12 Books that every Yogi should read

If you’re as much of a yoga lover and literature nerd as I am, a good book recommendation never goes wrong.

The Art of Asking

 It’s not easy to ask for something. But it can be done.

Amanda Palmer expands on her TED talk and her book The Art of Asking to tell us why we should not be afraid to seek help when needed.

I Am Malala

Are You Looking For Inspiration In Your Day? Look no further than Malala Yousafzai’s , I Am Malala.

Malala gained international recognition in 2012 when the Taliban killed her after fighting for her right to an education. She continues to fight to ensure girls have the right to education and is now the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner ever.

The Bhagavad Gita

Want a better understanding of the philosophy of yoga? Give The Bhagavad Gita some time to read.

The Bhagavad Gita, which takes place just before a major battle, depicts Krishna bringing spiritual enlightenment to the warrior Arjuna and outlines some of the Hindu beliefs from which yoga is derived. This is a fascinating read for anyone interested in yoga or religion.

The Empathy Exams

How can we better understand one another? Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams aims to answer that question.

“Empathy doesn’t just happen to us. It’s a meteoric shower of synapses that fire across our brains. But it’s a choice. We choose to pay attention and extend ourselves.”

This book is for those who are curious about empathy and why it’s important to care for others and walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

Breathe Into Being

I will be honest: I have a soft spot for this book, as my yoga teacher gifted me a copy of it to read prior to my teacher training.

Breathe Into Being is a concise and direct book by Dennis Lewis that explains how to breathe and how paying attention to your breath can bring about new awareness.

This book will help you to become more aware and focused during your time on the yoga mat by incorporating exercises.

Be Here Now

Ram Dass’s Be here now is a timeless classic. It is a classic, and I recommend it to everyone interested in yoga.

No yoga enthusiast’s bookshelf should be lacking this art book. It is part spirituality discussion, part memoir.

Steal Like an Artist

What is yoga without creativity? Austin Kleon discusses in his book Steal Like an Artist how to add more creativity to your art and life.

This book is for anyone who enjoys painting or experimenting with new poses. It will make you happier and more creative.

The Tao of Inner Peace

 If you are interested in exploring different types of spirituality, then The Tao of Inner Peace by Diane Dreher may be the right book for you.

The book is written in a workbook format that’s easy to follow. I read one chapter each night before going to bed, and I used the lessons the following day. This book is a great way to expand your search for inner contentment and peace.

Zen Confidential

Has it ever occurred to you that you would like the power of a Buddhist Monk? Well, Buddhist monks do, too.

Shozan Haubner, in his book Confidential, says that at least. This book is an entertaining and humorous memoir about the life of a Zen Buddhist Monk. I would say that it’s a must-read. Add some humor to the bookshelf and discover how hectic monk life can be.

The Universe in a Single Atom

Science, spirituality, and religion are not completely separate concepts that have nothing in common. According to the Dalai Lama, they are ideas that work together.

If you are interested in the intersection of science and spirituality, then check out The Universe in a Single Atom, written by the Dalai Lama. In the Dalai Lama’s distinct voice, the Dalai Lama raises some fascinating thoughts about science, faith, and what they mean to us.


 In the tradition of Eat Pray Love, wild by Cheryl Strayed is a memoir about her hike along the Pacific Coast Trail.

Wild is a book that you can read if you like books such as Eat, Pray, Love, or A Walk in the Woods. Wild is a great book for fans of Eat, Pray, Love, and A Walk in the Woods.


If the life of Buddha is something you are interested in but not so much with dry histories, then add Siddhartha, written by Hermann Hesse, to your list.

Siddhartha, while not directly about the Buddha but someone named Siddhartha, whose life parallels the Buddha’s, is a good starting point for a deeper look into the teachings and the life of the Buddha.

Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas, which tells the stories of six people (some of whom may be reincarnations) from six different historical periods in six other times, shows how individuals are interconnected over time. This is a truly beautiful book for everyone.


Why do some people succeed while others don’t? Malcolm Gladwell attempts to answer this question with his book Outliers.

Interesting look at what makes people successful. It turns out that it’s all about the journey.

Eat, Pray, Love

What list would be complete if Eat Pray Love was not included?

You should read Elizabeth Gilbert’s biography if you haven’t already. I won’t give you any more information than that. But seriously. It’s worth reading.

The Tao of Pooh/The Te of Piglet

Can long explanations of religion or philosophy be confusing? Benjamin Hoff’s books The Te of Piglet and The Tao of Pooh will help you to understand the concepts.

Visit the Hundred-Acre Woods and learn about Taoist philosophy along with Piglet, Pooh, and the rest. These books brought me back to my childhood and helped me better understand Taoism. Try them for yourself!

The Circle

Are we concerned with the future of media and technology in our daily lives? The book The Circle may be for you.

This book, a dystopian novel in the traditional style of fiction, may seem too real. You’ll at least be inspired to put your phone down and spend time with family, in nature, or on your mat.

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