Here is the complete required and recommended reading list for my 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Programs. I’ve added a few honorable mentions in addition to my reading list, plus some insights into why I like or recommend these books.
Required Yoga Texts:
Since my trainings are usually an immersion at foreign and exotic locations, I decided to limit the required texts to just two books. It’s hard enough to pack for five weeks without bringing a bunch of books halfway across the planet.
I have my students bring Light on Yoga, and one book of classic yoga literature, or a writing from one of the modern masters. I do let the student choose the other book, but I offer recomendations:
- Johnny Nasello Yoga – 300 Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training Manual (Provided).
- Light On Yoga: by B.K.S. Iyengar – Light on Yoga is the most thorough and complete book on the practice of asana. We cover many sequencing strategies in the 300 hour teacher training, and Light on Yoga comes in really handy in that process. In the training, we cover in extreme detail, how to use this book as a resource in learning how to teach poses, and how to sequence classes.
- Choose one book of classic yoga literature, or a writing from one of the modern masters. If you have never read the Bhagavad Gita, that would be a good one to start with. Other examples include:
The students are asked to provide a lecture on their chosen book that includes a summary/main idea, practical application – insights into how we learn and grow from this as related to our practice, personal insights and introspection.
Basically, I have them deliver a university level book report that both helps them to become more familiar with yogic source material, and also provide for them a framework that will allow them to become more comfortable with teaching yoga philosophy to their students.
Note: My students have arrived with versions of Light on Yoga that have different covers. As far as I can tell, there is not much difference from version to version other than the page numbers that you’ll find things on. Here is an image of the different covers you might come across.
Recommended Reading List:
- Prana & Pranayama: Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati – One of the most excellent books you’ll find that explains the nuances and practice of pranayama.
- Kundalini Tantra: Swami Satyananda Saraswati – Once you’re familiar with the basic concepts and practice of pranayama, this is the book that will guide you to your next steps.
- Light on Pranayama: B.K.S. Iyengar – As detailed as Light on Yoga is for Asana, Light on Pranayama is for yoga breathing techniques.
- The Key Muscles of Yoga: Scientific Keys Volume I: Ray Long MD – The Key Muscles of Yoga, and it’s counterpart, the Key Poses of Yoga do an amazing job of helping students to visualize the muscles and how they’re being activated within the context of a yoga pose. With the incredible images in these books, students can clearly see the relationship between anatomy and asana.
- The Key Poses of Yoga: Scientific Keys Volume II: Ray Long MD
- Yoga Anatomy: Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews – This book is on the reading list of many yoga teacher trainings, and is a must have resource for yoga anatomy.
- Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha: Swami Satyananda Saraswati – This book is a wealth of information on hatha yoga, and is often used as “the manual” for many yoga teacher trainings.
- The Yamas & Niyamas: Deborah Adele – A contemporary explanation of how to live the path of yoga as laid out in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
- Chakra Yoga: Anodea Judith – This book is an excellent guide for teachers who are trying to figure out how to connect metaphysical energy aspects of yoga with the physical practice.
- Cool Yoga Tricks: Miriam Austin – A fantastic resource that covers how to modify all kinds of poses with different props for all types of bodies, contraindications, and misalignments.