11 Best Yoga Books for Beginners to Uplift Your Mind and Spirit

What are the best yoga books for beginners?

If you’re just getting interested in yoga or are heading back to it after some time away, there are some good yoga books for beginners that can help you along your journey. These books talk about the physical side of yoga but they each tackle the mind and body connection in a unique way.

Westerners tend to understand that yoga is great for the body but some have a hard time getting into the mental and spiritual side of it. If you’re having a hard time with this aspect of yoga, these books explore how to get there.

Some focus on personal anecdotes and the way that yoga has drastically improved the authors’ lives while others cover poses, sequences, and meditation techniques to get you centered.

1. Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit – A Return to Wholeness by Donna Farhi

Yoga Mind, Body and Spirit is considered one of the best yoga books for beginners. It offers 240 illustrations and photographs to lay out the foundations of yoga simply in a way that’s extremely accessible. Farhi explores the connections between the body, mind, and spirit and shows readers how they can work toward achieving every yoga pose.

2. Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar

This book is considered by some to be a classic. First published in 1966, it’s an excellent book to inspire and uplift a beginner but is just as meaningful to all skill levels. In addition to guiding the reader in achieving mental, physical, and spiritual well-being through practicing yoga, this book covers yoga poses in great detail and devotes a section to yogic breathing.

3. Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann

This book by Schiffman, a world-renown yoga master, lays out a new technique combining meditation and hatha yoga through simple illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions. With more than 100 poses and a focus on meditation, this one helps you gain strength, increase flexibility, lower stress, and center your mind.

4. Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer

One of the best things about this book is how relatable it is. Dederer’s story is sure to resonate with many beginners and inspire them to love their yoga journey. This is both a book about yoga and a book about life, exploring how yoga tests the misconceptions about being a woman and all the roles that entails – mother, daughter, sister, wife, and friend- while focusing on joy instead of wellness for the sake of wellness.

5. Yoga Body and Mind Handbook: Easy Poses, Guided Meditations, Perfect Peace Wherever You Are by Jasmine Tarkeshi

If you’re new to yoga or getting back into it after some time away, this book is meant to help you get moving, meditating, and breathing to reduce stress and improve your peace of mind. Tarkeshi delivers not only essential poses but the meditation techniques you need to know to slow down your busy life.

6. Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life by Judith Hanson Lasater

This book shows you how to find what’s spiritual about everyday life. Lasater teaches the reader how to include daily activities in practicing yoga using the teachings and ancient wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutra. By learning how to incorporate practices like worship, empathy, and relaxation into your life off the yoga mat, you deepen your relationship with yourself and the world around you.

7. Yoga For Life, A Journey To Inner Peace And Freedom By Colleen Saidman Yee

Yee tells her personal story of how yoga led her away from a dangerous drug habit and back to herself. This book is a true testament to what yoga can do for the mind and spirit. Each chapter includes specific yoga sequences to address a variety of real-life issues like depression, stress, and detoxing. Photographs and step-by-step instructions help you flow through her signature sequences, helping you stay in the moment and find peace.

8. Mindfulness Yoga: The Awakened Union of Breath, Body, and Mind by Frank Jude Boccio

Whether you’re new to yoga or have years of experience, this book teaches you something new. Boccio introduces Mindfulness Yoga, a blend of traditional asana with the Buddha’s Four Foundations of Mindfulness. The spiritual side of yoga is explored with an emphasis on joy and compassion. This book is a rare and interesting blend of meditation, Buddhism, and yoga.

9. The Heart Of Yoga, Developing A Personal Practice By T.K.V. Desikachar

Desikachar is the son of Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, one of the greatest yogis in recent memory. Krishnamacharya’s students have written about his method many times but his son provides a depth that no others can. This book lays out a step-by-step guide for practicing yoga according to age-old principles and explores meditation, conscious breathing, and philosophy.

10. Yoga for Transformation: Ancient Teachings and Practices for Healing the Body, Mind, and Heart by Gary Kraftsow

Everyone knows that yoga is good for the body but a lot of Westerners don’t embrace the mental and spiritual benefits of the practice. In this book, Kraftsow teaches techniques that improve the mind, heart, soul, and emotions. There are more than 350 black and white photos to show you just how to improve your yoga sessions.

11. Yoga: The Poetry of the Body by Rodney Yee

Yee is well-known around the world and this book is a great example of why. Featuring at least 400 stunning black and white photos, this book shows beginners step-by-step instructions for 45 basic yogas poses, organized into eight routines. He focuses on the spiritual journey, too, helping anyone new to yoga better understand the essence of the practice.

The Best Yoga Books the Right Frame of Mind

For some people, the physical side of yoga comes easily and the spiritual side takes a little more work. These books are great for beginners who are ready to start their journey focusing on the body, mind, and spirit.