Below is a small, yet concise selection of essential reading that I find conducive to a clear understand and strong yoga practice.
Plato - Penguin Classics Edition
A modern and western compliment to traditional ancient yogic philosophy. Provides a nice balance to conventional yoga reading with a slightly different perspective and wording.
Light On Life
This is one of best books to begin as an introduction to yoga and the philosophical elements without which an asana practice lacks depth and context.
Ashtanga Yoga The Practice Manual
The classic and definitve guive to Ashtanga yoga as taught by Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. Includes photographs and detailed instruction for every posture of the Primary and Intermediate series including detailed instruciton on the vinyasas and krama or sequencing.
Sharon Gannon & David Life
Along with Light on Life, another great book to begin your yoga practice with which is perhaps a bit “lighter” reading. Life and Gannon are students of Pattabhi Jois and created this contemporary method of yoga as a way to keep the purity of the teachings from India for a more western audience.
If The Buddha Married
A wide-reaching and realistic representation of love and commitment for those on the spiritual path that takes time to look indepth at the difficulties that all couples face.The author approaches the work with a strong background in modern psychology to look at different real life couples. Samskaras and acceptance and appreciation of our partner's unique personalities and the different moods we pass through in the entirety of our relationship where the broad spectrum of human emotion is now mirrored in another.
The Essential Rumi
Rumi’s language of longing of love is so pure as for the object of his devotion to be ambiguous: Is it divine love for God or of the flesh for his lover
The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu
Translated by Brian B. Walker
A more poetic translation of the Tao where God is feminine and moves in mysterious ways. China’s Yoga Sutras.
The Thrive Diet
Clear, simple guide to a nutricious, delicious raw vegan diet for athletic performance and well-being where less energy is spent digesting and so more is free for other purposes. A great, easy read to establish a foundation for a healthy relationship to food as a balance to a sustainable yoga practice.
The Art of Loving
The premise: Love is an art that can be mastered. The way we live is the way we love and the love we express in the world around us in its myriad of forms is a relfection of the love we have for ourselves. Examines different forms of the essential love, particularly in the application of diffferent strata of society and love as an action, therefore creativty being the highest expression of love. Broadens our perspective beyong the romantic or divine polarity into all inclusiveness.
The Art of Happiness
The Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler
A western mind, Cutler a psychologist, interviews the Dalai Lama posing questions relevant to our every day living and what results is a light, easy read providing tools in aligning the mind in the art of happiness. A nice balance to deeper, sometimes more esoteric and abstract principles explored in traditional philisophical yogic texts.