. Finger, Alan & Wendy Newton — Tantra of the Yoga Sutras: Essential Wisdom for Living with Awareness and Grace  link
  9. Feuerstein, Georg — The Yoga-Sutra of Patañjali: A New Translation and Commentary  link
  10. Iyengar, B.K.S. — Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali  link
  11. Lee, Jennie — True Yoga: Practicing With the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment  link
  12. Mehrotra, Anand — This is That: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras Padas 1 and 2  link
  13. Miller, Barbara Stoler — Yoga: Discipline of Freedom: The Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali  link
  14. Remski, Matthew — Threads of Yoga: a Remix of Patanjali’s Sutras, with Commentary and Reverie  link
  15. Roach, Geshe Michael & Christie McNally — The Essential Yoga Sutra: Ancient Wisdom for Your Yoga  link
  16. Saraswati, Swami Satyananda — Four Chapters on Freedom: Commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali  link
  17. Satchidananda, Sri Swami — The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali  link
  18. Shearer, Alistair — The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali  link
  19. Taimni, I.K. — The Science of Yoga  link
  20. Tigunait, Pandit Rajmani PhD — The Secret of the Yoga Sutra: Samadhi Pada  link
  21. Villoldo, Alberto — Yoga, Power & Spirit: Patanjali the Shaman  link

Teaching Tools


The Bhagavad Gita

Books

  1. Bonnici, Peter (Yoga International) — Sanskrit: Insights into the Bhagavad Gita  link
  2. Cope, Stephen — The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling  link
  3. Dass, Ram — Paths to God: Living the Bhagavad Gita  link
  4. Desai, Mahadev — The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi  link
  5. Dubrovsky, Anna (Yoga International) — Bhagavad Gita: Star of Film and Stage  link
  6. Easwaran, Eknath — The Bhagavad Gita  link
  7. Eliade, Mircea Yoga: Immortality and Freedom  link
  8. Fowler, Jeaneane D. — The Bhagavad Gita: A Text and Commentary for Students  link
  9. Freeman, Richard & Mary Taylor — When Love Comes to Light: Bringing Wisdom from the Bhagavad Gita into Modern life  link
  10. Feuerstein, Georg — The Bhagavad-Gita: A New Translation  link
  11. Feuerstein, Georg — The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice  link
  12. Fowler, Jeaneane D. — The Bhagavad Gita: A Text and Commentary for Students  link
  13. Gandhi, Mohandas K. — The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi  link
  14. Hawley, Jack — The Bhagavad Gita: A Walkthrough for Westerners  link
  15. Lal, P. — The Bhagavad Gita  link
  16. Miller, Barbara Stoler — The Bhagavad-Gita : Krishna’s Counsel in Time of War  link
  17. Miller, Barbara Stoler (Yoga International) — Why Did Thoreau Take the Bhagavad Gita to Walden Pond?  link
  18. Mitchell, Stephen — Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation  link
  19. Prabhupada, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami — Bhagavad-Gita As It Is  link
  20. Rama, Swami — Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad-Gita  link
  21. Rutt, Rev. Stephanie — An Ordinary Life Transformed  link
  22. Satchidananda, Sri Swami — The Living Gita: The Complete Bhagavad Gita – A Commentary for Modern Readers  link
  23. Schweig, Graham M.Bhagavad Gita: The Beloved Lord’s Secret Love Song  link
  24. Sivananda, Swami — The Bhagavad Gita  link
  25. Sovik, Rolf (Yoga International) —  Teachings and Mythology of the Bhagavad Gita Part I (7 minute video)  link
  26. Sovik, Rolf (Yoga International) — Teachings and Mythology of the Bhagavad Gita Part 2 (6 minute video)  link
  27. Yogananda, Paramahansa — God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gitalink
  28. Zaehner, Robert Charles — The Bhagavad-Gita  link

Teaching Tools


The Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Books

  1. Muktibodhanada, Swami — The Hatha Yoga Pradipika  link
  2. Hari — Yogi Hatha Yoga Pradipika  link
  3. Hans-Ulrich Rieker — The Yoga of Light: Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika  link
  4. Akers, Brian Dana — The Hatha Yoga Pradipika  link

Teaching Tools


History & Evolution of Yoga

Books

  1. Connolly, Peter — A Student’s Guide to the History and Philosophy of Yoga  link
  2. Eliade, Mircea — Yoga: Immortality and Freedom  link
  3. Feuerstein, Georg PhD — The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice  link
  4. Feuerstein, Georg PhD & Jeanine Miller — The Essence of Yoga: Essays on the Development of Yogic Philosophy from the Vedas to Modern Times  link
  5. Sarbacker, Stuart Ray— Tracing the Path of Yoga  link
  6. Simpson, Daniel — The Truth of Yoga  link  (book review here)
  7. Singleton, Mark — Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice  link  (book review here)
  8. ingleton, Mark & Jean Byrne — Yoga in the Modern World: Contemporary Perspectives  link
  9. Syman, Stefanie — The Story of Yoga in America: The Subtle Body  link

Teaching Tools


Mythology, Deities & Stories

Books

  1. Ashley-Farrand, Thomas — Shakti Mantras: Tapping into the Great Goddess Energy Within  link
  2. Clark, Bernie — From the Gita to the Grail: Exploring Yoga Stories & Western Myth  link
  3. Dharma, Krishna — Beauty, Power and Grace: The Book of Hindu Goddesses  link
  4. Kaivalya, Alanna & Van der Kooij, Arjuna — Myths of the Asanas: The Ancient Origins of Yoga  link
  5. Kempton, Sally — Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga  link
  6. Lalitananda, Swami — The Inner Life of Asanas: The Best of Hidden Language Hatha Yoga from Ascent Magazine  link
  7. Newell Zo — Downward Dogs and Warriors: Wisdom Tales for Modern Yogis  link
  8. Patel, Sanjay — The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow  link
  9. Radha, Swami Sivananda — Hatha Yoga: The Hidden Language, Symbols, Secrets & Metaphors  link
  10. Roach, Geshe Michael and McNally, Christie — How Yoga Works  link

Teaching Tools


More Yoga Philosophy

Books

  1. Anantananda, Swami — What’s on My Mind?: Becoming Inspired with New Perception  link
  2. Bell, Charlotte — Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice  link
  3. Butera, Robert PhD — The Pure Heart of Yoga: Ten Essential Steps for Personal Transformation  link
  4. Chidvilasananda, Gurumayi — The Yoga of Discipline  link
  5. Chopra, Deepak & David Simon — The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga: A Practical Guide to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit  link
  6. Cope, Stephen — Yoga and the Quest for the True Self  link
  7. Farhi, Donna — Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living  link
  8. Farhi, Donna — Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit: A Return to Wholeness  link
  9. Feuerstein, Georg PhD — The Path of Yoga: An Essential Guide to Its Principles and Practices  link
  10. Feuerstein, Georg PhD — The Psychology of Yoga: Integrating Eastern and Western Approaches for Understanding the Mind  link
  11. Feuerstein, Georg PhD — Tantra: Path of Ecstasy  link
  12. Frawley, Dr. David — Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses (Spiritual Secrets of Ayurveda)  link
  13. Freeman, Richard — The Mirror of Yoga: Awakening the Intelligence of Body and Mind  link
  14. Gates, Rolf & Kenison, Katrina — Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga  link
  15. Isherwood, Christoper & Swami Prabhavananda — How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali  link
  16. Iyengar, B.K.S. — Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom  link
  17. Iyengar, Prashant — Chittavijnana of Yogasanas
  18. Lasater, Judith — Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life  link
  19. Mane, Sarah — Conscious Confidence: Use the Wisdom of Sanskrit to Find Clarity and Success  link
  20. Mohan, A.G. — Yoga Yajnavalkya  link
  21. Osho — Yoga: The Science of the Soul  link
  22. Palkhivala, Aadil — Fire of Love for Students of Life for Teachers of Yoga  link
  23. Stone, Michael — The Inner Tradition of Yoga: A Guide to Yoga Philosophy for the Contemporary Practitioner  link
  24. Vivekananda,Swami / DeLuca, Dave — Pathways to Joy: The Master Vivekananda on the Four Yoga Paths to God  link
  25. Whitwell, Mark — Yoga of Heart: The Healing Power of Intimate Connection  link

No Compensation for Recommendations

Our goal in providing book lists with quick links is to make it easy for you to get a sense for the variety of possible resources and to access them easily.

We receive no compensation of any sort for any recommendations or mentions. We are simply offering information as we feel called to do so.

Most of our book links use Amazon Associates, which pays a tiny commission on purchases made through those links (80 cents on a $20 book, for example). On average, we receive less than $15 per month from Amazon.

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