Yoga is one of the most ancient forms of exercise that improves both physical and mental strength, flexibility, breathing, etc using simple exercises. Keeping aside the physical and mental benefits, it is believed that yoga aims to let a person experience the truth about themselves and bring them close to their most authentic version.
India is filled with knowledge based on the yogic world, and with time people from across the country have started consuming more content revolving around yoga. But with an increase in demand, there is a rise in misleading sources in the field of yoga. In this article, we will mention the 10 best yoga books in India that are completely authentic and worth your money and time from authors like Sadhugur, Swami Vivekananda, and more.
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Table of Contents
Before choosing a yoga book, one must keep several factors in mind to get the perfect pick for their needs. Knowing different forms and types of yoga, the author's background, benefits, and more are significant points discussed in this section. So, keep reading
Yoga is a diverse field filled with different forms and styles that cater to different physical and mental needs of the human body and consciousness. Before diving straight into the action, it is important for you to know some of these forms and what they offer. This will help you understand your goals better and help you to ace them quickly.
Hatha yoga is the branch that involves components like breathing exercises, yoga poses, and meditation. The term Hatha was first recorded in the 11th century, and Swami Vivekananda helped to spread it across the globe. Usually, one session of hatha yoga ranges from being 45 to 90 minutes long.
Hatha yoga is considered a gentle form of yoga that focuses on static poses and is great for beginners. However, it can still be mentally and physically challenging to master some of those asanas that require high flexibility, like the Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana).
Talking about the benefits, it is scientifically proven that hatha yoga can help cure acute cases of severe body pain, menopause, etc. People who are into aerobics can try this form of yoga, as both are somewhat similar.
Vinyasa yoga is most commonly known as flow yoga. Here a person learns to string postures together in sequence; the goal is to move from one to another smoothly using controlled breathing. The famous Surya Namaskar is a great example of vinyasa yoga.
The transition from one posture to another in vinyasa yoga helps to develop a more balanced body; this also helps prevent repetitive motion injuries that can take place while doing the same thing every day.
One great thing about vinyasa yoga is that it ends where it begins; for example, in Surya Namaskar, one starts and ends with the same asana. The repetitive physical movement is great for people looking for quick physical changes.
Kriya yoga is one of the oldest meditation techniques of energy and breathing control. Unlike the other two types, this type of yoga completely depends on your spiritual energy. It is believed that Kriya Yoga is the most effective way to achieve the true objective of yoga: to connect one with the divine.
According to experts in the field, all yoga forms need the person to tap into their spiritual energy. Asanas and postures help to open up new spinal channels and balance the energy flowing through the spine.
Kriya yoga helps you to tap into that spiritual energy at your own will. In terms of benefits, kriya yoga enhances your ability to concentrate, be more efficient in making professional and personal decisions, etc. People seeking spiritual growth should try this.
If you are looking for the basics of asanas and pranayamas step-by-step, you can go for yoga guides. These are manuals with a collection of diagrams, photographs explaining how to ace a physical posture. Books like Light on Yoga by B.S. Iyengar is a good example as it contains vivid details and instructions on performing asanas.
People seeking spiritual enlightenment through yoga can go for spiritual guides, and manuals that deal with the meditation aspect of yoga can switch to spiritual guides and autobiographies. These books talk about the connection of yoga to the divine, its origin, and its spiritual and psychological benefits.
Books like Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda are one great example of a book explaining how spiritual enlightenment can change one's life. We recommend the reader first to know the goal behind learning yoga and then purchasing a particular kind of book, this will help the readers save time and have a fruitful experience.
Getting advice on any field from an expert is always beneficial, so when you seek advice and guidance in yoga, it is advisable to read books written by experts in yoga. This increases the authenticity of the information in the book and makes sure that you are learning from the best ones in the business.
For example, if you are buying the book Complete Book of Yoga by Swami Vivekananda, you can be assured that the information is top-notched, as he was the person who helped yoga transcend from India to various corners of the world.
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The Complete Book of Yoga
A Great Guide to Know About Different Types of Yoga
Autobiography of Yogi
A Gratifying Spiritual Read
Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha
A Systematic Yoga Guide
A Book Filled With Transformational Concepts
A Spiritual Guide With Brilliant Storytelling
Sadhguru & Arundhathi Subramaniam
A Blend of Science and Hindu Mythology
Light on Yoga
A Manual With Special Focus on Postures
The Modern Yoga Bible
Explore Hatha Yoga Better
Mudras of India
A Perfect Guide for Hand Postures
Yoga & Stress management
A Therapeutic Guide
While the modern world displays many diverse forms of yoga, the Bhagavad Gita classified the ancient art of yoga into 4 categories- karma yoga, bhakti yoga, jnāna yoga, and Raja yoga. This by Swami Vivekananda explains the four forms from scratch.
For a complete beginner, this book can be really useful as it mentions ancient asanas in detail, also you can learn about how yoga was perceived originally and have a deeper understanding of the art.
The book is also filled with motivational quotes like: "let the ripples come and go, let huge actions proceed from the muscles and the brain but let them not make any deep impression on the soul". You're sure to get a new perspective.
Unlike other autobiographies, the Autobiography of Yogi narrates a spiritual journey of the mystic Paramahansa Yogananda. Instead of physical asanas, this book aims at bringing spiritual development to light. The book has inspired pioneers like Steve Jobs, the Beatles, and many more.
If you are on the path to self-realization, then this book is perfect for you. It contains many stories from the author's life that show a new path of spirituality to the reader and help them think clearly and wisely.
This book is internationally recognized as one of the best manuals on yoga by users. Unlike other guides, this book contains clear illustrations that depict the step-by-step ways of performing and mastering a new asana. The illustrations part makes it a great fit for beginners.
The book talks about asanas falling in the category of hatha yoga and vinyasa yoga. The author concentrated on establishing clear instructions about mastering an asana rather than just talking about theoretical concepts. It is a simple and enjoyable manual and should be purchased by all.
Inner Engineering is a concept developed by the author Sadhguru, which seeks to align the mind and the body with spiritual energy within us. The concept of inner engineering can be used to create a world of limitless power and possibilities.
Being a book centered around the spiritual benefits of yoga, the read is filled with Sadhguru's personal experiences with spirituality and yoga. This helps the readers to relate better. This book serves as a guide to master the three main elements of our lives - body, mind, and energy. A brilliant portrayal of spirituality through personal experiences.
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse is a story that puts the spotlight on a boy Siddhartha who journeys across the Indian subcontinent during the time of Lord Buddha. This book talks about a regular person and their journey to achieve enlightenment. The book makes you reflect on your understanding of spirituality and how you interpret the world around you.
The book in detail talks about yoga and connection with the divine, for beginners, this book can be great as it explains the spiritual benefits of yoga and meditation with the help of a compelling storyline that matches the real journey of Lord Buddha.
Adiyogi offers a new take on spirituality and yoga. The book offers a classic blend of yogic science and Hindu mythology. There are books on spirituality that mix these concepts but Adiyogi helps the reader deeper into the topic and explore the ancient relations of yoga in Hindu mythology.
However, the author Arundhathi Subramaniam has filled the book with seemingly difficult words to decipher even for a regular native English speaker. The readers have found this somewhat annoying, as they believe the content in the book is great, but the language kills the deal. Keeping the language aside, this is great for people seeking spiritual guidance through yoga.
This book is specialized aimed at beginners who are looking to learn from the start. The language used in the book is simple and precise, the author has restrained from using many technical terms to make it easy for newbies to understand. Although there are illustrations they are not as detailed as book number three Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha.
To give the reader a good overview of the vast landscape of yoga, the book is divided into 3 segments. The first segment talks about the basics of yoga, its nature, and its components. The second part talks about the asanas and kriyas, and the third part is all about pranayamas. It's a short and great read for people seeking true guidance in yoga.
The Modern Yoga Bible is another great yoga manual that you can refer to learn basic asanas and pranayamas. The author here puts special focus on asanas linked more to hatha yoga. Asanas like Sarvangasana (shoulderstand) are explained in a detailed manner.
The book however jumps directly into the asanas and pranayama without forming a connection with the reader about how yoga is connected to spirituality. To some, this point may sound appealing but for readers seeking spiritual growth, this might be a problem. However, the book has some great detailed explanations on postures which can be useful for beginners.
Hand gestures play an important role in yoga, it is believed that the mudras are highly responsible for the manipulation of spiritual energy in our bodies. There are only a few books that cover the topic of yogic hand postures in grand detail. The Mudras of India is a great guide for people to master these gestures and to learn about their benefits.
Yoga & Stress Management is a systematic guide for people to get rid of pressure, stress, and anxiety. The book covers great details on meditation and how it can be practiced to get rid of mental stress. the provides vivid details on the cure of psychological and psychosomatic disorders like anxiety, etc that are globally on the rise.
The author has established a clear connection on how yoga offers a holistic solution to erase conflicts, suppression, and sensitivity. While the book has received good popularity in India, the absence of the ebook version seems to be a worry as many readers want a version of the digital copy.
It is always good to optimize your performance using some of the best resources available in the market. In the field of yoga, you can always use the help of things like a good yoga mat, or a great yoga app to churn out the best results. Below are the links to some highly useful yoga resources that can be used for greater performance.
The world of yoga is full of surprises and happy discoveries, we hope you found the article useful, and it helps you to get closer to attaining a powerful body and mind altogether.
Author: Reet Jakharia
No. 1: Swami Vivekananda | The Complete Book of Yoga
No. 2: Paramahansa Yogananda | Autobiography of Yogi
No. 3: Swami Satyananda Saraswati | Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha
No. 4: Sadhguru | Inner Engineering
No. 5: Herman Hesse | Siddhartha
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