As a yoga teacher and an avid reader, I am sometimes asked what books on yoga, meditation, or yoga related topic I like or would recommend. With the help of our staff, my list can be found below.

Only in modern yoga can we find the combination of ancient history, philosophy, religion, spirituality, esotericism, biology, physics, quantum mechanics, and zen. Let’s just say it is a broad subject. Yoga is one of the few words that means so much to so many.  We do yoga to achieve yoga after all. So here is a list of books somewhat related the modern version of an ancient ritual.  

The practice of yoga has undergone quite the transformation. The practice we do today would be quite foreign to its ancient practitioners…or would it? Would the ancient yogis like all the poses, movement, and focus on health & fitness? Can the modern yoga practice offer the same spiritual and moral compass when it is stripped of all it’s religion and culture?

Well, we think these books can help bridge the divide and explain how and why the practice of yoga has evolved to where it is today. But mostly these are great books that can show us how we can improve our personal modern yoga practice. It is all just yoga!😉

These books come with the recommendation of a member of our staff here at Modern Yoga. However, as I made this list, many of the selections may be biased towards my preferences. With the help of my wife, Joyce, and our other teachers, we hopefully balanced out my bias.

This is a comprehensive list of yoga books but it does not include everything, nor is the subject only yoga practice. It is just a list of great books that somewhat relate to yoga (some more than others).  If you have read something that you think should be on this list, let us know in the comments below!

Lastly, some of these are available as books, ebooks or audio books.  We included links to Amazon for these if you want to purchase. We make a small commission, thanks! All of these titles should also be available from your local library or library card app 🙂 Happy Reading!


The Buddha and the SahibsCharles Allen
History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective Gregory S. Aldrete
A History of IndiaMichael H. Fisher
Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization, Volume 1Will Durant
The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West Michelle Goldberg
Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and MuhammadMark W. Muesse
Great World Religions: HinduismMark W. Muesse
The DhammapadaEknath Easwaran
The History and Practices of Hatha YogaDr. James Mallinson
After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular AgeStephen Batchelor
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult TimesPema Chödrön
Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & WisdomRick Hanson
Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual TraditionGrant Hardy
Buddhism Malcolm David Eckel
The Bhagavad GitaEknath Easwaran
In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali CanonBhikkhu Bodhi
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Sri Swami Satchidananda
The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A BiographyDavid Gordon White
Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and EnlightenmentRobert Wright
The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S. N. GoenkaWilliam Hart
The Science of Yoga: The Risks and Rewards William J. Broad
Healing Yoga: Proven Postures to Treat Twenty Common Ailments from Backache to Bone Loss, Shoulder Pain to Bunions, and MoreLoren Fishman MD
Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture PracticeMark Singleton
Roots of YogaJames Mallinson
The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The Philosophy and Practice of Yin YogaBernie Clark
Your Spine, Your Yoga: Developing stability and mobility for your spineBernie Clark
Yoga Nidra Swami Satyananda Saraswati
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself Michael A. Singer
Breathing for Warriors: Master Your Breath to Unlock More Strength, Greater Endurance, Sharper Precision, Faster Recovery, and an Unshakable Inner Game Belisa Vranich
Breath: The New Science of a Lost ArtJames Nestor
Light on YogaB. K. S. Iyengar
Science of Yoga: Understand the Anatomy and Physiology to Perfect Your PracticeAnn Swanson
Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the SelfAnodea Judith
The Key Muscles of Yoga: Scientific Keys, Volume I Ray Long
The Key Poses of Yoga: Scientific Keys, Volume IIRay Long
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of TraumaBessel van der Kolk M.D.
Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of YogaRolf Gates
The Inner Tradition of Yoga: A Guide to Yoga Philosophy for the Contemporary Practitioner Michael Stone
The Upanishads, 2nd EditionEknath Easwaran
The Art of Vinyasa: Awakening Body and Mind through the Practice of Ashtanga YogaRichard Freeman
The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Dīgha Nikāya Bhikkhu Sujato
Passage Meditation – A Complete Spiritual Practice: Train Your Mind and Find a Life That FulfillsEknath Easwaran
The Dawn of Everything: A New History of HumanityDavid Graeber
Sapiens: A Brief History of HumankindYuval Noah Harari
The Bhagavad GitaEknath Easwaran
On the Warrior’s Path, Second Edition: Philosophy, Fighting, and Martial Arts Mythology Daniele Bolelli
The History of the Ancient WorldSusan Wise Bauer
Tracking Bodhidharma: A Journey to the Heart of Chinese CultureAndy Ferguson
The Wim Hof Method: Activate Your Full Human PotentialWim Hof
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst Robert Sapolsky
The Power of Myth: Programs 1-6 Joseph Campbell
Thinking, Fast and SlowDaniel Kahneman
Confession of a Buddhist AtheistStephen Batchelor
Fingerprints of the Gods: The Quest ContinuesGraham Hancock
Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to JoyMo Gawdat
The Way of Korean Zen Steven Pinker
The Science of Mindfulness: A Research-Based Path to Well-Being Ronald Siegel
Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion Sam Harris
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and TranscendenceMichael Pollan
This Is Your Mind on PlantsMichael Pollan
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and ProgressSteven Pinker
Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to MeditationMark W. Muesse
Astrophysics for People in a HurryNeil deGrasse Tyson
Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical PracticeDeborah Adele
The CBT Deck: 101 Practices to Improve Thoughts, Be in the Moment & Take Action in Your LifeSeth Gillihan
Knee Ability ZeroBen Patrick
You, Happier: The 7 Neuroscience Secrets of Feeling Good Based on Your Brain TypeDaniel Amen
Out of Your MindAlan Watts
Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every DayJay Shetty
Mindfulness in Plain EnglishBhante Henepola Gunaratana
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual EnlightenmentEckhart Tolle
Mindfulness for BeginnersJon Kabat-Zinn
The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of MeditationThich Nhat Hanh
The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and LiberationThich Nhat Hanh
Living Buddha, Living Christ Thich Nhat Hanh
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle MaintenanceRobert M Pirsig
The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No NameBrian C. Muraresku
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Jack Weatherford
Genghis Khan and the Quest for God: How the World’s Greatest Conqueror Gave Us Religious FreedomJack Weatherford
Zen Mind, Beginner’s MindShunryu Suzuki
The Eight Limbs of Yoga: A Handbook for Living Yoga PhilosophyStuart Ray Sarbacker
Yoga AnatomyLeslie Kaminoff
The Way of ZenAlan Watts
Built from Broken: A Science-Based Guide to Healing Painful Joints, Preventing Injuries, and Rebuilding Your BodyScott H Hogan
Embodied Posture: Your Unique Body and YogaStacy Dockins
Autobiography of a YogiParamahansa Yogananda
The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal PracticeT. K. V. Desikachar
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and IndonesiaElizabeth Gilbert
What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and HealingOprah Winfrey
The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and NowThích Nhất Hạnh
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose Eckhart Tolle
Yoga Makaranda: The Nectar of YogaTirumalai Krishnamacharya
Krishnamacharya: His Life and TeachingsA.G. Mohan
MeditationsMarcus Aurelius
Stop Overthinking: 23 Techniques to Relieve Stress, Stop Negative Spirals, Declutter Your Mind, and Focus on the PresentNick Trenton
Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the EverydayMatthew Sockolov
The Art of Happinessthe Dalai Lama
Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human ExperienceBrené Brown
Be Here NowRam Dass
The Doors of Perception and Heaven and HellAldous Huxley
Breathe: A Life in FlowRickson Gracie
The UpanishadsEknath Easwaran
The VedasAnonymous
Writings of an Incendiary Buddhist MonkJohn David Reynolds
The Rig VedaAnonymous
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing Worldthe Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu
Yoga Body, Buddha MindCyndi Lee
The Truth of Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Yoga’s History, Texts, Philosophy, and PracticesDaniel Simpson