Staff Picks :: Essential Reads For the Yogi


The instructors at Hot Yoga PHL + Philly Yoga Factory put together a list of their favorite yoga inspired books to guide you in getting to know your lineage, learning a new technique, and demystifying Ayurveda. Broaden your database of yogic  jnana / vijnana (knowledge and super knowledge) with these must reads.



#1.  We all picked – Autobiography of a Yogi by  Paramahansa Yogananda

Before Bikram Choudhury became Beverly Hills, he came from a lineage of powerful mystics and sages with a familial connection to Paramahansa Yogananda. This book enlightens readers to the ancient traditions and latent powers of yoga.


#2.  Malea loves B.K.S. Iyengar’s, Light on Life

Yes, there is wisdom in all styles of yoga. Learn yoga philosophy from one of the teachers who is credited as being one of the first to bring the science of yoga to American students.  Adding just a few minutes of deep yogic breathing to your daily at home practice can have tremendous powerful healing benefits.  Each breathing exercise is laid out with precise instructions and indications for use.   


#3.  For an all time Fluck favorite, check out True To Form, by Eric Goodman

An anatomy and physiology scholar’s analysis of the modern lifestyle’s dreadful effects on our health and wellbeing – and what we can do about it. If you need more justification as to why you’re even on this path, then this  book’s for you.  

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#4.  Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class (aka, “the red book”) by Bikram Choudhury

This classic collection of posture tutorials of each of the 26 + 2 features guest appearances and photos of Raquel Welch and Jeff Bridges. If you’re too young to recognize those names, that’s because this book was first published in 1978, years before the modern day yoga revolution.  We love the “ideal” and “reality” posture comparisons complete with illustrations and funny captions.


#5.  Katelynn recommends The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Dr. Vasant Lad

At about the turn of the twentieth century, there was healer in every home  Though the principle of self healing through common herbs and foods has been lost in the advent of modern medicine, we are taking our health back into our own hands.  This encyclopedia of remedies covers everything from the common cold, to acne, to backache, to menstrual cramps.  A must have for every household.

#7.  T.K.V. Desikachar’s The Heart of Yoga still inspires Justine every time she hits the yoga mat.

If you’re new to this yoga business, then the author’s name doesn’t mean anything to you, but this book was written by the teacher of our teacher’s teachers. Who is your teacher, and how can you cultivate a personal practice of yoga? This book might reveal some answers.

#8.  The Bhagavad Gita. This ancient text has been edited and has had commentary written about by many authors. Our favorite is Srila Prabhupada’s version.  This is a book you enter into slowly, one verse at a time while savoring each and every word.

Summer is just around the corner and hopefully schedules are lightening up and vacation planning is underway.  Whether your plans involve an international getaway or afternoons in one of Philly’s bustling parks, a good book is always the best companion.  We hope these books help you stay inspired this summer!



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